Meet Terrance, a new client of Project Ropa. We first met Terrance at St. Francis Center in Downtown Los Angeles. He tends to smile when he talks about his personal style of dubstep fueled dancing. From a small town in Minnesota, he came to Los Angeles in February to start a career in the entertainment industry. But, losing his car to a towing company shortly after arriving meant losing his home and his security.
“I don’t have the resources to go, so I’m stuck out here,” Terrance said. “All my family back home are impoverished. My goal was to come out here and become a famous dancer and actor so that I could help support my family back home.”
Part of his original plan was to create YouTube videos to add to his channel but his speaker, laptop and backpack were stolen from him one night while he was sleeping. “Now that I don’t have a speaker I can’t do my dancing and I feel lost. I feel like I’ve got nothing…I don’t mind losing my toothbrush, I can go a couple days without brushing my teeth but I can’t lose my music,“ he said.
While he’s slept in a car before, he said sleeping in the open has been a much harder experience. “When you have a vehicle to sleep in, you can shut the doors, lock them, roll up the windows and know you’re safe for the rest of the night. When your sleeping out on the streets, and you wake up and your stuff has been stolen, you can’t do a thing,” said Terrance.
His car was towed after he parked in a no-parking zone. Unable to counter accumulating fees at the impound lot, he said he decided to give up on getting it back. Instead his attention has shifted to other other things like finding agents and meeting casting directors. He said he’s already managed to meet some people in the industry.
“I can’t become a famous actor out in Minnesota, It’s just not going to happen,” Terrance said. “This is where it’s gotta happen, and I just hope I can get cleaned up and shave my face in time for an audition. It’s tough being an actor when you’re homeless.”
Despite his situation he said he’s been drawing and meditating a lot. In the past he’s posted meditation videos to his YouTube channel and he recommends the practice. He said forests are the best places to go.
“If you’ve ever meditated in the woods, I don’t know if there’s a more serene feeling in the world,” he said. “Out here you’ve got sirens and gunshots.” Terrance said he’s found support at church despite numerous bad experiences with people looking down on him.
“If this wasn’t my dream, if this wasn’t my life goal, it wouldn’t be worth it, but this is what I’m doing with my life. It’s either this or nothing. So many people say it’s so brave that I came out here, but I think the scarier thing would have been to work a nine to five job.”