I’ve had a morbid fascination with Las Vegas since my first visit in 1990. Some people say there is no there there, but I think that the there is as strong as in any American city. The people who live in Vegas are chasing dreams that are the stuff of comic books and movies and yet life off the strip is 99 parts reality and 1 part fantasy. The people I met in Vegas came to be someone else only to find that in the end they have to face up to who they actually are. This seems to me to be more American dream than the stories of jackpot winners and rock stars.

I’ve returned to Vegas several times since 1990, living there for as long as 2 months at a stretch. I was married in the Little Chapel of the West in 1995. I was given 30 minutes for the ceremony. Among the demons, whores, pugs, hucksters and losers I found that the common thread that prevents the whole city from being swallowed up by the desert is a unique brand of innocence. All hard on the outside but all gooey on the inside.

Anyone who's been to Vegas will tell you all about their first encounter with the strip. "Trance" was the result of my first engagement with Vegas, in 1990. Shooting in and around the casinos with 1600 ASA black and white film, I felt as if I was in a trance. Fascinated, repulsed, asleep, awake, all at once.


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