Tag Archives: don’t give up

Just Keep On!

Saturday November 5th 2016

No makeup again today. I wish I could, but I’m still stuffy. That’s the worst part of getting sick. The nasal congestion lingers, making singing and doing makeup difficult. I beat this cold’s butt faster than I ever have before, though!

The Boyd family was singing at the tunnel when we arrived. John Boyd is one of our best allies at the park. He makes it possible for us to play there. He moves everyone to give us our time slot back. I don’t know what we’d do if he and his family weren’t there holding the tunnel while we’re gone. I know they’re looking out for themselves, but so are we. We all have to. No one is doing it for us. A man asked “Are you Tribal Baroque?” and said he loved what we do. “Keep going and keep making those vlogs!” he said. People are starting to pay attention!

We actually had a great play. The break dancers whistled and set up their cones to try and do a show during “Anya” right outside the tunnel, but they couldn’t gather a crowd. If only they were nice to us and everyone else we would try to work with them, but they harass us and ignore us. The best we can do is ignore them. It was so pleasing when they couldn’t start their show. So satisfying. How dare they try to do a show in the middle of our song. How dare they. They should be ashamed of themselves! Such hubris!

We had two beautiful hours of relative silence while we prayformed. We sold CDs and people said amazing things to us. Hannah and a friend of hers came to see us. She saw us a few years ago and brought friends. She’s trying to get us to perform at “Sleep No More” before we leave at the end of this month. I don’t believe it will happen until it happens! Hannah invited us to dinner when we finished. We went to a sushi place on Columbus and 73rd. It was delicious. We laughed a lot too. Fun! Such a great way to end our week!

Friday November 4th 2016

Hard day. No makeup again. Still sick. Cover Story was singing at the tunnel when we arrived. The break dancers started up when we started. Ass holes. They didn’t try starting another show after that. The amplified trio started up, but further away from us at the other side of the Angel Fountain. Good. Still loud, but we could handle it. They looked into the tunnel at us as they passed to leave over an hour later. They’re ass holes and liars too. We can’t talk to them either. We’ve tried with both of those groups. They neither care nor listen!

I was so over it today. So sick of it all. So tired of people’s rudeness and uncaring behavior. It will always be that way. Can I deal with it for the rest of my life? I don’t know. The prayformance was hard, again. I was still sick and sang gently on my chords. A woman gave us a 20. I thought she wanted a CD (we haven’t been selling many of them lately) but she just want to give us a one dollar tip. I mean, I get it. She probably needed to use the money for something else, but why not support art? I understand why people don’t support art as much anymore. They don’t have to. They just take pictures and videos of us with their phones and walk away. Easy. No shame, no guilt, no hesitation. It’s just what people do these days. It takes consciousness, kindness and care to support artists these days.

I always struggle with the balance between the financial side of our work and the creative/spiritual side. We have to make a living and pay for the things we need to pay for to continue doing this work, but we are also trying to get in touch with our higher, more spiritual and creative selves. I wish we didn’t have to sell CDs and concern ourselves with all of that. I find that when I just sing and don’t worry, everything falls into place.

It ended up being a great play after an hour or so. People bought CDs and were very complimentary. It really does help me so much! It isn’t all about selling CDs and making nice tips, it’s about self expression and connecting with people more for us. It was peaceful and quiet in the tunnel as we packed us. So sweet and blissful. Just gotta push through it. I am so lucky to have my little Bunny boo.

 

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.

It Takes Guts

Tuesday July 5th 2016

14622373980_8859745f0a_cI feel so successful. It’s a beautiful life we lead, and we do it all on our own. Anything is possible if you stick to it. We have the ability to perform whenever we want and eat and house ourselves and travel to different cities. It’s beautiful. We’re not reliant on anyone but ourselves. No one controls us or how we live. No one can boss us around or tell us what to do. We have to work for what we have, and that feels good. It’s satisfying to work hard, and it’s beautiful not to know what will happen. I don’t want to know what will happen. I don’t need fame to be happy. That just puts you farther away from people who love you. Fame is an illusion, a block, a bolder between you and your true self. It gives off falseness, a long off distortion. It is not true. The raw, open and vulnerable way we perform is the only way to show us as we truly are to those who watch us. There is no distortion, no falseness. There is only truth and raw, honest openness. I don’t need anything from anyone, yet things come to me through doing this work. It’s an incredible thing. Not only do I love doing it, I can live doing it.

I could do this for the rest of my life and be totally happy. I had to get rid of what I wanted people to think about me to realize that. If I was constantly trying to get people to approve of me, I could never be happy. Not ever. You can’t find happiness in other people’s eyes. You have to accept who you are and do what you want to do with intense fearlessness. Instead of looking for what I want, I appreciate what I have. I want nothing else when I appreciate what I have. I have my dreams. I have my desires. They will always burn brightly for me, but I can be a street performer and be happy. I don’t need all that other stuff to be happy. It would be a bonus. Performing indoors would be amazing, but I don’t need that. All I need is my voice, my violin, my creativity and my husband. I love when are friends are near us, but I am strong and we are strong and we can do all we need together.

Life is only what you envision and believe in and strive every day in every way for. Life doesn’t happen to you, you make life happen. You do what you love and good things will happen. That doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen, but you will be given tools to handle things as they come. Don’t worry about what you cannot control. Don’t worry about the future. Do what you want and be who you want. People will not understand. People will judge you. You will feel alone. You will feel like giving up, but don’t. Everything comes in it’s own time. Anything worth doing takes a long time to fully bloom. Be patient with yourselves and with your skills. Try every day to challenge yourself or try something new, even just a little. Remember you are human and you can fail, but always get up and keep going.

Don’t let anyone say you can’t do something. Don’t listen to them. Anyone who says you can’t do something is just a tired old, sorry-ass human being who doesn’t want to see others achieve their dreams when they were too afraid to reach for them themselves. Success isn’t what you think. Success is different for everyone, but part of it is a feeling of contentment and pride with what you’ve done, despite what everyone has said. Things happen only when you throw caution to the wind and fall headfirst into your dreams and never, ever look back. If you want something, then start now.

Possibilities of Life

Wim, Thoth and Me. Photo by Marja Van Putten

Wim, Thoth and Me. Photo by Marja Van Putten

In childhood, most parents and authority figures try to tell us how to live life “correctly.” They try to lead us down a narrow path that is socially acceptable. Be a good student, get good grades, go to college, get a good job, blah, blah, blah. When we grow up (especially for creative individuals like myself) we learn that life isn’t that simple and straight forward. Now I know that there is no one way to reach my goals. There are many varied possibilities, all of which I must decide for myself. Not one person in this world will find satisfaction and happiness in the same way I will, not even someone who wants something very similar. As children, we’re made to think other people can tell us the right and wrong way to live, but it’s all a sham. It’s all bull shit. My path is completely different from any person who has or will ever live. That’s the beauty of life. It’s all a big mystery. All we can do is inspire each other to not give up and keep trying our best.

If you have a dream, go for it. Don’t let anyone take it from you. I know this has been said a million times before, but life is what you make it. If you want something, don’t stop until you get it. People will try to bring you down. You will bring yourself down. I’m really good at getting down on myself and thinking I’m a complete fuck up. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing half the time, but I just go for it. I don’t let my uncertainty get to me. Sure I have bad days where I can’t take life for another second, but I take those days for what they are. I move past them. I am not immune to sadness, mood swings and depression. They make me who I am. I take all of that and I continue to make music.

I’m counting my blessings today. Despite that I was one fucked up sad fuck for a week, I am living in a great city and staying with great friends and I’m able to travel and perform for a living and I have a husband who loves me dearly.