Tag Archives: New York City

Being Mocked, and Being Supported

Friday November 18th 2016

I wasn’t up when Thoth was making our smoothies. I didn’t get dressed until an hour before time to leave for the park. I was really uninspired! Thankfully, it was a wonderful prayformance for us today! Dan’s brother Josh came to see us play. People clapped and cheered after every song. At least two or three people from every crowd said something as they left. “Amazing.” “Beautiful.” “Lovely.” That’s more like it! We put much more into the prayformance today. A little girl asked, “Why do you dress up like that?” I like dressing up for the prayformance. It’s theater, so I have an opportunity to express myself however I want. Why not? Having Josh there leading the applause helped so much. We got a lot of “bravos” too. People were really there for us today. Completely present. A man gave us a loving, generous donation for a CD. We gave him two. “It’s an honor.” he said. We were full of energy when we finished, unlike the last two days. We had salads for din din.

Thursday November 17th 2016

Oh man. I’ve been feeling low the last three days. I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with writing and vlogging about every aspect of my life. Sometimes it gets really hard and tiring and feels very pointless!

Today was another rough day. It was lovely out, and Dan came to take pictures, but the audiences were just… UGH. Bored, it seems, or worse, confused and unable to appreciate what they’re seeing in front of them. It’s not us. It’s the day. I don’t get it. I document our lives to show people easy it is not. While we were knelt to sing, some young boys came though the tunnel. I didn’t see them, but they started, what can be incredibly loosely termed as “singing” and very loudly as they walked through the tunnel. Not in harmony or inspiration, but with mockery and a desire to stop what we were doing. I was furious, and I knew Thoth was too. They stood in our crowd for a few moments. I thought I heard one say, “Hey we stopped them!” as we had stopped singing for that section of the piece. They walked out and away from the tunnel. That was the biggest applause we got that day. Our housemates Meli and Nina had come to see us. I could feel people were applauding for how we held our composure. “I wish I had been on my feet. I would have sung them out of the tunnel.” Thoth said. That’s something that happens when we perform in public.

Meli, Nina and Dan hung with us while we packed up. It was so nice to have had them there. Friends always make the day better. We got doughnuts to cheer us up at Doughnut Plant and got dinner at home.

Final Days with Sis and Back to Prayformance

Wednesday November 16th 2016

First day playing at the Angel Tunnel in what feels like forever! I did some strange, experimental makeup today. Sis hugged and kissed us goodbye. It’s been a very long 10 days since she got here.

The park and tunnel were dead silent. Not many people around. The fountain had been switched off, which added to the stillness. We played to very thin crowds. After “Sea Expressions,” no one clapped at all. They didn’t even move. Just stood there. I’ll never understand it, nor will Thoth. As the darkness came, it got better for us. I left to use the restroom while Thoth did his solo and a woman said she was amazed by us and our music. Even when I’m not in the best mood and not in my best form, people are still blown away by us.

Thoth is the best husband. He takes good care of me and loves me and kisses me. I love him more than anyone else. He sits on the thrown in the center of my heart. He took me to sushi dinner and got me lemon cake and chai tea for dessert. Tomorrow is the 7th year anniversary of the formation of Tribal Baroque. It was really nice to have a day just to ourselves.

Tuesday November 15th 2016

Sis woke me up around 10am. She was anxious to go out again and see another show tonight. I wasn’t so much. I went into the tent while she and Thoth worked on computers and acted for three hours. It was wonderful. I’m really wanting to act these days. After that, we three left the get lunch. I was in a bad mood. Sis had gotten a ticket to see a show I didn’t want to see. I was hoping we’d see Phantom again (which I found out doesn’t play on Tuesdays.) We got food at the grocery store and went home. The internet died and sis went out to see her show. I joined her in town afterwards to have dinner. It was nice. She’s leaving tomorrow. I’ll be glad to have my life back.

Monday November 14th 2016

Sis and I spent the entire day together. On the train into the city, a woman asked if I’d performed in Central Park last night. She was fascinated by us. We got off at 4th Street and walked through Washington Square Park. A couple also recognized me and asked me lots of questions. It was amazing. Two times in one day, who’d seen us the same night, within an hour of each other! It made me realize we need new business cards.

We had lunch and walked to 8th Street. We sat in a park and then walked back to get tickets for Blue Man Group for tonight. I called Thoth, who had just gone to see a movie. “I look so cute.” he said. We walked around more, and had a snack at Whole Foods before heading to the theater at 7pm. The show was great. I laughed a lot and the Blue Men stared at me. I love interacting with performers. After the show, we had dinner at Whole Foods and went home. It was a wonderful day.

A Very Emotional Election Week!

Friday November 11th 2016

Today I slept until 11am. I was exhausted from the last two days of prayforming and seeing shows. Sis and I decided we would take tonight off and have dinner instead. I did more colorful makeup and we went to the park.

Dan Rubin and Tina came to see us today. We talked about Trump of course. All of us were still reeling from it. The prayformance today wasn’t as great as yesterday, but Tina and Dan made it better. They are such great supporters of our work. The ballerina girl came and played her boom box even closer to us today. We were both so annoyed I went over and asked her nicely to turn it down. She did, but it was still obnoxious. The beauty of this time for us is the darkness and the silence. It’s what we wait for all year. That’s the one thing above all else we really miss by performing in public. Silence. In public we’re lucky to get silence.

It was freezing by the time we finished. Dan and Tina hugged us and left. We packed up while Marcia blaster her boom box at the other end of the tunnel and sang. It’s really a shame the tunnel is being taken over by amplified, unoriginal performers. There’s nothing we can do about it, and it will only get worse as the years go by. All we can do is stay true to our art and keep going. We went upstairs to sit for an interview with a girl who watched our show today and yesterday. She asked us all the normal questions. It’s interesting to hear us talk about our life. We live a truly unique life, and we do it by ourselves through our own sheer willpower. It’s amazing.

We took the train home. Sis was already there. We had dinner and relaxed in our room the rest of the night.

Thursday November 10th 2016

Thoth was very energetic today. He’d had an epiphany about the election. I did light, sparkly makeup today. I was feeling much better. Sissy met us at the train. We went to the park and she went off to explore the city.

Carlos, the classical guitarist, was playing when we arrived at the Angel Tunnel. We could set up and start on time today. For the first half, when it was still light out, we had three songs people literally didn’t clap for. WTF?? I’ll never understand it. I glared at people, but said nothing. I want to say, “F’ing clap! It’s the least you can do!!” but I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut. That doesn’t mean I don’t ironically laugh with Thoth about it or say something to him about it while the audience is watching.

The second hour of prayformance changed %100. For some reason the ballerina girl, Lee, played her boom box really loud near the fountain while dancing. I thought she was our friend. Friends don’t do that. It’s rude. I wanted to ask her to turn it down, but I didn’t. She eventually left and we had silence for the end of the prayformance. We have a sweet little light we turn on that gathers people to us like moths to a flame. It’s a magical time for us.

Sis came to the tunnel and sat off to the side until we finished. For some reason she started gathering up our money when we finished. “Don’t touch our money sis.” I said while audience members asked for CDs and pictures. “I’m trying to help you.” she said. “You’re not helping.” I said. We packed up and sis told me she got tickets for us to see “Cirque Du Soleil’s Kurios”. That was exciting, but it would be a long trip for us. It was up past 125th Street at Randal’s Island. Thoth was sad he had to walk home alone. My poor baby.

I hugged and kissed him goodbye and we walked to 59th Street on the east side. A Trump protester passed us with a sign. “Impeach Trump before January 20th.” I couldn’t have agreed more. I wish I could have gone to another protest. The trains at 59th and Lex were packed. We had to push our way on. Yuck. We took it to 125th and walked to the island. We had an interesting conversation about karma, which my sister doesn’t believe in.

It was a long and very strange walk to get there. There was no one around and it was dark. I got scared. Finally we made it to the tent, with 20 minutes to spare. We found our seats. They were off to the side, so we found other seats that were better. The show was incredible. The singer had a gramophone on her head. Cute. It inspired me to get better at what I do. I can put everything I see and feel into the prayformance. If someone gave us a bunch of money, we would put on an amazing show. One of the most beautiful shows ever.

We took the bus back to 81st Street and got home by midnight. Another long day!

Wednesday November 9th 2016

Oh my God. What a day today was! For the whole world it seems! I was so upset when my sister told me Trump won. I mean, WTF? How could this be true? Later I found out Hillary won the popular vote but didn’t win because of the electoral college. Shocking! I was disgusted, sad and scared. I never talk about politics or even pay attention to them, but now I was really feeling scared! It was too much to process. I felt like our work didn’t matter anymore if people were supporting such a horrible person like Trump.

I painted my face with dark makeup and tears streaming down my eyes to represent my anger and sadness towards the country. It was one of those immensely gloomy days, too. I couldn’t smile. No sun. Just clouds and darkness. Everyone seemed distraught and shocked. Any phone or newspaper I saw on the train had a picture of Trump on it. Disgusting pig!

We went to the Angel Tunnel to prayform. The accordion player was playing her 2 songs over and over. It was depressing. I didn’t want to play. We set up and got going a bit late. It didn’t matter. There was no one around to watch. The first half hour of playing was really hard, but the second half hour completely turned around. Three people purchased CDs. One woman said it was inspiring we are doing this regardless of the current political climate. I told her she made our day. “You made my day.” she said. We didn’t play our full two hours. No need to push on our first day playing after 3 days off. We were satisfied. God, we are so lucky. I had been feeling so hopeless, and left the tunnel feeling hopeful. That’s what prayformance does for us.

We took the train home, I got something to eat and went back out to 42nd Street to meet my sister. An anti-Trump protest was in procession. I was so full of anger and sadness still I began marching and chanting with them. It felt fantastic! Got a lot of my feelings out. I only had a short amount of time to walk the 10 blocks I had walked back to the theater. My dad called and said sister’s phone was dead and to meet her at the theater. I had 2 minutes. I raced over there and called for her. She was pissed at me. Oh well. I had wanted to continue protesting, but we had a concert to attend. Steve Vai!!

We got our tickets, put our earplugs in and went into sit down. Steve had just started playing. It was so loud both of us had thought to up and leave, but we got used to it. We were afraid we’d damage our ears. We were right next to the speakers. Vai said he doesn’t take anything too seriously, in regards to the election. It made me feel better. We had a great time. He played our favorite album, “Passion and Warfare.” It was amazing. It seemed like he looked at me a lot. He’s nuts! After the show I was hungry so we went to a burger place and then sis got ice cream. It’s hard because she’s in the Trump camp and I can’t talk to her about it without both of us getting upset. It was almost midnight when we got home. Long day!

Tuesday November 8th 2016

I was tired from last night seeing “Phantom” so I stayed home all day and acted. Thoth gave me some privacy and went to get frozen fruit and doughnuts. 🙂 Such a great husband he is! I’m so lucky. I get so turned on when I see Phantom. Weird, I know. He’s my icon. Acting is so weird too. It’s not physical. I turn myself on by pretending I’m Erik. My sister does it too. I’d never, ever show you, even if you asked me. Later when Thoth came home, I went out to have dinner at Times Square.

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.

 

A Day of Peace at the Angel Tunnel

Thursday November 3rd 2016

I did no makeup at all today. It’s been a few months. No reason to unless I really want to and I feel up to it.14914838_1313273688707272_976931981_nWe had an incredibly quiet and serene prayformance at the Angel Tunnel today. I don’t know how we do it. I know it seems odd, my life, to those who don’t live it. Why do I get up every day and spend two hours doing makeup and two hours singing and playing violin in a tunnel? Well, because it’s the way I have found for my talents to be used to their best ability and make a living doing so. Finances aside, it’s a way for me to constantly try new things and challenge myself to be bolder and more outrageous. I have grown to learn wearing makeup and a costume has nothing to do with the audience, it has everything to do with my desire to be self expressive. Just as long as we sing, people love what we do.

I really played it very low today. Didn’t sing much or sing very high or do any outrageous movements or facial expressions. Mostly I had my eyes closed and was just enjoying our music. I don’t have to do anything if I don’t want to. I prayform because I want to, but the degree to which I prayform is up to me. I can sing high, low, wear makeup or not, wear a costume, or not, play violin or not. It doesn’t matter in what way I prayform, just as long as I am doing it. I just have to do it. Being a sensitive, emotional wreck of a human being is what makes it hard, but also what makes it amazing. I feel everything. I’m not a boom box. I’m not a robot. I’m a living, breathing soul in a physical body. My expression is what I have at hand, my vocal chords, my makeup, my pencils and drawing book, my computer. I realized today how blessed I am to have the gifts I have. I sing like an angel. I am an angel in training, as Thoth says. I want people to appreciate our work. I know it’s one of the most unique things happening in this world today, but I know not everyone will. In the future they’ll wish they did. It’s interesting to know that so fully and clearly. The most important thing is I am living my life the way I want to and I am doing it with someone I love more than anyone in the world.

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