Spare Change A virtual reality journey by Donnie Ocean
I spent eight years of my life as a homeless youth. It revealed to me the unsettling realities surrounding chronic homelessness. I was lucky enough to have escaped that loathsome lifestyle; though, I thought it would own me for forever. Today, I have a life of love, health, safety, and security. However, I have not been able escape the feelings still worn on faces of so many, those still lost and forgotten, wander the streets homeless.
I put part of myself into this film, pieces of my past that still creep up on me from time to time. I let my experience of the city's street-life guide me through this VR journey. I return to living in the alleys of LA to better understand the people who still live there and why they are there. The gentle folks who helped me put this story together are penniless angels who have no realistic way out of poverty’s grasp. Still, they are wonderfully kind people despite the heavy burdens they bare.
My goal with this piece is to link love and understanding to people of all varying social classes.
Thank you very much for taking the time to see my work.
Sincerely, Donnie Ocean Creative Director, Mean Cat Entertainment
Coretta Scott King April 27, 1927 to January 30, 2006
Remembered as “the First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement,” Coretta Scott King was not only the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but a strong leader in her own right. King much like her husband grew up during the period in American history were the social structures were more skewed than they are today, and as a result of marrying her husband she did all she could in supporting him and the movement. From the start, King made an effort to include more women in positions of power, and to encourage women to take part in changing the country for the better. After the assassination of her husband in 1958, King took control of the moment and was the de-facto leader. With this she became a leader in her own right, as she expanded the demands of the Civil Rights movement to include LGBT rights. King is also the reason for Martin Luther King Day being a national holiday, she used her own inspirations to make sure that her husband's memory would live on as a cause for improvement within the United States. She was a pacifist and often used her platform to advocate for world peace, and during the Vietnam War, she advocated for its end.
Harper Lee April 28, 1926 to February 19, 2016
The renowned novelist behind To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee became famous for this work that was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1960. Lee explored rape, gender roles, racial inequality, and unequal access to the justice system all from the perspective of a child encountering Southern culture in the 1930’s. Lee was able to use her own personal history of abuse to help her formulate her famous novel.
George Takei April 20, 1937 to Present
Best known for his role in the hit TV Series Star Trek, George Takei kept his sexuality to himself during his long and rewarding career and only revealed it to the public in 2005. From then on he has used his notoriety to fight for LGBT rights and condemn racism in the United States. In the last decade he has used every opportunity he could to expose injustices to people of the LGBT community, such as posting funny quips on Twitter directed to the current administration to highlight a misdeed. In this regard, Takei has served the community as an activist that people could put their trust behind earning him many awards for his activism including the LGBT Humanist Award.