Happy New Year to you my dear readers. May you never stray from your path, whatever it may be. May you find hope and comfort in your darkest hours. May you embrace the whole color wheel of yourselves. May you be bravest when it is most frighting, kindest when its easiest to be cold and loving in all your actions and words. May all your dreams and wishes come true. May you strive and work every day to be the best person you can be. May you be full of gratefulness and joy for every day that is given to you. May you be surrounded with trusted advisors and friends who hold you up when you need it. May you hold up and shelter those around you that you love most. May everyone you love know how much you love them, and vise versa.
I am on fire. I’ve created a personal goal for myself. I get up early, write for 2 or 3 hours and then draw and act and listen to music. It is New Years Day. I feel more inspired and productive then I ever have before. I am teaching myself to create and execute long term goals. I am finding that it is OK to be whatever it is I need to be. I am dreaming of what is it I want to be, what it is I know I can be. I am listening to my own heart and following its lead down the strange and treacherous path of life. I feel protected by angels who shelter and watch over me.
This morning I called or messaged several people who have impacted my life through their love, caring, acceptance and support of me and my art. All of these people have inspired me to continue doing what I do. Sometimes it’s hard to tell those dearest to us how much they mean to us. Fear of how they might react, what they might say, how they might feel, what they might do, can stifle our expression. The same holds true for expressing honestly and openly in our art. The best thing, and a goal for myself this year, is to tell people I care about that I love them and expect nothing in return. To be open and honest with the world at large in my performance, in my singing, in my acting and in myself, and not expect anything in return. Not expecting or assuming anyone to understand, love or accept me for the complex little being that I am, makes any love, compassion and acceptance I do get to be that much more appreciated by me.
That is all we can do. Express ourselves. Share ourselves. Cherish those who mean the world to us, fearlessly express what we have inside ourselves and accept ourselves for who we are, flaws and all. It is a lifelong process. One we accomplish day by day. It is more powerful for others than I will ever know. People are impacted by my actions, by my words, by my being in ways they could never express in words. Same as how the people who have affected my life I could never really tell them. Being a loving, open, raw and honest person makes a profound impact. It touches people’s souls in a wordless way. Some people settle into our psyches and we dream of them in ways we could never say in words. The human condition is so precious, so delicate, so fragile. We must do our best to show love in our every action, with no intent to get something in return. Love is a powerful thing. It shapes all of our lives. It is what makes life worth living. Love and creativity. I am so blessed to have both of those things in my life in abundance.
Yesterday, I writhed around on the floor to some beautiful symphonic music, imagining I was grieving for the loss of a loved one. It was wonderful. Acting bliss. I used to do that all the time when I was a teenager. I’m going to make another video tonight to post here. Making that video yesterday, sharing my drawings and dancing was really exhilarating too. I’m not afraid to share anything anymore. It doesn’t matter and it does. People like it or they don’t. Who cares. It’s fun for 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.
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.
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.
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.