Category Archives: Difficult Experiences

Protected: Horrible Day

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Protected: Freedom of Artistic Expression Under Threat in Balboa Park

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Protected: Discouraged Artist Thoughts

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A Very Emotional Election Week!

Friday November 11th 2016

Today I slept until 11am. I was exhausted from the last two days of prayforming and seeing shows. Sis and I decided we would take tonight off and have dinner instead. I did more colorful makeup and we went to the park.

Dan Rubin and Tina came to see us today. We talked about Trump of course. All of us were still reeling from it. The prayformance today wasn’t as great as yesterday, but Tina and Dan made it better. They are such great supporters of our work. The ballerina girl came and played her boom box even closer to us today. We were both so annoyed I went over and asked her nicely to turn it down. She did, but it was still obnoxious. The beauty of this time for us is the darkness and the silence. It’s what we wait for all year. That’s the one thing above all else we really miss by performing in public. Silence. In public we’re lucky to get silence.

It was freezing by the time we finished. Dan and Tina hugged us and left. We packed up while Marcia blaster her boom box at the other end of the tunnel and sang. It’s really a shame the tunnel is being taken over by amplified, unoriginal performers. There’s nothing we can do about it, and it will only get worse as the years go by. All we can do is stay true to our art and keep going. We went upstairs to sit for an interview with a girl who watched our show today and yesterday. She asked us all the normal questions. It’s interesting to hear us talk about our life. We live a truly unique life, and we do it by ourselves through our own sheer willpower. It’s amazing.

We took the train home. Sis was already there. We had dinner and relaxed in our room the rest of the night.

Thursday November 10th 2016

Thoth was very energetic today. He’d had an epiphany about the election. I did light, sparkly makeup today. I was feeling much better. Sissy met us at the train. We went to the park and she went off to explore the city.

Carlos, the classical guitarist, was playing when we arrived at the Angel Tunnel. We could set up and start on time today. For the first half, when it was still light out, we had three songs people literally didn’t clap for. WTF?? I’ll never understand it. I glared at people, but said nothing. I want to say, “F’ing clap! It’s the least you can do!!” but I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut. That doesn’t mean I don’t ironically laugh with Thoth about it or say something to him about it while the audience is watching.

The second hour of prayformance changed %100. For some reason the ballerina girl, Lee, played her boom box really loud near the fountain while dancing. I thought she was our friend. Friends don’t do that. It’s rude. I wanted to ask her to turn it down, but I didn’t. She eventually left and we had silence for the end of the prayformance. We have a sweet little light we turn on that gathers people to us like moths to a flame. It’s a magical time for us.

Sis came to the tunnel and sat off to the side until we finished. For some reason she started gathering up our money when we finished. “Don’t touch our money sis.” I said while audience members asked for CDs and pictures. “I’m trying to help you.” she said. “You’re not helping.” I said. We packed up and sis told me she got tickets for us to see “Cirque Du Soleil’s Kurios”. That was exciting, but it would be a long trip for us. It was up past 125th Street at Randal’s Island. Thoth was sad he had to walk home alone. My poor baby.

I hugged and kissed him goodbye and we walked to 59th Street on the east side. A Trump protester passed us with a sign. “Impeach Trump before January 20th.” I couldn’t have agreed more. I wish I could have gone to another protest. The trains at 59th and Lex were packed. We had to push our way on. Yuck. We took it to 125th and walked to the island. We had an interesting conversation about karma, which my sister doesn’t believe in.

It was a long and very strange walk to get there. There was no one around and it was dark. I got scared. Finally we made it to the tent, with 20 minutes to spare. We found our seats. They were off to the side, so we found other seats that were better. The show was incredible. The singer had a gramophone on her head. Cute. It inspired me to get better at what I do. I can put everything I see and feel into the prayformance. If someone gave us a bunch of money, we would put on an amazing show. One of the most beautiful shows ever.

We took the bus back to 81st Street and got home by midnight. Another long day!

Wednesday November 9th 2016

Oh my God. What a day today was! For the whole world it seems! I was so upset when my sister told me Trump won. I mean, WTF? How could this be true? Later I found out Hillary won the popular vote but didn’t win because of the electoral college. Shocking! I was disgusted, sad and scared. I never talk about politics or even pay attention to them, but now I was really feeling scared! It was too much to process. I felt like our work didn’t matter anymore if people were supporting such a horrible person like Trump.

I painted my face with dark makeup and tears streaming down my eyes to represent my anger and sadness towards the country. It was one of those immensely gloomy days, too. I couldn’t smile. No sun. Just clouds and darkness. Everyone seemed distraught and shocked. Any phone or newspaper I saw on the train had a picture of Trump on it. Disgusting pig!

We went to the Angel Tunnel to prayform. The accordion player was playing her 2 songs over and over. It was depressing. I didn’t want to play. We set up and got going a bit late. It didn’t matter. There was no one around to watch. The first half hour of playing was really hard, but the second half hour completely turned around. Three people purchased CDs. One woman said it was inspiring we are doing this regardless of the current political climate. I told her she made our day. “You made my day.” she said. We didn’t play our full two hours. No need to push on our first day playing after 3 days off. We were satisfied. God, we are so lucky. I had been feeling so hopeless, and left the tunnel feeling hopeful. That’s what prayformance does for us.

We took the train home, I got something to eat and went back out to 42nd Street to meet my sister. An anti-Trump protest was in procession. I was so full of anger and sadness still I began marching and chanting with them. It felt fantastic! Got a lot of my feelings out. I only had a short amount of time to walk the 10 blocks I had walked back to the theater. My dad called and said sister’s phone was dead and to meet her at the theater. I had 2 minutes. I raced over there and called for her. She was pissed at me. Oh well. I had wanted to continue protesting, but we had a concert to attend. Steve Vai!!

We got our tickets, put our earplugs in and went into sit down. Steve had just started playing. It was so loud both of us had thought to up and leave, but we got used to it. We were afraid we’d damage our ears. We were right next to the speakers. Vai said he doesn’t take anything too seriously, in regards to the election. It made me feel better. We had a great time. He played our favorite album, “Passion and Warfare.” It was amazing. It seemed like he looked at me a lot. He’s nuts! After the show I was hungry so we went to a burger place and then sis got ice cream. It’s hard because she’s in the Trump camp and I can’t talk to her about it without both of us getting upset. It was almost midnight when we got home. Long day!

Tuesday November 8th 2016

I was tired from last night seeing “Phantom” so I stayed home all day and acted. Thoth gave me some privacy and went to get frozen fruit and doughnuts. 🙂 Such a great husband he is! I’m so lucky. I get so turned on when I see Phantom. Weird, I know. He’s my icon. Acting is so weird too. It’s not physical. I turn myself on by pretending I’m Erik. My sister does it too. I’d never, ever show you, even if you asked me. Later when Thoth came home, I went out to have dinner at Times Square.

Where Was Our Audience?

Wednesday October 26th 2016

I got up excited to try a new darker makeup look today, which I did. Thoth said I looked Gothic.

14877626_1304611286240179_1965718109_n 14825828_1304610189573622_432961630_n 14874836_1304610779573563_241804225_n 14877010_1304610616240246_599710624_nWe got to Central Park in the cold and to our surprise the Conservancy was setting up for their big fundraiser (which blocks the back of the Angel Tunnel where we play.) We knew that would negatively affect our week as the break dancers would come do their thing downstairs. Annoying, as always.

Cover Story finished as we got ready and Herman, one of the singers, came over to hug us and say hello. While we stretched he said, “Your eyes are mesmerizing.” It’s nice that someone at the tunnel likes us. Once we began, the Afrobats started up, playing their boom box quietly. I was sure our day was ruined, and I was right! It wasn’t just them, people didn’t clap while we played really at all or gathered– or tip us or anything. It was as if everyone was ignoring us, or worse, they were just deaf and blind to the beauty that was right in front of them.

On these days it’s especially hard because no one points out or even openly recognizes what’s going on. No one says, “Hey I’m sorry no one is clapping for you guys, you’re amazing, and to play while those assholes are doing their stupid show is incredible! They’re hacks. You guys are original and unique, and you don’t give up! Inspiring! Thank you!” No one says that. They don’t even notice, even though it’s happening right in front of them. A woman said something like that to us back in the summer of 2013 when the Afrobats were doing show after show and we weren’t stopping.

Not only didn’t most anyone clap or tip us today, they didn’t even watch us. It was pretty shitty. We’re doing the best we can and no one was even watching us. I know within myself that we’re doing something the world has never seen and when we’re dead everyone will wish they had supported us, the same as they wished they supported all the other great artists of the past. It actually felt amazing to sing full voice over the Afrobats show. We’re not trying to bother them, but we know how much it irritates them to hear us. They really do hate us for some reason. The other day Ravon (one of the two Afrobats) said “Hey homo!” to Thoth as we were passing by into the Angel Tunnel. They have a deep seated fear and disdain for us, and there is no way to talk to them. Maybe if someone else did, but they don’t listen to conflicting opinions. Well, no, they don’t hate us. What am I saying. They don’t even know us. How can they hate two people they don’t know. They hate something in themselves, their inability to be more free and open, and we threaten and frighten their masculine, ghetto street cred or something like that.

We played through it though, and got through it. Glad when it was over. Yuck. Tomorrow it’s supposed to rain, so we can take a day off to recuperate. When we finished, Marcela set up her stuff and her boom box literally right on top of us. So rude. We had to drag all our stuff out of the way it was so loud. People clapped louder for her than they did for us all day. It was too painfully ironic for us. “We’re doing the best we can. Society is the way it is and we can’t change it. It’s just going to get worse. We can only change ourselves. We succeed by doing our work. Fuck everyone else. When we’re dead no one will care we did this work, but it will be great benefit to us karmically, spiritually, emotionally, and in every other way.” I said. It’s true.14800912_1304611506240157_1592994180_nThe thing that’s hard about a first prayformance day being bad is that I was so creative this weekend. I was in my own little world creating this headdress, and then having that lovely lunch with Marianne made me feel that much better. But then to go out in the world and see how little anyone cares what we do creatively is so hurtful. I won’t forget Marianne saying me writing about the bad days is even more inspiring than the good days, because it shows me as very human. I am human. I know everyone has problems and frustrations, but mine are just as important as anyone else’s. I’m so glad I have this blog and the vlog to get things out there.

At home Meli, Amy and the guests from France were hanging out. It felt so homey and sweet. I love coming home to Meli’s place. It’s the best place we’ve ever stayed in NYC. Going home actually cheers me up. I’m going to miss it here so much. I cleaned my face and went to get chicken for our dinner. I watched the people making our food and thought how lucky I am to have my life. Amy was in love with my new wire headdress and wants me to make her one. “You could be a costume designer.” she said. She’s so sweet and enthusiastic. It made my day. She told our other roommate J.P. about it. “She made this headdress that you would see at the Met.” I heard her say. So sweet. We ate our dinner and went upstairs to work until bedtime.

Tuesday October 25th 2016

Again, Thoth was in a bad mood when I got up. Poor baby. Depression sucks a**, doesn’t it? We got dressed up (I wore my new crown) and we went to 81st Street for lunch with Marianne, one of our biggest fans. She was waiting for us when we arrived. We talked and ate and she gave us designer clothes she didn’t want anymore. She’s been reading my blog for three years and watching the vlog since I started it in 2014. She loves our honesty and bravery going out every day and being ourselves. It inspires her. She says the vlog is more interesting than most things and deserves more attention, as well as us. It completely cheered us up. Thoth had gone to lunch feeling sad, and left laughing and smiling, all because of Marianne. I went to 23rd Street to get more things to make another crown at Michaels and went home. I edited the vlog and blog and sewed hair clips into my tiara until 1am. Being creative is my reason to keep going.