Every day my makeup is different. I don’t look at the previous days look so I won’t copy it. It’s really hard to come up with new looks sometimes. This week it wasn’t. I have a formula I follow, but it’s always changing. I mix different colors, I try different shades. I bought 5 new eyeshadow compacts last weekend and have been using those colors a lot. I want to get some more. They were only a euro something on sale, and they have tons of shades. I really, REALLY like my new necklace. It was on sale, too. Last night, a man sitting next to us at dinner said he loved my makeup. He took a picture with me and said he’ll never forget it. That’s nice. I work 3 hours a day on it. It’s nice to get a compliment every once in a while. Every time I do makeup I get better. I used to take inspiration from pictures on the internet, but now I do it from my imagination. I’m very proud of the work I do. Rightly so. I work 15 hours a week on it. You know what? I not only do my makeup myself, but I go out with it on for 4 hours a day. I think most makeup artist do a fancy makeup look, take pictures and don’t go out with it on. I do creative makeup as part of my work. Despite that it takes a lot of time, it’s a small part of my work. I’m a singer first and foremost.
We have no internet again. Ugh! I acted a little and read “Phantom.” Our housing situation is driving us crazy. No internet, broken washing machine, and broken bathtub faucet. I want to strangle the apartment manager (Farid’s) neck. He and his half brother Jose are completely incompetent at their job. Thoth is ready to explode at them. That will be interesting. They have single handedly made our stay here very uncomfortable. It’s hard enough to perform. I hope our stay in New York is better.
I sank into a depression tonight. Sometimes my head becomes clouded with the fear that nothing will ever really change for us. We will always be buskers who’s work many people overlook and undervalued, no matter how much better we get. We have worked so hard to make something beautiful. We’ve performed hundreds and hundreds of times in the past 6 years, but what have we got to show for it? We’re not famous, so who cares? Who even cares what I have to say on my blog? People tell us all the time, “You should be discovered.” and “You should be famous.” but it doesn’t really mean anything because we’re not really. We’re street performers. I’m not just speaking for myself. Thoth has been at this for 25 years and nothing has happened that’s lifted him into a better position in life. He was booed off America’s Got Talent by a bunch of dumb asses and he was almost thrown out of the Academy Awards three times by security guards. He is still treated with disrespect even when he’s older and more experience that almost anybody. I don’t mean to sound whiny and complaining. I know I have a lot to be grateful for, but depression just trumps it sometimes. A day has got to come that we get more recognition and respect for what we do.
I couldn’t smile while singing tonight. My depressing thoughts were like a dark rain cloud over my head. I hate when that happens. Someone said in an earlier blog post to not let things get to me, but they are. I saw our guard friend Juda in plain clothes. He kissed me on each cheek. That cheered me up for a moment. For the first time, Thoth snapped at a man who asked how much a CD was. I said my usual, what can you offer us. He offered half of what I wanted and didn’t want to bargain. Thoth said, “The paper costs that much. The CD costs more.” He’s never done that before. The guy didn’t really want a CD. He was just wasting our time. We’re taking Wednesday off the next few weeks until we leave here. It’s just not worth playing on Wednesdays. We need a break. I hope our stay in New York is better.
We packed up and a woman asked for a picture with us. “I bought your CD last week, and I have a few questions.” she said. “I’ve been reading your blog, and you call what you do ‘prayformance.’ Why do you call it that?” she asked. “It’s prayer and performance together. Thoth explains it better,” and he did. “I may have been stalking you online. Goodbye.” she said and left. It’s nice to know that someone is interested in us and reads my blog. “I have to have my denial. I don’t like when people take that away from me.” Thoth said. “I have to believe that I affect the world in a positive way when I prayform. I have to believe we have fans. I have to have a fantasy. I can’t do this without it.”
Our internet started up again just as I finished writing my blog. Our friend Jadelyn who we’re staying with in New York wrote me something so nice, so helpful and so understand and supportive it made me want to cry. People DO care about us. That cheered me up!
Thursday November 6th 2014
I was sad today. I think I’ve been depressed ever since the film shoot wrapped up. We’ve been busy for two months. I felt really special and important, now it’s back to normal. Prayformance the past two days has been hard. It’s cold. Everything is irritating to me right now. Every restaurant and supermarket we go to I have to hear pop music. Why does it have to be shoved down my throat? It makes me feel bad. I’ve sworn off pop music. All it does is make me sad, yet I have to hear it all the time! That’s why I liked our dinner at the sushi place on Tuesday night. No music. We went to a restaurant in Queens today and of course loud, obnoxious pop music was playing on the loudspeaker. Same thing last night at dinner. All the singing is auto-tuned and breathy. It’s all about controlling people with electricity and amplification. I can’t stand it. Thoth thinks people may not even like real singing anymore because it’s not what they hear on the radio.
I ordered a large pizza at the restaurant, but I could barely eat half. It wasn’t even satisfying. Eating food like that makes me feel bad. It’s too many carbs. I don’t eat a lot in general because I’m not as focused on food as I used to. My stomach has definitely gotten smaller in the past few years. It’s kept me healthy, but not eating enough isn’t healthy. I’m sure the reason I wasn’t feeling good on Tuesday night was because I didn’t eat all day. That ended up being all I ate today, so it’s ok. People don’t realize you only need one meal a day. When I first started eating once a day, it was really hard. Now I only think about food when prayformance is over. Even then, I’m not super hungry. Food doesn’t control me anymore, and I can see the results in my body. That makes me feel good.
I called sis and talked to her about my sadness. She’s having a hard time, too. Dad doesn’t seem to understand her depression. That must be hard. “It’s better to be sad with someone else than to be sad alone.” I said. She suggested I go home and listen to sad music and watch a sad movie. That’s what her therapist suggests. Let yourself be sad, you’ll feel better if you do.
We went home and I watched “Sense and Sensibility.” It’s such a romantic film! I love Cornell Brandon, especially how he’s portrayed by Alan Rickman. There’s a scene where he’s pacing the floor in his shirt sleeves when Marianne is ill and says to Eleanor, “Give me an occupation or I shall run mad.” He loves Marianne so much. Their relationship reminds me of Thoth’s and mine.
Tuesday June 10th 2014
I was determined not to be sad today. Everything will be OK. I just have to deal with it. I had posted yesterday’s blog on my Facebook page last night and got a lot of sweet comments. I used to write pessimistic, depressing blogs and all I got was criticism. I think I’ve learned better how to write about my depression. Once I got up, we got ready quickly and took a walk to Kalpna, Thoth’s favorite indian restaurant in the city. They have an all you can eat lunch for 8 pounds. I didn’t like it so much, but I filled myself up as best I could. We walked towards High Street so I could get bleach and conditioner at Sally’s Beauty Supply. I saw a raspberry cheesecake in the window, so we got one for me. It was really delicious. After getting my bleach, we walked to Princes Street and scouted for places to perform. We found a little bunker that had nice acoustics. We might try it later. It’s a far walk from home, though. We sat on a bench and rested, then walked home. “The city is so small, I feel like I’ve seen it all already.” I said. I wish we could leave here. There’s nowhere to perform.
At home, I settled into bed and rediscovered “Rock-A-Doodle” on Youtube, an animated movie I used to watch as a kid. It cheered me up and I laughed a lot. There’s a dog named Patou and an owl named The Duke, whom I love. I don’t know why. I still love the film. Thoth’s stomach was unsettled from lunch, but I was getting hungry again. I wanted to get pizza, but instead I made another tuna melt for dinner. I didn’t like it. I got a Facebook message from a fan about yesterday’s blog which really helped me feel better
Upon reading your blog, I just want to say that, even though your lifestyle is pretty distinct from my own, I have days like this–where nothing works and I feel deep, soul-shaking hopelessness. I counsel and coach clients, and I can tell you, they have days like this.
We are all wandering dear Lila, it’s just that most people hide that truth from themselves on a daily basis, yet you and Thoth choose to look it in the face. I find you very courageous; and sometimes, it is totally fine and even right and good to just fall apart.
Falling apart is not a sign that things are wrong or you are weak–the real defining piece is how you return to your core after falling apart…how you come back into love with yourself and your world. And I know that you are one of the true lovers of the world, because I’ve seen how you give your heart and your voice into it. And I know this love will flood back into you soon enough.
And finally, thank you for reaching out and asking for help. This too, is a sign of courage.
Isn’t that so loving and accepting and caring and sweet? I don’t even know this person. He’s telling me it’s ok to be sad. In the past, people have said, “Well maybe you should change your lifestyle.” or “You’re buskers, get used to it.” or something like that. This guy, Eka, is saying my sadness is strength instead of weakness. I wish I could tell everyone we’re doing splendidly, believe me. I don’t like writing sad, depressing blogs. But I love when people tell me there’s nothing to be ashamed of and make no excuses.
Sunday June 8th 2014
Thoth was in bed when I woke up later. I snuggled with him. We got up, I had something to eat and started getting ready. I got depressed. Today is just another day. The spot we play isn’t that great. We’ll make enough to make it through today, but who knows what will happen tomorrow. It’s like that every day, all the time. We left the house at 3:30. I couldn’t smile. The Meadows were full of people for the festival. Too many people and too much noise for my taste. I dropped some of my stick on rhinestones in the grass and couldn’t find them. Someone wanted to take my picture. I wasn’t in the mood. I hate when people do that. It started raining a bit so we ducked under a tree, then continued on.
There was no one near our spot on The Royal Mile. “Elane is coming. She’s going to talk to us.” Thoth said. She did. She always talks about money. It’s obnoxious. “I don’t like her at all.” I said when she left. “I think it’s a female thing. She might be jealous of you. She’s always asking about your makeup.” Thoth said. It started drizzling again. We played, and stopped the entire street at usual. Thankfully, we sold CDs and people came forward. Isn’t it odd that I’m surprised when people come forward and tip us? We took a break, then did another set. We stopped the street again, but people didn’t come forward this time, nor did they when we performed a third time. Why do you think people stop to watch us and then just leave? I never stop to watch a busker if I’m not going to tip them. And it’s not like they stop for a moment. They stop and watch the entire piece. They are transfixed. I really don’t understand. Everyone know if you watch a street performer, you should show your appreciation, unless you don’t have money. A woman said she didn’t have any money, but she came back and gave us the last of her coins. The sellers across the street love us. One of them who bought a CD came back with someone else’s money to get another one. “The seller are in love with you.” she said. How can I keep my hopes up when I see unfairness every day? If every person that watched us gave us a pound, we’d be doing fantastically. A pound is nothing really.
I got more depressed as I packed up. “We made enough money to live another day, but tomorrow we have to do it again.” I said. We walked a different way to the Indian restaurant. I lay my head down on the table. Thoth gave me the tape recorder to record my feelings. “I feel really lost, really scared. We have to play in this place that’s OK, but the resonance is non existent and we make money, but not tons. I’m grateful we made money today. I’m grateful we have a place to perform. I’m grateful we have a place to live. But why can’t things be fantastic instead of just OK? To think of playing in that spot for the next 3 months is horrifying to me. I’m already discouraged and we’ve only been playing there one week.” We had dinner and walked home. “Everyone who would of liked us was at the Meadows festival today. Why would anyone come to the Royal Mile?” Thoth said.
When we got home, sis popped up on Skype. “I’m sad.” I typed. “What’s wrong?” she wrote back. “I don’t want to talk about it.” I typed. Thoth got in bed and I snuggled in the crook of his arm arm and we fell asleep. I got back on Skype when I woke up. “I was worried about you.” sis said. “I thought you had committed suicide.” “I feel better.” I said. I told her how I was feeling. I started watching Schindler’s List and went to bed.