During Vivian and Sean‘s engagement session, there was an amazing cellist playing at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.  His music was moving, so we lingered awhile to listen .  He appeared to be a transient, so that made me really sad.  But it also made me really interested to hear his story.  How does a person, especially a person with so much talent, end up on the streets?  He had to have grown up with some privileges to learn how to play these instruments, so how did he end up on the streets?  I know homelessness is a huge issue that has no easy solution, but I can’t help thinking that there’s definitely more our society can do.

I snapped a few pictures of him and some with Vivian and Sean.  Afterward, I complimented him and asked if he would like copies of the photos I took.  He explained that he currently doesn’t have a mailing address, but that I could find him at Pershing Square.  I thanked him for letting me photograph his beautiful cello, and he tells me that it’s actually beat up, just like his clarinet, which he proceeds to show me.  We tipped him and thanked him.  As we walked away, I turned back and asked for his name.  He responds, “Ayers.  My last name is Ayers, like Arizona.”

nathaniel ayers | the soloist

nathaniel ayers | the soloistLater that night (after part 3 of their shoot, which will be posted soon!), Jonathan tells me that he’s pretty sure the cellist we met is Nathaniel Ayers from The Soloist.  We googled his photo and sure enough, it’s him.  I don’t know his whole story (I only know what I read from Wiki), but I want to know the rest of his story.  I want to know that he’s living comfortably, especially since a huge movie was just made based off of him.  I was concerned when he told me that he has no mailing address and can be found in Pershing Square at night.  I normally don’t watch movies, but I want to watch this one.  I really want a happy ending!

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  1. omg, i totally thought of the movie! i can’t believe you met him by chance! and yes, i totally agree that you should submit it to the Times!

  2. i thought of the same guy too from the soloist. wow, how cool is that?!? you really captured him wonderfully, caroline! and your colors really rock!!

  3. these are amazing, caroline! i think you should also submit them to steve lopez at the LA Times. he was the reporter who befriended ayers and wrote about his story in the paper. i still work at paramount. is it ok if i forward this blog post to marketing/publicity?

  4. Wow, that is really cool and a great story! When I was reading the blog I was thinking that guy sounds like that guy from that movie :) What an awesome story. The pictures a gorgeous!

  5. wow, that’s really amazing and i’m touched that you took the time to talk to the man. it just goes to show you have a big heart in you, caroline. i hope he is well and that you’ll find him again so that he can have these beautiful portraits you took of him.

  6. caroline, there’s an entire series of articles by steve lopez of the l.a. times that was published a few years ago. have you tried to google it?

  7. I totally thought of that movie when I saw the first part of your post! That’s so crazy that you met him!


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