Tag Archives: Afrobats

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.

Cursed at by the Afrobats

from Instagram.

from Instagram.

Saturday November 29th 2014

Another really cold day, but it’s the last one of the season for us. Thank god.

When I got up, we booked two nights at a hotel in Long Island City for Monday and Tuesday. That will be a nice break. We’re leaving the city on Wednesday. Back to Oakland for December, then San Diego in January.

We took the subway to the park. As we were headed towards the tunnel, we past one of the breakdancer groups at The Bandshell. I recognized one of them as one of the Afrobats who cursed at us last year. I smiled. No reason to be rude. Suddenly, he started cursing at us again. Here’s the paraphrased comment. “There are those ass holes that put that video of us on Youtube! Look at that fucking pink hair!” He continued to curse at us as we walked by. I was taken aback, but we just kept moving. Thank god we have laws. He’d be coming at us with knives if there weren’t any! I couldn’t believe he was being so nasty. What had we ever done to him? It’s them who turn their boom box up and curse at us if we ever call the police to stop them (which we have every right to do.) I even tried reasoning with them last year, but they wouldn’t have it. “So hateful.” I said as we descended the stairs into the tunnel. I didn’t really understand what he was talking about, so we discussed it while we set up. “I filmed them last year while they were playing their boom box and had a noisy drummer and that same guy came over to me and said something stupid, and I put it on Youtube. I guess that made them mad. I guess they think there’s something wrong with us for putting their rude behavior on the internet.” I said. They’re not allowed to use amplification in the park!

A woman came up to us and said they were having a wedding. I never like hearing that. A wedding means we have to stop. She said the bride would be walking down the stairs, through the tunnel and go off to the right for the ceremony. She asked if we could move our stuff over. Are you kidding me? “Sorry, no.” I said simply. She was nice about it, though. She ran over to Miriam, trying to talk to her while she was singing, like all wedding organizers do. The bride walked through the tunnel and past us. No big deal. There was absolutely no reason for the wedding planner to bother us. Why do weddings done in public spaces feel like everything needs to stop for them? Do it indoors!

We started on time (yay) and had a pretty good day. Not as good as yesterday, despite it being freezing yesterday, literally. People just aren’t as generous on the weekends. Don’t ask me why. It felt balmy today compared to yesterday, and it was only 41 degrees. It probably wasn’t 41 when we were playing, though. We got through the day easily enough and packed up to go home. I saw a guy dressed as a Jedi with an orange light saber at the back of the tunnel. He and someone else were filming a roll playing scene. It was pretty cool. The light saber made swishy sounds every time it moved. We went home and ate dinner and I talked to my mom. She said she’s proud of me for getting through such cold days.