Tag Archives: 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.

A Teaser before Thanksgiving

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Tuesday November 25th 2014

We went out to play today! We usually don’t prayform on Tuesday’s.

I wasn’t expecting anything, but I would rather play today than take three days off. It’s supposed to snow tomorrow, so we won’t be going out then. Once we were all dressed and went outside, it wasn’t as nice as we were hoping. It was cloudy and kind of cold. On our way to the subway, we almost turned back and went home. “We should go out and play a little.” So we did. The usual people were performing at the tunnel when we arrived. I went down and said hi to Miriam, then went to sit with Thoth and wait. When the Boyds finished, we set up in the front while Miriam sang in the back. Dan came to photograph us. We went out near the lake and took pictures, then we went back to the tunnel. I got angry because Miriam’s son Tristrum wasn’t finished singing until around 3:10. We start at 3. I don’t like when people push into our time. We don’t do that to the other performers. They’ve been doing that for a few days now. I need to ask Miriam next time not to do that. Both Dan and his brother Josh were waiting for us to begin.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

We got started right away. We had crowds all afternoon. It was quite busy for a weekday. It seems like families are already arriving for the Thanksgiving holiday. Dan and Josh stayed the entire afternoon. They’re such supportive fans, some of our biggest in the world. I love having them at the tunnel watching us. I always love when friends come to see us. To know they took time out of their day to see us makes me feel loved and appreciated. I hope we see more friends before we leave. Dan comes at least once, if not a few times a week to document us at the tunnel whenever we visit New York. He’s such a good friend. Josh slipped us a nice tip before “Pentagram.” He’s so sweet. My voice felt great. I had fun singing. Thoth was feeling sad in the morning, but he felt better as we played. He always feels better when we sing together. I love him so much. I’m so connected to his feelings. I want him always to be happy! We finished just as the sun was setting. Dan and Josh sat with us while we packed up. “You look like you’ve lost weight,” Josh said. “Congratulations!” Dan said the same thing when he first saw me. It makes me feel good. A man and his little son who’d seen us prayform before came to see us again, but we were all packed away. The man’s friend was fascinated with us. “You are true artists.” she said. She didn’t even know what we do.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Dan and Josh walked with us to the subway and Dan took the subway with us to 14th Street. I think that’s the last time he’ll see us prayform this year, but we’re having dinner with them both on Monday. I’m looking forward to it. Josh is going to take us to the airport on Wednesday. We went to La Bonbonneure for a yummy dinner. I even got pancakes for dessert. Yum! We said goodbye to the people who work there. “We’ll miss you! You’ve made us happy. We love you.” the woman said. So sweet. We took the train home and settled into our room to rest. “This was our teaser for Thanksgiving.” Thoth said. Snow day tomorrow!

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Surprise Visits from Friends!

Sunday November 23rd 2014

We talked on our subway ride about the new album. Thoth wants to take some pressure off me. I feel overwhelmed having to create and learn so many ostinatos in such a short time. We only have 2 weeks until we record. When we play with Michael and Rhan, I tend to focus more on singing than playing. We talked about choosing keys, moods and tempos for each piece and then simply improvising and seeing what happens. That’s usually what we do when we record with others. Now we’ll only have to come up with ostinatos for the 6 or so pieces Thoth and I play alone. We’ve already come up with a few already. It made me feel less stressed.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

The weather was so much nicer today. The park was really busy when we arrived. Of course the break dancers were hogging all the crowds with their loud boom box blaring away at the top of the stairs. They are so obnoxious! I think that’s part of their job description. Miriam was singing at the back of the tunnel and the Boyds were packing up at the front. Dan arrived while we were setting up. Some break dancers came downstairs and started whistling and making a racket so people would pay attention to them. I’ve found the best solution is to ignore them. An old friend came by to see us. He said his favorite video of us is us getting arrested back in 2009. He said the statute of limitations gives us 7 years to sue the city. He recommended we do so. “You still have two years. You could get a lot of money, and you deserve it.” he said. “We’ll look into it.” we said. We’d forgotten our sign so I made a simple one with our name and “Ask about our CDs” on a piece of music paper. Dan was impressed with my penmanship. While we stretched, Miriam came to say goodbye. I told her next Sunday would be our last prayformance here until next year. This time she won’t be so surprised to see us again. She was very friendly. Our friend Reverend Dyke came to watch our entire prayformance. She loves us.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

We played “Anya” and “Romanza” in relative quiet with wonderful cheering and applause afterwards. I could hear someone making bird-like whistles in the audience after “Romanza.” It was kind of annoying and sounded a lot like one of the break dancers. When they started up their boom box again, I heard the same whistle. There was a break dancer in our audience! They left after their second show. Whew. Good riddance! We had a wonderful rest of the day. Lots of people surrounding us and applauding generously. Like people were actually clapped as if we were in a theatre after every piece. We sold a lot of CDs, too. A young man was watching us intently near the end of the day. Reverend Dyke was on one pillar and he was on the other. For a moment, I thought he was our friend Forrest. I sang to both of them during my solo. I had a lot of fun during my solo today.

We got a few surprise visits from friends at the end. Andrea and her boyfriend were sitting listening to us. When I saw her my eyes almost popped out of my head. They’re our friends from San Diego. We haven’t seen them since last year. We hugged and then I saw my friend Barbi. Thoth talked with Andrea while I talked with Barbi. Paul and Kishan showed up and Dan said he had to go. We’ll be having lunch with him next Monday before we leave the city. He was so sweet to come out today. He said maybe he’ll come see us on Tuesday. Reverend Dyke did a little ceremony with us blessing our 5 year anniversary. We bounced up and down laughing. It was so sweet. Barbi walked with us to the subway and went with us to 14th Street, then hugged us goodbye. How lovely to reconnect with an old friend. We had dinner at a restaurant near home, then Thoth helped me dye my roots. What a sweet husband indeed! I love him so. Did you know? I feel so happy when friends gather around and support our prayformance. I can’t wait for our dinner with Sarah and to see Phantom of the Opera tomorrow night!! Yay hurray! God I love when we have a good day!

Singing in the Cold

Saturday November 22nd 2014

It was so cold today, but we prayformed anyway. Damn, it was hard! We grabbed some hand warmers and some magical toe warmers for me. It really helped. We were actually hot when we got to the tunnel. For a moment, I thought I’d take off some layers, but we got cold again once we sat down for a bit. I don’t know how to explain the feeling of my fingers trying to play when it feels like 32 degrees. It takes something superhuman inside me to bear it. If someone told me 7 years ago I would be able to sing and play violin in freezing temperatures, I wouldn’t believe them. Prayforming in and of it’s self is hard without it being cold. We have to wear so many layers, too. I can’t move anywhere near as freely as I’d like. The whole experience is almost unbearable. I prefer being relatively naked when prayforming. 😉

Today wasn’t the best day energetically, but I’m aware people were cold. Tomorrow will be much better. A group of Portuguese people recognized us from when we were in Lisbon 4 years ago. Even before we started, they gave us a nice tip and I gave them a CD. It was hard to get through the prayformance. I was hoping today would be more energetic. I was needing positive feedback. Some people said nice things, but overall the energy felt pretty dull. In prayformance I get my energy from the audience. We got some food to go at an Indian place near home. My body was hurting and I was particularly starving. I don’t know how we don’t eat all day. We got home and I basically inhaled my dinner. Whenever we’re away from New York and I remember how little we eat, I can’t believe it. I’m kind of obsessing on Meredith Monk’s Atlas. It’s so beautiful and I haven’t listened to it in a long time. I love rediscovering music. I love being able to settle into bed with Thoth lying beside me napping after coming home from work. It’s such a satisfying feeling. I did my duty, now I can rest. I think it’s that feeling that gets me through the prayformance.

I’ll leave you with some pictures I found on Instagram.

“She look like something out of a fantasy film.”

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Cold Day Sunday

Sunday November 16th 2014

When we arrived at the tunnel, Miriam wasn’t there yet. The Boyds were singing and Paul was in the corner warming his feet. I put my things down next to him. “Did Tristrum take food from you yesterday?” I asked. “No. He was on his best behavior yesterday.” Paul said. “Good. I was worried for you.” I said. We talked for a while about Miriam and my similarities. I used to dress suggestively and be flirty and say things I shouldn’t have, just like Miriam. This brought unwanted attention from men that I didn’t like, just like Miriam. The way I dressed was never something Paul liked, but he looked past it. He liked me as a person. Most men aren’t able to do that. I never got into major trouble, but I learned my lesson. Miriam hasn’t yet. “That’s the reason I feel connected to her, she is just like I used to be.” I said. We also talked about my and Thoth’s relationship. Paul has known us for years. He saw when we were first getting together back in 2009, but we never admitted we were a couple. Over the years, Paul would ask, “Are you dating yet?” and we’d say “No,” even though we were. Then, just last year, we announced we were engaged. I guess it shocked him. All these years he didn’t really understand what was going on, but we did. It was an enlightening conversation. I got to see how someone else sees me, someone I trust.

There's Stephen to the left and Sarah to the right.

There’s Stephen to the left and Sarah talking with us to the right.

Stephen and his daughter Lily came to see us prayform. “That was particularly amazing.” Lily said after “Romanza.” Stephen took her to meet a friend, then came back to watch us again. Our fingers were freezing for the first few pieces. Once they warmed up, I put my hand warmers in my shoes. That helped a lot. We had a great day. Sarah Kernochan surprised us with a visit. “I’m looking forward to our dinner next week!” she said. “Me too.’ I said. “I knew I’d see something that was spiritual, uplifting and sexy.” she said. I laughed. “It is sexy, even though you don’t have sex. It has to be with the yin and yang.” she said.

We’ve played for 3 days at 40 degrees or below. I can’t believe people still stop and watch and clap, even when it’s that cold. They’re not even being forced to stop, they choose to listen to us. That shows me how much people love what we do. I am so grateful for people’s generosity on cold days. I was looking forward to seeing “Interstellar” tomorrow and having a few well deserved days off. We got to sing “Scottish Song” to a large group of people just as it was getting dark. We are leaving people with a special memory as they leave the park. We got Chinese food near our apartment and settled in for the night. Our 5th year anniversary is tomorrow!