Mixed Blood Matters

In 2012, I was in a long-term relationship with a person who was struggling with depression but refused to seek professional help. Our relationship was crumbling and I felt I was at a pivotal moment: either stay in what had become a toxic environment and try to “fix” this person while losing myself, or end it. I needed a moment away to clear my head and saw that this theater called Mixed Blood had a free show. I had no idea what it was about but I went anyway. If nothing else it would give me something to talk with my partner about.
I don’t recall the title of the show, but it involved a mother struggling with depression after the death of her son. Her depression- while entirely warranted – deeply impacted and stunted her family. During the intermission, I sat in my car and sobbed. At the talkback following the show, someone asked what they thought would happen to the mom after. Would she get help? The moderator speculated that, given who she was as a character, she probably would not. And it was the first time that I realized that it didn’t matter how much I wanted to make things better for my partner, how hard I tried or how much of myself I lost in the process, his getting well needed to come from him.We separated shortly after. And while it was hard to start over, pick up the pieces, find myself again, I did. And he did too. We became independent and strong. Separately.
Years later, after I lost my job of nearly a decade, I went to a show at Mixed Blood. I was still reeling from the loss of this job (a job that was more than a job – a passion, a resource, a community) when a former colleague formally introduced me to Jack. We exchanged numbers with him saying he’d keep an ear out for opportunities for me (I not so secretly was hoping he’d have an opening at Mixed Blood). I assumed this was just a social nicety. Imagine my surprise when, a few weeks later, I received an email from a cast member in an upcoming production (Curious Incident) saying they were looking for someone with my skill set at their theater in Colorado and Jack had mentioned me! In the end, it did not work out (my MN roots are strong), but that gesture gave me confidence in my “marketability” and, most importantly, reminded me of the magical thing we have here in this large-but-small arts community. That we care for each other. That we are true to our word. That we have so much to give and so much to learn and that our time here is short. So let’s be awesome to each other, with each other, for each other.
Mixed Blood, to me, embodies everything I love about Minneapolis. It is accessible, intelligent, high-quality art that gives a damn about the people and communities around it. That asks hard questions and refuses easy answers. That thinks creatively and finds hope when the world feels empty of it.

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© 2018 — Mixed Blood Theatre