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.
Tuesday February 21st 2017
We usually wouldn’t prayform on a Tuesday (or Monday), but I wanted to. We needed to play a full four days. I love challenging myself to do completely different looks every day. I’ve never used to use red or black, now I fearlessly wear ANY color! I went for a reddish look today. Bloody. Like a bullet hole in my head and bloody tears streaming down my cheeks. Pretty, but a little creepy.
I assumed Tori would stay home today, but near the end of the prayformance she surprised us by arriving with a friend and a sign they made for us. Usually I take a slow day after a really energetic few days of playing badly, but I didn’t today. I did realize why I can get really depressed when peopled don’t respond (clap) for our work sometimes. That almost happened after Anya today, but people did clap. When there is no one leading the applause (it’s been a long time since that happened) people sometimes don’t know if they should clap. I know what we’re doing is just as beautiful as it was when tons of people were clapping and cheering. Our work is never less beautiful, the audiences and the days just change. We pushed through it and it got better. When Tori and her friend and Chet came to watch near the end, suddenly everyone had gathered in front to watch. If there aren’t people standing in front of us, people stand way off to the sides. It’s makes the biggest difference when people come and watch us in front without fear. It gives other people permission to do the same.
It’s amazing we can do this work and somehow survive and thrive and have a certain kind of success. Yes, January and February are notoriously slow financially, but it will pick up again in March. We just have to weather the storm, as we always do. My birthday is on Sunday. I’ll be 29. Si*t! Almost 30? Me? I don’t feel a day older than 17. It’s just a number anyway. Being home in Nashville made me completely feel like a teenager again. I haven’t lost that. I don’t think I ever will.
We have such good friends here in San Diego. I don’t know why here. More people come to see us prayform here than anywhere in the world. On Sunday we had 6 or 7 people who were fans that all came to see us play. Some of our most diehard fans are in this city. We don’t have fans like that in New York (only Dan and Josh) or in Lisbon. People come to see us, yes, but not with such consistency and dedication. We are part of people’s lives here. Even people who don’t come to see us as much we know love us and think about us. That’s why we can feel so alone in NYC or even Lisbon. People may love our work and think of us, but we have little to no connection with them. I feel like an island in New York. It’s strange because it’s the Angel Tunnel that Thoth played in for so many years. We’ve been in Lisbon a long time too, almost every summer since 2010.
Monday February 20th 2017
I was inspired by our friend Tori to try a mixture of a dark and light makeup look today, plus I wanted to be all dressed up for our interview with Skylar in Balboa Park.
Skylar met us at 2pm at the Globe theater. Barb and David had 4 or 5 cameras last year and two or three helpers. Skylar had only one camera and herself. She says it will be finished in the beginning of March. I’m so excited to see it! It’s really interesting to do documentary interviews. It makes me feel that our life is incredibly significant. Why do documentaries of our work get made in this city? Tori came and Skylar watched and filmed most of the prayformance. Bill came. He said he might, and he did. We had a lovely time. These days we really need to prayform. Taking days off is too painful. I get to work on my creative projects, but Thoth has been so scared and depressed it’s better we go out to play.
We had a lot of fun today. I’m having a blast singing solos. I’m not scared of them anymore. Singing solos takes a lot of bravery and guts! It feels like I’m getting the hang of it though. Solos are very different from duets. They take a lot out of me and tire me out quicker. I don’t know how Thoth did it alone for so long. 10 years, but doing solos these days made me feel that someday I may be able to do solo prayformances when Thoth is gone. God. I wonder what I will do when that happens. We never know what life will bring us. I just have to focus on today. Maybe he’ll live forever.
Haven’t been sleeping well the last few night and thus haven’t had a lot of energy. Also have been working on my play a lot, which takes away most of my brain power. Sometimes I get super focused on one thing and don’t do the other things for a while (like blog). I did draw a sketch of my new character from my new story. He’s called Fray. I’ll show you, eventually.
I’m doing as many things as I can these days. I’m doing work on my play in the mornings, writing, editing and posting vlogs for both my channel and our channel, writing blogs every day, all while prayforming five days in a row this week! Haven’t been drawing for a little while. Didn’t have enough time. I need to start reading another book.
Whenever I get pulled away from being creative (or I think what I’m doing is worthless in the great scheme of things) I get sad and depressed. Creativity is what gets me up every morning and keeps me going every day. It’s so easy to get pulled away from it in this day and age. My desire is to always be creative, as much as I possibly can. That is the most important thing to me. I feel like sh*t if I’m not creative even just one day. (I’m great at giving myself a hard time for it. 🙂
We played 5 days this week in Balboa Park. We missed playing last Sunday because it was supposed to rain, so instead we went out Wednesday through Sunday this week. Tori came almost every day, Ali came on Friday, Bill came Friday and Saturday and a few other people came on the weekend, including Pascual, Tori’s fiance Michael and Tori’s mother. That’s what makes playing in Balboa Park truly meaningful and fun for me. We always have people watching us. People say such incredible things. I realize I do give myself such a hard time when I’m playing, but I also know I am very talented. I want to do so many things, but it takes a long time to do them. I can only work on my play for so long in a day.
Playing five days anywhere is actually too much for us. We should only play four. Some people have it worse, I know. Five days of going back and forth to a job they hate, but the work we put in is equal to, if not more work than people put in with regular jobs. The reason is because all the motivation and will to do it must come from ourselves alone. There is no one expecting us to play (accept our most dedicated fans who come) and they’re not going to fire us or anything if we didn’t show up. Our life is built entirely on self motivation. The will to do it just the two of us with zero outside motivation. I have no idea how Thoth did it by himself for all those years alone. No f**king clue. I honestly think I would never be able to do this alone.
I believe life is all about doing things by yourself. I’ve found nothing happens if you just sit around waiting for other people to do it for you, or work for other people. That’s what our society is built on, working for others. Our life is about working for ourselves, doing what we want to do. It can be challenging as sometimes self motivation dries up or we get tired or depressed and then we’re kicking ourselves for not doing as much work as we wanted (as both Thoth and I do). There’s only so much we can do in one day, especially on days when we prayform. That takes a lot out of us. I feel like I’ve done good work in a day when I get up early and write for a few hours, write in my diary, draw a little, prayform, eat, edit a vlog and write a blog. That’s enough for me for one day. On days off I feel fantastic when I get a good sketch done, a part of the plot to my story figured out, etc. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll take a nice bike ride to get our minds off things.
We went out to have take out sushi and Chinese food on Saturday night and on Sunday night we went out for burgers. It’s wonderful to not have to worry about what we’re going to eat after we play. We have tons of options. The restaurants around here are fantastic, and there’s tons of places within a block of where we’re staying. It’s such a nice treat for us. In the six winters past when we stayed on Adams Avenue, we didn’t have any options. It was very frustrating. We were trapped. We’re not trapped here in downtown San Diego. We can get anywhere easily. It’s like we’re being rewarded for all our hard work in the years past. San Diego used to be the place we hibernated. Now we can have fun, finally. It’s not that we didn’t have fun in the years past, but we’re having more fun now than ever before. We need to be in the city.
We’re doing these beautiful improvisations during and after prayformance every day. I film the ones we do at the end of prayformance and put the light on us. I think it’s beautiful.