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.
Saturday February 18th 2017
Hi friends! I’m sorry I’m getting so behind on the blogs these days. Sometimes, like now, I become hyper focused on drawing and writing and have zero interest in blogging. I know there are a few dedicated readers who miss it when I don’t write consistently. I’m sorry. It’s hard to keep it up just for a few people, though that should be motivation enough because I know those few people love and care about us very much. It’s sometimes just hard to keep everything going when I think too much about how insignificant it is. My talents are numerous and I have a skill set that many people would die to have (I didn’t say that, a friend did), but being talented doesn’t make it any easier sometimes. Being talented makes life harder I think. When you’re talented, your able to see the way things are more clearly than others. I talked to our friend Bill about it tonight after prayformance. What is the point of it all, when neither Thoth or I have anything to show for what we’ve done? He said it’s not about the result, it’s about doing it. Thoth said the exact same thing last night. Creation is the process of the soul. Bill said something else significant too. He said maybe we look down from somewhere before we’re born and say, “That would be the best life for me to increase my spirit. A life of making art every single day and getting no physical rewards for it, possibly for my entire life. That would make me a better person and a purer soul.” The challenge to create not for gain but for increasing something completely invisible, personal spiritual power. Thoth said something similar last night. Making art isn’t about the result, it’s about increasing ones self. The goal is not the end result, the goal is the process. The goal is doing the work. The trick is turning away from a world that looks for physical rewards as being the only reason to work hard on anything and doing it simply to increase the self. Harder than it seems! To create simply to create, just as nature does. We are so like nature.
Oh man, today was tough. This whole week has been tough. It was supposed to downpour yesterday when we were supposed to play, so we didn’t go out. That left us with three days off and only one day this week of playing. Ugh. Tuesday’s play was magical, but those damn park rangers! We’re scared to play now and there is nothing we do will change that. Nothing anyone else can do about it either. We have no legitimacy at the park or anywhere we play for that matter, yet we’re doing something people love that is unique in all the world. We’re these illegitimate street performers wandering around the world pushing our way into places we’re not really allowed to play, but really we’re uniquely talented, underrated artists who just need a opportunity to shine. The best thing anyone can do is to come see us prayform all the time, like Tori and Pascual and Bill do, and as they did today. Of course on the day we decided to go out to play, today, it was raining as we got on our bikes and it poured as we biked up the hill to the park. Thoth was in a really bad mood on our days off, so it made him feel worse. “What the f**k are we doing?” I thought to myself. Thoth was thinking the same, no doubt. The hallways were crowded with homeless people. We had to wait and I had to ask them to move. They ended up listening to us play.
I am so f**king tired of playing scared. Having our friends there makes all the difference. We will always be scared and we’ll always have to battle that fear every day. Sometimes it’s worse than other times. Every day we face the fear anew. Each day it’s, “Will we get harassed by the park rangers today or not?” We shouldn’t have to be afraid. When that park ranger bothered us the first time, he ruined our peace of mind. We have to be strong and try to not let it affect it, but it threatens our whole lifestyle here in San Diego. This is our winter home and if we can’t play in the park anymore, we can’t be in San Diego. Getting through this season without another incident wouldn’t change anything, because next January we’ll have to face it all over again. Why do we have to be afraid to play our beautiful music in a public space? We should feel loved and protected and cared for. Our fans and friends do that for us. The park rangers do nothing but scare and intimidate and harass us. I don’t even think they can do anything to us other than that. F**k.
Today was one of those prayformance we really had to push through. It was one of those prayformance I just wanted to sit down and cry. I know you my friends only wish the best for us and believe we will find success, but I have no illusions, or delusions, about it. I look at Thoth who is 62 and no better off than me. A man of great knowledge and skill and talent who may never see any rewards for his work, other than that he manages somehow to do it until his death, and that he has me. I know any of you who are reading would do something if you could. Sometimes I believe success will come. One could say we have found success by simply by finding a way to live a creative life, but I’m imagining something more significant. Even after having played for an hour, we still didn’t feel better. The rain and the lack of donations didn’t help my mood either. January and February are notoriously rough, and it’s hard not to let it affect our moods. It will be this way always. At least we get to play. In NYC or pretty much anywhere else we wouldn’t be able to play at all during these months. We just have to weather it and push through. That’s all we can do. Sometimes it feels like everything is hanging on by the smallest thread, and no one can help us. It could so easily fall apart, but so could anyone’s life. Bill said something else interesting. No one is safer than us. We just live that truth honestly. We are not safe. We have no possessions. People try to make themselves feel safe with money and houses and cars, but we have none of those things. We have our work, we have each other and we have our gifts and talents to do the work we need to do. That is worth more than anything in the world combined. Those who see that are our friends.
Thursday February 16th and Friday Feb. 17th 2017
“Solice” by General Fuzz and “Miss You” by Trentemoller have been my soundtracks all our days off this week. I can’t stop listening to them. The song “Solice” is eerie and goes well with the play I’m writing a plot for. I got the plot for “The Land of Deadly Echoes” basically finished and turned it in for Thoth to read. I painted for a few hours and once Thoth read the plot, he told me a few things didn’t quite work, which I fixed. He read it again and said it was good. I was so happy. I finally finished the plot synopsis for my play!! 1 month and 3 weeks of work every morning. I almost gave up a few times. Now I have to write the play, which will be even more difficult! I made a vlog of my new drawings for you, with concept sketches for my characters from the play called Fray Wrathanian and Ashen Delency. I started drawing a scary face using the dark paints I bought on Wednesday to start painting the sketches I’ve done over the last week or so. Painting is challenging for me. It isn’t as precise as drawing, but I’m learning white paint can be used to tidy things up. It’s a challenge to try and make faces look scary. On Friday I started adding other faces to my painting. Drawing is a stress reliever for me.
I started drawing a scary face using the dark paints I bought on Wednesday to start painting the sketches I’ve done over the last week or so. Painting is challenging for me. It isn’t as precise as drawing, but I’m learning white paint can be used to tidy things up. It’s a challenge to try and make faces look scary. On Friday I started adding other faces to my painting.
Tuesday 18 January 2017 Much better work on my play today. Every day, when things go well, I get a little more of the character’s stories figured out. When it’s fun, it really is fun and stimulating. I’m happy to be working on a fantasy land and story again. It’s been a long time since I was focused like this on a new story. This story, the characters and the land they live on is darker, more grotesque and frightening. I love piecing the world and their lives together. I’m answering a questionnaire, which challenges me to figure things out about them and their families and their childhoods. Fun. It can be whatever I want, because it’s all from my imagination. I am only limited by my imagination. Doing this kind of creative work works out my brain in a wonderful way. Every morning for a few hours writing, then reading a book and drawing. It’s great.
We went shopping for food for the next few days. I worked on my drawing for the rest of the afternoon and evening until I finished. Thoth made salmon and mashed potatoes for dinner. Yum. Our dinner last night wasn’t so nice. The lady who got us our food was a b**** and really ruined our evening. We are strongly affected by people’s negativity. Ugh. We were both glad to have a delicious meal. The inauguration is on Friday. If we don’t go out to play because of the rain, I want to join the protest in the park. It’s not far from the loft. God save us all. All we can do is continue to create and be ourselves.
Monday 17 January 2017 Doing something that takes daily focus and commitment is a challenge. If it were easy, everyone would be creating masterpieces left and right. I feel so incompetent today. I’m really great at giving myself a hard time. I’m my biggest critic. Working on my play and I can’t figure out the plot. Hard work is a given, as someone told me recently. I love working hard, but I hate feeling stumped. I have some dark characters and an intriguing, dark world I’m working on, but no driving goal or desires for the characters. That’s the common failing for young writers. No plot. It’s hard to make a decision, as I can choose it to go any direction I want. Having the freedom to choose anything makes me freeze with fear. I want it to go the way I want it to go. I want it to be dark, and it’s tough to let go of preconceived ideas constantly. Letting it flow. It’s not based on anything. I have a friend who writes plays about already created, famous characters. I understand why he does that. It’s much harder to create a story and a plot and characters of your own. I haven’t really even started on the play yet. I have to know who I’m writing about. Who they are and what world they live in. Does anyone have advice on story creation? Thoth is helping me, but he isn’t doing it for me. I don’t want him too. I just want to stay focused and finish it. I know the creation process is hard. Thoth has been writing a book since 2012 and never talks to anyone about it. I don’t know how to do that.
We took a wonderful bike ride to the wharf to clear our heads. I love biking around downtown. It feels like we’re at Wim’s apartment in Amsterdam again. Downtown San Diego is beautiful. Sunny and beautiful. I am so happy to be living here. It’s so convenient and easy to go wherever we want. Getting out of the house is helpful. I went back to my drawing when we got home. I love being creative on our days off.
Tuesday June 28th 2016
Creativity is my life. It drives me to the edge and then pushed me over. Being creative makes me crazy. One day I’m blissfully happy and think the world is my oyster, the next I’m so depressed I want to die. That’s how it is to be an artist. I wouldn’t want it any differently though. I feel like I’m balancing out a bit more these days. Not all people can live like we do. We’ve had to push through so many painful and difficult times together, but it’s only made us stronger as a duo, and as a couple. Our love is reinforced by our travails. The more anyone tries to push us down, the harder we fight to push ourselves back up, and we always win, because we always keep doing what we love to do. It is a gift and a privilege to be able to be an artist. I always knew that’s what I would do. There were never any other options. I always was a singer and a creative person. Thoth is so incredible to me because he’s still creative and plying his musical and artistic craft at 62 years old. Most people give up by then. I’m going to be creative until I die, too. It’s creativity or nothing at all.
I drew again today! I haven’t drawn in a few years. Drawing is very meditative and calming for me. All my fears leave my head and I can focus exclusively on bringing out emotions and expressions using lines on paper. I had a strange epiphany years ago in regards to drawing. I’m trying to bring the person I’m drawing out of the paper. It’s immensely satisfying when I do. I get better every time I draw, and the skills don’t leave me. If I keep drawing, I’ll keep getting better. Drawing is my second favorite thing to do. I’m so happy I can be creative. I’m the most creative when I feel safe and stable. Creativity completely goes away when I don’t feel safe. I feel very stable now. It’s more important for us to play regularly than travel to new cities. We’re happier when we’re playing.
I am a living, breathing work of art out in the real world bring real art to people. I will always be creative. I will always make beautiful music and art. I love using all different things to make art. Makeup, clothes, hair, acrylic paint, mechanical pencils, paper, my voice, my violin… It’s all used for the same purpose, to be creatively expressive. Everything is done solely by me and Thoth. There’s no prep team, no makeup artists, no hair or clothing designers, no publicity team. It’s just us and our art. It’s raw, it’s organic, it’s acoustic, it’s real, it’s honest. There’s no fakery or falseness in anything that we do. Some like it, some don’t. Who cares. We do.
We were sitting in a restaurant tonight having a really fantastic meal together at a place called Sacramento. We last went there 2 or 3 years ago. I felt a rush of memories and was awash with feelings of gratefulness. We were sitting in that restaurant 6 years ago feeling so successful and happy, and it is like we’re back at that level again. Lisbon is where we first found success together as Tribal Baroque. Of all places, Lisbon is our city. It’s one of the only European countries that allows for street performers to do what they want. Most of the rest are shut down. People think America is so free and open for people to pursue what they want, but it’s not true. Here the police and the security guards all like us and don’t harass us. Anyone with a brain knows we’re good for the areas we choose to prayform in. We’re bringing free, original art that no one has seen before, I mean come on. We’ve been blessed to have found a few places to play in the world. Here in Lisbon, the Angel Tunnel in New York and Balboa Park in San Diego. People appreciate us much more in Lisbon and San Diego, even though we do very well in NY. I don’t think we’ll ever settle down though. I’d go crazy! I love moving around. It’s good for our minds.