Category Archives: Opera Esh and Ee-ay

A Tiring, Difficult Week

Wednesday June 9th 2016

Tribal Baroque’s Wednesday vlog:

We had lunch at Ink. I’m filming everything all the time now. It was hard getting ready to play today. I was talking to my sister on Skype and she was sad and lonely. It’s hard to see her like that when I’m half way around the world from her. Poor baby. I didn’t really like my look either. It felt like it was going to be slow at our spot, and it was, but Victor came again and brought two friends. We played for an hour and a half and Victor and his friends stayed the entire time. I wasn’t feeling good because, low and behold, I got my period! We dropped our things at home and went out for pizza for dinner.

Lila’Angelique’s Sunday Vlog:

Thursday June 10th 2016

Tribal Baroque Thursday vlog:

We were emailed by Rose, telling us to move to another apartment this morning. It completely ruined our day. We were angry and uncomfortable all day. I sent an email back saying we didn’t want to move again. No response all day. The prayformance crowds were as slow as molasses. I got so frustrated at one point I wanted to cry after one audience took almost half a minute to clap after a song, and even then most of them didn’t clap. A couple sat for the entire prayformance and clapped. The girl was a big fan. “I’ve waited for 3 months for you to come.” she said. That cheered me up. We had burgers for dinner.

Friday June 11th 2016

Tribal Baroque’s Friday vlog:

Rose called and said we had to move out because 12 people were arriving in a half hour. She didn’t get my email. We were pissed as we packed up our stuff and it was brought downstairs. It was the LAST thing I wanted to do. Rose’s husband and Rui brought all our things downstairs, put them in their van, drove to the other apartment and brought it upstairs for us. We bumped into our friend Jorge and he took us to lunch at Ink down the street. That made us feel better. He reminded me I needed to make sure I get a response before assuming someone is going to do something. “Accountability.” he said.

Prayformance was rough for me. Audiences were again like molasses. I couldn’t smile. “Are you focused? I’m here. I’m your husband.” Thoth said. I accidentally dropped my new bow and it snapped.  I wanted to throw my violin on the ground and give up I was so frustrated. I was able to get through it and it got a bit better as it got later. We had Nepalese food near home for dinner. The guys who work at that place treat us so respectfully. I wish everyone in the world treated us like that.

Lila’Angelique’s Sunday Vlog:

Saturday June 12th 2016

Tribal Baroque’s Saturday vlog:

I had a better day today. We had lunch at Ink Farm Food Cafe and I edited vlogs all day. We didn’t play at 56 Rua Garrett until 9pm. It got better last night as it got later, and it did tonight. We had the best night we’ve had in a week. I realized I haven’t smiled during prayformance all week. I smiled tonight, a lot. We were both full of energy and I improvised a lot more and had fun with the music. It makes such a big difference when people are focused on us. We were brimming over with energy and went to Nood for dinner.

Lila’Angelique’s Sunday Vlog:

Sunday June 13th 2016

Tribal Baroque’s Sunday vlog:

Sunday was St. Anthony’s Day here in Lisbon. I didn’t eat anything all day, saving myself for a sushi dinner at Miss Jappa after prayformance that night. There were tons of people out and vendors selling fish and sangria and beer. Nuts. A guy tried to kiss me, or something. We played at 56 Rua Garrett from 8:30 to 10pm. The entire night people were walking past us, headed to the parade or up to the square to get drunk. They were immensely unfocused. A man who had seen our show on Saturday night came and sat and watched us for most of the prayformance. If we had not had a good night on Saturday, I wouldn’t have felt so great about the night, but I managed to have fun. We were both tired when we finished. We dropped our things off at home and went to dinner at 11pm.

Lila’Angelique’s Sunday Vlog:

The Documentary is Here For You to Watch!

Thursday May 5th 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 11.09.39 PMhttp://www.theartistodyssey.com/tribal-baroque/

The documentary we’ve been waiting for 7 years to be made about us has finally been released by The Artist Odyssey! 7 YEARS of hard work, dedication, perseverance, stubbornness, passion, commitment to Tribal Baroque and to each other. It DOES pay off. It DOES mean something!

I blasted it out by email to everyone I could think of and tagged everyone I could think of on Facebook. Such positive response from everyone! People love it. I’m excited to see what some of my old teachers and friends think. I’m so f*ing proud of this documentary! It’s beautiful.

The past few days have been crazy, but I feel much more settled now that we’re at our friend John’s house in SF. It’s very welcoming here, and we have the whole upstairs to ourselves. We’ll be here until we leave for Lisbon on the 17th. It feels wonderful being with good friends who love us and care about us. It melts our fears and concerns away, of which we have many. I’m not really looking forward to the Lisbon trip. I’m dreading it actually! Really early flight out, all day to NYC, 5 hour layover, then all night to Lisbon, then we have to keep ourselves awake all day so we can adjust in Lisbon. I probably won’t sleep the night before the trip either, so I’ll be sleep deprived. We’ll survive.

People who aren’t me or Thoth see our life as this magical world of travel and success. It’s not all fun and games, but it’s good to have a perspective and see that it is an amazing life we lead and it is amazing we can do it how we do it. Sometimes I get pulled into how overwhelmingly scary and uncertain it can be, but things like this documentary would have never happened if we didn’t live the way we do.

Just the other night, I was wondering how we could emotionally, physically and psychotically cope with continuous traveling in the future. That’s because the drive to and adjustment to a new place was a particularly draining this time around. We felt more upended than usual, even though Tasha came with us. It was really helpful to have her with us all day yesterday and on our trip. Seeing my sister today and yesterday helped, too.

The feeling of being in a routine for a few months and then being completely uprooted, and then settling down again is draining. We’re in one place for long enough (2-4 months) we get used to it, especially in New York or Lisbon or San Diego, and then we have to pack up everything we own and move somewhere else. When we’re settled, I fool myself into thinking we have a home, but when we have to pack up and go, I realize we have no home. That’s what we’ve chosen, and that’s the only way I can see us living a life like this. I can’t really fathom living somewhere all year round and never leaving. Even living in New York for 7 months a few years back was too much for us. We go nuts when we’re in one place for too long. We have to be uncomfortable for short periods of time to be comfortable in the long run.

We have wonderful friends, though. I am so grateful for that!

2nd Performance of Esh and Ee-ay in Martha’s Vineyard!!

Sunday September 7th 2015

Sarah Kernochan came over at noon to give us notes. All were to help make the story more clear. Who knows if I would be able to remember and incorporate them! It’s fantastic to have someone who knows our music well enough and can tell us if something doesn’t make sense theatrically. We’ve never had that kind of person who could help us like that before! She had found some maple leaves on her walk and put them on her nose while she was talking. It was so funny, and she was being really serious. I had to immediately start doing my makeup when she left. I felt much more relaxed and ready today. I did a totally different look from last night. God this is so much fun!

Right before we left for the show, I checked my email. Wendy had sent something out to everyone saying “As you surely know, the response and buzz has been very very very good and if I do say so myself WELL DESERVED.” Now that made me feel fantastic! James and Sarah came to pick us up.

IMG_20150906_174901912We got ourselves ready and I got some pictures…

The great James Lapine and wonderful Sarah Kernochan. IMG_20150906_174934342 Here’s Thoth on the stage laughing at something James said. IMG_20150906_175028221Aren’t they cute? (James doesn’t like that word.)
IMG_20150906_175058152 unnamed-1unnamed-2My sister called while we were rehearsing and I put the phone to James’ ear. “Who is this?” she said. “A good friend of your sister’s.” he said. “Guess who that was?” I said taking the phone back. “I don’t know.” she said. “It was James Lapine.” I said. “Oh my god. Can I talk to him again?” she asked. I put the phone back to his ear. “Thank you. I’m happy to make people laugh.” he responded to whatever sis said.

James was cracking us up while we were rehearsing. Whenever we’re around him, he’s always making us laugh. That’s how he is. He’s very, very funny. It helps relax everyone. He’s the most laid back director I’ve ever worked with. No ego, no agenda, he’s just happy to help out in the creative process. No wonder he’s won so many Tony Awards. 🙂
IMG_20150906_180713041Uh oh, he’s coming for me… 🙂IMG_20150906_180717915That’s Wendy in the background and the Narrator to the right of James.
IMG_20150906_182458069 I was happy James would be staying for the show tonight. He has been such a tremendous, unexpected help to us. “Thank you so much James.” I said hugging him before going backstage. “No, thank you.” he said.

Thoth backstage before the show. IMG_20150906_184439790 The audience wasn’t as big as last night, but they were much more comfortable with us. I made more (unnoticeable) mistakes tonight because I was trying to incorporate Sarah’s notes. Thoth sweat his ass off (as usual.) He’s such a force to be reckoned with on stage. I think I added a lot of new shades to my character tonight. Being on stage with my husband makes me feel protected, while allowing me to fully be myself. I have expanded my violin abilities in a huge way this year. People see us as musical and creative equals. 11265308_10153570440609544_3290635441654181470_oWe are extremely expressive in general, but on stage even more so. This opera has forced me to do things on stage I’ve never done before.
10255522_10153570441719544_258578899548043165_oWe got another standing ovation and we stomped our bells while people clapped. That was fun. We played “Gypsy Dance” as an encore. It’s amazing how much I’ve grown as a musician through this work.

More people came to the reception tonight and we sold a lot more CDs. That made me so happy. IMG_20150906_210225877 The three conductors who were invited came to the reception. Ben, the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, came straight up to me and told me his impression. He was so enthusiastic! That’s him on the left. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “I’ve never heard a voice like yours before.”  Wow!IMG_20150906_210312055 All three of them loved the show. Meeting them was a highlight of the night for me!IMG_20150906_210317154#1James and Sarah came to the reception, but they had to rush to another event afterwards. I was able to thank James again. He held me by the hands and said, “You were amazing.” I blew him a kiss and he blew me one back.

 

Kate Taylor came. She was at the house party the other night and was so excited to see the show. Of course she loved it.

IMG_20150906_210703612 I love her style!IMG_20150906_210722496#1 People were bombarding us for CDs and showering us with compliments. That’s such a great thing about doing shows here. We get such great feedback! IMG_20150906_210903818 Puppies!IMG_20150906_210906822A lady is writing a review for Wendy. IMG_20150906_211254530She loved how I pulled the audience in with my little expressions towards them. She adored my expressions.  I wish I could remember what everyone said! I want to hold them in my mind forever! To have such incredible people loving us truly validated my feelings for what were doing. We are amazing, people do love us and good things will happen for us.

Wendy and Caroline took us to dinner afterwards. Wendy gave us fantastic feedback (I wish I recorded it) and read us some of the famous people’s reactions to the show (all positive.) Tony Shalhoub and Carrie Fisher both loved it last night, and Bob Brustein came tonight and was besotted. Lots of incredible people come to shows in MV. What an incredibly successful weekend!!!

PS. The show was filmed, so we’ll have to cut it all together and it will eventually be available for viewing!

The Debut of our Opera, “Esh and Ee-ay”!

Saturday September 6th 2015

I actually wasn’t as nervous this morning as I woke up. Thoth lay in bed with me and we talked about the opera. “I want to do a bit of ‘Anya’ to open.” he said. “I think it’s better if the narrator starts. You need to allow the work to change and grow. We can’t sing ‘Anya’ before every show.” I said. Thoth playfully growled. It’s the sound he makes when he’s not fully in agreement with me.

I had to start getting ready at 1:15pm to give myself 3 hours to do makeup and hair. James Lapine and Sarah Kernochan were going to pick us up at 4:15 and get all the props. I started getting nervous. Doing a makeup look that satisfies me creatively when I’m nervous is difficult. I’m very aware how big the show is going to be and a lot of important people are going to see me. It’s an interesting experience.

I finally got myself together and had a half hour before pickup time. 
IMG_20150905_160609202 IMG_20150905_160620127 IMG_20150905_160625969 Thoth’s headdress is a sight to behold. IMG_20150905_160538913 IMG_20150905_160532811 IMG_20150905_160550862I didn’t get a shot of him in his coat. I’ll do that before tomorrow night’s show.

I saw James walk around the back. Both he and Sarah loved how I looked. “What about me?” Thoth said playfully. “You look amazing, too!” James said. We got everything in the car and Sarah ran over to get Thoth’s coat from the seamster who removed the sleeves. James was so sweet. “You’re going to be amazing.” he said. He’s totally in our corner. While we drove to Union Chapel, he asked about where I went to school. I told him about dropping out of University of Kentucky, moving to New York when I was 20 and going to Circle in the Square Theatre School (where he did Putnam County Spelling Bee.) Eventually we got around to him asking what Thoth and I call each other. “I call him Bunny Face.” I said and he started calling him that. “What does he call you?” James asked. “Girl. Young lady.” I said. “Oh yes, he calls her Young Lady a lot.” Sarah said. Such an interesting conversation to have with him! So human, so normal, so sweet and so charming!

Wendy, Caroline and Steven the filmographer were there setting up. We put on our bells and Suzzanne (the narrator) arrived. James helped us through the cues, just so we knew what props we needed for each scene. It was very helpful. People were standing outside waiting to get in. “Now just have fun and breathe.” he said. He couldn’t stay for tonight’s show because he had a previously planned dinner party to attend. He’ll see it tomorrow. We went back stage to get ready. I dropped two of my jewels on the stage so Suzzanne went out and found them for me. I actually wasn’t nervous because I felt so prepared! Having James directing us was such a pleasant surprise. He’s so fantastic at what he does, and he’s so casual, gentle and sweet. We’re so blessed to have him lending his talents to our cause.

At 7:07pm, Wendy called places and went out to introduce us. Suzzanne hit her cane on the ground and announced, “The story of Esh and Ee-ay” and we came out to our spots. It was so helpful for us to have someone speaking in between scenes. It meant we didn’t have to rush into changing and drinking water and catching our breath. We had decided for Thoth to do our opening number “Esh” center stage and me to stand back accompanying him. Despite that we had a lot of cues and props to remember, everything went very smoothly. There were many comedic moments. I tend to ham it up on stage when the moment is right. I don’t have an opportunity to do that in public. People laughed unexpectedly a few times and we got a big applause after “Transformation and Meeting” and after “Falling in Love.” It was interesting to have different variations of applause. Every piece didn’t end with us speeding up and flinging our hands in the air, which Sarah didn’t want. Two little girls who had been dancing and talking for half the show were taken out during, “Esh Revealed” and one of them loudly shouted, “NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!” as we were in stillness. It was very distracting. I love having kids at our shows, but they need to be quiet! We ended “Birth” sitting on the floor holding each other and the lights when down. People instantly stood to their feet and cheered. We were even able to do “Pentagram” as an encore, which was fun.

We ran backstage to grab our things and get to the A Gallery for the reception. “You blew the roof off again!” Sarah said when she came backstage. People applauded when we arrived in the reception gallery. We sold lots of CDs and got great feedback. People were mesmerized. Sarah was so proud of us. “People are talking about you like you’re the real deal.” she said. “The comedy was wonderful. Thoth is more kabuki and you’re more Pierette. Also, people loved the story. They LOVED it.” she said.  I was so happy. I told her I was very calm and confident. “It showed.” she said. We have a show now!

Here’s Thoth signing CDs.
IMG_20150905_211545898Sarah with Thoth.
IMG_20150905_211655352Happy, tired me. IMG_20150905_211713640 We got a picture with everyone. From left to right is Sarah, me, Thoth, Wendy and Caroline. IMG_20150905_211758978

Blocking Rehearsal with Suzzanne Douglas (Amazing Actress/Narrator) and James Lapine (Director Extraordinaire)

Friday September 4th 2015

James and Sarah arrived at 4pm for a rehearsal with the narrator. “Don’t I get a hug?” James said. “Of course you do!” I said hugging him. So sweet! James got actress Suzzanne Douglas to do the narration. I could tell she’d be perfect before she even opened her mouth. Having James, Suzzanne, Thoth and I all sitting together talking about our opera was mind blowing. “I can’t believe this is happening!” I said.

IMG_20150904_160855314#1 IMG_20150904_160858921#1 We did a quick run through and Suzzanne of course was fantastic. Great presence and projection. It’s great we have someone like James on our side. He can get these amazing people to help out at the last minute. Sarah said they usually don’t use their influence to ask favors, but for this they really love us and want it to go well. At one point, I got wrapped up in putting certain narrations in their exact spots in the music, but we didn’t have enough time for that. “That’s something for the future.” Sarah said. “You guys are amazing already. It doesn’t have to be complicated.” James said hugging me. He gave me a fist bump. 🙂

Around 9, Eric, Belinda and their girls Ruby and Lou came over to make dinner with us! They’re our friends from New York and have known Thoth for years. It’s so nice to have friends! IMG_20150904_211638884 IMG_20150904_212327237IMG_20150904_213145580