Thursday July 31st 2014
I am so tired as I write this. I got maybe 2 hours of sleep last night. My head is about to hit the pillow any moment. I hate sleep deprivation. I’ve felt like this 3 times in the past 2 months from traveling.
We had to get up at 5am to get to the airport in Amsterdam to catch our flight to Newcastle. It was painless getting through security and to our gate. Border Control in Newcastle was irritating, though. I was let through easily, though the guard did question me thoroughly. I made sure not to mention anything about us performing. Thoth, however, was held up because he said we’re performing at the Fringe. If we ever mention ‘performing’ to a border guard, they get suspicious. The guard thought Thoth needed a permit to perform at the Fringe, but we would be getting that when we arrived in Edinburgh, not before! It was completely stupid, and totally stressful. I waited outside the gate and all these horrible scenarios flashed through my mind. What if he was refused entry to the UK? Thankfully, he was stamped and let through after being detained for 20 minutes. WTF?
I was really pissed as we bought our metro tickets. Why does Thoth have to be so honest? “When are you going to learn? Never say we’re performing.” I said. I apologized for being mean when we got on the metro. I was worried we’d miss our train. We made it with 10 minutes to spare. God I hate traveling. The train ride was painless. Edinburgh was much busier. We walked to the Royal Mile and got our Fringe pass. There were tons of performers around, none of them very good. My first impression of the Fringe was amateurism and cheesiness.
We had breakfast at a cafe and lugged our bags home. We both collapsed on the bed and took a nap. I could barely do anything else but try to sleep. A note from the post office was on the ground saying my dance shoes had arrived. I went to try and get them, but the post office was already closed. Thoth went out to get groceries and we made dinner. I tried to stay up, but I could barely keep my eyes open to write.
Wednesday July 30th 2014
I consider myself to be an extremely good singer. Many people call my voice ‘pure’ ‘angelic’ and ‘beautiful.’ I feel blessed to have the voice I have. However, with my talent comes the ability to discern well trained voices and amateurs. I am irritated by young people who imitate operatic singers. The average person who hears a young girl sing in an operatic style (lowered larynx, wobbly vibrato, singing too high/low) is impressed how ‘mature’ she sounds. All I hear is unhealthy technique. Children do not have the physical ability to sing like 30-40 year olds. Trying to only injures their vocal chords. Young pop singers do it too, yet we constantly see these young girls thrust into stardom. Charlotte Church, and Jackie Evancho, for example. If you notice, they both mask their sound to sound older and both have wobbly chins. This isn’t amazing to me, it’s disturbing, and unhealthy. Recently, I saw a 16 year old who will be performing at the Fringe this year who sings in the same way. Her body movements and facial expressions are even the same.
I’m beginning to think towards our trip to NYC. Finding housing in that city is particularly difficult (almost impossible.) The few friends we have barely have any room in their homes to accommodate us for very long. The rent is horrific, too. I find it odd that people say they “miss us at the Angel Tunnel” and “the park isn’ the same without us,” yet fewer people come to see us perform there then anywhere in the world. We feel utterly alone in that city. Thankfully we have our photographer friend Dan Rubin who comes to see us all the time. He is a great support. I wish we had available housing there like we do here. If anyone is reading this and lives in NYC, we need a place from August 29 to the end of November. We can afford $1000 or less per month in rent. If you can pass this along, it would help us a great deal.
I was feeling kinda down today. We went out to get lunch. When we came back, we couldn’t unlock the door. It turned out Wim’s son had locked the bottom lock, which we didn’t have a key for. We had told the neighbors what happened and they saw Wim’s son in the street and told him. He rushed back and opened the door for us. Wim and Marja made a nice going away dinner for us. They are the sweetest people. Wim said we can come back whenever we want. Marja said sometimes it seemed like we’re not even here. We’re very reclusive and quiet at home.
We have to get up around 5am tomorrow to get back to Edinburgh. We’ll be back there before noon and can pick up our Fringe passes. We’ll be busking on the Royal Mile on Friday sometime, somewhere. If it goes well, then we’ll play there this weekend and next weekend, then we fly to Rio on Sunday, August 17th. We are world travelers!
Tuesday July 29th 2014
Thoth and I went to get poffertjes when I got up. We ordered way too many, having not ordered enough last time. We were both stuffed. I got a soda and we went home. When we got hungry again, I went to the grocery store and got some chicken breasts. Thoth cooked, but I ate so much bread and hummus I couldn’t eat dinner. We both went to bed early.
Monday July 28th 2014
I didn’t sleep well at all. Four ambulances wailed by in the night and I had a horrible nightmare. I dreamed a Christian camp I used to go to was an actual cult. Kids were being taught completely false information and then being punished and killed for not accepting it.
When I got up, we went downstairs and sat with Wim and had a little something to eat. “You’re welcome back any time.” he said. We got dressed and he gave us a big umbrella to walk through the rain to Lieve’s house. She made us some soup and made dinner. I was so tired I napped most of the time. Thoth read ‘The Little Red Fiat’ from his book ‘Ruby and the Treehouse.’ I love when he reads to me. Lieve’s granddaughter came over for dinner. We sat at the dining room table and Lieve served us. She gave us a wedding present and we kissed her goodbye. We never know if we’ll see her again.
We walked home, dropped some stuff in the front door and went to Maoz for more food. I was still hungry. There were hordes of marauding boys running around. We got our food and went home. I rolled around with the kitty and he came upstairs with us. I took a shower and wrote my blog before going to bed.
Sunday July 27th 2014
Big day. Last prayformance in Amsterdam! Thoth got me some bread and juice for a snack in the morning. What a sweetie! He’s up so early. I had asked him last night in passing and he did it. I knew I’d be really hungry today if I didn’t eat anything. I split the smoothie drink with him and ate some bread with honey. it would tide me over. I got ready quickly so we could get to Vondelpark on time. Vasiliki, a woman who saw us perform yesterday at the art museum wrote to us. She said she’s be at the Rijks to see us perform today. It’s nice to have some support. Wim and Marja left a note on the table. They’d be at the studio until later tonight.
Playing at Vondelpark
The park was packed with people and the temperature was perfect. There was no one performing in the underpass, no degenerates either. Lucky us. There is a noticeable lack of buskers in this city compared with even two years ago. We set up quickly and started playing. By ‘Romanza,’ the underpass was completely blocked with people. Probably one of the biggest crowds we’ve ever had there. After one set, we packed up and went to the Rijksmuseum.
Playing at the Rijks.
I was worried there’d be a lot of people waiting, but it was just us and a saxophone quartet from Spain. The harpsichordist was playing. He really likes us. We sat down and relaxed and waited. The sax quartet set up next to us. We went on the other side of them where we usually play to get ready and listen to them. They were fantastic! I really liked their music. Security didn’t bother them, even though they were loud. I’m pretty sure they discriminate. I went to go to the restroom and saw VasilikiWhen the group finished, we pulled our stuff out and started. We had another very big crowd. A woman we recognized from yesterday’s performance came up and bought a CD. I love when people come see us! It’s so encouraging.
When we finished our second set, we decided to pack up and go home. “No need to be greedy.” Thoth said. We took the tram back to Centraal Station and went home. We got out of our costumes and I took a shower. We went to look at a sushi place down the street. We even sat down, but they didn’t bring us a menu so we left. I don’t trust cheap sushi anymore. We decided to go to Wok to Walk. It’s cheap and really yummy. We got crepes and waffles for dessert. These three old guys outside a bar were digging my pink get up. “Incredible.” they said as we passed. Thoth got a beer and we went home. I worked on my blog and Thoth took a little nap before getting up again. We’re going to see our friend Lieve tomorrow.