Monthly Archives: October 2016

A Week of Staggering Growth and Expansion for Lila’Angelique!

Sunday October 30th 2016

I got up early again to do makeup. I did a kind of dark fallen angel queen. It was very mysterious looking. I never know how it will turn out. I have an idea of what I want to do and then I just go with it.sundayoct301sundayoct303sundayoct30-4sundayoct302sundayoct305sundayoct30-8It was sunny and clear when we left for the park. Cover Story was singing at the tunnel when we arrived. We start a half hour later on Sundays. They all waved hello when they saw us. That’s all we need. Genuine friendliness and cordiality. It doesn’t hurt that Herman, one of the singers in the group, is a fan. John Boyd stopped by to say hello. I’d asked him to talk to Marcia and remind her we start a half hour later on Sundays. I’d rather not talk to her anymore. John is our friend and looks out for us. For some reason Marcia thinks she’s giving us her time, instead of the other way around. She’s lucky we’re only here for 3 months of the year, otherwise we’d play from 3-5pm year round and there would be nothing she could do about it. Nobody takes our time when we’re in NYC. We defend it with our lives because it is the only opportunity for the city to hear and see our original art. Thoth’s been playing that time since 1999!

We had another great day, despite that the break dancers had come down and started performing when we started. They tried to start another show a half hour through our set, but couldn’t because it would rain. A hour into our play, it started to pour. I mean pour with rain. It was blowing into the tunnel and creating a huge puddle right as we were singing the duet part of our opera. A group of very loud and bad drummers started playing in the tunnel. Thoth played as the rain poured in, but I got him to stop and we pulled our stuff back. Some of our friends were there and helped us. We walked back to the subway and went home. Got a yummy chicken in another rain storm and ran back to our building. Great week!

Saturday October 29th 2016

I got up at 9am. Did my makeup until almost 1pm! Gheeze.       saturdayoct29-1 saturdayoct29-2 saturdayoct29-3 saturdayoct29-4 saturdayoct29-5 saturdayoct29-6 The Boyds were singing in the tunnel when we arrived. People were already dressing up for Halloween. I love Halloween. I feel more accepted, because I always dress weird. During Halloween people think I’m dressed up for the holiday. It was incredibly busy out. Not my favorite. Too chaotic. We were both on fire during prayformance. I didn’t care a jot what people thought about me. People didn’t say much to us or clap anymore than usual, but I didn’t care. I know we’re doing something amazing and I was having fun. Dan Rubin was there taking pictures. He was enjoying himself. He loved my makeup. I’ve never done dark makeup for prayformance before. It’s freeing for me.Photo by Dan Rubin. Photo by Dan Rubin. Photo by Dan Rubin. Photo by Dan Rubin. Photo by Dan Rubin. Photo by Dan Rubin. Photo by Dan Rubin. Photo by Dan Rubin. Photo by Dan Rubin. PHOTOS BY THE INCOMPARABLE DAN RUBIN.

Sadly Marcia showed up again and tried talking to us. We were talking to Carlos, a guy who sometimes plays classical guitar at the tunnel. Marcia asked him to try and convince us she would never try and send people to harass us. I was so angry from her having called Thoth bullshit yesterday I almost exploded at her. I told her to just leave us alone, but she was egging me on. “I just want to make peace.” she said. “I don’t want to make peace with you. We don’t have to be friends. Just go do your thing and leave us alone.” I said. Thoth yelled at her a few times, but I told him to stop. I’m the only person who can tell him to stop yelling. She was saying, “See what I mean?” to Carlos, as if she was inferring something negative about us, which we’re not. It made me so angry. I started saying, “Leave us alone! Go sing your three songs over and over.” She sang at the back of the tunnel today.

We packed up and walked to the subway with Dan. It was interesting for him to watch the argument, for Carlos too. The skate dance was in full swing.  Everyone was in costume. We took the train back to our neighborhood to have dinner and change and went back out to 4th Street to see a show. The show was so bad we walked out after 10 minutes. Too loud and not energetic enough. Everyone was in costume on the train. We got dessert and went home. It was a fun outing anyway.saturdayoct29-7

Friday October 28th 2016

I got up at 9:30am and started on my wild makeup until almost 1pm! Tasha came up to hang out with us. She had wanted me to do some crazy makeup for her, but of course I didn’t have time. I absolute loved it! By far the best look I’ve ever done. It took so long though! The teeth took for f’ing ever to get right, but I didn’t have to erase anything and start over. The look all came together at the end. I didn’t think it would when I started. Very bold and unusual for me! All you need is confidence to wear any look.14886178_1306882312679743_695084998_n 14886203_1306876192680355_434104376_n 14886358_1306881106013197_314233904_n 14885881_1306879709346670_722086122_n 14877942_1306882689346372_150177387_n 14914545_1306880666013241_976230310_n

Tasha walked with us to the subway and said goodbye. She’ll be in NYC for a few weeks. Cover Story was sangin’ away at the tunnel when we arrived. I always feel relieved when I see them there. They’re very kind and incredibly reliable. Never rude. We got ready and started prayformance. It was freezing. Herman always says hello to us. He jokingly tried to carry me away from Thoth. He really loves us. I really went for it today. I was gritting my teeth and being super expressive. Someone cheered after “Esh” and said, “Where can you see this world class art?” I love that. It was a great day for us. For some reason people are more generous on cold days! It’s as if they understand we are doing something special by playing and singing in the cold. Some people cheered for us in the middle of “Sea Expressions.” That doesn’t happen often! I told them that. “It should happen all the time.” they said. We get lots of compliments!

Sadly, Marcia, the amateur opera singer who sings after us, came over in the middle of our set and complained about the message I wrote to her yesterday. She had set up right behind us on Wednesday and turned up her boom box loudly when we were trying to pack up. Usually she plays at the back of the tunnel and we can pack up leisurely. It was too loud and way too aggressive for my taste. None of our fellow buskers at the tunnel would do that to us, nor would we to others. Plus, we’d had a really bad day.  I’d told her not to do that again in the message. “Boom boxes aren’t allowed in the tunnel anyway.” I’d written. She was very angry. “That’s bullshit. He’s bullshit!” she said pointing at Thoth. She claimed she had to play there because it’s cold and I didn’t care. I told her that a friend of ours told us he had heard her trying to send someone to bully us out of the tunnel. She flat out denied it to my face, but I told her I didn’t trust her anymore. Thoth did not speak. Marcia doesn’t listen. There’s no way to have a conversation. I always have compassion for others perspective, but I don’t like when someone doesn’t listen to me.

I was able to get her to go away and we continued playing without speaking about it until we finished. It would just make him mad. We continued to have a great day. Marcia set up in the same spot as Wednesday, but was much nicer about it. I asked her to at least turn the boom box down while we were in the tunnel. She did. We left the tunnel and I told Thoth what she said. We went home to put our things away and then went back out to our friends Eric and Belinda’s place for dinner. I wore my makeup. It was cold. The food was delicious. They are some of our closest friends in NYC.

Thursday October 27th 2016

We stayed home today! It was rainy and icky and cold outside. Yucky. Plus the Conservancy fundraiser tents were still up at the tunnel, so there was no reason to go out and play. We went out to get food. I wore my wire crown. Thoth was too cold so I went to get sushi and he went to get something else. “Are you a queen?” someone asked. “Yes.” I said. I talked to my sister on the phone while eating. She’s coming here to NYC for 10 days really soon! It started raining when I walked home. A group of homeless people saw me and were saying how cool I looked. I feel invisible half the time, so it was nice to be seen.

Our friend Tasha wrote to me and asked if she could spend the night. I asked Meli. She said yes, but it’s $25. I said I would pay for it, and I did. Tasha asked if Thoth could make his famous squash soup. I went out to get the ingredients at the grocery store. It was pouring with rain by the time I was walking home. Tasha arrived just as I got home. I let her in and Thoth made the soup. We hung out and laughed together. Meli came home and made a salad for us, then went out again. Tasha, me and Thoth ate on the floor with a pretty candle. It was so sweet and delicious. Yes. I cleaned the dishes and went upstairs to work on my new crown before bedtime.

Where Was Our Audience?

Wednesday October 26th 2016

I got up excited to try a new darker makeup look today, which I did. Thoth said I looked Gothic.

14877626_1304611286240179_1965718109_n 14825828_1304610189573622_432961630_n 14874836_1304610779573563_241804225_n 14877010_1304610616240246_599710624_nWe got to Central Park in the cold and to our surprise the Conservancy was setting up for their big fundraiser (which blocks the back of the Angel Tunnel where we play.) We knew that would negatively affect our week as the break dancers would come do their thing downstairs. Annoying, as always.

Cover Story finished as we got ready and Herman, one of the singers, came over to hug us and say hello. While we stretched he said, “Your eyes are mesmerizing.” It’s nice that someone at the tunnel likes us. Once we began, the Afrobats started up, playing their boom box quietly. I was sure our day was ruined, and I was right! It wasn’t just them, people didn’t clap while we played really at all or gathered– or tip us or anything. It was as if everyone was ignoring us, or worse, they were just deaf and blind to the beauty that was right in front of them.

On these days it’s especially hard because no one points out or even openly recognizes what’s going on. No one says, “Hey I’m sorry no one is clapping for you guys, you’re amazing, and to play while those assholes are doing their stupid show is incredible! They’re hacks. You guys are original and unique, and you don’t give up! Inspiring! Thank you!” No one says that. They don’t even notice, even though it’s happening right in front of them. A woman said something like that to us back in the summer of 2013 when the Afrobats were doing show after show and we weren’t stopping.

Not only didn’t most anyone clap or tip us today, they didn’t even watch us. It was pretty shitty. We’re doing the best we can and no one was even watching us. I know within myself that we’re doing something the world has never seen and when we’re dead everyone will wish they had supported us, the same as they wished they supported all the other great artists of the past. It actually felt amazing to sing full voice over the Afrobats show. We’re not trying to bother them, but we know how much it irritates them to hear us. They really do hate us for some reason. The other day Ravon (one of the two Afrobats) said “Hey homo!” to Thoth as we were passing by into the Angel Tunnel. They have a deep seated fear and disdain for us, and there is no way to talk to them. Maybe if someone else did, but they don’t listen to conflicting opinions. Well, no, they don’t hate us. What am I saying. They don’t even know us. How can they hate two people they don’t know. They hate something in themselves, their inability to be more free and open, and we threaten and frighten their masculine, ghetto street cred or something like that.

We played through it though, and got through it. Glad when it was over. Yuck. Tomorrow it’s supposed to rain, so we can take a day off to recuperate. When we finished, Marcela set up her stuff and her boom box literally right on top of us. So rude. We had to drag all our stuff out of the way it was so loud. People clapped louder for her than they did for us all day. It was too painfully ironic for us. “We’re doing the best we can. Society is the way it is and we can’t change it. It’s just going to get worse. We can only change ourselves. We succeed by doing our work. Fuck everyone else. When we’re dead no one will care we did this work, but it will be great benefit to us karmically, spiritually, emotionally, and in every other way.” I said. It’s true.14800912_1304611506240157_1592994180_nThe thing that’s hard about a first prayformance day being bad is that I was so creative this weekend. I was in my own little world creating this headdress, and then having that lovely lunch with Marianne made me feel that much better. But then to go out in the world and see how little anyone cares what we do creatively is so hurtful. I won’t forget Marianne saying me writing about the bad days is even more inspiring than the good days, because it shows me as very human. I am human. I know everyone has problems and frustrations, but mine are just as important as anyone else’s. I’m so glad I have this blog and the vlog to get things out there.

At home Meli, Amy and the guests from France were hanging out. It felt so homey and sweet. I love coming home to Meli’s place. It’s the best place we’ve ever stayed in NYC. Going home actually cheers me up. I’m going to miss it here so much. I cleaned my face and went to get chicken for our dinner. I watched the people making our food and thought how lucky I am to have my life. Amy was in love with my new wire headdress and wants me to make her one. “You could be a costume designer.” she said. She’s so sweet and enthusiastic. It made my day. She told our other roommate J.P. about it. “She made this headdress that you would see at the Met.” I heard her say. So sweet. We ate our dinner and went upstairs to work until bedtime.

Tuesday October 25th 2016

Again, Thoth was in a bad mood when I got up. Poor baby. Depression sucks a**, doesn’t it? We got dressed up (I wore my new crown) and we went to 81st Street for lunch with Marianne, one of our biggest fans. She was waiting for us when we arrived. We talked and ate and she gave us designer clothes she didn’t want anymore. She’s been reading my blog for three years and watching the vlog since I started it in 2014. She loves our honesty and bravery going out every day and being ourselves. It inspires her. She says the vlog is more interesting than most things and deserves more attention, as well as us. It completely cheered us up. Thoth had gone to lunch feeling sad, and left laughing and smiling, all because of Marianne. I went to 23rd Street to get more things to make another crown at Michaels and went home. I edited the vlog and blog and sewed hair clips into my tiara until 1am. Being creative is my reason to keep going.

Creativity Cheers Me Up (Making My Own Crown!!)

Monday October 24th 2016

I woke up and Thoth was in a very bad mood. We both know no one cares about our work, accept our few close friends, and that destroys us sometimes. Don’t say it, that more people love us than we think or that we affect people more than we know. If it was true, we’d have more support, instead of it just being us two alone most of the time.

We went to have lunch at Sushi and Noodles. We went there on Saturday when we took the day off (threat of rain all day on the weather radar, but no rain actually happened.) Lunch was really good, but Thoth was sad and bitchy. I don’t like when he gets like that, but I sympathize deeply with his feelings of isolation from the world. We are not part of anything. We are a tribe of two. Only our friends, who we see rarely see, make us feel less alone. I got grumpy, too because Thoth was so sad.

14826444_1303290346372273_1889602457_nI decided to go to 23rd St. to get things to make a crown. Thoth went into a secondhand store to look for a skirt. I’d meet him at home later. I got a bunch of jewels and wire for my crown, got an electric razor for Thoth from the beauty store, got some frozen fruit at Trader Joe’s and went home. I’m happy we can buy what we need and want without needing to ask anyone for help. I lived here in New York end of 2008 to 2009 without any money all alone and it was horrible. It was magical, too, but so lonely and full of longing for Thoth. (I’m working on the book of our life.) I wish I’d been blogging and vlogging back then. Imagine! That’s why I keep at it.

When I got home, Bunny took a nap next to me while I opened and organized my jewels. It took me 6 hours to make the crown, but I loved how it turned out!

14872654_1303295249705116_1479552472_n14874910_1303294076371900_1091273203_nscreen-shot-2016-10-25-at-8-26-03-am14256601_1303576686343639_70692967_n14877638_1303577183010256_488988382_n14872699_1303577933010181_735134873_nHere’s my vlog of how I made it, if you’d like to see. What a lovey day off it ended up being. Creativity is a balm for my soul.

I’M A ZOMBIE

Sunday October 23rd 2016

I got to my makeup at 11am. I was deeply inspired to try something skeletal, something dark and disturbing. This is what happened.

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Somehow I got finished in 2 hours and we got our butts to Central Park. It’s an interesting experiment to go out looking the way I do in NYC. People rarely stare at me, especially on the subway. If someone talks to me it’s a rare thing. One woman, an old lady, said I looked scary, but cute. That’s what I was going for. She asked if we were going to a party. That’s what people usually ask. We do something they can’t even fathom. That’s what I love about what I do. I don’t just put on crazy makeup and walk around (or just take it off) I go out in the world and perform for strangers and make a living. I do makeup for fun. I’ve learned it doesn’t effect the prayformance whether I wear no makeup or a lot as far as I know. I do it to challenge myself. It is a challenge to go out with my face painted so outrageously and be %100 confident.

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Cover Story was performing at the tunnel a bit later today, so we had time to get ready without rushing. I felt like I’d been running around like a mad person up ’till then. This look took a long time to achieve accurately. The teeth were a pain to draw, but I really was pleased with the results. I looked like a skeleton!

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The prayformance itself was tough for both of us. Lots of people watched, but no one talked to us while we played. I go into auto pilot when that happens. I’d rather feel inspired! Only at the very end our friend Sarah arrived and was shocked to see me. She loved my look and another woman was loving us, too. That made it all worth it. I’m sure people don’t know how important it is to artists to have interaction with their audiences. Just gawking at us doesn’t cut it for me. I know a lot of people enjoyed our work today, but how would I really know unless they said something?

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Sarah invited us to sushi dinner after we played. We packed up very slowly and talked about our day. I know audience members have a completely different perspective on our prayformances than we do. People can watch, say nothing to us, throw us a few dollars and walk away and be completely mesmerized. People can watch us for half a song and walk away and still be mesmerized. We don’t know what they’re feeling, but when we have a full prayformance with no interaction, we feel alone in a sea of people. It’s conversation, interaction and kind words that makes our day! Displaying 20161023_214428.jpg

We stopped off at Sarah’s place to drop off our stuff and walked with her to sushi at 59th St. The food was really delicious and we had lovely conversation. Sarah knows us better than almost anyone. She said I looked ghoulish and I did a really good job with the look. We walked back to her place and a doorman pretended to be scared of me. I went over and growled at him. It was funny. Displaying 20161023_203427.png

We felt great as we got on the subway to go home. I look like ZOMBIE LILA!!

Displaying 20161023_210142.pngscreen-shot-2016-10-23-at-8-19-17-pmWe do what we do without much. Just our own talent and will to f’ing do it. My mom told me the other night her journal is the exact same as mine. “I did a great show and no one came. When are people going to care about what I’m doing? I’m doing the best I can.” (she quoted something similar from her journal.) Yup. That’s my life. People say to us, “You have more fans than you think.” But where are they and when are they going to step up and really support us? When we’re famous? That would be ironic. We need people’s support NOW. Sometimes I don’t believe anything will happen for us, other than if we do it ourselves.

Dark, Rainy Play Days

Friday October 21st 2016

I got all dressed up as usual in 1…..

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-3-25-54-pm2…..screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-3-26-23-pm3!screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-3-24-40-pmscreen-shot-2016-10-21-at-3-25-22-pmand we headed to Central Park as usual. It was pouring with rain. We hesitated, but went out anyway. The tunnel was soaking wet and we couldn’t put anything on the ground. Marcela was there and was also wondering if she should sing. Thoth and I stood together talking about it and eventually decided to go home. I knew it would clear up and I’d wish we’d stayed. If only we’d brought some plastic bags to put our things on the ground. The floor was much too wet anyway. It would have been dangerous to play. Imagine someone pouring water all over a stage and then saying, “Now perform.” We wouldn’t. Same thing, accept for when the tunnel gets wet from rain it’s full of grime and dirt, which makes anything that touches it dirty. It will be very cold tomorrow, but we’ll be prepared! It was important we tried.

We went home and of course the f**king sun came out. Oh well! I hate loosing a prayformance day. We got something to eat and relaxed until time to have dinner. I love where we live. It’s so homey and safe and cozy, completely the opposite of last year!

Thursday October 20th 2016

I was inspired again today so I went for it with my makeup.

1 2 3 4I’m having fun vlogging again. Sometimes it gets so hard. I notice no one has commented on my blog for over a month. We need to find a way to drive traffic to my blog and our vlog channels. I think we’ll make brochures or something to give out in the park. Most people take pictures and videos of us and don’t bother getting our names before walking away. We have to find a way to draw more people to Tribal Baroque after they’ve seen us. I’ve always said if someone wants to look us up, we’re very easily accessible but today I saw how most every person watching us left without knowing who we are. The other thing is I don’t want to be giving away more free shit to people who are already taking our music, pictures and videos for free. There needs to be some kind of compensation. We should be getting hundreds of dollars per person for what they’re experiencing from us, but we get %1 of that. We do attract a huge amount of attention to ourselves when doing what we do. If people want to know who we are, they can easily do that. We can’t force them to. I kind of like making it a little more difficult. A lot of people recently have told us they came looking for us and didn’t know our name.

We had a fine play. Not the best. I got a bit discouraged when people weren’t so into clapping or coming forward, but some people were very moved and talked to us and bought CDs eventually. Our friend Jessie showed up out of nowhere and cheered me right up. She’s my favorite person (other than ourselves) who sings in the tunnel, as far as classical singers go. Not only does she have a pure, pleasant, she is a pleasant and genuinely respectful and loving person! We need more people like that. I love Cover Story, too because they are also genuinely friendly, talented and hard working. I made some vlogs and we went to 23rd St. to get salads. I saw two girls, one with light blue hair and one with light pink hair. Unusual.