Tag Archives: compliments

Singing Through Sickness

Wednesday November 2nd 2016

I slept like a log. Didn’t do any makeup, accept some black around my eyes. I would be blowing my nose all day so any makeup would just rub off. Dan let me know he’d be coming to the park to see us. That would cheer us both up.

We had to get to the park from the east side today. Good we left early. Cover Story was there when we arrived, so was Dan. I put on my headdress and bells and we played. It was a great play for us today. My voice felt OK, but not perfect. I took breaks, letting Thoth do solos while I rested my voice. My voice felt much better than I was expecting, but I didn’t want to push it. We have 3 more days of prayformances until I can rest fully for 3 days (and my sister arrives!) I’ve learned how to sing when I’m sick. I won’t sing at all if I’m really sick, but if it’s just a light head cold I produce quiet, limited tones in a limited range and I’m fine. A woman watched us for a long time and was adoring us. She said some incredible things, as you can hear for yourself in the vlog above. Marcia came down at 5 and hugged us. “Lets not fight. Lets try and work together. I love you guys.” she said. That perked me up. We went to an Indian restaurant near home and I talked to my dear sister.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Tuesday November 1st 2016

I had a hard time getting to sleep last night. I was full on sick today. At least I didn’t have a sore throat, only a blocked nose. I stayed in bed all day and watched “The Passion of the Christ.” Thoth brought me soup. He takes good care of me when I’m sick. I like to imagine Yeshua would be our champion and friend. I see Thoth and myself in him. He was an outcast like we are. Underappreciated for his gifts. He would have loved us and our music. I started feeling better in the evening. We wrote an apology to Marcia, which she accepted. I went out to get us sandwiches for dinner and redyed my hair. I felt much better.

Monday October 31st 2016

I was feeling the beginnings of a cold last night. I hoped to g-d it wasn’t. When I got up this morning, I knew I was getting sick. I did everything I could to combat it. Lemon, vitamin C, nasal cleanse, etc. It got more pronounced as the day went on. I managed to finish editing all this last weeks vlogs and blogs. We even when out to have sushi for lunch. In the evening, I bleached my roots and did some creepy makeup for Halloween. I had want to go down to check out the parade, but by the time my makeup was finished, I was full of snot and feeling really down.

We were both shocked and disappointed to realize how badly we did this week. We had worked so hard and been so expressive this week especially! It bummed me out to think I had expanded so much and it didn’t really make a difference. It doesn’t matter if I expand or not to anyone, accept for my own desire to do so. We don’t do better because we prayform better or are more expressive or creative. That’s why almost every street performer you see only plays a few songs and never does anything new. They don’t have to. We went out to Santos Anne for dinner. We were both low energy and sad.

A Week of Staggering Growth and Expansion for Lila’Angelique!

Sunday October 30th 2016

I got up early again to do makeup. I did a kind of dark fallen angel queen. It was very mysterious looking. I never know how it will turn out. I have an idea of what I want to do and then I just go with it.sundayoct301sundayoct303sundayoct30-4sundayoct302sundayoct305sundayoct30-8It was sunny and clear when we left for the park. Cover Story was singing at the tunnel when we arrived. We start a half hour later on Sundays. They all waved hello when they saw us. That’s all we need. Genuine friendliness and cordiality. It doesn’t hurt that Herman, one of the singers in the group, is a fan. John Boyd stopped by to say hello. I’d asked him to talk to Marcia and remind her we start a half hour later on Sundays. I’d rather not talk to her anymore. John is our friend and looks out for us. For some reason Marcia thinks she’s giving us her time, instead of the other way around. She’s lucky we’re only here for 3 months of the year, otherwise we’d play from 3-5pm year round and there would be nothing she could do about it. Nobody takes our time when we’re in NYC. We defend it with our lives because it is the only opportunity for the city to hear and see our original art. Thoth’s been playing that time since 1999!

We had another great day, despite that the break dancers had come down and started performing when we started. They tried to start another show a half hour through our set, but couldn’t because it would rain. A hour into our play, it started to pour. I mean pour with rain. It was blowing into the tunnel and creating a huge puddle right as we were singing the duet part of our opera. A group of very loud and bad drummers started playing in the tunnel. Thoth played as the rain poured in, but I got him to stop and we pulled our stuff back. Some of our friends were there and helped us. We walked back to the subway and went home. Got a yummy chicken in another rain storm and ran back to our building. Great week!

Saturday October 29th 2016

I got up at 9am. Did my makeup until almost 1pm! Gheeze.       saturdayoct29-1 saturdayoct29-2 saturdayoct29-3 saturdayoct29-4 saturdayoct29-5 saturdayoct29-6 The Boyds were singing in the tunnel when we arrived. People were already dressing up for Halloween. I love Halloween. I feel more accepted, because I always dress weird. During Halloween people think I’m dressed up for the holiday. It was incredibly busy out. Not my favorite. Too chaotic. We were both on fire during prayformance. I didn’t care a jot what people thought about me. People didn’t say much to us or clap anymore than usual, but I didn’t care. I know we’re doing something amazing and I was having fun. Dan Rubin was there taking pictures. He was enjoying himself. He loved my makeup. I’ve never done dark makeup for prayformance before. It’s freeing for me.Photo by Dan Rubin. Photo by Dan Rubin. Photo by Dan Rubin. Photo by Dan Rubin. Photo by Dan Rubin. Photo by Dan Rubin. Photo by Dan Rubin. Photo by Dan Rubin. Photo by Dan Rubin. PHOTOS BY THE INCOMPARABLE DAN RUBIN.

Sadly Marcia showed up again and tried talking to us. We were talking to Carlos, a guy who sometimes plays classical guitar at the tunnel. Marcia asked him to try and convince us she would never try and send people to harass us. I was so angry from her having called Thoth bullshit yesterday I almost exploded at her. I told her to just leave us alone, but she was egging me on. “I just want to make peace.” she said. “I don’t want to make peace with you. We don’t have to be friends. Just go do your thing and leave us alone.” I said. Thoth yelled at her a few times, but I told him to stop. I’m the only person who can tell him to stop yelling. She was saying, “See what I mean?” to Carlos, as if she was inferring something negative about us, which we’re not. It made me so angry. I started saying, “Leave us alone! Go sing your three songs over and over.” She sang at the back of the tunnel today.

We packed up and walked to the subway with Dan. It was interesting for him to watch the argument, for Carlos too. The skate dance was in full swing.  Everyone was in costume. We took the train back to our neighborhood to have dinner and change and went back out to 4th Street to see a show. The show was so bad we walked out after 10 minutes. Too loud and not energetic enough. Everyone was in costume on the train. We got dessert and went home. It was a fun outing anyway.saturdayoct29-7

Friday October 28th 2016

I got up at 9:30am and started on my wild makeup until almost 1pm! Tasha came up to hang out with us. She had wanted me to do some crazy makeup for her, but of course I didn’t have time. I absolute loved it! By far the best look I’ve ever done. It took so long though! The teeth took for f’ing ever to get right, but I didn’t have to erase anything and start over. The look all came together at the end. I didn’t think it would when I started. Very bold and unusual for me! All you need is confidence to wear any look.14886178_1306882312679743_695084998_n 14886203_1306876192680355_434104376_n 14886358_1306881106013197_314233904_n 14885881_1306879709346670_722086122_n 14877942_1306882689346372_150177387_n 14914545_1306880666013241_976230310_n

Tasha walked with us to the subway and said goodbye. She’ll be in NYC for a few weeks. Cover Story was sangin’ away at the tunnel when we arrived. I always feel relieved when I see them there. They’re very kind and incredibly reliable. Never rude. We got ready and started prayformance. It was freezing. Herman always says hello to us. He jokingly tried to carry me away from Thoth. He really loves us. I really went for it today. I was gritting my teeth and being super expressive. Someone cheered after “Esh” and said, “Where can you see this world class art?” I love that. It was a great day for us. For some reason people are more generous on cold days! It’s as if they understand we are doing something special by playing and singing in the cold. Some people cheered for us in the middle of “Sea Expressions.” That doesn’t happen often! I told them that. “It should happen all the time.” they said. We get lots of compliments!

Sadly, Marcia, the amateur opera singer who sings after us, came over in the middle of our set and complained about the message I wrote to her yesterday. She had set up right behind us on Wednesday and turned up her boom box loudly when we were trying to pack up. Usually she plays at the back of the tunnel and we can pack up leisurely. It was too loud and way too aggressive for my taste. None of our fellow buskers at the tunnel would do that to us, nor would we to others. Plus, we’d had a really bad day.  I’d told her not to do that again in the message. “Boom boxes aren’t allowed in the tunnel anyway.” I’d written. She was very angry. “That’s bullshit. He’s bullshit!” she said pointing at Thoth. She claimed she had to play there because it’s cold and I didn’t care. I told her that a friend of ours told us he had heard her trying to send someone to bully us out of the tunnel. She flat out denied it to my face, but I told her I didn’t trust her anymore. Thoth did not speak. Marcia doesn’t listen. There’s no way to have a conversation. I always have compassion for others perspective, but I don’t like when someone doesn’t listen to me.

I was able to get her to go away and we continued playing without speaking about it until we finished. It would just make him mad. We continued to have a great day. Marcia set up in the same spot as Wednesday, but was much nicer about it. I asked her to at least turn the boom box down while we were in the tunnel. She did. We left the tunnel and I told Thoth what she said. We went home to put our things away and then went back out to our friends Eric and Belinda’s place for dinner. I wore my makeup. It was cold. The food was delicious. They are some of our closest friends in NYC.

Thursday October 27th 2016

We stayed home today! It was rainy and icky and cold outside. Yucky. Plus the Conservancy fundraiser tents were still up at the tunnel, so there was no reason to go out and play. We went out to get food. I wore my wire crown. Thoth was too cold so I went to get sushi and he went to get something else. “Are you a queen?” someone asked. “Yes.” I said. I talked to my sister on the phone while eating. She’s coming here to NYC for 10 days really soon! It started raining when I walked home. A group of homeless people saw me and were saying how cool I looked. I feel invisible half the time, so it was nice to be seen.

Our friend Tasha wrote to me and asked if she could spend the night. I asked Meli. She said yes, but it’s $25. I said I would pay for it, and I did. Tasha asked if Thoth could make his famous squash soup. I went out to get the ingredients at the grocery store. It was pouring with rain by the time I was walking home. Tasha arrived just as I got home. I let her in and Thoth made the soup. We hung out and laughed together. Meli came home and made a salad for us, then went out again. Tasha, me and Thoth ate on the floor with a pretty candle. It was so sweet and delicious. Yes. I cleaned the dishes and went upstairs to work on my new crown before bedtime.

2nd Performance of Esh and Ee-ay in Martha’s Vineyard!!

Sunday September 7th 2015

Sarah Kernochan came over at noon to give us notes. All were to help make the story more clear. Who knows if I would be able to remember and incorporate them! It’s fantastic to have someone who knows our music well enough and can tell us if something doesn’t make sense theatrically. We’ve never had that kind of person who could help us like that before! She had found some maple leaves on her walk and put them on her nose while she was talking. It was so funny, and she was being really serious. I had to immediately start doing my makeup when she left. I felt much more relaxed and ready today. I did a totally different look from last night. God this is so much fun!

Right before we left for the show, I checked my email. Wendy had sent something out to everyone saying “As you surely know, the response and buzz has been very very very good and if I do say so myself WELL DESERVED.” Now that made me feel fantastic! James and Sarah came to pick us up.

IMG_20150906_174901912We got ourselves ready and I got some pictures…

The great James Lapine and wonderful Sarah Kernochan. IMG_20150906_174934342 Here’s Thoth on the stage laughing at something James said. IMG_20150906_175028221Aren’t they cute? (James doesn’t like that word.)
IMG_20150906_175058152 unnamed-1unnamed-2My sister called while we were rehearsing and I put the phone to James’ ear. “Who is this?” she said. “A good friend of your sister’s.” he said. “Guess who that was?” I said taking the phone back. “I don’t know.” she said. “It was James Lapine.” I said. “Oh my god. Can I talk to him again?” she asked. I put the phone back to his ear. “Thank you. I’m happy to make people laugh.” he responded to whatever sis said.

James was cracking us up while we were rehearsing. Whenever we’re around him, he’s always making us laugh. That’s how he is. He’s very, very funny. It helps relax everyone. He’s the most laid back director I’ve ever worked with. No ego, no agenda, he’s just happy to help out in the creative process. No wonder he’s won so many Tony Awards. 🙂
IMG_20150906_180713041Uh oh, he’s coming for me… 🙂IMG_20150906_180717915That’s Wendy in the background and the Narrator to the right of James.
IMG_20150906_182458069 I was happy James would be staying for the show tonight. He has been such a tremendous, unexpected help to us. “Thank you so much James.” I said hugging him before going backstage. “No, thank you.” he said.

Thoth backstage before the show. IMG_20150906_184439790 The audience wasn’t as big as last night, but they were much more comfortable with us. I made more (unnoticeable) mistakes tonight because I was trying to incorporate Sarah’s notes. Thoth sweat his ass off (as usual.) He’s such a force to be reckoned with on stage. I think I added a lot of new shades to my character tonight. Being on stage with my husband makes me feel protected, while allowing me to fully be myself. I have expanded my violin abilities in a huge way this year. People see us as musical and creative equals. 11265308_10153570440609544_3290635441654181470_oWe are extremely expressive in general, but on stage even more so. This opera has forced me to do things on stage I’ve never done before.
10255522_10153570441719544_258578899548043165_oWe got another standing ovation and we stomped our bells while people clapped. That was fun. We played “Gypsy Dance” as an encore. It’s amazing how much I’ve grown as a musician through this work.

More people came to the reception tonight and we sold a lot more CDs. That made me so happy. IMG_20150906_210225877 The three conductors who were invited came to the reception. Ben, the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, came straight up to me and told me his impression. He was so enthusiastic! That’s him on the left. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “I’ve never heard a voice like yours before.”  Wow!IMG_20150906_210312055 All three of them loved the show. Meeting them was a highlight of the night for me!IMG_20150906_210317154#1James and Sarah came to the reception, but they had to rush to another event afterwards. I was able to thank James again. He held me by the hands and said, “You were amazing.” I blew him a kiss and he blew me one back.


Kate Taylor came. She was at the house party the other night and was so excited to see the show. Of course she loved it.

IMG_20150906_210703612 I love her style!IMG_20150906_210722496#1 People were bombarding us for CDs and showering us with compliments. That’s such a great thing about doing shows here. We get such great feedback! IMG_20150906_210903818 Puppies!IMG_20150906_210906822A lady is writing a review for Wendy. IMG_20150906_211254530She loved how I pulled the audience in with my little expressions towards them. She adored my expressions.  I wish I could remember what everyone said! I want to hold them in my mind forever! To have such incredible people loving us truly validated my feelings for what were doing. We are amazing, people do love us and good things will happen for us.

Wendy and Caroline took us to dinner afterwards. Wendy gave us fantastic feedback (I wish I recorded it) and read us some of the famous people’s reactions to the show (all positive.) Tony Shalhoub and Carrie Fisher both loved it last night, and Bob Brustein came tonight and was besotted. Lots of incredible people come to shows in MV. What an incredibly successful weekend!!!

PS. The show was filmed, so we’ll have to cut it all together and it will eventually be available for viewing!

So Many LOVEly Compliments

Sunday August 9th 2015

Tonight was fun. Wonderful and fun. IMG_20150809_201551We passed our waiter friend who works at the Indian restaurant. He’d read my blog and knew we had a bad night last night. “Best wishes for tonight.” he said as we walked to prayform. That started the evening out well for me. Someone knew we had a hard time, and they cared.

When we were getting ready to play at 58 Rua Garrett, one of the security guards came by and said hello. He said when the guard had to close the gates early last night, we seemed upset. “The establishment likes having you here, but we have to do our job.” He explained there was no business that night, so there was no reason to leave the gates open later. I told him we were surprised because the gates are usually closed much later on Saturday night and it was a bad night for us. We told him this following week was our last week in Lisbon. “When are you coming back?” he asked. “Eventually.” we said. He was happy. “The people really like you here.” he said. It’s so nice for people to embrace our presence in this space!
IMG_20150809_203456696IMG_20150809_203514904IMG_20150809_203858410 A fan of ours, a Russian woman, came with two friends to watch us. It’s always a good sign when people come before we start. She gave me silent encouragement with her focus. It helps me so much to have someone focused on us. It gives me purpose for being expressive and passionate in my performance. She had no idea she was inspiring me by simply being in the space and being focused.

Some asshole took away my focus for a moment when they started “singing” (more like yelling) during a soft section of “Anya.” People who mock us must think they’re so smart. Also, during the same piece, three teenage boys came into the space and were watching us. I don’t know if they were enjoying it, but they left quickly. I can’t imagine groups of teenage boys would find it cool enough to like us.

During “Gypsy Dance,” 5 young men were watching us and talking to each other. I felt they’d react just like the teenage boys had, but they surprised me. When we finished, they cheered and came forward.

“Your voice is amazing (indicating Thoth), but your voice (indicating me) is ridiculous.” one said.

“You should be playing at Royal Albert Hall.” another said. They were from London. They stayed for another piece, “Plucking Song” and cheered again.

“I take it back, you’re voice is ridiculous, too.” one said to Thoth.

“You need to play indoors.” they said.

“We have no idea how to do that.” we said.

“We work in music. We’ll be in touch.” they said.

I felt fantastic as we continued to play. When the British guys said how much they love my voice, it made me hear my voice from their perspective, as if for the first time. It made me realize that everyone is having that kind of experience when hearing our voices, for the first time, or even after many times. What we do is beautiful. That’s what was so hard about last night. No compliments. No feedback.

“You are true artists.” an audience member said.

IMG_20150809_222158780 What a wonderful prayformance. I know that people are thinking good things about us when they see us prayform, but hearing them say it is what brings me so much joy. IMG_20150809_224056591 We had a lovely dinner at SeaMe. Thoth was happy, too. Thoth was flopping around like the fish he’d just eaten. IMG_20150809_235343935 IMG_20150809_235654778 The manager, who we’d told was our last dinner there, gave Thoth a treat. He wanted to give me one, too, but I don’t drink. The manager said they’ll miss us and please come back.

Thoth started to tear up. “What a wonderful gift.” he said. IMG_20150810_240426942Now we can relax for a few days.

Acting Advice and Compliments!

Friday July 17th 2015

I’m confused about acting. I’ve never understood what acting is, let alone being a good one. It’s a mystifying term to me, “acting.” Going to a conservatory for it in NYC didn’t help me any. The teachers gave us too many mixed messages. My sister’s an actor. She’s pretty good, but it’s been ages since I saw her in anything. Last I remember, she has great stage presence. So does another actor friend of mine. The thing that draws me to certain actors is their presence, their bravery and their vulnerability on stage, I don’t know if it’s something that can be taught, and I have no clue how to emulate it. I also have no clue how my acting in the opera comes off to people in prayformance. I can’t see myself so I have no idea what I’m doing.

I Skyped with my sister and asked her advice. “What does your character really want? She may have one desire at the beginning of the opera and different one by the end. That’s your assignment. What does she want?” she said. OK. What does Ee-ay want? Well, at the beginning she’s a lonely, odd outcast fallen to the planet from outer space and I think she wants to be loved. Once she meets Esh and gets pregnant, etc. she wants to protect her baby and carry on herself in some way. I didn’t really think about that.  I wrote to my other actor friend for his advice. He gave me some good suggestions. He encouraged me to let my guard down and not get hung up on it. He suggested confidence, thoughtfulness and playfulness will do a lot of good for me. He also reminded me “there is no system” which helped me a lot. I looked up, “What makes a compelling performance” and found this wonderful advice. “All good actors are naked on stage.” You can read it directly by going here. I’m lucky I have acting friends who can help me!

All of these ideas and suggestions were floating through my head when we performed tonight.

IMG_20150717_203334116 I wasn’t inspired at first, but I came up with makeup that felt acceptable. IMG_20150717_203545356 I love painting fantastical designs on my forehead. I imagine Ee-ay is from a different planet, so she kind of looks magically extraterrestrial. IMG_20150717_203638732  I always feel very different before prayformance as opposed to after. IMG_20150717_204849725 Thoth made a very sweet face for me. IMG_20150717_205049299 Ready, set, go!IMG_20150717_205305650I played around with lots of ideas and expressions tonight. We played the opera, and it was the first time in a week it felt like a real performance. I light up inside when people are watching us. When we finished, I snapped a picture of the audience. I’ve always wanted to do that. 
IMG_20150717_225606138 IMG_20150717_225613081After we had packed up, a man named Pedro stood and talked with us for a while. He was in our audience and couldn’t stop saying how much he enjoyed the performance. He wondered why no one had discovered us and put us in a big theatre. He liked the light shining on us from the floor, but said he wanted more light on us because our expressions are so interesting. He commended us for the intricateness of our costumes and makeup. He loved the interplay of Yin and Yang between us. He said I’m so flowery and poetic and Thoth is so dark and tribal and our intermixing is beautiful. All of this was said from someone who’s first language isn’t English, but it was wonderful to hear him try to explain his feelings. In the past few months, no one has said so many wonderful things about our work. I miss that.
IMG_20150717_233601492Thoth was so tired at dinner. We ate, got home and he collapsed in bed. Poor baby!