Tag Archives: break dancers

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.

Set Up On All Sides

Sunday September 18th 2016

20160918_134758What a hard day today was. We got to the Angel Tunnel in plenty of time. There was a peace event going on at the Bandshell, which meant the break dancers would be downstairs at Bethesda with their boom box. Cover Story was in the tunnel singing. They always acknowledge us. Great guys, all of them. We got ready and a photographer friend Paul came by to say hello. Our other friend Paul was there, too. It’s always great to see him. I don’t film him because he doesn’t like being filmed, which is why he’s not in today’s vlog.
Cover Story finished up and we set up to play. A break dancer group we’d never seen before started blasting their boom box in front of the Angel Fountain, with the speaker pointed towards the tunnel. It was one of those days again. I called the park rangers, but there’s little they can do to really stop them. We assumed they’d blast their speaker through “Anya,” but right as we began, it got quiet and I could see their crowd disperse as we sang. I never look down when I sing “Anya,” I always look at the Angel, but I could tell. When we finished the first song, we had a nice big crowd and people came forward too. “They’re gone.” I said hopefully. Then I looked. “Oh no, they’re still there.” They were just sitting there on the fountain. I guess the rangers had come. When the break dancers see the rangers they just stop and wait for them to leave. They know they’re not allowed to do what they’re doing, but they do it anyway.
We got a half hour of silence, but I knew at any moment the boom box would start up again. It’s so unfair. Boom boxes aren’t allowed in Central Park. Naturally, the boom box started up during “Gypsy Dance,” four songs into our set. We stood in complete stillness for a long time until the boom box was turned off briefly. We did the same for “Plucking Song,” one of our more quiet and gentle pieces. We stood in complete stillness for what felt like 10 minutes. I heard someone calling my name. It was Marcela, the woman who sings after us. I remembered she doesn’t know we play a bit later on Sundays, but didn’t think much of it.

We got a bit more quiet when all the break dancers left. Suddenly, and without warning, Marcela started her boom box up with the backing track to “O Mio Babbino Caro” by Puccini. Feeling incredibly disrespected, Thoth yelled across the tunnel, “We’re not done yet Marcela, turn the boom box off!” I had to run to the back of the tunnel and ask her to stop. She complained that she can’t start so late. I was very apologetic (despite that it was her who tried to set up on us) but was very firm with her. “That’s just how it is.” I said. She was pissed, cursing to herself, but turned off the music. She acted just like Miriam, the other opera singer who used to sing at the tunnel.

We played another song, but she came over to talk to us. Bad idea! Thoth was seething with anger and let ‘er rip, tearing into how she is an amateur and clearly has no respect for us. “YOU HAVE NO RESPECT FOR US!” he yelled loudly several times at her. He hates being disrespected by other buskers, being older and having done this long than any of them. Of anyone I know, this man deserves some f**king respect. I mean, G*d damn! I had to talk to her while Thoth played two solos to calm himself down. I joined him and we finished our set in relative peace.

We packed up and talked to Paul. He watched the whole thing. “She set up on you, plane and simple.” he said. We went down to 4th St. to have dinner at Risotteria, but it wasn’t there anymore. We loved that place!! Damn! We took the L to Lorimer to have dinner at Santos Anne instead.

Flying to Malaga tomorrow.