My Life Story | Matthew Santoro

My Life Story | Matthew Santoro


– [Matthew] Hi! My name is Matthew Santoro. I’m Canadian, I’m bald and I’m a YouTuber. Okay, that’s all you need to know. Bye! (film projector whirring) No, just kidding. But, for real, you guys
have been watching my videos and following my journey for years now and you probably think you
know me pretty well, but the truth is, there’s a lot more to the
story that you don’t know. In this video, I’m going
to tell you everything that you’ve ever wanted to know about me: where I cam from, how I
got to where I’m at now, and everything in between. If you’ve ever wanted
to know more about me, this is the full story
from start to, well, now. So, let’s start from the beginning. I was born in Cambridge,
Ontario, Canada on July 16, 1985 in a hospital to my two loving parents, Mike and Kathy Santoro. I was an only child so, from an early age, I learned how to entertain
myself and be creative. I think you get why that becomes
important later in my life. Shortly after being born, my parents decided to move to
a small city called Welland. It’s a relatively small city
of about 52,000 people and, truthfully, there isn’t
really much to do there. I mean, we have a mall and a bridge. That’s about it. Basically, it’s a quiet town
where people move to retire. Not exactly an exciting thing for a kid. When we moved there, my parents
bought me my very first pet, my dog, Barney. He was the cutest little
fluffy dog I’d ever seen and I loved him very much. He was the only boy of the litter and that made him extra-special to me. We would snuggle and play
together all the time and he’d even sleep with me
every night as I grew up. My dad named him Barney, after Barney Rubble from The Flintstones. Still not exactly sure
why but hey, why not? We gave him so much love that he lived for a really long
time, around 16 years, but eventually, he got too old and we decided to put him down. Luckily, my uncle is a veterinarian, so he was surrounded by a
loving family when he passed, but I’m getting ahead of it. As a kid, I attended St.
Kevin’s Elementary School. It was a Catholic school
but not one of those hard-core uniform-wearing ones where the boys aren’t allowed to talk to girls. I was always the class clown, always doing things to make people laugh. But, despite that, I was
never very popular in school. Now, I wouldn’t say I was a loser. More like, I just didn’t feel
like I fit in with any cliques I always felt like I just never belonged. I always felt different,
like I didn’t understand why the other kids acted
the way that they did. I always tried really hard to
fit in but it never worked. Eventually, I figured
out the harder you try to make people like
you, the less they will. I was always thankful that
I was never really bullied. I mean, I was picked on, but never beat up or anything like that. I had some pretty great
teachers growing up, as well as a few close friends
and I was pretty happy, except for when I turned
eight and my parents divorced. I definitely didn’t take that well. I honestly don’t have a lot
of memories from that time, but I do remember that it
made me a really sad kid, as well as confused. I felt sad for a long time after that and I couldn’t explain a lot of
the emotions that I felt but, despite that, my parents
did all that they could to make it as easy on me as possible. The biggest thing I always
give my parents credit for is that they never talked crap
about each other around me. Ever. Despite their differences, they only ever spoke highly of each other. That’s something that I’m
still thankful for to this day, because I know that not
every kid has that privilege. Next up was high school. I attended Notre Dame College School, which I always thought was a weird name, considering that it wasn’t
a college but anyway, high school was similar to
grade school for me except that I now had a whole bunch of hormones rushing through my body all at once. Yeah, that didn’t make
things awkward at all. Out of all of my classes, I
loved Improv class the most because I got to be onstage
making people laugh. In fact, I would do this thing
called the Mother Lobster, where I’d snap my claws together and throw myself against the chalkboard. Yeah, I was weird. It was in my first year
there that I met and started dating my first ever girlfriend. Her name was Holly. She was nice. That same year, I found my first job. It was at a grocery store called Zehrs in the hot deli department,
where I fried chicken and, believe it or not, I ended up
staying there for 10 years, and even fully paid my
way through university. That’s pretty much the summary
of my high school days, but there were two important lessons that I learned during my time there
that are still true today that I want to impart upon you. The first is to never envy
anyone else’s life, ever. No matter how great someone’s
life looks on the surface, I promise you, everyone has
demons that they struggle with and no one is as perfect as they seem. I learned that one the
saddest way possible when one of the most popular kids in my school, who everyone looked up to, took his own life one
weekend without any warning. It turns out he had
been terribly depressed and nobody knew about it. The other important lesson
is to never hesitate. If you want something, act today, because you might not
get your shot tomorrow. This was another hard
lesson that I learned. I had a huge crush on
this girl named Jen and I waited days to gather the
courage to ask her to prom and when I finally did, she told me that she was just
asked earlier that same day by another guy and, what
makes it worse is that she also said that she
would have gone with me. That one stung. It was in high school that I
chose to go into accounting. I know, I know. Boring! The truth is I only went into
it because one of my teachers, Mr. Graffi, told me that I
could make a lot of money, so I set my sights on Brock University, switched all of my classes
to accounting and dove in. Next up was university and it was a really good time in my life. It was during this time
that I started to become more serious about
fitness and weightlifting and I got into pretty good shape. In between my studies, my friends and I would go out
two or even three times a week I still don’t know how
I went out that much and managed to pull off a 75 average. During my second year there, I ran into my high school crush, Marcy. We started hanging out
and then started dating. Fast-forward and, after
five and a half years, I graduated with a Master
of Accountancy degree and moved in with Marcy. That’s also when I got my first
job at an accounting firm. Things were going really well. Just after I graduated,
near the end of 2009, is when I first discovered YouTube, specifically, the
YouTubers who inspired me to begin making my own videos. My biggest influence at the
time was Ray William Johnson. I was in love with the
concept of making videos and putting them online
for everyone to see. It was just so exciting and new. After moving to St.
Catherine’s with Marcy, I bought a camera and taught myself how to edit and shoot video. Fun Fact: I almost didn’t
even post my very first video. It was only because of
Marcy’s encouragement that I gained the strength to do it. From there, I started making
videos twice a week and, despite the fact that I was only getting about 100 views a video, I still loved it. For a couple of years, I would work long hours
crunching numbers then come home and write scripts, shoot videos, edit them, and post on Saturdays. Then, one day, everything changed. I got laid off. Now, you’d think I would
have been devastated but oddly, I wasn’t. In fact, I was happy. For the first time in years, I felt like I was free
to do anything I wanted. I decided to vlog the experience, calling it I Lost My Job Today. In fact, that video is
still on YouTube today. Feel free to look it up if
you want to see Chubby Matt. It was at that moment that
I learned another hard, but important life lesson. To paraphrase the great Jim Carrey, “You can fail at what
you don’t want to do, “so you might as well take
a chance on what you love.” So, I did. I decided to pursue this
YouTube thing full-time, despite having no idea
how I would make it work and feeling completely lost. For an entire year, I took
making videos really seriously. I was determined to make it,
so I did everything I could to put myself in a position to do
so, including going to VidCon and networking with bigger YouTubers. It was during this time that I met and became good friends with Scott Kinmartin, who introduced me to
HouseholdHacker and Rob Dyke. Needless to say, we all
became good friends and would even do a weekly Livestream together called Let Your Google Hang Out. In fact, we became such
good friends that we decided to take a cross-America trip together. Luckily, it was in a free
car that Scott had won through the Ford Fiesta
movement, which was great because we were all broke
and it’s a tough economy. But, in all seriousness, little did I know that this
would end up being the trip that would change my life forever. Other than quitting accounting, this was the second big risk I had ever taken in my whole life. Up until that point, I was
always a very small-town conservative guy who was
really just happy being safe in his little bubble,
but all of that changed. Over the course of two weeks, we traveled from east
to west coast together. It was a ton of fun and I
still have many great memories and hilarious stories from that trip. While we were on the road, I decided to take another big risk: to switch from comedy skits
to exclusively Top 10 videos. Up until that point, I had
always done list videos and skit videos separately
but one day, I thought, “Hey, what would happen if I combined “the facts with the humor?” And boom! Soon, I started getting
5,000 subscribers a day, then 10,000 and then
25,000 subscribers a day. In three months, I went from
15,000 subscribers to millions. Keep in mind, it took me
four years of making videos to get those 15,000 and I got
millions within three months. I had never felt a high
like that in my life. I even passed many of the YouTubers who inspired me to begin
in the first place. My patience and hard work
had finally paid off but another big change was coming
that I couldn’t predict. The sudden fame was shifting
my life in another direction and Marcy and I started to grow apart. Eventually, we realized that things just weren’t right anymore and, after being together for five years, we decided to split ways. Luckily, to this day, we
are still good friends and I am forever grateful for
everything that she did for me while we were together. At this point in my life, I had finally gotten
everything I worked for and it was exciting,
however, despite that, the truth is I didn’t handle
my sudden fame very well. I lost the sense of who I was and I didn’t even know who
I was supposed to be. From July to December, 2014, I became very depressed and isolated. In fact, there were some
weeks when I was so depressed, I couldn’t even bring
myself to make a video and unfortunately, the next
two years were equally as confusing and difficult for me. If I could summarize that
entire time into one word, it would be rollercoaster. There’s a lot that
happened during that time, but I’ll summarize it for you like this: I met a girl that I thought loved me and that I thought was my dream girl, but ended up just using me
to launch her YouTube career and put me through a lot of pain. But, I also was on over 40 plane rides, visited places I had never seen before, and even moved to Toronto. Then, I got into some
unnecessary YouTube drama with some friends that really sucked, but then I traveled to
South Africa to be in the final Resident Evil movie. Then, I got into some more YouTube drama, this time with a gnome in a cartoon. I know, it sounds weird. It was. But then, I released a
book with a full tour, won a Streamy Award for
Breakout Creator of the Year, and even went to the White House, so yeah. Like I said, rollercoaster. That brings us to the end of 2016. I still found myself lost and unhappy, so I decided that I needed
a change of scenery. I took another huge risk
and moved to Los Angeles. It’s taken me six months
but I finally, just now, have adjusted to living here
and, to be honest, it’s nice. But, the truth is, I
often miss Toronto a lot and all of the amazing
friends that I made there. I miss my family a lot, too,
but the good news is that I travel back there every couple
months, so it’s not so bad. So, that’s pretty much it. I guess I’m still finding my way and I’m still figuring out life as I go but, through it all, I learned
one more important thing. I’ve realized that life itself is not something that you figure out. Maybe it’s not about the destination, but about the journey instead. Maybe it’s all about making mistakes, learning from those mistakes, and being a better person
tomorrow than you were yesterday. It’s about enriching the
lives of those around you. It’s about taking risks
as often as possible and doing things that scare you, because growth lies just
outside of your comfort zone. I don’t know what the future
holds for me, but that’s okay, because throughout all
the crazy ups and downs that may be to come, I know
that my life will be about creating what I love, continuing to try to make
the world a better place for the people I care about, and of course, sharing it with you. (pleasant orchestral music)

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I've been religiously watching your videos for a few years now and I always wondered what your story was. Thank you so much for sharing it, you're such an interesting person. Keep it up, Knowledge Whale!

  2. A nice pleasant funny little presentation short film! But why tell your private life to millions of viewers on the internet? I'm always wondering … Emmanuel from Paris

  3. My parents divorced when I was 10 I was bullied in elementary I was bullied in elementary school all the way to Middle School, had two friends die within two years of each other and had my aunt and my dad died three months from each other. My dream is to become a film director I want to make movies I want to be a Hollywood film director but the thing is I lack self-confidence in myself and never see the positive in my cell I see the negative in myself but watching this video and seeing how do you went through everything makes me feel less small

  4. I am really late to this party but this video finally came across my feed. With that said, I also just watched your 'outing' video RE: your bout with depression (which I sincerely hope is over). You are not alone in fighting it, and yes it is a true fight for your life. I suffer from time to time even as my life has gone okay. I was lucky in that my husband of 16years has understood and helped me work through it. The roles have been reversed as well. He has had a few bouts himself, that thankfully I know (all too well) how to help such a person. Accounting, huh? I know first hand University can be hell in the accounting department. I have Nursing, Psychology and Accounting degrees. Yet with those, a great biological daughter, 3 fabulous Step-daughters, 16 happy years of marriage and a fulfilling life, I still fight depression at times. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

  5. I definitely felt some parallels in your story that definitely reflected my life story. You are an amazing human being, and thank you for sharing your story with us.

  6. Matthew you are an inspiration to me. You are an old soul and you were put here to make people happy. Keep your chin up and keep at it buddy, love you and take care.

  7. WATCH YOUR OWN VIDEO! remember why you loved YouTube and please don't quit.
    I understand slowing down though. Even 1 Video a week is good 🙂

    And forget those people who put you down. They're humorless hacks!

  8. Totally didn't know u were Canadian…my dad lives in fort Erie and wellend before that! I lives in st. Catharine Niagara falls and niw permanently in London ontario! Keep it proud and true North buddy guy friend! Ur friend Zac

  9. "I was the class clown but I'm not popular in school" I mean, a lot of my classmates want to be friends with me but I didnt want too lmao.

  10. Nice video and thanks for sharing your story with us. I wish you happiness in the future and many more super videos. Keep a positive attitude, you are super.

  11. Thank you for sharing this with us. Funny to say that I started following you thanks to your friend Rob Gavagan. I bet it feels weird to you that he had to change his last name, sure does for me, though I blame YouTube for that. Anyway, thanks again Mat and hope you'll find your way in life.

  12. Amen to never envy anyone else’s life. Robin Williams was hilarious and he committed suicide. Oh and btw my husbands birthday is July 16th 😊 Kudos to you for getting a masters 👍 Anyway I talk a bunch of randomness LOL What can I say my mind is very complex 🤪

  13. Depression sucks so so bad!!! I used to have an IG page and I got way too involved and shut it down and I had a FB page too and was encouraged to go the YouTube direction but I got burned out plus dealing with overwhelming life circumstances but I’ll figure out my path soon 😊

  14. " My ma always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what your gonna get." -quote from the movie Forest Gump.

  15. I never knew you till earlier today. Ive watched HOURS already. YouTube is weird- all this time and not one time did your vids come up. Keep up the great work

  16. Thank you for making this. Because us (your audience) has been watching you, for years. It's nice to know a lil more about ya bud! 🙂 On a side note I think I personally needed to hear what you had to say, especially torwards the end of the video. 🙂

  17. Dang this is good. A genuinely good person making a genuinely great video, thank you for this Matthew

  18. You should set up a fan meet up next time you are visiting Toronto. All your viewers who live in the area would love to meet you.

  19. Hey someone has made a fb account using your name and picture…I know it couldn't be you cause of the way he talked to me

  20. I am watching this in 2019 and I started watching matt videos 6 monts and I love Matt sense of humour and learning something new in every video 😍😍😍

  21. So great to watch this and learn more about you. I really enjoy your videos! I'm also always grateful when folks share about mental health issues such as depression. It helps to break down stigma and allows people to know they are not alone. Keep up the great work Knowledge Whale!

  22. Man one thing I saw lately is that Nicole Arbor is trash talking about you, in a way I am confused and yet I do like Justine because I read her book, and how wonderful she is and also I don't want to get or say I want to tell me about it Nicole could hurt people, because I don't want to fall in the trap.

  23. That's adorable, a small city. 😂 My current city's population is about 1500. Seriously. And it's a city and not a town because we're the county seat.

  24. Thanks for the introduction. I appreciated your summation as well, and I agree with what you said about being better than you were yesterday and making the world a better place for those you love and that life is about the journey and not the destination. I wish you well!
    I'm also familiar with a sudden change in one's life bringing about a depressive episode. In 2015 I got a concussion that developed into post-concussion syndrome. In short, I've had a debilitating headache every moment of every day for the last 49 months. Yay me, right? Well, that first year was the worst because I could barely move and 13 months after my initial injury I was in the hospital being treated for a "significant" blood clot in my left leg. As it turned out I had May-Thurner syndrome as well, which is when the iliac artery presses on the iliac vein and obstructs normal blood flow. Most people who have this can go their whole lives and never know, but because of my TBI and subsequent months of inactivity, I'd formed a clot that ran from the back of my knee up past my groin. And the pain!! It hurt so badly I wanted to saw my leg off myself. But I digress. I was in and out of hospitals for about a month, nearly died three times, and got a helicopter ride out of it all, but they did manage to save my leg although it will never be the same again. I have a filter and a stent inside me to try and keep me alive, but the fact that my life has been irrevocably changed and that my life literally depends on tiny little devices inside my body did something to me. In October of 2017 it all kind of settled on my shoulders and I fell apart. The burden my near death experiences had placed on my kids and my husband. The way my life has changed forever. I finally reached out fo help after that.
    It's still hard. Getting rear ended in a car accident last November and suffering a setback in my concussion healing did not help. But now at least I've got all my doctors in place to give me aid.

  25. Cliffs notes:
    Parents ignored him
    Dog hated him and killed itself
    started cutting
    became addicted to raw meat in socks
    Liked masturbating in public with fishy hands
    dated a fat chick nicknamed Ol' Kentukah
    became a Satanist
    made suicide pact with class loser
    Killed a cheerleader for rejecting him
    Killed Gianni Versace
    Innovated Party and play

  26. I was one of your very first subscribers, I think there was only about 2k at the most when I joined. I've followed you ever since. thanks for sharing this because it answered a few questions. I hope moving to LA doesn't ruin you, get out before it does. I hope you find happiness.

  27. Thank you for sharing. I’m a fan, I have been a fan for a while. You kept me company on the long hauls, when I drove a Semi-Truck. My husband passed away in May of 2019 after a two year battle with leukemia. We watched you together and now I watch you and the apartment isn’t so quiet. I just wanted to let you know how much you have lifted my life and how much we enjoyed your videos. Thank you again, sending love!

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