Wow! Hey everyone! Just so you know, most of my old blogs got destroyed when our site was hacked. ::Sigh:: Oh well. I’ve had to let go of so many things these past three years, that was just one more thing to loose.
The Bagbakan Twins came to the park the other day and told me that they follow every word on our website. That inspired me to keep going with my blog. They said I’m a good writer and I should write a book about my life. A few people have said that to me over the years.
We’ve been getting a lot of attention lately. We got on Humans Of New York (HONY) yesterday, something I’d been wanting for a while. Here’s the photo… “The Kiss.”
by Brandon Staunton
It turns out the guy who runs HONY has seen us prayfrom a few times over the years. He said he, “always leaves inspired.” He came to talk to us on Saturday, and was so sweet to give us a tip. It was especially nice he put the photo up on our third year anniversary. Very synchronistic. being on HONY helped us jump past 1000 likes on our “Tribal Baroque” page on Facebook. It’s taken three years to get that many likes!
Lots of people came to see us on Saturday. Goddess of Gypsies, whom we haven’t seen since our arrest at the Angel Tunnel three years ago, and Rose, too. Her and her partner Kirt filmed our prayformance in the Angel Tunnel three years ago.
I hope they can come back and film us again. We need to make a new CD, too! Our music is always changing and it’s important to document it as much as we can. I’ve learned a lot about letting things go because every prayformance disappears unless people capture it on film or in photographs, which many do. I wish I could see every photo and video taken of us. Maybe one day if I get famous.
Dan Rubin, our official photographer, is taking some gorgeous shots of us as he always does. He sent me a few on Friday night of my new headdress. I wanted to see what it looks like. It actually looks amazing. People really like it. My outfit is always changing.
by Dan Rubin
A woman stopped outside the doors of the subway train where we were sitting on Sunday and asked to take my picture. “You look so beautiful. Are you going to a wedding?” Last night when Thoth and I were going down to 4th street for dinner, Thoth was being all silly with the train conductor and she loved my headdress, too. “Are you going to a party?” she asked me. Lots of people ask if we’re going to a party. “We ARE the party!”
No one has ever asked if we’re going to a wedding before. We’re perfect for weddings. Thoth finds it really weird we’ve never been invited to a single wedding. Two street performers from the park, Dominique and Arlen, used to get tons of wedding gigs and all they do is play guitar and hammer dulcimer. We are the ULTIMATE wedding couple!
I’m totally in my element in NYC. The loftiness of the Angel Tunnel inspires me to create elaborate costumes and makeup designs. The entire day is about prayformance. I wake up and immediately have to get dressed and go out to play. We sing out little hearts out, make lots o’ dough, and go out to eat. How could life possibly be any better? Having a stable place to live would make everything just peachy, but I feel blessed we know a few people who are letting us stay with them for free. A homeless friend of ours in the tunnel was surprised to hear people are not falling over each other to let us stay with them. “You give so much, you’d think people would want to give back.” he said. It’s such a miracle we can travel the world making money solely through our prayformance and live all over the world with such limited resources. We are blessed to have a few people in different parts of the world who let us stay with them whenever we need to.
I’m fantasizing these days about living in NYC. It’s an amazing city with lots of special memories for me. It’s where I first met Thoth and had the most amazing summer of my life. We’re most happy when we’re performing and NYC is the only place in the world, besides Lisbon, where we play every day. When we travel we’ll sometimes spend months not playing at all. It drives us crazy.
Our old friends and fans have been complimenting us on the amazing progress we’ve made in prayformance. That makes me very happy. It’s interesting because last year I was much more concerned about what people were thinking about me in the tunnel. I felt like I was being highly scrutinized and judged. That was one of the big reasons I wanted to leave NYC three years ago. People didn’t see us as a duo because Thoth is so famous in the tunnel. This year I’m extremely confident about the progress I’ve made and I’m not concerned what people think anymore. I know how hard I’ve worked and I am cherishing every day we get to play in the tunnel. It still is the best spot in the world to perform but we’ve yet to find anything better. I wonder if we ever will.
I was really, really scared we wouldn’t be able to play this time. Things were going so badly in Berlin, I lost a lot of faith in myself. I am much more aware that things can go wrong and it is a miracle we can perform in the park year after year. People don’t understand how we’re able to play with John Boyd hogging the space all the time. We heard Parks Enforcement came down hard on street performers last Spring and the new “Quiet Zone” signs went up specifically banning musical instruments accept from 11-2pm. I was sure Park Enforcement would harass us or we’d have to battle the Boyd Choir in order to play. It was such a relief that John is being cordial, even friendly, to us and Parks Enforcement don’t even look at us. That why we’ve been coming to NYC in November, the season is dying down around this time and there are less idiots to deal with.
I wonder if it would be possible to live in NYC 6 months out of the year. We would face the same problems, though. Parks Enforcement might come down hard again in the Spring, the Afrobats perform more in the Summer and more street performers are fighting for spots. We’re on equal terms with the Afrobats these days because they can’t blare their boom box like they used to. Three years ago they would turn up their boom box in the middle of our performance, now have to wait until we finish a song. They can’t pull our audiences away anymore, either, which they hate because their show is all about steeling other people’s crowds. We’re definitely a thorn in their side for sure. We’re the only musicians who are able to hold our own against them. It feels good to give them a headache whenever we come back to the tunnel. No one else is willing to stand up to them but us.