Monthly Archives: December 2016

Darkness Embracing Me…

I’m terribly sorry to my (tens of) readers for not posting as regularly as I was before. I feel an unnatural and honestly ridiculous amount of guilt about it (also about having not much to say in regards to the vlogs either). Haven’t posted on my own channel in 5 days either. I am sick, which is good enough of any excuse, but I’m also just trying to focus on myself more. My blog is for me, yes, bu having been writing every morning in a private journal, makes the blog (with it’s hordes of ardent readers) feel particularly pointless and redundant. I am writing a play and drawing depressing things and acting all of my days up here in my room. We still have 13 days left in Nashville.

I’ve been getting up at 7 or 8am every morning for a month. I never thought I’d be able to do that. Even this morning when I was feeling sickly, I still got up. When we first got here, I was acting in the morning, then cleaning my room and listening to music. Later I started writing my morning pages first thing. Once my room was all cleaned, I acted and did intimate things most days. On Christmas day, I started drawing original artwork in my sketch book. I had been making acting videos every day previously, but my voice was run ragged, so I decided to rest. On the same day, I started writing my first play. Recently, I’ve been writing my three Morning Pages and working for over an hour every day on my play.

I need to stay focused on long term creative projects, not just short term things. I’m really good at doing something that takes a few days. Drawing a sketch, making a video, writing a blog entry. I have done things that take many years. Prayforming for one thing. That’s been 8 years of work, and is a longtime, lifelong commitment. I wrote an opera with Thoth for a year, but it was incredibly difficult and only happened because we were paid and would debut it in Martha’s Vineyard. I need to find a way to stay focused on a long time creative project just because I need to instead of needing to share and get attention for it all the time. I find it very difficult to write something, draw something, create something, do a makeup look, sing, perform, play violin, etc. without wanting to show everyone! That need for constant attention and compliments for and creative work I do is causing me to not create as much as I know I can. I have pulled away from social media a lot over the last several days. Its all a lie. False. It’s so easy for people to press “like”. I’d rather people leave a comment.

It is actually terribly frustrating to create something one can really be proud of (a play, a song, an opera, a book) yet it is so easy for people to either like or dislike it. It is also highly possible for one’s work to never be respected or seen by anyone. No one sees or understands the blood, sweat and tears artists have to put into their work to make it great. All artists want to create something greater then themselves, but not many are willing to do the work. In the end, we have to create because we must, not to get attention, fame, money or anything else. It might  come, but only if we work hard and stay focused on creating for ourselves.

I want to be a more macabre, grotesque performer. I have a lot of darkness in me that needs to be seen by the world. I’m not all sweetness and femininity. I may seem that way on the outside, but on the inside I’m a dark, disturbed boy. That needs to come out. It started coming out with my acting videos, and now it’s coming out in my drawing and in my play. I need an outlet for it. My outlet for that has always been in private, but now it needs to be out. It almost feels like coming out. I’m a dark, boyish creature. I’ve been hiding it for my entire life. When I talk to my mother about it, she denies it. She doesn’t see it in me. No one does. Thoth embraces it in me, as I embrace his femininity. I told a friend of mine recently I want to play a Phantom-like character. Instead of saying I don’t have the right body or voice for it, he said “Well, you could.” That was in a way, the beginning of my journey toward openly embracing this side of me. The acting side. The emotive side. The extreme side. The vulnerable side. The ugly side. The scary side. I started exploring it with my creepy makeup back in October in NYC. It was immensely freeing in regards to my acting and self expression.

I’ve been terrified for years to show my teeth, to growl, to look crazy. I’m not so scared of it anymore. It’s longing to come out of me. Someone said to me a few years ago, “Why can’t you be the monster?” Back then I back away from it saying, “I’m angelic. That’s just who I am. I’m not going to change.” Now look at me. Low and behold, I’m changing. All in good time. Of course all that dark stuff in me would start to come out eventually. I couldn’t suppress it forever. I can be scary. I can be anything I want to be. I’m not limited to one color. I am free to create whatever I want to create. It’s amazing how long it takes to learn these things! 8 years. It’s a lifelong process though I think. The kinds of things that can show us how limitless we are. It takes a lot of self love, self acceptance and self work to see the invisible restraints we put on ourselves.

Unblocking and Creating For Myself.

Something I long for is privacy, however it is a luxury we can not afford. We are able to save money and travel because we always live with other people. We’d need to make a huge amount more money to be able to live alone. It terrifies me to imagine settling down. It seems to involve so many horrid responsibilities. I can’t even imagine what city we would settle down in. I wouldn’t be able to do the things I do now, like be creative all the time. We’d have to find a way to make more money, which would take time away from our creative projects. We always find a way to make due with what we have. We are flexible. We must be. I worried like hell about NYC when we were in Amsterdam, and everything was fine. We never can know what will happen. I need to not worry. Worry about things I can’t control is the only thing that can destroy my peace of mind. Thoth’s too. My friend James would say to be patient and wait for our time to come. It will come, he says. That is comforting. I tend to be immensely impatient. I’m scared of leaving here. I’m used to the luxury of privacy. We still have two more weeks. I need to be in the present and enjoy it while we’re here. Who knows if we’ll ever get to experience it again. I already know this time will be like a crystal due drop in my memory. One month of blissful quiet time to do whatever I’d like, with not one responsibility but to myself to be creative.

I could never give up our lifestyle. I was feeling like vlogging and blogging is really a waste of time, but it’s not. It’s for me to look at. It doesn’t matter if people don’t watch or read. It’s special for me to have, for posterity’s sake. It’s important for my own feelings and memories to be encapsulated. It’s hard a lot of the time to keep doing it, but I just need to keep it in perspective. It’s for me, not for you.

I started drawing from my own imagination on Christmas day and writing, two things I’ve been longing to do. I’m trying to focus on getting the more difficult-to-start creative things out of the way in the early mornings. I write three or four morning pages (as many as is necessary to get all the fretful/distracting gunk out of my head) starting at 8am and then I write for an hour starting around 9am. Morning pages is causing me to be more creative. Hopefully I can lengthen that time eventually. I then draw and listen to music until noon. This way I get the two writing things out of the way before the double digits. The only way to find my own voice, my own images, my own story is just to do it a little bit every day. Eventually something will come out of it. The internet, when used in an unfocused manner, will kill creativity. Social media is a creativity killer.

A woman across from us at Christmas dinner sat there stunned as I sang Christmas carols after dinner. Our first real Christmas dinner in 6 years. For some reason I decided to dance dramatically in my room that night, after so much food. I wore off some pounds! It was such fun. When was the last time I could dance unheeded in front of a mirror?

Making these acting videos is helping me to break free from a creative block. I am trying to focus more on myself and what I need to do to be the most creative and happy. I always thought I couldn’t act, but making acting videos, watching, editing and posting them has given me a lot of confidence. If I like the way I look, then I’m happy.

From my last post, I can see how few people read my blog. It really gave me perspective, but also made me a bit sad. I take solace in my friend James’ blog. A man of immense talents whose musings on art go unseen and un-commented on, yet he writes with such depth and style. He write play upon play too, and yet they are rarely produced or have audiences. One can only hope to attain that level of prose in writing and commitment to his craft as he has achieved. The truth of the matter is that I am writing only for myself, which is difficult, to put it plainly. God knows if there is any other reasons. For posterity I guess. If I think on it too much, depression and disillusion sets in all too quickly. It did show me I don’t need to post every day. I’d be better just keeping a private journal. That’s what my friend does, gives one more time to work on personal creative projects. This takes a shit a lot of time to do!

For some reason I feel like people are expecting me to share something every day. Like I owe it to people to share videos and blogs, or I feel that the more I share the more possible it is for us to get the attention we need to become more successful. The truth is no one is expecting anything of me. I am putting this pressure on myself. I’ve been sharing our life and our work for years, and yet there is no more attention to our work because of it. It’s like I’m banging my head against a brick wall. Doing the same thing over and over again thinking something will change. I need to focus on my own creative projects!

And yet here I am, sharing my thoughts with you again. When I was younger and I didn’t have a computer I didn’t need to always share. I didn’t have any way to. I would draw and write for hours and show my friend Will and my mom and dad and sister and that was pretty much it. I put all my energies into being creative for myself. I didn’t need to show a bunch of people to feel validated or seen. Social media is a deep, dangerous well can all fall into too easily. It takes away too much from my own creative projects. Hard, focused work on my own creativity and not looking at other people’s work is the most productive and powerful thing I can do to improve myself. Getting a bunch of “like” on social media is false, trivial and means absolutely nothing. All my favorite creative people know that. Now finally I do too. What a concept.

I would suggest to follow my vlog channel. I post at random intervals. If I’m inspired, I’ll post every day. If not, I’ll post once a week. Always something there. I also always like videos of songs I’m digging, so if you’re interested to know what music I’m listening to at any current time, it’s in my playlists.

https://www.youtube.com/lilaangelique

I’m not going to post this blog on social media. It will just sit here and if you pass by it, well then drop a line and say hello and tell me what you think.

The Darkness in Me and Our First Performance in 3 Weeks (+Two New Videos)

Before we start today’s blog, I have an important question to ask.

…….

Do you read my blog? Leave a comment if you do please. Tell me why you read it. I really do want to know. Do you read regularly or occasionally? Why? Do you enjoy my posts about our daily life or is there something more you’d like to read about? Tell me. I read everything and am here to respond. So is Thoth. 

OK, onto the blog.

I am changing. My character in prayformance, or in general, isn’t sweet, cute and innocent anymore. I’m tired of that. I am becoming more insane, disturbed, depressed, wild and crazy (acting-wise). It’s invigorating and expansive for me. I don’t know if this is Esh and Ee-ay’s child continuing the story of the opera or if it is a completely different character. Whatever it is, it’s something within me that has needed to come out for a long time. Something I was afraid of, something I was scared to share with others. It’s part of my sexuality. I’m turned on by darkness, sexual frustration, lustfulness and humiliation. I’m turned on by the idea of being a man like that. It’s a part of my core nature, something I’ve been exploring and doing since I was 10 years old.

My acting videos I’ve been posting recently are sharing this part of me. I have a need to use this side of me in performance, not just in private anymore. All of the characters and real people I love have some aspect of dark, raw sensuality to them, like Erik. All of my favorite actors have this in them too. Anthony Hopkins, Kevin Spacey, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman. In their performances at least.

I am a woman, but inside I feel like a man. A boy. I have fantasized about having male genitalia. That turns me on more than anything to imagine. I don’t know why I’m telling you this. I have penis envy. I love both men and women though. Never had an intimate relationship with anyone but my husband. Never had sex. Don’t want to. Thoth loves my boyishness. He embraces it, as I embrace his femininity . He’s like a woman in a mans body. I’m like a boy in a girl body, though we both embrace and love our bodies. Interesting.

The performance the other night at Flying Monkey Arts was… interesting. I made a great vlog about the entire day. Please watch it and tell me what you think. Do you want more of the performance or do you enjoy the behind-the-scenes stuff? I want to know!

I would love to do a dramatic acting piece in the context of prayformance. Using a recording I make of the voices all around me. Going insane. That would be so cool! Anyway. It was an easy drive. We listened to music and I danced in my seat. We listened to “The Wiz”. Great fun. Thoth hadn’t heard it since he was 20. Wow. I did black makeup, crazy hair and wore an old black dress. Wondered what I would do. I’ve been exploring such deep and dark emotion recently in my videos, I had no idea what it would do to me in prayformance, plus we hadn’t played in three weeks. That performance was no different. We’re both out of shape too. I knew I’d be aching in the morning (which was true.) Thoth went nuts. When he is tired, he throws himself even more intensely into the prayformance. I was intensely, but still couldn’t keep up with him, especially for almost an hour and a half of basically non stop performing. We don’t usually do that. In public, we have to take breaks in between songs. 

I was plagued by self doubt while playing. I had lunch with my father and he was harping on us creating music with words and how good it is to make lots of money. I know he only wants the best for me, but that may not be the best way for me to do it. It made me doubtful as we played. I was thinking, “God this is stupid. No one knows what we’re saying. We need to sing in English.” I was also feeling immensely doubtful of my skills on violin. God. Not fun. That’s what happens when we take time off. Thoth was bounding around the stage like a crazy person, even though he knew he would hurt himself. He is nuts.

A young woman named Tara wrote her about her reflection of the show and shared it on Facebook. It was so sweet. I was really touched and it gave me immense perspective about what I’m/we’re doing.

“The Tribal Baroque performance was so much more emotional than I was prepared for with all the changes that winter brings energy wise, and changes in my own life…

The performance marked the dichotomy of the human condition for me…with passion, love, suffering, and adversity. The opera was so deeply characteristic of their actual love. and that was a tear jerker….watching them really feeling what they expressed, and not acting in any way. I had never seen anything like that before.
Let me put it to you this way, there was a grown ass man in his 50’s in front of me with his head buried in his hands nearly sobbing.
This was a masterpiece. Lilla and Thoth gave us true magic, and because of it, I feel like I can move on with my life. Because of the arts, I can accept even the darkest things about reality, and can transmute that suffering into celebration. ॐ <3 <3 <3 <3 ॐ”

I realize that reading about my personal experience prayforming might very odd for those who see a performance I’m writing about. It’s my perspective. People watching us live, reading or watching the vlog have a completely different perspective. Nothing like my own, and nothing like Thoth’s perspective. I’m in my head, in my body, doing the work. People watching have perspective formulated in their own heads from their own life experiences. I have no idea what that is. People were very vocal in between our songs. Very supportive. “We love you!” “Welcome back!” “You’re making me cry!” People seem to love us there. We had our first kiss with them. The Flying Monkey theater troupe came out to NYC to do a show. They came to the Angel Tunnel to see us prayform. This was back in 2009. We had a big group hug and accidentally kissed each other! It was a shock. He was still with his girlfriend at the time. Very naughty of us. God. 

We haven’t performed in Huntsville since 2010. 6 years. So much has happened since then. We got married. Made 5 albums. Wrote our first opera. We worked with James Lapine. I’ve grown as a singer and a musician and an artist as I never thought I could. What will happen in another 6 years? I have very little memory of our first performance there. I just remember we got there really early and people were surprisingly supportive of us. No memory of what we did or how much money they gave us. I was totally shocked the next day to see how generous they were to us. That was totally unexpected. They really did love us. It really is amazing we make a living doing something that is fun and challenging for us.

We still have 18 days here in Nashville. I’m having a wonderful time. Spending every day in my childhood bedroom listening to music, singing, making videos, writing, etc. Never leaving the house. I’m pleased and very happy. I wonder how I’ll feel when we leave.

Acting Insane

I am so deeply in love with Erik. I have been since I was 10. I love him so much that everything around me that I love reminds me of him. My husband reminds me of him. My relationship to my Thoth is similar to Erik and Christine’s. I love pretending I’m Erik. I’m reveling in acting like I’m him almost every day we’re here. My life up in this room, my childhood bedroom, isn’t like my real life. I am a different person up here, and in private in general. I am dark, morbid, depressed, reclusive. I’m enjoying being completely alone, just me, my music and my imagination. I listen to music, write, make a vlog and then break off whenever I feel the urge or act. I kneel on the floor speaking in a deep voice to myself. I speak as other people who are talking to me, and I am Erik. Even though I am a woman, I am him.

I’m sharing acting videos on my personal Youtube channel of me being insane and disturbed. It’s so invigorating and fun to film and edit. I don’t have any idea what feelings they give to people who may watch them. I’m just doing it for myself. I would like feedback. For the longest time I didn’t believe I could act. My sister is the actor and always told me, “You can’t act. You’re not an actor.” That hurt me for years and cause me to really believe I couldn’t, so why bother trying? I used to think I was a one dimensional as an actor, that I couldn’t express anything that didn’t involve being cute and widening my eyes. That’s what I used to do. I couldn’t bare gritting my teeth or doing anything that might make people think I was weird or crazy. Now I don’t care.

I was terrified when I first posted a video of me acting on camera. I thought people would think I was nuts or they’d bash me, but now I realize it doesn’t really matter. Same as when we prayform in public. Of course people are forming opinions about me, but the ones who love us come forward and those who don’t, well, who needs them anyway? I’m changing. Becoming less of a fairy and more of a demented freak. I went downstairs in my makeup and mom said, “Oh, you did your ugly makeup.” Ugly is good for me now. I’m tired of always being called cute and pretty. Time for ugliness, time for insanity, time for whatever I need to be.

We Are On Retreat

Sunday December 18th 2016

Instead of writing my morning pages when I first got up to my room as I have been, I acted for an hour. I was so turned on from acting last night, I just had to. When I finished, I wrote my three pages and then acted again until 12:30. I couldn’t pull myself away to go downstairs for breakfast with Thoth. He was already making breakfast for me when I came downstairs. “I couldn’t pull myself away.” I said. We’re both really please just to stay home all day and work on various creative things, both in our own private space. No boredom here. “We’re on retreat.” Thoth said. Yes we are. I cleaned the dishes and went back to my room to act and listen to music. Bliss. I pretty much spent the entire day in my room, only coming down in the evening to eat with Thoth. The driveway was frozen so we couldn’t go down the hill. No problem for me. I’m a homebody these days. Please to be so. Went back up to my room where I talked to my old acting teacher Andrew on the phone for an hour. Very enlightening things we spoke about. Marriage, the state of our backwards culture and the state of the arts and the lack of support they have in this modern society. It’s comforting to know the people I care for care about me.

Saturday December 17th 2016

I wrote my three morning pages when I first got up around 8am, edited a vlog for my personal channel and waited for James to get on Skype. I told Thoth I’d be late for breakfast, as we usually talk for a long time. He was late getting on, but let me know. So considerate. We talked for 3 hours. It was so nice. I don’t have people to talk to like I can talk to him. We’re very open with each other.

Went downstairs around 2:30pm to have breakfast with the sweet husband. Talked about things and reveled in our time off together. He’s such a loving and understanding husband. Went back up to my room to listen to music, write and act. I’m having such a wonderful time.

In the evening, I had to pull myself away from my room and go with Mother and Thoth down to Franklin to see the Christmas lights on the Holly Trolley. Mom got the tickets last summer and we had been really excited about it. I didn’t like being around other people. I’m very reclusive these days. We decided not to do it, as it would be 2 hours on a bus with no rest stops. We would be miserable, and possibly get sick. Not worth it. Instead we parked the car somewhere and went to dinner. Lovely. We would have never gotten down to Franklin if this didn’t happen.

Went home and talked with mom for a bit before going back up to my bedroom and spontaneously acted until 12:30 am. It just happens that way sometimes.