Scot Sothern

I met Scot at one of his exhibits and we kept in touch for a while afterwards. He gave me a copy of his book and I read it, but I sort of didn't believe it. I thought maybe he was making everything up. It was way too crazy. So, I called his bluff and said take me with you the next time you take photographs. And he ante'd up - becoming one of the most terrifying moments of my life.

He told me to meet him at a Starbucks in Los Feliz around midnight and then we got in his car and I filmed half of the interview. He drove me to different places that he talks about in his book, but I was way too freaked out by everything to have him call over one of his subjects to take photos. He asked me and I was like, no man, let's film that another time.

Basically, a veil was lifted to me about downtown Los Angeles. Before driving around with Scot, I only had my imagination of what scary things lurked in the shadows - but then after I knew exactly what was there. Crack dealers, prostitutes, and all sorts of manmade horrors. Towards the end of the first night he offered to buy me some crack, but I told him I was fine. 

I immediately called up my friend Adam Roth after going on the adventure and asked him to accompany us on the next one. Really, it was for two reason. 1) I was chicken shit to go alone again and 2) I thought Adam could draw illustrations of the girls Scot was shooting in case YouTube wouldn't let us upload the video. 

Having Adam there was a Godsend! We met up again at night, this time later, closer to 2am. And again Scot drove us around to the different streets of downtown LA - just off of where all the hottest clubs and shit are. It was like a different universe. He read us passages from his book in the locations of where they took place and yes, he even picked up two prostitutes to take photos with (nothing else). It was a heartbreaking experience as we asked the girls different stories about their life on the streets - just so much shitty shit shitty shit things happening that I was depressed for 2 months straight.

Daniel Rolnik Foundation