Getting recognition / by Helen Arase

I texted Stef and asked if I could pitch an article on her to an LA-centric outlet, totally unsure if she’d be willing to do it.

She was willing and told me she’s still getting recognized when she's out doing regular life things. I’m so, so happy for her.

I feel like maybe I should be a little happy for me, like people saw my documentary on TV, but I think I’m just happy that my subjects seemed to come across how I see them: super cool.

Carlos, the lowrider from Sacramento, also messaged me that he was getting phone calls from people down here saying they saw him on TV.


I’m just so thankful that I had the opportunity to tell their stories, and extremely happy they are getting recognition from friends and from strangers.

After spending hours, days or weeks with a subject (recording and not recording), it’s hard to distill their story and essence into a few short minutes. You have so much information and know interesting things about them that make the person’s character rich and well-rounded; it’s easy to get lost in those details. Getting messages like this makes me feel like I am capable of telling stories well enough to get them in front of an audience, make them impactful enough that the viewer will remember the subject, and portray the subject with integrity.

I hope Stef, Danny and Carlos feel that I told their stories with integrity.