Monthly Archives: August 2014

Articles in the Newspaper, Swimming in the Ocean, Lunch with Sarah and Dinner with Wendy

Friday August 29th 2014

Click to read the article!

Click to read the article!

I got up around 9am. Thoth came in and cuddled with me. He got up and I continued laying in bed. “Sarah’s coming over in an hour.” Thoth called from the living room. I acted for an hour. It was earlier then I thought when I got up. Sarah arrived with two news papers with articles about our show tomorrow night!
I read the long article out for Thoth. Sarah walked with us to her house on the beach. Her husband, James Lapine, was out playing tennis. “He’ll be home after lunch. Do you want to swim or eat first?” Sarah asked. “Swim.” I said when we saw the ocean. It was very calm. Thoth went in the water and Sarah brought me back to the house. She gave me a bathing cap, a sun proof shirt to wear and some sunscreen for my face. We went out to the water. Once I’d gotten in and had swum out, I tired quickly and got scared. “I want to go back.” I called to Thoth. “Are you OK?” he called back. “Not really.” I said. “I’m coming.” Thoth said. He swam with me back to where I could put my feet down in the sand. “I got scared.” I said. “I’m sorry.” Thoth said and hugged me. We got out of the water. I was shaking. I was really scared! Sarah took us to the outdoor shower at her house. “I’m sorry I scared you.” Sarah said. I was still shaking when we were in the shower. “I just got my period.” I said when I went into the living room. “Perfect timing.” Thoth said. Sarah made me some PMS tea, which was really yummy. We sat in the living room and watched tennis while Sarah made lunch for us. We asked her about Sal’s movie project to get her opinion. “It wasn’t clear enough for me,” she said. “That’s why I didn’t contribute, sorry.” She explained Sal didn’t seem to know exactly what he wanted to do. “He seems to want to film your prayformance in a theater and interview you. That’s not enough. He would just be doing the same thing I did.” she said. She said he has to create an engaging story to make a movie and know exactly what he wants, and he doesn’t. Sarah said he even seemed to want her to write it. Hmmm. People have such varied opinions about the project!

Photo by James Lapine.

We sat down and continued talking while munching on salmon salad and tomatoes (the latter of which I didn’t eat.) Sarah told me the story of how she first met Thoth and then asked an interesting question. “I’m going to ask you something personal and you can tell me to fuck off. Why don’t you have sex?” We had a long discussions as to my reasons. “Firstly, I don’t want to have children, secondly, I’ve just never been interested, thirdly, it works well with my virginal, innocent persona in prayformance, fourthly, I think Thoth’s and my relationship would change too much. Don’t worry, I love talking about this kind of stuff.” I said. She asked Thoth how he dealt with it. “I’m fine. Prayformance is what is the most important.” he said. James came home after lunch. He’s very sweet and has a great sense of humor. I’ve only met him twice now. We thanked him for letting us stay at his apartment in NYC. “I need to take a picture of you guys.” he said. We went on the porch. He took a picture of our toes first. Both Sarah and Thoth had painted their nails. “I need to paint my nails now!” I said. “We can get you some nail polish on the way home.” Sarah said. James was making us laugh, a lot. I couldn’t keep a straight face. He then took pictures of just me and Thoth. We did a sexy pose. 🙂 Before we left, I asked him, “Have you ever seen us perform together before?” “No, I don’t think so. But I’ll be there tomorrow night hooting and hollering for ya.” James said.  I was happy and hugged him.

Photo by Caroline Curry

Sarah dropped Thoth off at the house and drove me to get tampons and nail polish.  She took me back to the house and came inside. “Do you want to go into town and look around, or stay home?” she asked. “I’m kind of tired, but let’s go.” I said. She drove us into Edgartown and we walked around. It was so quaint and pretty. We talked about the Into the Woods movie James is working on currently. I almost got some ice-cream, but decided against it. We were having dinner in a few hours.  She took us to the wharf, then walked us back to the car. I was tired! She drove us home. “Call me tomorrow. I’ll be taking you to the venue.” she said. Thoth brought his violin into the dance studio and I played piano with him, then Wendy Taucher picked us up to see the venue and take us to dinner. It was a lovely little chapel in Oak Bluff. We were early. The chapel reminded me of a similar place I performed at 10 years ago for a Mozart concert in Nashville. I have changed so much since then! “Rose Styron is coming.” Wendy said. “Really? I’m so excited!” I said. She is the widow of my mother’s godfather, William Styron, the author who wrote Sophie’s Choice. Caroline and Wendy drove us to Wendy’s house for dinner. Two men were there waiting for us. There’s coming the show tomorrow night. “What do you do?” they asked. “You’ll see.” I said. “She’s being mysterious. She’s usually not like that.” Thoth said. Our benefactors Joe and Molly arrived. They first saw us perform at a house concert in San Diego and mentioned us to Wendy. They’re the one’s paying us our fee. We had a lovely dinner with lovely conversations about movies and theater. By 10, Thoth and I were really tired, so Joe and Molly drove us home. I took a shower and tried to write some of my blog before collapsing into bed. Such a long day!

Trip to Martha’s Vineyard!

Friday August 29th 2014

I woke up at 6:30. Thoth wasn’t in the room. I went back to sleep and woke up again at 9:30. Thoth came in and hugged me. “I’m gonna go buy new shoes at 42nd street. I can’t dance in these. I’ll trip.” Thoth said. While he was out, I acted. It was so pleasant. The bed is so comfortable! Thoth came back and I got up and dyed my hair baby pink. Thoth came back and went out to get me a bagel while my hair was processing. It took him much longer then he expected to get me food. I took things out of my suitcase that we wouldn’t bring to Martha’s Vineyard and repacked. I ate my bagel and Thoth unpacked his suitcase and repacked it. I called sis to say goodbye and we went downstairs. A worker on the elevator said he saw us performing in Central Park last summer. “Beautiful.” he said. The doormen took our bags to the curb and put them in a cab. It’s so nice to be treated so well!

We went to 34th street to catch the ferry. There were a bunch of ravers with flower headbands and tutu skirts going on another ferry. We picked up our tickets, which were under Sarah’s name. We were getting excited! We hadn’t been on a boat in many years. The ferry pulled out and we watched the city go by. It was so beautiful! Soon, we were past Manhattan and heading towards Martha’s Vineyard. Onto a new adventure! We walked around. Eventually we were so cold, we went out back and found somewhere to get warmer. I listened to my iPod the whole way. There was a puppy under the seat in front of me. I took some pictures to send to my sister. P08-29-14_19.19The sunset was gorgeous. We arrived at the Vineyard after dark. I could already tell it is so quaint and beautiful. It reminded me of Hilton Head Island, where we used to visit my grandparents when we were little.

Caroline, Wendy Taucher’s assistant, picked us up and drove us to the Vineyard Arts Project, a huge house for visiting artists. Wendy called just as we arrived. “Welcome, welcome, welcome!” she said over the phone. “You have the place to yourselves.” Caroline said. My mouth dropped to the floor. I had no idea it would be so huge! We explored the place. It went on forever. Four floors, 15 bedrooms and 2 dance rehearsal studios! Caroline left us a bag full of food Wendy had bought for us. Salmon and pasta salad and edamame salad. It was delicious. I cried with happiness. “We’re being taken care of,” I said. “We deserve this.” “It’s not much to ask for.” Thoth said. I played piano in the dance studio and took a shower. Thoth set up his computer in the living room and I joined him. I talked to my sister on Skype and showed her around, then wrote my blog. Thoth was so tired he got in bed at 11. I joined him soon after. We were exhausted! What a day!

Flying Back to New York City!

Thursday August 28th 2014

I barely slept. I never can when I know I have to hop out of bed at some ungodly hour and do a lot of traveling. I always worry the alarm won’t go off or something horrible will happen. When it did at 5am, I got up quickly, did all my business and dragged the bags downstairs. Thoth took his bag down. The cab was waiting outside the door. We put the bags in the cab and Thoth went back upstairs to put the key in the mail slot and off we went. I was delirious as we road in the dark to the airport. I hate traveling, but I’m a damn pro. We arrived, paid the driver and went into the airport. It was packed! At first, I thought we’d have to pay to weigh our bags, but we went up to the counter and asked the attendant and she said we could weight them there. Thoth’s bag was a little over weight and mine was a little underweight, as usual. The woman let Thoth’s slide since mine was underweight. “You need to get a smaller suitcase.” I said to Thoth. He always over packs.  We went through security. I was wearing my pink bra under my pink jacket to stay cool. When I took of my jacket, the crew member said, “Do you want to put on your jacket?” “Can I? Thank you.” I said. “You don’t need to be walking around in your bra.” he said smiling. Thoth got patted down. He always seems to. “I think they discriminate against you.” I said. We went to change money, and actually had more then expected. “We’re still doing well, despite that this feels bad. Compared to 5 years ago, this is heaven.” I said. We were the first people to arrive at the boarding gate to Dublin. More American’s arrived as we waited. It’s funny to see a lot of American’s all the sudden.

The plane was a small propeller plane. It was painless. When we got off in Dublin, we went through a long walkway to another security checkpoint and then another one for USA pre-clearence. We’ve never been through pre-clearence before. We were worried we’d miss our flight, but the line went by fast. It turned out we were going to USA border control in Dublin, so we would be on a regional flight when we landed in New York. Fantastic! The border control agent was super friendly and Thoth and I got to go up as a couple, which was comforting. “We did it! Yay!” I said when we got through border control. Home free! I get so nervous every time we come up against any official people, but I always remain coolheaded. The flight to NYC was delayed by an hour. We were both parched. They didn’t even serve water on the flight from Edinburgh. Everything costed money. Ridiculous. An Irish woman in line complimented me on my outfit. “I love your coat. You look like a doll.” she said.

The flight was 7 hours long. I watched “Noah” and listened to La Nouba. I had a headache by the time we landed and was dying to get off the plane. We got our suitcases and got in line for a taxi. We’ve never taken a taxi into Manhattan together and thought it’d be a nice treat. Thoth thought it was $35 to Manhattan, but it turned out to be $60. Oops! I didn’t feel comfortable spending that much for a taxi, so we took the subway instead. We were both pretty grim on the ride into the city. We were both tired and hungry.  We walked with our bags from Columbus Circle to Sarah’s apartment. We gave the doormen our named and they gave us the key. We went into an old elevator when a man took us to our floor. The house was dark and there was no note for us. We didn’t have the internet password so we couldn’t get Sarah’s phone number she’s sent in an email. We walked with our computers to Starbucks around the corner. The internet was free to use. A woman showed up out of nowhere and started snapping pictures of me. She loved my outfit. “Is that vintage? I just love it.” she said. I was just in my usual getup, pink bra and pink tulle skirt. I got a some supportive messages about my blog yesterday. I was hoping people would give me their opinions, but happily they were supportive ones. It made me feel better about Sal’s project.

We went back to Sarah’s place and I got in the shower. I felt so grimy! “Do you want to go to Kodama for dinner?” Thoth asked. “Yeah, you don’t have to force me.” I said excitedly. I reactivated our cell phone and reserved us a table for us by the window. We changed and took the subway to the restaurant. Two of our favorite waitresses recognized us when we came in and waved at us. They both came up and talked to us. One said this was her last day working here. “A lot of things have changed.” she said indicating the new decorations. “Is there a new manager?” Thoth asked. “Yes, but the food is still great.” she said. I ordered my favorite deluxe sushi combo and a crunchy shrimp roll and Thoth ordered various sushi he loves and his favorite thing, the fried crab legs with spicy mayonnaise. Yum! We love Kodama! I said goodbye to the waitresses. One pulled me to her and said, “You probably won’t see me again. I’m leaving next Thursday.” That made us sad. They have such sweet personalities. I love making friends with waiters. After dinner, Thoth got a mini apple crumble pie for dessert and we got some nasal cleanse salt packets before going home. “This keeps me from getting sick.” I said holding the box of salt packets to me.

We had trouble getting home we were so tired. We took the train back to Columbus Circle and walked back to Sarah’s place. I wrote my blog and Thoth conked out on the chair. I’d written on Facebook that we’ve returned to New York and a lot of people said they were coming to see us! Sal wants to have dinner with us on Tuesday and talk about the film! That’s all I can write right now… My eyes are so sore and heavy as I write this, I think I’m going to pass out… 3… 2… 1… nitty night…. Zzzzzz…..

PS. IF YOU COME TO SEE US AT THE ANGEL TUNNEL AND YOU’RE A FAN, PLEASE COME AND SAY HELLO! NEW YORK ACTUALLY FEELS REALLY LONELY TO US A LOT OF THE TIME. WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT AND WANT TO KNOW YOU ARE OUT THERE! THANK YOU!

LOVE,
Lila

Concern from Friends

Wednesday August 27th 2014

When I got up and checked my email, we had received messages from some friends that showed concern about the Indiegogo campaign. I don’t know how better to share the day with you, then to share the emails with you.

Hi Thoth and Lila,
I’m afraid this is one of those e-mails that I shouldn’t write but feel that I have to because I care so much for you both. I will risk you being mad at me for bursting your bubble, but cooler heads must prevail.
Your producer is setting a beyond belief fund raising total, one that can’t be achieved unless some incredibly rich patron decides to drop $25,000 in the fund, which I hope happens, but probably won’t. I wish he hadn’t got you so excited with allusions of grandeur.
You’re story is certainly worthy and entertaining in my opinion- I wish it can  happen someday.
A lot of your blogs are about your anger over the lack of tips for your performances and this is 10 times harder in my opinion.
I could throw in $500 out of love but I, and I’m guessing many more people, will be totally pissed if the money is kept and nothing worthwhile is done. It will affect your relationships in the future and you don’t want that to happen.
I know the concept is exciting but the fundraising seems totally unreachable and I don’t want you both to look foolish if the goal is nowhere near met. Take away Dad’s donation and your goal is miles away.
I pray that I’m wrong, but my 50 years of business sense tells me otherwise.
Sorry, but someone has to show tough love- someone who truly cares and doesn’t want to be the bearer of bad news. Get opinions from your many trusted friends- ask for their truthful opinion.
You know where my heart is when it comes to you both- please remember that as you read every word.
It would be far easier for me to say nothing, believe me.
Love you both,
Mike.

Hey Babe,

Glad to hear this wonderful news. I’ll definitely contribute.

Just some feedback, if you don’t mind.  My own personal feeling on these kinds of things is that film makers should be extra clear about how and whether they will pay themselves when they are asking others to fund their productions.  Sal seems rather vague about that in the indiegogo write up and that may turn off some people who might want to contribute.  Does he plan to pay himself after a certain funding level is reached? If so that should be stated? Or will he take the first $x of film sale proceeds?  Who will get proceeds from the sales of the film? If it’s mostly going to you and Lila, the he deserves more pay for sure. Hope I didn’t overstep bounds there.  I’m immersed a bit in learning about orphanages and charity work right now. I’m in Nepal and am volunteering at an orphanage and am up right now int he middle of the night learning about how orphanage owners line their own pockets with money that should be going to the kids. They fund raise to build an orphanage and then kick the kids out and start a hotel or live their themselves, parade kids they keep looking very needy in front of tourists to raise money, etc.

Don’t feel like you need to respond to these questions to me. Just food for thought, or perhaps just a 4am lack of correspondence discipline on my part.

Much love and kindness,
Ted

I corresponded with Mike all day.

Hi Mike.

I agree with you. From the very beginning $40,000 seemed like WAY too much money to raise. I think Sal has an delusion about our fans and their support. So far, only close friends and family have contributed. I believe the amount we’ve raised so far is as much as we will make in the end. Other people probably feel the same way, plus, no one knows Sal so they might be wondering where all this money would be going. I’ve been feeling pretty down and sad lately and this campaign isn’t helping. I feel too much pressure has been put on us to raise money. Most of our “fans” are quite poor, and we’re not famous enough for thousands of people to contribute. I don’t know what to do now. We’re leaving for NY tomorrow morning and this is the last thing we have to worry about. What do you think we should do? Call the campaign off? Bring the goal down by a HUGE amount? I’m scared it’s all gonna go South really fast, as everything else seems to be doing these days.

I hope to see you soon.

Lila

Both Mike and Ted are close friends and fans of ours and always offer good advice. They’re both businessmen. We trust them. Their emails didn’t help my mood any, though. It left me feeling sickened and scared. We’re leaving for New York tomorrow morning and this is the last thing we need to worry about. We know $40,000 is probably an unreachable goal. I’m not expecting to make anything close to that much, unless something magical happens. We got on Skype with Sal and told him how we were feeling. He agreed and said there’s no reason not to be scared. “It’s an ambitious project and I may have rushed it, but I want to film it while you are in New York this Fall. No matter what happens, I have many people who want to help, even if the budget doesn’t come through. They like what you do and they want to be apart of it. We can cut around the financial hurdles and still make something beautiful. Even films with budgets of 5 or 10,000  can get on Netfliks. If we don’t try, then nothing will happen. We just need to sit down together when you get here and figure everything out.” he said. That made me feel better to know he’s going to make the film regardless of what money is made. I think Sal is a good man with good intentions, I just want the film to be as big as he envisions it. I don’t want to be disappointed, though, and I don’t want to disappoint our investors. How are we ever going to have something big happen unless we try? We have to start somewhere. I am so grateful to the people who have contributed already. It’s mostly close friends and family. Sal will work with whatever he gets.

I spent the rest of the day bleaching my roots. It took much less time then usual. As my hair grows longer, it’s actually easier to get to the roots. Thoth helps me. After washing out the bleach, I put in some purple shampoo to take out the yellow tone and make it whiter. I like the result. I’m trying to get the pink out. Maybe I’ll go all white, maybe I’ll go multiple colors. Not sure yet. One of the first things I’ll do after we get back from our show at Martha’s Vineyard is go get some more hair colors. I want to be all pretty for our first day at the Angel Tunnel.

Hi Thoth and Lila,
I’m glad you both took my e mail the way it was meant to be, in a mature and understanding way, and most important, from my heart.
You have no idea how hard that was for me, but it was for the best for sure.
The whole deal is totally unreal and I would be extremely careful in my dealings with Sal. I’d walk away from him in 1 second.
My honest opinion is to give back the money, take down the site immediately and file under the old adage that if it’s too good to be true etc.
My worst fear is that you both look bad when the total doesn’t move ( how could it ). You have tremendous credibility in the arts world, never compromise that for a pie in the sky venture- you’ve both worked far too hard and long to lose the assets you’ve earned 10 times over.
With all my love,
Mike

Hi Mike.
I trust your judgment. It’s like you’re my dad. 🙂 But please don’t worry. Sal is a good person. He’s going to take us to dinner and sort everything out. He knows $40,000 might be too much, but he’ll make a film with whatever we get, and it will be beautiful. He has lots of friends who want to help, even if no funds are procured. He loves us and wants to make a great film. If we don’t try, nothing will ever happen. Maybe someone will come through in the end.
We’ll keep you posted.
Thank you so much for your care and concern.
Lila

Hi Lila,
You both need someone who believes in both of you and the amazing journey you are on.
You are performers, not fund raisers, and Sal has to start with that in mind first and foremost.
I hope it works so much for you both.
Love,
Mike

Do you still love Phantom of the Opera?
You mention it quite often
Mike

Yeah. I really do love Phantom still.
I always will.
Lila

Maybe someone you know well will get 2 tickets for you and Thoth this fall.
Mike

You just made my day.
Lila

You both deserve something nice- you’ve been through so much.
We’ll figure it out this fall.
It will be my pleasure.
Mike

I need to get to bed. We have to get up at 5am, tomorrow to catch our taxi to the airport. We’ll land in NYC at 3:30pm.

Expectation

Tuesday August 26th 2014

I got up this morning and looked at the Indiegogo page to see how it’s going. Not much has changed since yesterday. I’m so anxious about the film working out, but we can’t control what others will do. We can only rely on ourselves. It’s so hard to remember that when our livelihood depends on the generosity of others.

Last night, I watched Neil Gaiman’s Commencement speech for the University of the Arts. It was inspiring. (Side note: Most people who speak for graduating classes never got a degree from, or even attended, a school of higher learning. That makes me feel better, because I didn’t either. I barely made it through a year of University and barely escaped a year at Conservatory. Neither one was giving me what I wanted, true creative freedom to find out who I am. I don’t believe school can. Gaiman felt the same way.) He says he never knew what he was doing, and still doesn’t. He’s just making it all up as he goes along. That’s comforting, because neither do Thoth and I. If I look back on my life 5 years ago, I have done many things and a lot more people are aware of me, but I haven’t done everything I truly dream of doing, like making this film. Gaiman encourages the graduates to create the art only they can create, to make mistakes and accept failure as part of it all. Thoth, Sal and I are trying to make a film. It will take a lot of people giving a little (or a few people giving a lot) to make $40,000, but if we don’t try, it won’t happen at all. It seems that unless you are famous or popular, only friends and family will support a crowd funding campaign like this. Today I was looking into low budget (or no budget) films. That is the way most directors start out, and there’s no guarantee of success. On top of that, very few low budget films even get any recognition at all. We just have to hope for the best and do the best we can. Throughout my time with Thoth, we have hit some pretty hard ruts. We’ve felt alone and scared about the future. We’ve felt as if we’re dancing on the edge of a knife. We feel that now. But deep down, I have hope that any moment things could change for the better. You may look at my life and think it’s amazing already. I’m traveling the world and fans give us housing and money and a movie is being made about us. While that’s true, many times we have to figure things out on our own and the world feels very lonely, like now. I have to keep my hopes up that things will get better. They have to get better.

Dear Being of the Universe,
Please help make things better for us.
Please help me stop caring about what other people do or think.
Please help me do the best I can.
Please help me to stop over thinking things.
Please help me to be in the moment.
Please help me stop worrying.
Please help me every day to be grateful for what I have.
Please help me to do what I can do to be happy.
Please help me to sing as beautifully as I can on Sunday and at the Angel Tunnel this Fall.
Please help me to stop expecting anything from anyone.
Please help me to love myself and know that I am worthy of love.
Please help me stop being afraid.

We’re leaving for New York City the day after tomorrow. It will be 30 degrees warmer. We’re staying at our friend Sarah’s fancy apartment on the Upper West Side for a night, then we take a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard for a performance. The next night we’ll have dinner with Wendy, the producer of the show, and some friends, then Sunday is the show. Monday we take the ferry back to NYC and move into our place in Williamsburg. Our first prayformance at the Angel Tunnel will either be Wednesday or Thursday, depending on how we feel.

Love,
Lila