The Babes sang me happy birthday in all their cute little voices when I woke up. 🙂 I called my family after crying over Thoth’s birthday card. Dad complimented me on my new drawings. “How did you get so good?” he said. I got over 100 b-day wishes on Facebook, most of which were very thoughtful. 🙂 That made me feel very blessed that so many people care about me. I listened to music loudly on the speaker while dancing and singing around in the kitchen. I read some of my friend James’ blog. Thoth and I practiced for two hours in the afternoon before going to dinner. We went through the second half of the opera and practiced the fast section. I’m excited to try out the new pieces in the park! We biked to Bleu Boheme for a fancy birthday dinner. The couple sitting next to us asked Thoth about his puff which was tied up in a pony tale. “Are you a Buddhist?” they asked. “Even when we’re not dressed up, we still look interesting to people.” I said. The food was stunningly delicious. The waiter brought me a fancy non-alcoholic drink and a surprise dessert! The couple sang us happy birthday. 🙂 “He is so sweet.” the woman said. “Yes he is.” I said. Yes he is indeed.
Thoth and I had a great talk at dinner. All artists, even the greatest, are affected by critical judgement of their work. I find negative judgement of my art to be an attack on my character. My performance IS me. When I experience artists I admire getting hurt or discouraged by critics, I always think, “You are so talented! Don’t listen to those people! It’s a waste of time! Keep doing what you’re doing!” Yet I feel the same way when people judge me! “How can I not let critics affect me?” I asked Thoth. “The first thing is to perform with your full heart even if no one is watching.” he said. “That’s so hard! How do you do that?” I asked. “Because I am dying.” Thoth said. Don’t worry, he doesn’t mean that literally. 🙂 His art is his death dance. “I can die exactly as I please.” he said. When I’m feeling fantastic, as I do now, I see criticism for exactly what it is, a personal opinion that has nothing to do with me. I wish more than anything I could hold onto that on my down days!
I just wanted to make a quick post to say today is my 27th birthday and I am so happy! This card from Thoth made me cry!! Also, in case you didn’t know, today the FCC passed a strong Title II regulation protecting Net Neutrality! This means the internet remains free and equally accessible to all people! I’d been worried about this for some time and jumped up and down joyfully with Thoth when he told me! HURRAY!!!!
Today was lovely. I started some new sketches. Can you guess who they are? I love drawing. Jim came home for lunch and figured out how to get our opera to play on his wireless speaker. I played the first song for him, but wouldn’t let him listen to anything more. “I want to be special!” he said. “If you hear it all now, you won’t be excited to hear it on Friday!” I said. Jim went back to work. I made pancakes and Thoth and I listened to the opera together. That was the first time listening to it without having to focus on editing it.
I’m listening to a lot of Meredith Monk music lately. I’ve only heard her opera Atlas and the album Acts from Under and Above, both which I love, but now I discovered Dolmen Music, “Last Song,” “Lullaby,” “The Tale” and “Double Fiesta Live.” Look them up on Youtube. I really enjoy her music. It’s similar to ours in it’s emotional simplicity.
I talked to my friend Jadelyn who we’re staying with in New York this fall. They live so close to the park! It made me so happy and excited about being back there. Every year we go to New York, we never know where we’ll live. Now we don’t have to worry about it. Yay!
We had a great practice session today. We play through half of the opera. We worked on playing a really fast syncopated piece for the “Interlude.” By the time we do it in Martha’s Vineyard, it could be a really awesome piece. Practicing gives us the opportunity to work on pieces we couldn’t create spontaneously in the park. Jim came home. “Esh and Ee-ay!” he said. “She only let me hear one piece.” he said to Thoth. “Don’t hold it against me.” I said. “I can wait until Friday. I admire your commitment.” he said.
I finally understand Thoth’s long held philosophy about being a gentle artist in the world. Despite that Tribal Baroque is our business and our livelihood, we are not driven by profit. Instead, we go out in public and give our music freely to people. In exchange, they leave us donations and buy our CDs. Most people are generous to us because we are generous to them. I hope that no matter how successful we become, we remain committed to this way of life. It is not something embraced by many in this age of capitalism. We love making money and being successful, but that is through our dedication to the true, honest expression of our hearts, not to greediness. We are able to travel the world through our work alone. What more do we need than food, shelter and a place to prayform? We have no other job, and have no need for one. We spend our days being creative and making music and we are both very happy. Our dedication to our work has always taken care of us. Our music is readily available in the park, and through our website, but that’s it. We’re not promoters, we are artists.
Thoth finally finished and sent “Esh and Ee-ay” to Disc Makers to make 1,000 copies for us! Jim is going to make the covers. Sadly, we will not have them available on my birthday, but they’ll arrive sometime next week. I am so excited for them to arrive!
Supposedly it was going to rain today, but it didn’t as much as expected. Forrest was picking us up so we didn’t have to ride on our bikes. I painted my eyes with rainbow colors and put some tulle on my head.I’m loving taking pictures of my full outfit. It’s strange I never did that up until a few weeks ago. My look changes every day, especially when I have access to all my clothes and makeup, like now. I love how I’m all colorful and Thoth is very dark and stern looking. We contrast each other perfectly. I like to see how outrageously I can dare to dress. It wasn’t raining by the time Forrest and Tasha arrived. They dropped us at our spot in the park and I ran up front to see what was going on. “There are a lot of performers up there. We need to stay back here until it starts raining.” I told Thoth. We set up and a bunch of people gathered to watch us, including Forrest, Tasha and Bill.The crowds left after the first piece and we sang a few pieces to just those three people. I wasn’t bothered by the lack of audience like yesterday, because I had no expectations today. I did as best I could and found the energy inside of me to keep going. I know that the few people who were watching were enjoying us. They don’t care if there isn’t a big audience. It started raining. Thoth went up front to see what was going on. “There’s no one up there.” he said. Tasha, Forrest and Bill helped us carry our things to the front. As we played, I saw Sister Ida come over to watch. She was all dressed in her Sister of Perpetual Indulgence outfit.
I hugged her when we finished the piece. She was helpful with getting people to come into the space to watch us. She is definitely part of our tribe! The bongo group came out from their hiding place and started banging away to attract an audience. Thankfully it started raining again and they had to leave. We finished up our set and talked with the Sister while Forrest and Tasha went to get the car. “I’ve made a reservation for 6.” he said. He was taking us out to dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant in San Diego! Sister Ida walked with us to his truck and Mitch saw us and said hi. I ran to him for a hug. I love his hugs. He makes funny robot sounds. “See you on Friday!” he said. I’m so excited about my birthday party! We drove to Harney and Forrest parked the car. We ordered tons of food and everything was so delicious! I couldn’t stop eating! Tasha is such a doll. We danced in our seats together. 🙂 After eating, I was super tired so we drove home and said goodbye. “I’m so excited about your birthday party!” Tasha said. Me too!!!