Friday February 24th 2017
I was very happy to start a new sketch on Wednesday and work on my play. It’s always scary to stare at a blank piece of paper because I never know I will be able to draw something good again, no matter how many good drawings I’ve done before. I was inspired to draw as many creepy faces as I could on the page. When I got up, I read the sweetest message from two new fans from Prague:
“My wife showed me your video earlier today, after she spent half a day listening to you. Now it’s 6 AM here and I’m finishing hours long binge listening to your amazing creations. THANK YOU! You stand out from the noise of music, you create something one would not hope to hear. The land of the orange despot is a bit distant to us these days, but I sure hope you might travel to Europe somewhere we can get and listen to you for hours live. For now we’re gonna figure out how to purchase your records online tomorrow. Well, my biggest hope is that one day we will pay big money to see you in a big baroque concert hall. And I’ll keep searching for a way to contribute a tiny bit to make this happen. Love from your (probably) biggest fans in Prague, Czech Republic.”
Both Thoth and I cried. It touched directly on the dream I have for us. To have someone we don’t even know from halfway around the world write the thing we want to be doing makes it that much closer to happening. It also makes me sad because I know we should be performing in beautiful venues and not have any other options but to perform in public under threat of park rangers. On the other hand, we are truly blessed to have a way to share our music whenever we want to and be creative every day of our lives.
I looked one of those scary faces I drew and wanted to try it as a makeup look. Here’s what happened…
The thing I’m loving is that my disturbing wiring and drawings are seeping into the prayformance. That has never happened before. Darkness is inside me. Always has been. Now I’m not afraid to let it show when I play with Thoth. I’ve only been doing dark looks like these since November. That’s only four months, and now that I have a few dark Gothic dresses I got from my old closet at my mom’s house in Nashville, I’m wearing black too. It’s liberating to be darker and more scary. It’s also fun to see what kind of reaction I’ll get, if any, to the complete change of my look (which is usually none.) People don’t ask me about my makeup or what it means or how I do it. That means I can do whatever I want and people will think whatever they’re going to think. I just follow inspiration wherever it leads me.
I’m very inspired by darkness. Phantom-y stuff. Horror. I love looking at horrific paintings and watching documentaries about serial killers. I love Sweeney Todd and Jekyll and Hyde. Anything about someone who is disturbed and mysterious and possibly bad, yet tender and gentle inside. I liked using crossed painted down my neck and on my head. I wondered if anyone would ask what they mean, but no one did. I’m not religious. I find the cross to be an interesting symbol, as it is a symbol for Yeshua, yet it also is a symbol for torture and violence. Such a simple image with so much meaning behind it.
Makeup gives me the ability to be whoever I want to be and I have the entire pallet available to me now. Pascual came to show his support of our prayformance at the park and soon after Tori and Sister Ida. For some strange reason I saw my cousin Addie from my mothers side of the family. They had to rush away but watched our first song for a moment. My mother’s family has a history of being judgmental towards me, so I didn’t feel comfortable until she left. I don’t like feeling judged, even if that isn’t what is really happening. I’m the black sheep of my family and none of them are apart of my life anymore, accept my sister father and mother. For a long time my mother wasn’t even part of my life. I’m glad that has changed. She and daddy are very supportive now.
We had to move down the hallway away from our usual spot because the white-statue guitar-man was right in front of us. We were nervous to talk to him as sometimes people aren’t so friendly. We played two songs and then Thoth ran over to talk to the man. I could hear them laughing so I knew everything was cool. Thoth and Pascual brought our things back to our spot and I ran to meet him. He was very sweet and really likes what we do. We were both relieved.
We had a lovely prayformance with our friends supporting us. I felt outrageous and beautiful. It’s so freeing and invigorating to be whatever the f*** I want to be, nothing more and nothing less.
I have my sweet Thoth who has inspired me to be whatever I want. No judgments, just the purest and most devotional love and support. He is the best thing I could have ever asked for. His love and support of my crazy weirdness has helped me to be myself fully and utterly. He loves me for what I am and makes me a better person. I love him more than anything in the whole wide world, as he loves me.
Before we start today’s blog, I have an important question to ask.
Do you read my blog? Leave a comment if you do please. Tell me why you read it. I really do want to know. Do you read regularly or occasionally? Why? Do you enjoy my posts about our daily life or is there something more you’d like to read about? Tell me. I read everything and am here to respond. So is Thoth.
I am changing. My character in prayformance, or in general, isn’t sweet, cute and innocent anymore. I’m tired of that. I am becoming more insane, disturbed, depressed, wild and crazy (acting-wise). It’s invigorating and expansive for me. I don’t know if this is Esh and Ee-ay’s child continuing the story of the opera or if it is a completely different character. Whatever it is, it’s something within me that has needed to come out for a long time. Something I was afraid of, something I was scared to share with others. It’s part of my sexuality. I’m turned on by darkness, sexual frustration, lustfulness and humiliation. I’m turned on by the idea of being a man like that. It’s a part of my core nature, something I’ve been exploring and doing since I was 10 years old.
My acting videos I’ve been posting recently are sharing this part of me. I have a need to use this side of me in performance, not just in private anymore. All of the characters and real people I love have some aspect of dark, raw sensuality to them, like Erik. All of my favorite actors have this in them too. Anthony Hopkins, Kevin Spacey, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman. In their performances at least.
I am a woman, but inside I feel like a man. A boy. I have fantasized about having male genitalia. That turns me on more than anything to imagine. I don’t know why I’m telling you this. I have penis envy. I love both men and women though. Never had an intimate relationship with anyone but my husband. Never had sex. Don’t want to. Thoth loves my boyishness. He embraces it, as I embrace his femininity . He’s like a woman in a mans body. I’m like a boy in a girl body, though we both embrace and love our bodies. Interesting.
The performance the other night at Flying Monkey Arts was… interesting. I made a great vlog about the entire day. Please watch it and tell me what you think. Do you want more of the performance or do you enjoy the behind-the-scenes stuff? I want to know!
I would love to do a dramatic acting piece in the context of prayformance. Using a recording I make of the voices all around me. Going insane. That would be so cool! Anyway. It was an easy drive. We listened to music and I danced in my seat. We listened to “The Wiz”. Great fun. Thoth hadn’t heard it since he was 20. Wow. I did black makeup, crazy hair and wore an old black dress. Wondered what I would do. I’ve been exploring such deep and dark emotion recently in my videos, I had no idea what it would do to me in prayformance, plus we hadn’t played in three weeks. That performance was no different. We’re both out of shape too. I knew I’d be aching in the morning (which was true.) Thoth went nuts. When he is tired, he throws himself even more intensely into the prayformance. I was intensely, but still couldn’t keep up with him, especially for almost an hour and a half of basically non stop performing. We don’t usually do that. In public, we have to take breaks in between songs.
I was plagued by self doubt while playing. I had lunch with my father and he was harping on us creating music with words and how good it is to make lots of money. I know he only wants the best for me, but that may not be the best way for me to do it. It made me doubtful as we played. I was thinking, “God this is stupid. No one knows what we’re saying. We need to sing in English.” I was also feeling immensely doubtful of my skills on violin. God. Not fun. That’s what happens when we take time off. Thoth was bounding around the stage like a crazy person, even though he knew he would hurt himself. He is nuts.
A young woman named Tara wrote her about her reflection of the show and shared it on Facebook. It was so sweet. I was really touched and it gave me immense perspective about what I’m/we’re doing.
“The Tribal Baroque performance was so much more emotional than I was prepared for with all the changes that winter brings energy wise, and changes in my own life…
The performance marked the dichotomy of the human condition for me…with passion, love, suffering, and adversity. The opera was so deeply characteristic of their actual love. and that was a tear jerker….watching them really feeling what they expressed, and not acting in any way. I had never seen anything like that before.
Let me put it to you this way, there was a grown ass man in his 50’s in front of me with his head buried in his hands nearly sobbing.
This was a masterpiece. Lilla and Thoth gave us true magic, and because of it, I feel like I can move on with my life. Because of the arts, I can accept even the darkest things about reality, and can transmute that suffering into celebration. ॐ <3 <3 <3 <3 ॐ”
I realize that reading about my personal experience prayforming might very odd for those who see a performance I’m writing about. It’s my perspective. People watching us live, reading or watching the vlog have a completely different perspective. Nothing like my own, and nothing like Thoth’s perspective. I’m in my head, in my body, doing the work. People watching have perspective formulated in their own heads from their own life experiences. I have no idea what that is. People were very vocal in between our songs. Very supportive. “We love you!” “Welcome back!” “You’re making me cry!” People seem to love us there. We had our first kiss with them. The Flying Monkey theater troupe came out to NYC to do a show. They came to the Angel Tunnel to see us prayform. This was back in 2009. We had a big group hug and accidentally kissed each other! It was a shock. He was still with his girlfriend at the time. Very naughty of us. God.
We haven’t performed in Huntsville since 2010. 6 years. So much has happened since then. We got married. Made 5 albums. Wrote our first opera. We worked with James Lapine. I’ve grown as a singer and a musician and an artist as I never thought I could. What will happen in another 6 years? I have very little memory of our first performance there. I just remember we got there really early and people were surprisingly supportive of us. No memory of what we did or how much money they gave us. I was totally shocked the next day to see how generous they were to us. That was totally unexpected. They really did love us. It really is amazing we make a living doing something that is fun and challenging for us.
We still have 18 days here in Nashville. I’m having a wonderful time. Spending every day in my childhood bedroom listening to music, singing, making videos, writing, etc. Never leaving the house. I’m pleased and very happy. I wonder how I’ll feel when we leave.
I am so deeply in love with Erik. I have been since I was 10. I love him so much that everything around me that I love reminds me of him. My husband reminds me of him. My relationship to my Thoth is similar to Erik and Christine’s. I love pretending I’m Erik. I’m reveling in acting like I’m him almost every day we’re here. My life up in this room, my childhood bedroom, isn’t like my real life. I am a different person up here, and in private in general. I am dark, morbid, depressed, reclusive. I’m enjoying being completely alone, just me, my music and my imagination. I listen to music, write, make a vlog and then break off whenever I feel the urge or act. I kneel on the floor speaking in a deep voice to myself. I speak as other people who are talking to me, and I am Erik. Even though I am a woman, I am him.
I’m sharing acting videos on my personal Youtube channel of me being insane and disturbed. It’s so invigorating and fun to film and edit. I don’t have any idea what feelings they give to people who may watch them. I’m just doing it for myself. I would like feedback. For the longest time I didn’t believe I could act. My sister is the actor and always told me, “You can’t act. You’re not an actor.” That hurt me for years and cause me to really believe I couldn’t, so why bother trying? I used to think I was a one dimensional as an actor, that I couldn’t express anything that didn’t involve being cute and widening my eyes. That’s what I used to do. I couldn’t bare gritting my teeth or doing anything that might make people think I was weird or crazy. Now I don’t care.
I was terrified when I first posted a video of me acting on camera. I thought people would think I was nuts or they’d bash me, but now I realize it doesn’t really matter. Same as when we prayform in public. Of course people are forming opinions about me, but the ones who love us come forward and those who don’t, well, who needs them anyway? I’m changing. Becoming less of a fairy and more of a demented freak. I went downstairs in my makeup and mom said, “Oh, you did your ugly makeup.” Ugly is good for me now. I’m tired of always being called cute and pretty. Time for ugliness, time for insanity, time for whatever I need to be.
Today was quite interesting. It was permit day, so there were lots of new buskers out trying to make a buck. That happens at the beginning of every month, then everyone slowly give up and the regulars stay on as usual. The permit system is complete bull shit. A masked man who reads Shakespeare was across from our usual spot. We knew he’d bother us because he had once before. The last time we did what he asked and moved, but this time we weren’t going to. We don’t have a permit, but it is our first amendment right to perform anywhere we god dammed please. After the first song, we had a great big crowd, and just as expected the masked man came over and tried to talk to us. He wouldn’t take off his mask, and it was disturbing, to say the least, to be talking to him with that creepy mask on. The man said he was going to file a complaint. It was insanely clear he was simply envious we had a big audience and no one was paying attention to him. Other guys sketching people across from us have no issue with us at all. Once he left, some of our big fans in the audience asked what that was about. They could tell he was trying to be intimidating. We’ve dealt with it before, and we can handle. No one’s going to stop us from prayforming.
We were both shaken up, angry and disturbed by this random, anonymous man’s rudeness to us at the beginning of prayformance. It fucked us up for the rest of our two hour play. A woman named Ivy, who’d seen us play once before, helped to cheer us up. She stayed and watched and laughed with us. People were both strange and supportive today. I captured a lot of great compliments on our vlog, but a few weirdos came by, too. A young guy who said he was a hari krishna stood near us when we were trying to begin playing. Ivy had to tell him to move out of the way. A weird homeless man walked past our audiences saying something incomprehensible. Weird. Thoth had said it was going to be a weird day, and it was. Even though we had a great day with great audience, neither of us truly enjoyed it. We were distracted. I hope Mask Man doesn’t talk to us again. I hate when people with no talent tell us to stop. It’s rare, but it happens. That’s what makes me wish we were famous.
It’s been a long time since someone has been rude to us. We’ll be ok. Everything will be ok.