Undercover Homelessness Uncovers the Pain of Being Invisible ~ Mary Thoma

Mary Thoma is an actress from Shreveport, LA. To research a role she dressed up like a homeless person and wandered the streets of New Orleans. She is sharing her touching story on Henry Harbor and it will blow your mind. 


On March 28, 2014 I went undercover as a homeless person in New Orleans.

Let me begin by saying that my half-day experience of “pretending” to be homeless in no way qualifies me to speak about the complicated issue of homelessness in our nation. In no way do I believe that I know what it means to be homeless simply because I posed as a homeless woman. All I can speak of is my experience of pretending to be homeless for half a day in New Orleans.
Two months ago, I was cast in an inspiring short film entitled, “Kate”, by writer/director Chris Pierce.  It’s a beautiful and moving tale of the relationship between a homeless woman and her day shelter counselor. In one of those “art-meets-personal-passion” moments, this role compelled me to do the thing I had thought of doing for some time:  go undercover as a homeless woman.  As an actor, I believe the power of our imagination trumps personal experience in creating a role. I don’t believe that for me to play a drug addict convincingly, I need to shoot heroin; however, I do believe that research and experience can add truthfulness to the work we do when approached sanely, mindfully, and respectfully.  

Why go undercover?

Click here to continue reading Undercover Homelessness Uncovers the Pain of Being Invisible by Mary Thoma

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