How does this happen? I received the following letter today (some info deleted for privacy):
Dear Miss Roze
I retired a couple of years ago from my job as Head of Drama and Theatre Studies at a Specialist Performing Arts College here in XXXXXX. I had actually by then been teaching the subject for thirty-six years without a break. Now I am free to watch the work of others on stage, in the cinema or on television. My passion for the dramatic arts is totally undiminished.
As Head of the Drama Department, one of my most enjoyable responsibilities was being Production Manager of the college’s purpose-built 470-seat professional theatre. Whilst in the this post, I began to collect signed photographs of actors and actresses from all over the world. This collection is now very large, hugely treasured and stored in leather binders. Eventually it will be willed to the Museum of Cinematography in XXXXXXX..
Having read your details on the internet, I would be delighted if you would agree to send me a signed headshot of yourself for inclusion in this collection. May I also take this opportunity to wish you a very happy and extremely successful career.
With best wishes
But seriously, this isn't unusual. We get requests like this for the Endless once every six months or so. They're rarely this nicely-worded. The incomprehensible part of it is, they are always from people who have no idea who we are or have ever heard our music before. Often the letter will be like this:
I am South American Brazil and I like the American musics. Please send me autographed picture and CD for my collection. I big fan.
I'm always left feeling slightly uncomfortable, confused, and vaguely curious about what goes on. Are these just crazy pack rats who are just playing a numbers game that of everyone they pool, eventually one of them will be worth something? Is it for a ring of underground autograph fetishists? Is it just mental illness? Loneliness? What gives?
I enjoy giving an autograph now and then (in the rare instance where it's requested), even if I generally find no meaning in them, because people like having that little bit of personalization of their theatre or music experience. People ask because they genuinely appreciate you in some manner and it is done with a level of respect and love. In these random solicitation circumstance, however, where they don't even know you...that's just weird.