John | Invisible People

John


This is my first attempt at capturing real stories. Raw, unedited, as is! It is far from perfect, but it’s real! John has been on the Blvd since I can remember. Every time he crawled […]

John

This is my first attempt at capturing real stories. Raw, unedited, as is! It is far from perfect, but it’s real! John has been on the Blvd since I can remember. Every time he crawled to a new star my heart broke a little more. I kept thinking of two things. How people are in denial of their circumstance, John kind of talked about everything besides himself, and he honestly believes he works for a company that pays him to polish the stars. Although in Hollywood anything can happen, I don’t believe that is reality because store owners chase him away. The other is how people just keep walking by him. Homeless become invisible. One thing to note, when I walked up on John and started a conversation before I rolled tape, he was complaining about the tourists giving less money. The current economy is affecting even John’s revenue stream.

*** 11/29/08

I was wrong! Two days ago I received an email from a documentary film maker who is doing a story on John informing me John is being paid by a cleaning company contracted by the city. When John told me it was very hard for me to believe just from the liability aspects alone. Plus, I have been on and off the Blvd for over 20 years and have known John for much of that time. But this is Hollywood and literally anything is possible. That all said and in keeping with the honest and real model of this vlog I decided to write this addition to John’s post.

I could have easily edited the above covering up my error, but that would not be the truth and exclude a very important point – street people are real people with real stories! As I was thinking about this I realized how whacked I must have sounded when I was homeless and told people I worked in the television industry, or that I once played a cop in a B horror movie,  or that I was a professional musician for 26 years – and all the other real stories of my life. Also, a week after I first met Mark (story above) I ran into him again and he pulled a folder out of his bad showing me photos and documents validating his story. I didn’t ask…he just wanted to show me because he was once proud of his accomplishments and his past is incredibly amazing!

Although I still have no “official” validation of John’s story I do believe the person who emailed me and felt very strongly I should make this correction.

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  • http://www.asberg.org Jonas Åsberg

    This story moved me to tears! I will never take the shiny hollywood stars for granted again!

  • Julie Wade

    Mark…I’m proud of you for making a difference….

    There will be a lot of people who will forget to tell you that…so when they forget, or their words and actions say something different. May you reflect back on the sayings of Jesus….

    Matthew 25:23
    “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

    When I watched the vlog…I saw you empowering people that society has chosen to forget about…or would like to. During some of the interviews…you could actually see them begin to stand a little taller. That is truly what the LOVE of God is all about.

    Blessings to YOU
    Julie

  • maxeythecat

    I’ve lived in Hollywood pretty much my entire adult life ( I’m also a native Californialn) and John’s been arould for as long as I can remember. When I worked at Book City Hollywood, my boss Alan Siegel told me that whatever John gets from the city is more like a donation rather than an actual paycheck, and he’s been polishing the stars for much longer than since 1999….believe me, if anyone should know about the history of the street folk in the area, it’s Alan. He was as much of as a Hollywood institution as you could get and knew just about everyone there was to know. He helped out John financially (as alot of the local merchants did) and even allowed him to recieve his mail at our address, so I and my fellow employees had alot of contact with him.

  • CharOster

    Thanks for John’s story!