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Protected: A Week of Creative Expansion and Creativity (Last Week in NYC)

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Being Mocked, and Being Supported

Friday November 18th 2016

I wasn’t up when Thoth was making our smoothies. I didn’t get dressed until an hour before time to leave for the park. I was really uninspired! Thankfully, it was a wonderful prayformance for us today! Dan’s brother Josh came to see us play. People clapped and cheered after every song. At least two or three people from every crowd said something as they left. “Amazing.” “Beautiful.” “Lovely.” That’s more like it! We put much more into the prayformance today. A little girl asked, “Why do you dress up like that?” I like dressing up for the prayformance. It’s theater, so I have an opportunity to express myself however I want. Why not? Having Josh there leading the applause helped so much. We got a lot of “bravos” too. People were really there for us today. Completely present. A man gave us a loving, generous donation for a CD. We gave him two. “It’s an honor.” he said. We were full of energy when we finished, unlike the last two days. We had salads for din din.

Thursday November 17th 2016

Oh man. I’ve been feeling low the last three days. I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with writing and vlogging about every aspect of my life. Sometimes it gets really hard and tiring and feels very pointless!

Today was another rough day. It was lovely out, and Dan came to take pictures, but the audiences were just… UGH. Bored, it seems, or worse, confused and unable to appreciate what they’re seeing in front of them. It’s not us. It’s the day. I don’t get it. I document our lives to show people easy it is not. While we were knelt to sing, some young boys came though the tunnel. I didn’t see them, but they started, what can be incredibly loosely termed as “singing” and very loudly as they walked through the tunnel. Not in harmony or inspiration, but with mockery and a desire to stop what we were doing. I was furious, and I knew Thoth was too. They stood in our crowd for a few moments. I thought I heard one say, “Hey we stopped them!” as we had stopped singing for that section of the piece. They walked out and away from the tunnel. That was the biggest applause we got that day. Our housemates Meli and Nina had come to see us. I could feel people were applauding for how we held our composure. “I wish I had been on my feet. I would have sung them out of the tunnel.” Thoth said. That’s something that happens when we perform in public.

Meli, Nina and Dan hung with us while we packed up. It was so nice to have had them there. Friends always make the day better. We got doughnuts to cheer us up at Doughnut Plant and got dinner at home.

A Slow Sunday

Sunday February 22nd 2016

I always look forward to Sunday’s in Balboa Park because we usually have friends who come to see us and big, generous audiences all afternoon. Today was a bad Sunday. I wish I never had to say, “We had a bad day.” but that’s just how it is. We got there and it seemed pretty busy, but we never know if it will be a good day for us. I was disappointed once 3 o’clock rolled around and our friends hadn’t come. Forrest and Tasha help make Sunday’s great because they camp out for the afternoon and lead the applause. The sign of a bad day is when we go through a few songs without being tipped. Lack of tipping doesn’t mean a lack of audiences, it means the audiences aren’t being generous or appreciative.

Our friends Joe and Molly from Martha’s Vineyard came to see us. It’s nice when friends come and show their support. We hadn’t seen them since our show there in August. They were curious if Wendy had set us up for another show for us in Martha’s Vineyard this summer. I was sad to say she hasn’t. I was very honest about how I’ve been doing and Joe was very compassionate. “I love your music, and I love you.” he said. Joe and Molly helped make our shows in Martha’s Vineyard possible. They saw us at a little casual concert our friend put on for us here a few years ago and got us in touch with Wendy, who set up the shows. I hope we can do another show there someday.

We packed up and went to have sushi at Osaka.

An Emotional Roller Coaster

Sunday August 10th 2014

I was restless all night. I’d wake up, try to cry, feeling scared, then fell asleep again. In sleep we forget when things are bad. It was raining all day. All day, all I could do was research about getting an emergency passport. The things I found made me feel hopeless. “You have to have a visa in order to enter Rio. Even if we get an emergency passport, you don’t have your visa. We only have one day to figure it all out. I don’t think it’s going to happen.” I started crying. “Why is this happening to us!” I cried. “You’re crying for both of us.” Thoth said. It helped to get the tears out. Dad called me on Skype. He’s very logical and positive. “Don’t let it get you so down. You have to reserve some strength. What you two do is hard enough. No matter how hard things get always remember you have a family that is here for you. I will help you out any way I can. Don’t shut out trying to perform there again.” he said. He even made  me laugh. “You’re dad is a rock. It helped me to hear from him. I can get so dark.” Thoth said. We talked to Karol in Rio by Skype. “Thoth is going to call the consulate first thing tomorrow morning and try to get an appointment for the emergency passport. We’ll let you know what happens. We need some kind of guarantee we’ll be able to enter Rio.” I said. “Akil, one of the musicians, explained your situation at Border Control. They said if you have a copy of your passport number they can check the visa in their records and they’ll let you through.” she said. “Do you have anything in writing? This is just hearsay.” I said. “They’re not open right now, so I can’t contact anyone. I’ll get Marcelo to talk to you in a few hours and see what he can do.” she said. “OK.” I said.

Thoth and I took a walk in the rain to try and get some documents copied. Unfortunately, they place we thought was opened was closed. “Now you have to print off everything and go to the consulate tomorrow. It seems like way too much work including everything else we may have to do.” I said. We got a chicken at the grocery store and some carrot cake at a cute little candy store. That helped cheer me up. “Why did we get this?” I said. “We need to give ourselves some gifts. Not all the time, but sometimes. We’re really sad right now.” Thoth said. We went into the park, sat on a bench in the rain with our umbrellas over our heads and ate cake. “Imagine how we’ll think of this time in the future. ‘Remember when we were sitting on a bench in Edinburgh eating cake and things were so fucked up?'”We walked home. I got in bed and cuddled with Thoth and we took a nap. ‘I love snuggly time with you.” I said.

Thoth started cooking dinner and I was able to talk with Karol and Marcelo in Rio by Skype. I explained to him our fears. “I understand. Maybe it’s not worth the risk. I will call my lawyer in the morning. If you can get the emergency passport and my lawyer can confirm you’ll be allowed into Rio, we’ll buy you your tickets. Don’t get too sad. These things happen. They’ll be plenty of opportunities to work together again in the future. If it all works out, we’ll have an even bigger celebration when you get here.” he said. That made us both feel better. “He’s understanding. We can only do what we can do. We have to try, but if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.” I said. We ate dinner and Rachael came home. She asked us how things were going. We told her. She offered to give me back my deposit early if that would help. “I trust you guys.” she said. “That would be helpful.” I said. Rachael’s been very compassionate. She’s such a nice housemate to have around. She really cares about what we’re going through. I cleaned up and I wrote my blog.

I hope we can get things figured out tomorrow, it seems impossible, but we’ll try our best. If nothing else, we have a safe place to live until we go back to NYC and we will be able to get Thoth some document to return to the USA. It’s not optimal, but we will survive.

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go

Sunday August 3rd 2014

Thoth and I started discussing flying back to Oakland when we finish our show at Martha’s Vineyard. We were planning to stay in NYC through the Fall, but we have nowhere to live. The idea of not having to deal with New York made us both feel better. Why would we go back? Dealing with the Afrobats is bad enough. They turn up their boom box as loud as possible and play at exactly the same time we play. They even curse at us and yell at us when we get them kicked out by the park rangers. The thieves. Then we have to deal with the various people who play in the Angel Tunnel, all of whom are greedy and pushy. We have no respect from them or from the Conservancy who arrested us 5 years ago. To top it all off, audiences hold cameras in their faces and aren’t as generous as they used to be. Really, why would we go back?

Let’s make something clear. I don’t need your advice. You don’t know me and you don’t know what I’m going through. I am an artist who is struggling to make my art. What I really need is for you to be caring and understanding of my situation. Most of you are and I appreciate that, but lets get some bugs out of the works. When I write on my blog that I feel sad about people’s lack of generosity on Friday, some of you respond by giving me advice on how I should change the way I perform. I am relying on you all for support, the same way as when we prayform we rely on our audience for donations. When you give unsolicited advice, I feel sad and misunderstood. I shouldn’t have to change the way I live because people weren’t generous one day. We make plenty of money, more then most street performers do. Our true friends and fans know we’re doing exactly what we need to do and they never give us advice. Instead, they give us encouraging words of support, a place to stay, a meal or a monitory gift to continue our travels. That’s what we need, not advice. We usually never give people advice, even if they ask for it. Only we know what’s best for us.

Feeling so sad and defeated.

Why did I even bother?

We got all dressed up to prayform, but it was raining on and off all day. I was hoping beyond hope we could play and I’d feel better. We went outside, but the rain started coming down in buckets. Thoth went to the store to get risotto and I went home. I was already soaked. When we think things can’t get worse, they usually do. I’m afraid we won’t be able to prayform again until we go to Rio next week. I took a sad picture and took out my violin and worked on some ostinatos. Thoth came home and cooked dinner while I practiced scales in the bedroom. “Why are you making risotto?” I asked Thoth. “I wanted to make you feel better.” Thoth said. I practiced some vocal scales while I waited for dinner to be ready. It makes me feel better when I sing.

Thoth is such a good husband. He takes good care of me. He always thinks of my needs before his own. He’s able to put aside his sadness and comfort me. He hates when I’m unhappy. “Sometimes I feel guilty that I have a made you into this jaded, world weary person.” he said. I am so lucky to have such a sensitive man in my life. I feel like Thoth is on a similar path Yeshua was on. He was rejected by society because he preached love and freedom in a world that celebrates greed and oppression. I don’t think Thoth will ever be truly respected during his lifetime. I think he will die a misunderstood creative genius. At least I have him and I know how much he loves me.