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.
Friday October 21st 2016
I got all dressed up as usual in 1…..
2…..3!and we headed to Central Park as usual. It was pouring with rain. We hesitated, but went out anyway. The tunnel was soaking wet and we couldn’t put anything on the ground. Marcela was there and was also wondering if she should sing. Thoth and I stood together talking about it and eventually decided to go home. I knew it would clear up and I’d wish we’d stayed. If only we’d brought some plastic bags to put our things on the ground. The floor was much too wet anyway. It would have been dangerous to play. Imagine someone pouring water all over a stage and then saying, “Now perform.” We wouldn’t. Same thing, accept for when the tunnel gets wet from rain it’s full of grime and dirt, which makes anything that touches it dirty. It will be very cold tomorrow, but we’ll be prepared! It was important we tried.
We went home and of course the f**king sun came out. Oh well! I hate loosing a prayformance day. We got something to eat and relaxed until time to have dinner. I love where we live. It’s so homey and safe and cozy, completely the opposite of last year!
Thursday October 20th 2016
I was inspired again today so I went for it with my makeup.
I’m having fun vlogging again. Sometimes it gets so hard. I notice no one has commented on my blog for over a month. We need to find a way to drive traffic to my blog and our vlog channels. I think we’ll make brochures or something to give out in the park. Most people take pictures and videos of us and don’t bother getting our names before walking away. We have to find a way to draw more people to Tribal Baroque after they’ve seen us. I’ve always said if someone wants to look us up, we’re very easily accessible but today I saw how most every person watching us left without knowing who we are. The other thing is I don’t want to be giving away more free shit to people who are already taking our music, pictures and videos for free. There needs to be some kind of compensation. We should be getting hundreds of dollars per person for what they’re experiencing from us, but we get %1 of that. We do attract a huge amount of attention to ourselves when doing what we do. If people want to know who we are, they can easily do that. We can’t force them to. I kind of like making it a little more difficult. A lot of people recently have told us they came looking for us and didn’t know our name.
We had a fine play. Not the best. I got a bit discouraged when people weren’t so into clapping or coming forward, but some people were very moved and talked to us and bought CDs eventually. Our friend Jessie showed up out of nowhere and cheered me right up. She’s my favorite person (other than ourselves) who sings in the tunnel, as far as classical singers go. Not only does she have a pure, pleasant, she is a pleasant and genuinely respectful and loving person! We need more people like that. I love Cover Story, too because they are also genuinely friendly, talented and hard working. I made some vlogs and we went to 23rd St. to get salads. I saw two girls, one with light blue hair and one with light pink hair. Unusual.
Friday October 7th 2016
I was really not feeling it when I was trying to get ready today. For some reason I did myself up with makeup. I don’t know why. I was feeling so helpless. If that amplified trio comes down again today, I’ll loose it. I couldn’t smile on the train ride. Dan and Tina arrived at the Angel Tunnel to see us. I was in a bad mood, but having them there would help us. Their focus on us shows me we are being witnesses. They asked me why we don’t have physical copies of our new albums. “Because we have so many of the old ones. We have to sell those first. People only buy one CD, if any.” I said.
As we started playing, it was so peaceful and quiet I couldn’t really believe it. The entire time we played I expected to hear the trio start up, but they didn’t. As time continued on, they still didn’t start. I began relaxing and having fun. Tina was moving with the music and Dan was dancing with us and his camera, trying to capture a shot like he does. “Are you having fun?” I asked Dan. “I hope you’re having as much fun as I am. It looks like you are.” he said. That made me so happy. People were more generous and supportive today, thank goodness! I needed it! Really. It’s not just people’s generosity that makes a good day, it’s the connection we make with others.
A woman who follows my blog came to see us perform. “That angel is just a statue, you are the true angels of this park.” she said. What an incredible thing to say to us! People have said a lot of wonderful things over the years to us, but this is up there with the best. “And his laugh. His laughter is the icing on the cake.” she added. We were both so happy and buoyant, unlike the last few weeks. A good prayformance means everything to us.
Dan took us to the cafe in the park for dinner with Tina. I was so tired, and dreaming of doughnuts. We said goodbye to Dan and Tina in the subway and went home, laughing and smiling all the way. Bliss.
Friday June 17th 2016I’ll never understand why people think it’s OK to be mean on the internet. I’m a human being with flaws like anyone else, but one thing I would never do is be nasty and mean to people I don’t know on the internet, anonymously or not. I don’t feel any desire to lambast strangers to make myself feel better. I think I’ve gotten used to it now, but I don’t think I’ll ever understand why people think it’s necessary. Most people who read and comment on this blog are fans of our work, but a minority seem to hate us (or actually hate themselves, how could they hate us if they don’t know us?) so much that they feel the need to curse and name call. It’s almost like these people feel like they’re doing the right thing. The only thing I can imagine is that they are so miserable with their own lives, they are compelled to go on the site of a person who’s life they envy and be nasty to them. I no longer publicize mean comments or respond to them. There’s no reason to let hate spread, but it always leaves me feeling confused and dumbfounded. I used to write about how much better I was than other people under videos of singers I didn’t like on Youtube, but that was back when I was a teenager. I’ve grown out of it.
If a friend thought it was important enough to talk to me about something I wrote on my blog, they would tell me personally and in a kind and understanding way. Actually the people who love us never say anything about the things I write or vlog about other than beings supportive, compassionate and understanding. If I wrote something that someone might take the wrong way, my friends would be understanding and forgiving because they know who I truly am and they know I am not perfect and they love me. We need more love in the world. More compassion and more goodness. Always give someone the benefit of the doubt.
One thing I can say is I don’t know anyone other than my husband who makes themselves more vulnerable to uncompassionate, envious people in their daily lives. We’re lucky we have each other and are brave enough to stand against what anyone says about us for the sake of our art. You have to be really brave to be yourself and stand up for something. You have to be ready for people to try and cut you down at every turn, yet you have to hold onto the belief that there is goodness and compassion and love in the world, which I always will.
I’ve learned to be very strong doing this work. I used to care a lot what people thought about me and hated when someone misinterpreted my character. I used to want everyone to like me. I’m not completely out of that conundrum yet, but I’m closer to accepting myself and who I am than ever before. If I can relay anything in this post, it’s that if you do something and you wouldn’t want it to be done to you, then why do it? That is the true sign of compassion.
My perspective on what I do is completely different from what people watching are experiencing. I wish I could say I always have fun prayforming, but some days I don’t because I feel like we deserve better. I am very spoiled, I know. I’m working on it. I’ve never had a job in my life, so I don’t have anything to compare what I do to. What is a “slow” day, a “hard” day or a “bad” day for me is actually pretty silly when I think about it. It’s not hard. I’m singing for only 2 hours a day, five days a week. That’s all that is expected of me. Sometimes audiences feel sluggish, but that’s only my perspective. All I can do is do my very best. No matter how good we get, there will always be what feel like “slow” days. I have to find ways to deal with them better. I was raised to be entitled and proud and selfish. Thank the heavens I’ve found a husband and a work to dedicate myself to that is helping me to pull myself out of that. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have this work and my sweet Thoth. He never gives up on me.