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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 Life of Art

Friday June 25th 2016

I acted for 4 hours when I got up, had a vegetarian lunch and watched some “best acting of all time” clips while getting ready to play. It was inspiring! I don’t understand how to act, but when I see good actors I know which ones are the best. It’s a particular look they have, the way they carry themselves and how they speak. My favorite actors are Daniel Day Lewis, Anthony Hopkins, Kevin Spacey, Sharlto Copley, Ralph Finnes, Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Johnny Depp and Gary Oldman. There are others. All men of course, and all intense in their own ways. I love intensity.

I got all dressed up tonight, for some reason. I was inspired I guess. I’ve come to realize that dressing up isn’t for the audience, it’s for me. It helps me prayform better, feel more confident and have more fun. I like being outrageous and doing something with my look people don’t do.

Elisa and her boyfriend came to see us for the second time since we’ve been here. We knew it would be a great prayformance evening for us when we saw them. We love when fans come to see us! It makes us feel appreciated and loved! They stayed for the full two hour prayformance. They even dressed up. It was a fantastic night. When we finished, she gave me a new Babe she’d made just for me! OMGGGGG!!!!!!!!! So cute!!!! I feel so happy when people love our work. It makes me feel like a completely different person.

There were lots of gay men in the street. It’s Gay Pride this weekend. They loved my look, but  were quite drunk. 🙂 We had dinner at the Italian place we used to go to, called Boteo, in Barrio Alto. It used to be called Mama Rosa. The chef remembered us and gave us free drinks and toasted with us. He was so handsome! He reminds me of our friend Michael C. from the Bay Area. The food is better than it’s ever been there. Highly recommended! I love when people treat us well, like celebrities. It was a fantastic end to our night.

I am so lucky to be living this life! I get to rest and do whatever I want in the house all day, have a delicious lunch, then get dressed up and go out to play for a couple hours. We have fans who come see us, then have a delicious dinner at a restaurant where the chef loves us! I’ve worked so hard and long to be able to experience happy times like these. There was a time when we were here back when we first arrived in 2010 and we weren’t doing well at all. I was terrified then, but look at us now! I have to tough out the hard times to be able to again enjoy the joyous times. There’s no reason for us to go anywhere else in the summer but Lisbon. People love us, the restaurants love us. We have a place to live a 10 minute walk away from our prayformance spot. We seem to get more an more famous every year we come here.

Imagine when it’s been 10 years of us coming to Lisbon or San Diego. We’re quite well known in those cities now, but imagine what it will be like then? Or 20 years! I didn’t think about that when we first started traveling. We’re getting famous, but we’re doing it the slower, more organic way. Each person who becomes a fan meets us and speaks to us face to face. Each person discovers us in a different way, and they don’t forget us. It does pay off to stick with your art. It does!!

Costuming and Drawing

Wednesday April 15th 2015

Today went well. We were supposed to get the car from our house mate. but at the last minute he backed out. We were both very irritated, but thankfully our friend Tasha drove an hour to pick us up and get us to the appointment with the seamstress. She fitted Thoth’s costume and mine, too. They both look great. She even gave us the name of someone who might be able to make headdresses for us. We went to Harney Sushi with Tasha. I treated her because she was so generous in helping us. She took us to Target on the way home.

I warmed up a bit, but there’s still phlegm on my chords. I guess I was really sick. I drew a picture of my headdress while listening to music. I love being creative! It makes me so happy! 

We sent our new album to my old acting teacher Andrew Kimbrough. He helped me so much during that year and is a man I immensely admire and respect. It was he who gave me the courage to audition for and get into Circle in the Square Theatre School and move to New York City when I was 20. This is what he had to say about the album:

My dear friends,

Thank you for sharing this splendid and inspired CD! I received it in the mail yesterday and just listened to it. I was struck by the variety and uniqueness of the songs. Two that stand out for me are the Interlude—I appreciated the play of drums and violin—and Death. Death in particular brought to mind one of my favorite pieces by a Polish composer Henryk Górecki. His Third Symphony, called the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, was written to commemorate Polish Holocaust victims, and I believe it does their needless suffering justice. The definitive recording is done with Dawn Upshaw. If you have never heard it before, listen in a position that will allow you to be devastated: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPhrG82nV2c. I do not mean to compare, only to congratulate on the evocation of powerful sentiments rarely achieved.

Your work is lovely, haunting, whimsical, and moving. I am honored you would think of me. Blessings on you both and God be with you during the work ahead!

Andrew

1st of 7 Prayformances in Golden Gate Park

Saturday May 3rd 2014

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERASANYO DIGITAL CAMERAI woke up this morning feeling the scratching from the sand on the bed. The moment Thoth got up, I rolled into his covers. It took me a while to fall back to sleep. When I finally got up, it was 10:30. I started get ready to prayform at noon. It seemed there was no one in the house. John came home just as we were leaving. We walk to the corner store, got a bottle of water and walked to Golden Gate Park down the block. I had worried there wouldn’t be a lot of people in the park or there would be someone playing in the tunnel, but neither were so. Whew! We were an hour early, so we took our time getting ready.

The tunnel is super resonant and the ground is very gravely. That makes it hard to dance. I’m used to dancing. We danced so much in Balboa Park and Central Park. We stay relatively still here. It’s more of a sound space then a performance space, though we look beautiful of course. We stood in the middle, we used to stand on either side so people can walk through. They walk through anyway. A boy went throughout the tunnel on his scooter a few times. “That is very distracting.” Thoth said to the boy. “Oh, sorry.” the boy said embarrassed. John arrived and lay on the grass while Thoth was doing his solo. I was feeling so blessed. We can travel the world and play music, all on our own. We’re done some pretty crazy things, yet we’ve gotten through it all. We’ve been on the street in Paris, landed in Marrakech with nowhere to stay, no plans, no idea where we’re going or what we’re doing. We have more plans these days. It shows me how much we’ve grown. I’m happy we have a place to perform in SF. I wouldn’t want to play here 5 days a week or live here, but it’s helpful. “This is so beautiful. I could hear you from very far away.” one man said. “My husband thought it was recorded music.” a woman said. “But I told him, ‘No it’s live.'” she said. People love us here.

When we finished, we sat with John and Louis and packed up. My sister arrived and sat with us. We all walked back to John’s house. Sis and I walked ahead and held hands. “Young Lady, you have to hear this.” Thoth said. “Tell her what you said, John.” “I said Thoth has found and strong and beautiful kitten.” John said. I kind of went crazy. That was so cute! He was comparing me to his two cats, Tasha and Penelope. Tasha was slowing down and John thought they should get him a kitten to get him going again.

At home, we undressed and asked John where a good burger place is. “Right down Clayton to Height.”  he said. “You wanna come?” I asked him. Me, sis, Thoth and John walked there together. The burgers were so satisfying! I hadn’t eaten anything since dinner last night! We should of brought some smoothie stuff from Nancee’s house. Oh yeah, and the bikes. Oh well, lesson learned! We went down the street to a dumpy jewelry store to find our ring size. We still need to buy wedding rings. I found a ring I liked, but it was too small. My finger is only a size 4! We walked home.

Sis and I sat with Tasha and pet him. He’s so sweet. Sis hung with us until 10:30. I worked on writing our wedding ceremony and took a shower. Thoth took a nap and I walked sis a block to her car and got a drink and corner store. She’s coming over again tomorrow. I came home and Thoth got up. I listened to some music and went to bed.