Kate Miner, who wrote a book jacket comment for my book cover, was gracious enough to allow me to interview her. Of course, some of the questions are about her family’s experience with Huntington’s disease but others are about her life as an actress and musician.
Q 1) Tell us how you got started in acting and about your Indie Rock Band, Miner. I started doing theater in high school and was approached by a talent scout who saw a performance of Guy and Dolls that I was in. A few years later I moved to Los Angeles for college and started auditioning all the time. I was fortunate enough for my passion to turn into a career.
I didn’t start playing music until 2012 when my husband was working on a new project that would turn into Miner. He needed female vocals and knew I’d done musical theater growing up so he had me sing on it. The songs he released online went viral and he was like “how quick can you learn to play mandolin?” I found I really enjoyed playing music and songwriting. It was a surprise to both of us how naturally it all came together and how much we enjoyed writing together.
Q 2) When did you discover that your family was affected by HD? In 2014 while I was on a national tour with Miner my parents called me and told me my aunt had HD. I didn’t really understand what that meant for our family until we got off the phone and I started researching online.
Q 3) Did you take a test for HD? I did. I’m negative. Both of my sisters are positive. We got our results one day apart. If I could trade places with either one of them I would. They are the best people I know in this world and my best friends.
Q 4) Tell us about your involvement in Freeze HD and other ways you are trying to educate people about the disease. We decided to host a fundraiser as a sort of coming out party to our family and friends many of whom, like us, had no idea what HD was before it affected our family. We rented out a fun music venue in Echo Park called The Bootleg Theater and proceeded to raise over 200k. The event brought out big names like Academy Award winner Annette Bening and an array of television stars.
Miner is also putting out new music videos through HDSA’s Guthrie Sessions to increase awareness and we wrote our last album while we were being tested so it is about that time in our lives. We’ll be releasing new music in June this year and will continue to tell our family’s story.
Q 5) Favorite show, actor, musician, moment in your career? Favorite Show: Of all time – The Wire. Currently – Crashing. Actor: Tina Fey Musician: Conor Oberst Moment: Playing the High Sierra Music Festival
Thank you Kate for the interview and supporting my HD fundraising/awareness project.
To purchase my book, Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s, go to: http://www.theresecrutchermarin.com
Have a good day! Therese