The Blood they Shed is a semi-autobiographical one-man poetic journey that combines the art of story telling narrative, poetry and comedy. The story is told from the perspective of a young man raised in South Central LA. The journey through his upbringing takes the audience on an emotional ride leading them to laugh, cry and reflect on some of the truths facing people in every corner of today’s world. The show invites you into his childhood home of old school soulful tunes, hilarious family members, Charlie Brown re-runs, growing up without a father, media’s pop-culture influence and gangster movies being filmed in his backyard. This powerful tale illuminates our issues of today while reminding us of the power that can be used from the wisdom found in our past.
The dramedy unfolds as the show cleverly addresses issues of violence and value systems, discrimination and the dissemination of the family as well as social relationships. By harnessing the power of music, media and ingenious story telling, The Blood they Shed tackles troublesome issues fearlessly all-the-while maintaining its heartfelt candor and humor.
The Blood they Shed has gained momentum and exposure in Southern California and has plans for a national college tour and a feature length documentary.
White grew up in the heart of Inglewood in the 1980s. As a curious child growing up in an area that wasn’t your typical tourist attraction, Aaron would discover in his adolescence that the area he lived was a place people feared. Like many of his African American peers, he began listening to popular hip hop artists of the day as well as found himself spending countless hours being entertained by MTV.
This exposure to music was the driving force behind him and it was a catalyst for Aaron to begin to try and tell stories of the happenings on his block. It’s out of this innocence that Aaron began to express himself creatively through beat boxing, writing, and music production whether it be on pots and pans, hand-me-down beat machines or the latest computing software. In high school Aaron was accidentally exposed to the dramatic arts after being lured into taking drama as an “easy A” elective.
Little did he know, Aaron’s early exposure to the performing arts, would begin a love affair with the craft that would turn him into an award winning talent. After high school Aaron would pursue his BFA at the California Institute for the Arts. During his time there, he would also study abroad at New Zealand’s Thoi Whakaari Drama School. Upon graduation, he partnered with longtime friend Jason C. White (no relation) in preparing a senior thesis called, The Dance: The History of American Minstrelsy. The two-man stage show about historical “black face” became so highly acclaimed that it was nominated and selected for “Best Playwright” during the 2007 NAACP Theatre Awards.
After winning the coveted award, Aaron took his acting skills and merged them with his love for poetry, which would translate to being the impetus for The Blood they Shed. In 2008, from the inside of a clothing closet, The Blood they Shed would be born. Aaron drew inspiration from being sick of being bombarded by the negative influence of popular media.
The show started as a random collection of Aaron’s writings that divulged into many issues that faced him as a young boy growing up in a single parent home in the “hood”. The show began in the historical Leimert Park area and had a run that catapulted it into being featured in community events, county libraries, churches, colleges, high schools, café’s, foster care agencies, group homes and even probation camps.
In 2013 the show has now grown into a full-fledged 90-minute Broadway style show. Showcasing in Hollywood, California, The Blood they Shed now cohesively elaborates on Aaron’s upbringing and how he gained a great awareness and even more, a respect for the road that had been previously paved for him in order that he would have the opportunity to be a success.
In 2009 the show gave way for Aaron and his wife Viergeni to found a company called Slingshot Media. Slingshot Media’s mission is to educate, entertain and inspire value within the at risk youth population in the Los Angeles foster care and juvenile system.
Now in its 5th year of touring, The Blood they Shed is continuing to gain momentum. and is currently featured in the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2013 with a 5 show run in June. Aaron White’s current projects are creative life skill workshops conducted all over LA county with at- risk youth, The Blood they Shed documentary film which will include “behind the scenes” of the making of The Blood they Shed and how the show is impacting the lives of at risk youth both in foster homes and in juvenile detention centers as well as a national college tour.