Today he's an actor, artist and activist in Austin, and maybe our only library fan with the actor's equivalent of street cred: an Internet Movie Database (IMDB) page. About four years ago Vinai Thomas Uthipratuma made his way to Austin from Springfield, Missouri, with just a few hundred dollars and a Nissan Ultima named Brooklyn that had already travelled 300,000 miles.
But Thomas still has many more miles to go, and that was the crux of our conversation: the journey from Point A to Point B, and from Point B to some future worth dying for.
"My library is my place to plot and plan," Thomas told me. In fact, the Austin Public Library – especially the Library's Austin History Center – was where Thomas centered his efforts to start over and rebuild his life. It's a place of history where he plotted his future. Eventually he signed up to be an APL Social Media Ambassador, in part to give back to the community. You can, too.
Thomas' story comes to light in June, national Rebuild Your Life Month. The Library has an assortment of books and movies related to rebuilding your life. My conversation with Thomas (playable below) can provide some inspiration as well!