1. Formerly homeless musician Ronald Troy Collins and band perform at the Central Park Bandshell
2. William Dane and “Mighty Ground” producer Amy Schoof
3. Ronald Troy Collins dazzles the crowd with his vocal talents
4. Playa Vista Director of Experience Sandra Kitashima dances with Collins
On a chilly Friday evening in Playa Vista’s Central Park, a large crowd sat in silence watching Ronald Troy Collins read a goodbye letter to crack cocaine. Collins is a 49-year-old former crack addict who spent 30 years in Downtown L.A.’s skid row, surviving by charming passersby with his unique voice and songs.
That’s how he met Playa Vista resident Aimee Schoof, who helped produce “Mighty Ground,” the documentary charting Collins’ turn from a homeless addict into a bona fide recording artist.
The film screened as part of the Nov. 3 benefit for HomeAid Los Angeles that included a Q&A with Collins and Schoof. The event concluded with Collins performing several songs with lively accompaniment from family members — many of whom he’d lost touch with for decades.
“Sobriety is a beautiful thing,” said Collins, “and now I want to help change other people’s lives too.”
— Andy Vasoyan