Horrible Day

Saturday February 25th 2017

Sh*t. I was awake in bed from 11pm until 2am. I couldn’t sleep because our housemate coughs a lot (and because I’ve over sensitized myself to the sound). It’s nightmarish when I can’t sleep. I feel so alone and isolated. I tried getting up to ask him not to cough, but he was asleep. At 2am I got up and wrote him a note and put it on his desk. I hate feeling like I’m harping on people. We’re in a loft, so any sounds the other person makes at night can be heard by everyone else. That’s the only downside to living here. At the other place we lived in years past, it was dead silent and I got over sensitized to the sound of my ears ringing, which made me feel like I was going crazy. It’s always something.

Of course I was tired when I woke up at 9am. I didn’t get any work done either. Thoth told me our electricity bill was sky high, which terrified me. We don’t do great here financially January and February so it scares me when we have to pay so much money for things unexpectedly. I tried to lay down and nap at 11, but I’m not sure I fell asleep. My nerves were shot. I was sleep deprived and pessimistic all day. Tomorrow is my birthday, so I hope I feel better and get some sleep. I need a solid 8 hours in order to function and I’m just not getting that these days.

I guess to reflect how I was feeling, I did some pretty horrific makeup.

Since I felt like shit, I thought I’d look like shit too. When I feel bad, no matter how I look, I think I look awful. I hate that feeling.  We biked to the park and it was one of those days I didn’t think I’d be able to make it through. I didn’t do very well. A few times I just hung my head in sadness after a song. The combination of sleep deprivation and fears about money is a bad mix. I was focusing on the wrong things, which makes me angry and beside myself. Yesterday I had a great day, and it wasn’t like we really did well, but I did well. I created a great look and played and sang my very best. I was focused on the right things yesterday; creativity and self expression. When I get sucked into focusing on money I get depressed. The thought that we are deserving of much more than we get, which is a horrible thought. I like much better being grateful for what I have, instead of mad for not getting what I feel we deserve more of. That’s a completely unproductive and soul-sucking feeling. Horrible. I hate that feeling of wanting to throw my violin on the ground and cry. I felt that today a few times. It happens because I loose all my strength and self direction to deal with our life. I don’t know how Thoth dealt with bad days by himself. Once after a piece I had to sit it out and collect myself while Thoth did a solo, then later during an improv I stopped playing and singing all together because I felt so shitty. People were clapping for someone performing near us and it was so noisy there didn’t seem to be any space for our work. Sometimes it feels like we have to cramp our music into this tiny little space and no one cares if we survive or not. I felt so alone, even though there were three protectors there; Pascual, Tori and Bill. Seeing the park rangers walk by before we started made me feel sick with fear, too. I played a solo and felt like I got a lot of my feelings out. Bill was crying when I finished. I was exhausted but happy I got through such a hard play. On days like these I’m just happy to get through it.

Why do I not want people to think my life is perfect? Because it isn’t! Most people who had a life like mine of traveling and performing would always be posting and sharing positive things. I don’t. If things are rough, I don’t shy away from it for fear of sounding ungrateful. I feel what I feel. Every day is different. Everyone has their own problems and I refuse not to share mine. I’m scared and hopeful and disheartened and emotional and loved and cherished and cared for and I strive every day to share my voice with anyone who will listen. That is all I can do.

We came home and ate and Thoth tried to set up a speaker so I could pump in the sound of a fan to help block out our housemates cough. It didn’t help. I had to get up and ask him gently to try as hard as he could not to cough. He did and I finally could fall asleep! Yay!

Here’s the vlog of our day:

A Much Darker Look

Friday February 24th 2017

I was very happy to start a new sketch on Wednesday and work on my play. It’s always scary to stare at a blank piece of paper because I never know I will be able to draw something good again, no matter how many good drawings I’ve done before. I was inspired to draw as many creepy faces as I could on the page. When I got up, I read the sweetest message from two new fans from Prague:

“My wife showed me your video earlier today, after she spent half a day listening to you. Now it’s 6 AM here and I’m finishing hours long binge listening to your amazing creations. THANK YOU! You stand out from the noise of music, you create something one would not hope to hear. The land of the orange despot is a bit distant to us these days, but I sure hope you might travel to Europe somewhere we can get and listen to you for hours live. For now we’re gonna figure out how to purchase your records online tomorrow. Well, my biggest hope is that one day we will pay big money to see you in a big baroque concert hall. And I’ll keep searching for a way to contribute a tiny bit to make this happen. Love from your (probably) biggest fans in Prague, Czech Republic.”

Both Thoth and I cried. It touched directly on the dream I have for us. To have someone we don’t even know from halfway around the world write the thing we want to be doing makes it that much closer to happening. It also makes me sad because I know we should be performing in beautiful venues and not have any other options but to perform in public under threat of park rangers. On the other hand, we are truly blessed to have a way to share our music whenever we want to and be creative every day of our lives.

I looked one of those scary faces I drew and wanted to try it as a makeup look. Here’s what happened…

The thing I’m loving is that my disturbing wiring and drawings are seeping into the prayformance. That has never happened before. Darkness is inside me. Always has been. Now I’m not afraid to let it show when I play with Thoth. I’ve only been doing dark looks like these since November. That’s only four months, and now that I have a few dark Gothic dresses I got from my old closet at my mom’s house in Nashville, I’m wearing black too. It’s liberating to be darker and more scary. It’s also fun to see what kind of reaction I’ll get, if any, to the complete change of my look (which is usually none.) People don’t ask me about my makeup or what it means or how I do it. That means I can do whatever I want and people will think whatever they’re going to think. I just follow inspiration wherever it leads me.

I’m very inspired by darkness. Phantom-y stuff. Horror. I love looking at horrific paintings and watching documentaries about serial killers. I love Sweeney Todd and Jekyll and Hyde. Anything about someone who is disturbed and mysterious and possibly bad, yet tender and gentle inside. I liked using crossed painted down my neck and on my head. I wondered if anyone would ask what they mean, but no one did. I’m not religious. I find the cross to be an interesting symbol, as it is a symbol for Yeshua, yet it also is a symbol for torture and violence. Such a simple image with so much meaning behind it.

Doing myself up like this gives me more focus when we play. I feel like a different person and I feel fearless. I’m still Lila’Angelique, but I’m not. I’m enhanced me. Expanded me. Fully embodied me.

Makeup gives me the ability to be whoever I want to be and I have the entire pallet available to me now. Pascual came to show his support of our prayformance at the park and soon after Tori and Sister Ida. For some strange reason I saw my cousin Addie from my mothers side of the family. They had to rush away but watched our first song for a moment. My mother’s family has a history of being judgmental towards me, so I didn’t feel comfortable until she left. I don’t like feeling judged, even if that isn’t what is really happening. I’m the black sheep of my family and none of them are apart of my life anymore, accept my sister father and mother. For a long time my mother wasn’t even part of my life. I’m glad that has changed. She and daddy are very supportive now.

We had to move down the hallway away from our usual spot because the white-statue guitar-man was right in front of us. We were nervous to talk to him as sometimes people aren’t so friendly. We played two songs and then Thoth ran over to talk to the man. I could hear them laughing so I knew everything was cool. Thoth and Pascual brought our things back to our spot and I ran to meet him. He was very sweet and really likes what we do. We were both relieved.

We had a lovely prayformance with our friends supporting us. I felt outrageous and beautiful. It’s so freeing and invigorating to be whatever the f*** I want to be, nothing more and nothing less.

I have my sweet Thoth who has inspired me to be whatever I want. No judgments, just the purest and most devotional love and support. He is the best thing I could have ever asked for. His love and support of my crazy weirdness has helped me to be myself fully and utterly. He loves me for what I am and makes me a better person. I love him more than anything in the whole wide world, as he loves me.

Makeup Singing Acting Prayformance Vlogs

Tuesday February 21st 2017

We usually wouldn’t prayform on a Tuesday (or Monday), but I wanted to. We needed to play a full four days. I love challenging myself to do completely different looks every day. I’ve never used to use red or black, now I fearlessly wear ANY color! I went for a reddish look today. Bloody. Like a bullet hole in my head and bloody tears streaming down my cheeks. Pretty, but a little creepy.

I assumed Tori would stay home today, but near the end of the prayformance she surprised us by arriving with a friend and a sign they made for us. Usually I take a slow day after a really energetic few days of playing badly, but I didn’t today. I did realize why I can get really depressed when peopled don’t respond (clap) for our work sometimes. That almost happened after Anya today, but people did clap. When there is no one leading the applause (it’s been a long time since that happened) people sometimes don’t know if they should clap. I know what we’re doing is just as beautiful as it was when tons of people were clapping and cheering. Our work is never less beautiful, the audiences and the days just change. We pushed through it and it got better. When Tori and her friend and Chet came to watch near the end, suddenly everyone had gathered in front to watch. If there aren’t people standing in front of us, people stand way off to the sides. It’s makes the biggest difference when people come and watch us in front without fear. It gives other people permission to do the same.

It’s amazing we can do this work and somehow survive and thrive and have a certain kind of success. Yes, January and February are notoriously slow financially, but it will pick up again in March. We just have to weather the storm, as we always do. My birthday is on Sunday. I’ll be 29. Si*t! Almost 30? Me? I don’t feel a day older than 17. It’s just a number anyway. Being home in Nashville made me completely feel like a teenager again. I haven’t lost that. I don’t think I ever will.

We have such good friends here in San Diego. I don’t know why here. More people come to see us prayform here than anywhere in the world. On Sunday we had 6 or 7 people who were fans that all came to see us play. Some of our most diehard fans are in this city. We don’t have fans like that in New York (only Dan and Josh) or in Lisbon. People come to see us, yes, but not with such consistency and dedication. We are part of people’s lives here. Even people who don’t come to see us as much we know love us and think about us. That’s why we can feel so alone in NYC or even Lisbon. People may love our work and think of us, but we have little to no connection with them. I feel like an island in New York. It’s strange because it’s the Angel Tunnel that Thoth played in for so many years. We’ve been in Lisbon a long time too, almost every summer since 2010.

Monday February 20th 2017

I was inspired by our friend Tori to try a mixture of a dark and light makeup look today, plus I wanted to be all dressed up for our interview with Skylar in Balboa Park.

Skylar met us at 2pm at the Globe theater. Barb and David had 4 or 5 cameras last year and two or three helpers. Skylar had only one camera and herself. She says it will be finished in the beginning of March. I’m so excited to see it! It’s really interesting to do documentary interviews. It makes me feel that our life is incredibly significant. Why do documentaries of our work get made in this city? Tori came and Skylar watched and filmed most of the prayformance. Bill came. He said he might, and he did. We had a lovely time. These days we really need to prayform. Taking days off is too painful. I get to work on my creative projects, but Thoth has been so scared and depressed it’s better we go out to play.

We had a lot of fun today. I’m having a blast singing solos. I’m not scared of them anymore. Singing solos takes a lot of bravery and guts! It feels like I’m getting the hang of it though. Solos are very different from duets. They take a lot out of me and tire me out quicker. I don’t know how Thoth did it alone for so long. 10 years, but doing solos these days made me feel that someday I may be able to do solo prayformances when Thoth is gone. God. I wonder what I will do when that happens. We never know what life will bring us. I just have to focus on today. Maybe he’ll live forever.

 

Amazing Music Today !

Sunday February 19th 2017

I wake every morning from around 8am (9am the last few days) and work on my play until noon. I can only write about one page before my mind starts to get soggy. The idea to create something is much smaller than the actual task of creating it. I came up with the idea for this play while we were in Nashville over Christmas and I’m now finally getting to writing it, after backstory writing and plot creation. I can’t imagine writing or creating something that takes years and years to create. Well, that’s kind of what prayformance is. A lifelong creative project. I don’t see it as a project though. Prayformance is my life. A lifelong creative process lets call it. As my life is.

I’m having fun trying different kinds of makeup and costumes. I can mix black makeup and a light costume/black makeup and a black costume/light makeup with a black costume/light makeup and a light costume. It gives me more things to work with. A larger pallet. I used to only wear light makeup and light clothes, which gave me a certain look. Wearing dark makeup or dark clothes adds something different, and always wearing anything black makes my light hair  pop out.

Today’s prayformance was so much better than yesterday’s rainy day prayformance. Seven people came to see us at Balboa Park. Bob, the sweet homeless man who’s come to see us for a while now, Bill, our cheerleader, Tori, our sweet, amazing supporter (who loves to draw us),  Pascual, our shy, gentle protector, Sister Ida and Sister Yeshe, our dear friends and Skylar, a girl who was filming us for a documentary she’s for school. All are friends we cherish. As I’ve said before, it makes all the difference when people come to support us. Skylar discovered us last night and asked if she could film us for a documentary. I said yes and she wrote the questions last night and drove and hour from school to film us today. Amazing. Who does that? Who actually does what they say they’re going to do? No one. And she’s just a college student. 25 years old! Amazing. She filmed us all afternoon. I gave Pascual the camera to film several songs. Our improv was super cool. We did a funky part. I’m glad we got it on film! Someday this stuff will be legendary. It already is. We had a lot of fun today. No fear. Just fun singing and playing. Skylar will come to film interview questions tomorrow before we play. We’re going out tomorrow because it’s a holiday. We haven’t been playing enough. That’s February for you. My birthday is on Sunday!

Thought and Feelings of a Living, Working, Struggling Musician, Artist and Performer

Saturday February 18th 2017

Hi friends! I’m sorry I’m getting so behind on the blogs these days. Sometimes, like now, I become hyper focused on drawing and writing and have zero interest in blogging. I know there are a few dedicated readers who miss it when I don’t write consistently. I’m sorry. It’s hard to keep it up just for a few people, though that should be motivation enough because I know those few people love and care about us very much. It’s sometimes just hard to keep everything going when I think too much about how insignificant it is. My talents are numerous and I have a skill set that many people would die to have (I didn’t say that, a friend did), but being talented doesn’t make it any easier sometimes. Being talented makes life harder I think. When you’re talented, your able to see the way things are more clearly than others. I talked to our friend Bill about it tonight after prayformance. What is the point of it all, when neither Thoth or I have anything to show for what we’ve done? He said it’s not about the result, it’s about doing it. Thoth said the exact same thing last night. Creation is the process of the soul. Bill said something else significant too. He said maybe we look down from somewhere before we’re born and say, “That would be the best life for me to increase my spirit. A life of making art every single day and getting no physical rewards for it, possibly for my entire life. That would make me a better person and a purer soul.” The challenge to create not for gain but for increasing  something completely invisible, personal spiritual power. Thoth said something similar last night. Making art isn’t about the result, it’s about increasing ones self. The goal is not the  end result, the goal is the process. The goal is doing the work. The trick is turning away from a world that looks for physical rewards as being the only reason to work hard on anything and doing it simply to increase the self. Harder than it seems! To create simply to create, just as nature does. We are so like nature.

Oh man, today was tough. This whole week has been tough. It was supposed to downpour yesterday when we were supposed to play, so we didn’t go out. That left us with three days off and only one day this week of playing. Ugh. Tuesday’s play was magical, but those damn park rangers! We’re scared to play now and there is nothing we do will change that. Nothing anyone else can do about it either. We have no legitimacy at the park or anywhere we play for that matter, yet we’re doing something people love that is unique in all the world. We’re these illegitimate street performers wandering around the world pushing our way into places we’re not really allowed to play, but really we’re uniquely talented, underrated artists who just need a opportunity to shine. The best thing anyone can do is to come see us prayform all the time, like Tori and Pascual and Bill do, and as they did today. Of course on the day we decided to go out to play, today, it was raining as we got on our bikes and it poured as we biked up the hill to the park. Thoth was in a really bad mood on our days off, so it made him feel worse. “What the f**k are we doing?” I thought to myself. Thoth was thinking the same, no doubt. The hallways were crowded with homeless people. We had to wait and I had to ask them to move. They ended up listening to us play.

I am so f**king tired of playing scared. Having our friends there makes all the difference. We will always be scared and we’ll always have to battle that fear every day. Sometimes it’s worse than other times. Every day we face the fear anew. Each day it’s, “Will we get harassed by the park rangers today or not?” We shouldn’t have to be afraid. When that park ranger bothered us the first time, he ruined our peace of mind. We have to be strong and try to not let it affect it, but it threatens our whole lifestyle here in San Diego. This is our winter home and if we can’t play in the park anymore, we can’t be in San Diego. Getting through this season without another incident wouldn’t change anything, because next January we’ll have to face it all over again. Why do we have to be afraid to play our beautiful music in a public space? We should feel loved and protected and cared for. Our fans and friends do that for us. The park rangers do nothing but scare and intimidate and harass us. I don’t even think they can do anything to us other than that. F**k.

Today was one of those prayformance we really had to push through. It was one of those prayformance I just wanted to sit down and cry. I know you my friends only wish the best for us and believe we will find success, but I have no illusions, or delusions, about it. I look at Thoth who is 62 and no better off than me. A man of great knowledge and skill and talent who may never see any rewards for his work, other than that he manages somehow to do it until his death, and that he has me. I know any of you who are reading would do something if you could. Sometimes I believe success will come. One could say we have found success by simply by finding a way to live a creative life, but I’m imagining something more significant. Even after having played for an hour, we still didn’t feel better. The rain and the lack of donations didn’t help my mood either. January and February are notoriously rough, and it’s hard not to let it affect our moods. It will be this way always. At least we get to play. In NYC or pretty much anywhere else we wouldn’t be able to play at all during these months. We just have to weather it and push through. That’s all we can do. Sometimes it feels like everything is hanging on by the smallest thread, and no one can help us. It could so easily fall apart, but so could anyone’s life. Bill said something else interesting. No one is safer than us. We just live that truth honestly. We are not safe. We have no possessions. People try to make themselves feel safe with money and houses and cars, but we have none of those things. We have our work, we have each other and we have our gifts and talents to do the work we need to do. That is worth more than anything in the world combined. Those who see that are our friends.

Thursday February 16th and Friday Feb. 17th 2017

“Solice” by General Fuzz and “Miss You” by Trentemoller have been my soundtracks all our days off this week. I can’t stop listening to them. The song “Solice” is eerie and goes well with the play I’m writing a plot for. I got the plot for “The Land of Deadly Echoes” basically finished and turned it in for Thoth to read. I painted for a few hours and once Thoth read the plot, he told me a few things didn’t quite work, which I fixed. He read it again and said it was good. I was so happy. I finally finished the plot synopsis for my play!! 1 month and 3 weeks of work every morning. I almost gave up a few times. Now I have to write the play, which will be even more difficult! I made a vlog of my new drawings for you, with concept sketches for my characters from the play called Fray Wrathanian and Ashen Delency. I started drawing a scary face using the dark paints I bought on Wednesday to start painting the sketches I’ve done over the last week or so. Painting is challenging for me. It isn’t as precise as drawing, but I’m learning white paint can be used to tidy things up. It’s a challenge to try and make faces look scary. On Friday I started adding other faces to my painting. Drawing is a stress reliever for me.

I started drawing a scary face using the dark paints I bought on Wednesday to start painting the sketches I’ve done over the last week or so. Painting is challenging for me. It isn’t as precise as drawing, but I’m learning white paint can be used to tidy things up. It’s a challenge to try and make faces look scary. On Friday I started adding other faces to my painting.