Signed Human Connection with Matthew Amos

Matt Amos Angus McLellan (Ed Video) Shelley Buffitt (Gel Music Group).jpg

Submitted by Shelley Buffitt
Photo at right: Matt Amos Angus McLellan (Ed Video) Shelley Buffitt (Gel Music Group)

"Can I ask you something?" wrote Matthew Amos on my Facebook page.  I was hesitant to answer. Reason? I've been asked some interesting questions on Facebook. Many have been fairly black and white inquiries requiring a yes or no answer, however there are those few "gentlemen" with questions that center in fifty shades of grey. It can be a bit virtually unnerving. Despite this, I replied to Matthew, "Sure". Matthew wrote back asking "Can I get an autographed photo of you?" What has transpired since that request has blossomed into a special friendship based on admiration, respect and beauty in the spirit of a signed human connection.

Over the course of many months Matthew and I have chatted on Facebook and in December of this year we finally met. Cashbox Canada music journalist Don Graham and I traveled to Guelph Ontario meeting Matthew at Ed Video along with Ed Video staff members Angus McLelland and Elizabeth Dent. Ed Video is a charitable artist-run center that is an inclusive and an innovative educational center that supports artists and diverse communities in all aspects of media arts. They make the creation of media art more accessible through affordable equipment access, community building, the encouragement of skills growth and experimentation via membership and through various production programs. For Matthew, Ed Video is a sanctuary of creative release, expression and that ever important means of connection through purpose, focus and direction.

Matthew is a smart, funny and gentle man and though he has Tourette's Syndrome , his disability becomes quickly unnoticed in conversation with him. This hold particularly true when he discusses his role as a Philographer. In short, Matthew is a collector of autographed photographs of people that he has deemed important to the world. The famous and maybe not so famous. In humble response, I'm grateful he considers me important in his world of famed distinction. Had he not, I would never have been able to take in the enormity of what this young man has created in his vast collection of over 1500 signed photos of people that include Fidel Castro, Burt Reynolds, Joan Rivers and his two favorite people, Kevin Frankish of Breakfast Television and "America's Most Wanted" celeb , John Walsh. Matthew loves to tell about John Walsh calling to wish him a Happy Birthday !!

Along  with the help of his parents and the staff at Ed Video he has organized and compiled a legacy of signed photos. What shocked me was the refusal letters of celebrities or their stipulation that Matthew must provide a fee to receive an autograph. Despite this, Matthew takes it all in stride and still pursues his goal.

Matt Amos' Autograph BooksMatt Amos' Autograph BooksWhile Don Graham took the lead in interviewing Matthew, I took careful note of Matthew's professional demeanor and candid appreciation of the people who have contributed to his vast collection. Matthew takes it upon himself to request the autographs, spending his own money to send out letters and sometimes even forwards the fee request to obtain the precious memorabilia.

Actress Cindy Crawford said "You don't have to do the picture, you have to do the autograph, but it's important to take that moment to make a human connection."
Matthew has shown to me that whoever you are, famous or otherwise, the purpose of life is doing what you love, and most especially in being who you are. Thank you Matthew Amos for being part of the "human connection".

*Matthew’s birthday is January 22nd. Please take the opportunity and make a "signed human connection" with him. Send an 8x10 autographed photo of yourself signed “To My Friend Matthew” to:

Matthew Amos
C/O
Ed Video
RE:  Matthew Amos
404 York Rd. Guelph Ontario N1E 3H4

P.S. In my eyes Matthew, you are equally important to our world as any celebrity or famous person; perhaps even more.