Monthly Archives: December 2015

Leaving Oakland for San Diego

Wednesday December 30th 2015

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

We’re leaving for San Diego today. The day before we leave somewhere always feels odd. I had dinner with my sister last night. I’ll see her again for our birthday on February 26th. Mom is coming out to see us then. That’ll be fun! Traveling is such an odd thing. Thoth went to the airport this morning with Nancee and got the rental car. We have been driving down to San Diego every January since 2010! That’s why we have the biggest community there, we’re there longer than anywhere else. I feel like I want to put on some kind of monthly gathering for fans/friends of Tribal Baroque while we’re there. I had such an amazing birthday gathering last year. It’s nice to have community. We don’t really have it anywhere else but here.

Last December we were super busy; we composed, rehearsed and recorded a new album with Michael C., Rhan and Dad, played at Tourette’s Without Regrets, did 3 parties with Scott L., and even went and stayed with John G. in SF for a week. This year we played Tourette’s and my sister came with us, went to a party with Scott L., we recorded another album with just Thoth and I. we had dinner with Michael C. once but we didn’t go stay with John G. even though he wanted us to. Last December I was drawing like a fiend and my sister wasn’t in town, this year I was vlogging and writing like a fiend and my sister was in town so I had to make time to hang out with her.

I want us to have another opera commission. Having the commission last year was so helpful and productive for us. We wrote and performed the music so much faster simply because we had to have it at a certain level by September. We basically wrote an opera in 8 months. The 2nd opera will take longer simply because we have no deadline. I like deadlines. It motivate me in a way nothing else does. This year we have to keep ourselves going alone, as usual. Last year we felt so supported. I knew the year after the commission would be hard. We’re on our own again.

On a different subject, I am SO glad the Christmas season is over! Christmas is depressing for me. It’s all about family and presents, and I haven’t been home for Christmas since 2010. We very well could go home for Christmas in 2016 because my mom is now sober. The past 5 Christmases have been very depressing and lonely. Everyone is with family. Thoth and I have never developed a Christmas tradition because we can’t wrap our heads around the idea of spending our hard earned money on presents. Maybe if we went home to my mom it would be more fun.

Why I Hate Seeing Bad Theatre

Monday December 28th 2015

Hello all. 🙂

Photo by Dan Rubin

Photo by Dan Rubin

Thank you for the kind comments on the other day’s blog. It means a lot to me that people are reading and gives me a reason to keep doing it. It seems I get the most comments when something difficult is happening or I’m feeling down. I really appreciate the support and love.

I helped my sister move into a new place yesterday and spent the night with her while Thoth went to stay with his mom. We went into the city to have dinner with a friend and see a play. I must say I am immensely critical and picky about what theatre I like, but the play truly was horrible. It made me wonder why bad shows (with bad actors no less) get produced in professional theaters when we have never been invited to perform our opera in a theatre. I guess they would rather produce a bad work by a well known, highly acclaimed playwright than produce something by two talented unknown street performers with no credentials. I wonder what will ever cause that to change for us. We just have to keep plugging away. I used to love going to see theatre, but now that I am doing a creative work of my own, it’s hard not to be hugely critical of what I see. Seeing good theatre can be inspiring, but it doesn’t seem there is much out there. It seems theaters like to play it safe. It was clear the audience didn’t like the production either. When the final curtain closed, no one clapped. They only did so when they actors came out to bow, albeit politely.  It blows my mind that we have to pay to see something that was so bad when we give out our music freely in the park every day.

I also have a very specific type of actor that can draw me into a play, which is rare to see. An actor that is intense to the point of making me uncomfortable. One who’s every word, every movement is infused with a magnetizing, electrifying presence. I can say the only play I’ve really loved seeing in the past 7 years was “In the Penal Colony” in London. Unless there is an intense, brooding character or fantastical beings telling fantastical tales, it becomes like watching a bunch of talking heads. Acting needs to be larger than life, not imitating life. When we prayform, people say it’s like stumbling upon a magical land of angels and fairies. It takes them out of the drudgery of life. That’s the kind of actors and plays I like. Art that imitates life, like this play we saw did, is oh so boring to me.

We took BART home and a woman sitting next to us asked if we liked the play. I told her how much we hated it. She didn’t like it either. She explained the playwright usually writes great plays, but this one fell short. Like I said, it was produced because they knew her. Our opera would work well in that theatre I think, even though there are no acoustics. Seeing good theatre can be inspiring, but seeing something bad is depressing and disturbing to me.

We’re waiting for someone to invest in our work again like Sarah did for our Martha’s Vineyard opera debut. Until then, we have to stay focused and keep creating new things. That’s why I don’t like going out much. It distracts me. I know how hard it is to raise money and fill seats for us to perform indoors, but I believe we bring something not many others bring to a theatre; genuine, raw originality.

 

The Struggle of Being an Artist and a Whistle Tone Video!

Saturday December 26th 2015

I jumped back on the horse and made another video today! The sound on the camera is great thankfully, but I want to record multiple vocal parts and make songs for my videos. I wish I had a recording studio I could travel around with. I discovered I can add reverb with my video editing software, so that helps make my voice sound better.

Why is it so easy to forget that I have anything helpful, new or inspiring to give to the world? There are always times I become completely doubtful to the point of wanting to give up. I know I won’t, but I still feel that way sometimes. It’s part of being human I guess. Even when I’m at my darkest, I still know I will never stop. My life is so magical, I don’t ever want it to end. I can imagine things that I would like to change or get better, but I know I have a wonderful life. A wonderful husband, a wonderful family, and lots of wonderful talents and gifts. I have nothing to worry about, yet worry happens. I have nothing to be afraid of or sad about, yet fear and sadness sometimes completely takes over me. How do I keep my chin up when I get into those depressing moods? I don’t really have an answer to that. I know life is about hills and valleys. Nothing stays the same forever. I need to be grateful to what I have now, who knows what will happen in the future. I need to share and give as much as I can as long as I am able to do so.

Life is such a struggle. With human consciousness we are burdened with such incredible gifts. The power to think, to dream, to create, but we are also are able to question of ourselves, our lives, our place in the world, and our existence, which can bring immense wonder and hope, but it can also cause crippling uncertainty, sadness, pain and fear. If I wasn’t human I would never wonder what the meaning of life was, but that’s what makes us who we are. We question, we doubt, we hope for things to change and be better, especially as artists. Artists strive for something larger than themselves. We don’t settle for mediocrity and we strive for our entire lives to find our own voice. It is a curse and a blessing. We take things more to heart, we are more sensitive, more questioning, more tender and more unstable, but that’s what makes us artists.

A Lesson In Gratefulness on Christmas

Friday December 25th 2015

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

I’ve been writing every day for a few weeks, but the past two days I’ve lost steam and direction with my story. It’s hard for me to pull away from my creative work and say, “Just give yourself a break.” I feel guilty for not continuing, but I don’t have any idea where to go with it. It’s like I’m banging my head against a wall. I don’t know how to stop for a while and not feel bad for doing so. I know I’ll burn myself out if I don’t. The truth is, I’m only happy when I’m creating something meaningful to me, like prayforming or writing or drawing. Being unproductive for even short periods of time can really mess with me. Every creative artist has their own way being creative. One artist’s path doesn’t necessarily work for another artist. I have to find my own way. It’s scary. I have to keep faith and not get discouraged and disillusioned when it is so easy to. I have to find a way to continue onward even when I feel depressed and uninspired. I know it’s all part of the process, but it’s still hard.

I realize I’m a very reclusive person when we’re not prayforming. My life isn’t about having lots of friends and going out all the time. I’m focused on creating art, which requires a lot of solitude and focus. I definitely don’t make a point to do anything besides being creative. I find the most satisfaction in it. Sometimes it makes me feel incredibly guilty. Is it ok I just want to create and nothing else? It is OK I’ve created a lifestyle in which I can do nothing else but be creative? Am I being selfish? Is being a reclusive person abnormal? Are all artists like that? Should I want to go out and do things with people? Should I want to be social? What will happen when my husband dies and I no longer have a creative partner? I think because of being bullied combined with my parents divorce, my mother being an alcoholic and not having any creative allies or friends made me cut off from people growing up and so I’ve found a way to do something I love without having to interact much with society, besides when I’m in prayformance.

My sister spent the day with us. We made sausage biscuits for breakfast. I got kind of depressed that I’m not more into the Christmas spirit. I was feeling sad. Sis got me to take a walk and pointed out a homeless person to me. “Would you rather be him and have no food, no money and nowhere to sleep on Christmas?” she says. “You’re right, sis.” I said. We will never be homeless. We have money, family and friends who love us, a creative lifestyle that satisfies us. We have everything we need. Why do I do that? That can be incredibly debilitating if I let it get to me. Thoth was very comforting to me. “You can’t think about it. I am here now. I’m not going anywhere.” he said. He held me and comforted me. Why do I get sad when I have nothing to be sad about? I’ve made a lot of videos about gratefulness and positivity and inspiration, but I need to take my own advice. I dyed my hair and we watched “A Muppet Christmas Carol.” There’s a clip of a homeless Muppet bunny rabbit shivering in newspapers in that movie. It made sis and I cry. “We are so lucky, sis.” I said crying. Thoth made us a delicious chicken dinner. Today was a lesson in gratefulness.

I talked to my mother tonight, who was incredibly supportive of my singing videos I’ve posted on Youtube. She was immensely impressed with the two videos I posted of me singing classical songs from when I was a teenager. (I was feeling disillusioned today about making videos, so this was very helpful.) “Why make them when so few people watch them?”  I said to her. “You just have to keep doing it. People will start paying attention eventually.” she said. She thinks I’m going to be famous. My mom’s a singer who sang in Disney movies and on Broadway, so she doesn’t just like my voice because she’s my mom. She’s the real deal. “Your voice is so beautiful, the whole world needs to hear it.” she said. Thank you mom! I’m so glad to have a relationship with her again.

I will approach my video making with new vigor tomorrow. Having one person say something supportive gives me renewed energy to try again. We’re leaving for San Diego in 4 days.

Gratefulness Blog + Whistle Voice Improvisation Video!

Wednesday December 23rd 2015

Photo by Dan Rubin

Photo by Dan Rubin

I live a beautiful life. I have nothing to complain about. Everything that has happened to me has made me stronger and more intelligent and mature. I am so much more grateful than I was a few years ago. I don’t take things for granted. I don’t get down on myself as much. I count my blessings and know that I have it better than most other people. I am healthy. I am loved and cared for by many. I am safe. I have experienced hard things, but nothing that I couldn’t handle. I want to be an inspiration to others, I AM an inspiration to others. I have a lot of dreams I believe will come true because I am going to work at them until they do. I don’t expect anyone to do anything for me, accept maybe my hubby-kins. 🙂

I love having this blog and my Youtube channel to share my experiences with the world. I have no shame whatsoever in what I write about and how I feel. I am brave and strong and wild and crazy and unique. I have every opportunity and ability to make my dreams come true. I am living a dream life of travel, creativity and music. I know it will always be this way because I will never give up. It’s not that I never doubt myself, but I always know I’m doing the right thing with my life. I am grateful to everyone who has helped us over the past 7 years. I am grateful for everything we have. I know my life is exactly as it should be and I know I will never give up. I don’t know how to give up. I will never, ever let go of my dreams. I will always be a kind, loving, sensitive and compassionate person. I will do all that I can to inspire others and bring joy to the world. I am committed to my own personal happiness and fulfillment. I am destined for greatness. I love my family, my friends, my sister, and most of all, my dearest husband. I thank him for helping me to be independent and strong and brave and focused and steadfast. I love him and I love my life. I will never, ever take him or what I have for granted.

I believe in hard work and self motivation. I believe people care about what I do. I know I am special. I know I have something beautiful to give to people. I love prayformance and am so grateful for the opportunity to sing and perform for people. I can’t wait to prayform again in San Diego. I can’t wait to see all of our friends. I am so, so grateful for the friends we have, for all of my experiences (good and bad), for the talents and gifts I have and for my husband’s unending love for me.