Category Archives: Special Experiences

Protected: Diary of a Prayformance Artist: Despite Everything, We Continue Soldiering On, Making Music and Art!

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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!

My Valentine!

Tuesday February 14th 2017

Today is a year to the day I started vlogging on the Tribal Baroque channel! One year of daily vlogs! Yay me! It’s so f**king difficult! Let’s see how long I can keep it up! Hopefully forever! God damn.

I was of course nervous to go out and play in the park. Would we be bothered by a park ranger again? I painted a heart on my forhead to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Last year I painted this incredibly complicated design on my face, this year I went for simplicity. I know now it makes no difference. I do complex makeup now only because I really want to. I’ll get on a run with it, just as I do with drawing. Sometimes I’m completely inspired to do crazy, complex makeup, sometimes not. My makeup is always different…

Valentine’s Day 2014… Button face!

2015… Confetti face!

2016… Heart face!

2017… Goth face!

Today was our first Valentine’s Day playing in front of Casa Del Prado instead of in the back like we used to. We played back there for years for fear of park rangers. Last January and February was so horrible I swore we would never play back there ever again, no matter what happens. Playing in the back caused a lot of depressive episodes for me last year. The acoustics weren’t very good and people didn’t gather as easily. It was so frustrating, especially knowing we would have a much better time up front. The acoustics are so much better in the hallway up front, and people gather effortlessly. We can also play up front 5 days a week if we so choose. Back there we could only play 3 days on the weekends. I don’t know how we survived all those years. I will never go back there. We deserve to play up front where everyone can see and hear us.

Tori, her sister and Pascual came to see us today. Tori was all dressed up and had on pretty colorful eye makeup. She was gorgeous! I know now why she loves us so much. She’s a very creative person. She reminds me in a way of myself when I was younger. We had such a magical play. Lots of people came around and watch us and cheered. We sang like angels. We were so joyous and happy. People can tell when we’re happy, especially our fans. Tori said she could feel it.

Sadly, a female park ranger came over after Thoth’s solo and let us know need a permit to collect money. I told her we knew our rights. Thankfully, she left after that. Officer Morales, our friend and fan, was on patrol and looked out for us. He gave us his number again so we could call him if we had any problems. That made me feel wonderful. It’s nice to have a police officer on our side for once. We told the audience what had happened and they cheered for us loudly. I got it on film. We continued playing and had a fantastic time. We were both on cloud 9 when we finished. Tori, her sister and Pascual hung with us while we packed up  and we went home. We went out to have Indian food for our Valentine’s Day dinner sitting on cushions. It was so sweet.

We have to be so strong and brave to do this work. People who ask about our lifestyle think it is magic and and dream. It is, but it is just as hard as anyone elses life. We make it work. We have to take each day as it comes.

Being Fearless Doesn’t Mean Being Unafraid

Sunday February 12th 2017

Despite that we played yesterday with no hitches and we were both all read up on our constitutional rights, we were still scared to go out to play at the park. That didn’t stop us from going out. I painted X’s on my eyes and on my forehead to represent my rights being trampled on. Prayformance becomes a form of protest when we are under threat by authority. We can not stop prayforming. We have no other way to live. Nothing that is more important to us.

Tori and his step daughter arrived, as well as Bill to see us play. We feel safer when friends are there to witness us. A few other people who knew us were waiting for us to begin. I was completely shocked to see Forrest arrive just as we started. I had to run over and hug him. It’s been a month since we got here and today was his first time seeing us. He’s been overly busy with his work. It was another very passionate prayformance. All of our friends stayed through the entire performance. I like that very much. Many people who had come specifically to see us and stayed through until the end.

No one knows how fragile our life and work is. Sometimes it is head together by the smallest thread of self will. There is one small step between continuing and not continuing. Continuing for us happens through sheer willpower, but sometimes it can be through someone’s support of our work. People coming to see us play really helps. On Friday I thought it was all over, but I know now that we will never stop prayforming. No matter what happens. It what we have that keeps us going.

If the world was fair and just, our work would be celebrated in every city we perform in. Not only by park goers and fans who love our work, but by those in authority. We would feel appreciated and welcomed and safe and we wouldn’t be so alone. The truth is very different. People love our work, but we alone will ourselves to do it. There is a very small community around our work, but we ourselves must forge ahead and do it. Fans come and go. Audiences come and go. Things change. The one thing that doesn’t is our commitment to each other and to our work. We are devoted.

We were so happy to get two wonderful weekend days of uninterrupted bliss, we treated ourselves to dinner and were oh so happy.

Saturday February 11th 2017

I was depressed this morning, terrified that the park ranger would return to harass us when we went out to play. I’d researched and learned that we are of course breaking no laws by performing and being given donations in a public space. The ranger is actually the one breaking the law. No officer, who is charged with upholding the constitution, is allowed under the guise of law to take away a citizen’s constitutional rights. This is what the ranger was doing on Friday. He claimed we were involved in commerce because he saw someone give us money, which he didn’t produce any proof of a law which defines that. If an officer takes away a citizens rights under the guise of law, he is subject to a fine, or even jail. That’s probably why he threatened us with a ticket instead of giving us one. He doesn’t want it to go to court because the park would loose. He didn’t know what he was talking about, and now we know what our rights are. That’s didn’t stop me from being scared.

Many people came to see us in Balboa Park today. People we hadn’t seen since last year, and some of our diehard fans, Pascual and later, Bill. Pascual graciously stood watch to make us feel safer while we played. We are responsible for ourselves, but it was helpful to have protectors there. We sang our hearts out. Even though Pascual was standing guard, he later said our prayformance was intense. Yes, indeed it was. We were singing for our lives. When our work is threatened, we go back out the next day and sing as if our lives depend on it. No one can stop us. What we do is protected under the first and fourteenth amendment, and yet rangers do not protect those rights. Only we can stand up for them.

We were so happy when we finished. There were so many people there supporting us who talked to us afterwards.