Such a bad morning. Every morning has been bad. No work done. Just worry and fear and sadness. Until we have a good prayformance, there will not be a good day. I did dark makeup, which my mother calls “ugly” for some reason. It’s all a matter of perspective. If I listened to everyone’s opinion, I wouldn’t be able to be myself anymore. I have to do what feels right for me. Dark felt perfect for today. Even while I was doing it, I wasn’t sure why I was doing it. So little hope these days. It was another hard prayformance. People acting the same. Tori was there, watching over us. We play, people gather, we finish a song, people clap, we say this is all original music and we have CDs and people continue to stand there staring at us. Unless other people come up and talk to us and ask about our CDs, people seem unsure of what to do. I sense that everyone wants to know more about us. The curiosity is rampant, but us saying people are welcome to come talk to us does nothing. It’s almost as if I could say we’re from the planet Flaberdambibbits and we’re singing the language of the Slamkabet Jaberbams and it would make no difference. People stand there like brick walls. It’s so frustrating. It’s been so long since audiences have stepped forward and interacted with us fearlessly.
A woman came forward and said it’s clear how much we love what we do and we’re not doing it for the money. Easy for her to say. 🙂 That is the truth in a general sense, but not for me right now. I came up with a brand new solo out of the blue, as did Bill. He sprained his ankle on Monday, so we were shocked to see him limping over. That is dedication. What would we do without Tori and Bill right now? They are so dedicated to us! Tori comes every day we play, Bill comes every weekend. Only Dan in NYC comes to see us with as much dedication as they do. I never take that for granted. It gives me the most motivation to know someone has taken time out of their day for us. They care about us that much to take a chunk of time regularly to come out and support us. Amazing.
Thoth’s very strange solution today for getting CDs out of our hands and into other peoples hands was to say they were free. We did give away a few download cards and people came back to his violin case and gave a donation without being asked surprisingly. Thoth believed that might be the solution, but I wasn’t so excited about it. He says I need to let go and allow things to happen as they do. When I hold onto things too tight, it doesn’t allow things to grow. I can’t dwell on money because it won’t allow it to grow. When I can let go, it will grow again. Seems so counter intuitive. Thoth is so happy after a prayformance. I need to remember how lucky I am to have him. I can never take that for granted. I love him so much. I love when he is happy.
Sunday February 19th 2017
I wake every morning from around 8am (9am the last few days) and work on my play until noon. I can only write about one page before my mind starts to get soggy. The idea to create something is much smaller than the actual task of creating it. I came up with the idea for this play while we were in Nashville over Christmas and I’m now finally getting to writing it, after backstory writing and plot creation. I can’t imagine writing or creating something that takes years and years to create. Well, that’s kind of what prayformance is. A lifelong creative project. I don’t see it as a project though. Prayformance is my life. A lifelong creative process lets call it. As my life is.
I’m having fun trying different kinds of makeup and costumes. I can mix black makeup and a light costume/black makeup and a black costume/light makeup with a black costume/light makeup and a light costume. It gives me more things to work with. A larger pallet. I used to only wear light makeup and light clothes, which gave me a certain look. Wearing dark makeup or dark clothes adds something different, and always wearing anything black makes my light hair pop out.
Today’s prayformance was so much better than yesterday’s rainy day prayformance. Seven people came to see us at Balboa Park. Bob, the sweet homeless man who’s come to see us for a while now, Bill, our cheerleader, Tori, our sweet, amazing supporter (who loves to draw us), Pascual, our shy, gentle protector, Sister Ida and Sister Yeshe, our dear friends and Skylar, a girl who was filming us for a documentary she’s for school. All are friends we cherish. As I’ve said before, it makes all the difference when people come to support us. Skylar discovered us last night and asked if she could film us for a documentary. I said yes and she wrote the questions last night and drove and hour from school to film us today. Amazing. Who does that? Who actually does what they say they’re going to do? No one. And she’s just a college student. 25 years old! Amazing. She filmed us all afternoon. I gave Pascual the camera to film several songs. Our improv was super cool. We did a funky part. I’m glad we got it on film! Someday this stuff will be legendary. It already is. We had a lot of fun today. No fear. Just fun singing and playing. Skylar will come to film interview questions tomorrow before we play. We’re going out tomorrow because it’s a holiday. We haven’t been playing enough. That’s February for you. My birthday is on Sunday!
Sunday February 12th 2017
Despite that we played yesterday with no hitches and we were both all read up on our constitutional rights, we were still scared to go out to play at the park. That didn’t stop us from going out. I painted X’s on my eyes and on my forehead to represent my rights being trampled on. Prayformance becomes a form of protest when we are under threat by authority. We can not stop prayforming. We have no other way to live. Nothing that is more important to us.
Tori and his step daughter arrived, as well as Bill to see us play. We feel safer when friends are there to witness us. A few other people who knew us were waiting for us to begin. I was completely shocked to see Forrest arrive just as we started. I had to run over and hug him. It’s been a month since we got here and today was his first time seeing us. He’s been overly busy with his work. It was another very passionate prayformance. All of our friends stayed through the entire performance. I like that very much. Many people who had come specifically to see us and stayed through until the end.
No one knows how fragile our life and work is. Sometimes it is head together by the smallest thread of self will. There is one small step between continuing and not continuing. Continuing for us happens through sheer willpower, but sometimes it can be through someone’s support of our work. People coming to see us play really helps. On Friday I thought it was all over, but I know now that we will never stop prayforming. No matter what happens. It what we have that keeps us going.
If the world was fair and just, our work would be celebrated in every city we perform in. Not only by park goers and fans who love our work, but by those in authority. We would feel appreciated and welcomed and safe and we wouldn’t be so alone. The truth is very different. People love our work, but we alone will ourselves to do it. There is a very small community around our work, but we ourselves must forge ahead and do it. Fans come and go. Audiences come and go. Things change. The one thing that doesn’t is our commitment to each other and to our work. We are devoted.
We were so happy to get two wonderful weekend days of uninterrupted bliss, we treated ourselves to dinner and were oh so happy.
Saturday February 11th 2017
I was depressed this morning, terrified that the park ranger would return to harass us when we went out to play. I’d researched and learned that we are of course breaking no laws by performing and being given donations in a public space. The ranger is actually the one breaking the law. No officer, who is charged with upholding the constitution, is allowed under the guise of law to take away a citizen’s constitutional rights. This is what the ranger was doing on Friday. He claimed we were involved in commerce because he saw someone give us money, which he didn’t produce any proof of a law which defines that. If an officer takes away a citizens rights under the guise of law, he is subject to a fine, or even jail. That’s probably why he threatened us with a ticket instead of giving us one. He doesn’t want it to go to court because the park would loose. He didn’t know what he was talking about, and now we know what our rights are. That’s didn’t stop me from being scared.
Many people came to see us in Balboa Park today. People we hadn’t seen since last year, and some of our diehard fans, Pascual and later, Bill. Pascual graciously stood watch to make us feel safer while we played. We are responsible for ourselves, but it was helpful to have protectors there. We sang our hearts out. Even though Pascual was standing guard, he later said our prayformance was intense. Yes, indeed it was. We were singing for our lives. When our work is threatened, we go back out the next day and sing as if our lives depend on it. No one can stop us. What we do is protected under the first and fourteenth amendment, and yet rangers do not protect those rights. Only we can stand up for them.
We were so happy when we finished. There were so many people there supporting us who talked to us afterwards.
Before we start today’s blog, I have an important question to ask.
Do you read my blog? Leave a comment if you do please. Tell me why you read it. I really do want to know. Do you read regularly or occasionally? Why? Do you enjoy my posts about our daily life or is there something more you’d like to read about? Tell me. I read everything and am here to respond. So is Thoth.
I am changing. My character in prayformance, or in general, isn’t sweet, cute and innocent anymore. I’m tired of that. I am becoming more insane, disturbed, depressed, wild and crazy (acting-wise). It’s invigorating and expansive for me. I don’t know if this is Esh and Ee-ay’s child continuing the story of the opera or if it is a completely different character. Whatever it is, it’s something within me that has needed to come out for a long time. Something I was afraid of, something I was scared to share with others. It’s part of my sexuality. I’m turned on by darkness, sexual frustration, lustfulness and humiliation. I’m turned on by the idea of being a man like that. It’s a part of my core nature, something I’ve been exploring and doing since I was 10 years old.
My acting videos I’ve been posting recently are sharing this part of me. I have a need to use this side of me in performance, not just in private anymore. All of the characters and real people I love have some aspect of dark, raw sensuality to them, like Erik. All of my favorite actors have this in them too. Anthony Hopkins, Kevin Spacey, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman. In their performances at least.
I am a woman, but inside I feel like a man. A boy. I have fantasized about having male genitalia. That turns me on more than anything to imagine. I don’t know why I’m telling you this. I have penis envy. I love both men and women though. Never had an intimate relationship with anyone but my husband. Never had sex. Don’t want to. Thoth loves my boyishness. He embraces it, as I embrace his femininity . He’s like a woman in a mans body. I’m like a boy in a girl body, though we both embrace and love our bodies. Interesting.
The performance the other night at Flying Monkey Arts was… interesting. I made a great vlog about the entire day. Please watch it and tell me what you think. Do you want more of the performance or do you enjoy the behind-the-scenes stuff? I want to know!
I would love to do a dramatic acting piece in the context of prayformance. Using a recording I make of the voices all around me. Going insane. That would be so cool! Anyway. It was an easy drive. We listened to music and I danced in my seat. We listened to “The Wiz”. Great fun. Thoth hadn’t heard it since he was 20. Wow. I did black makeup, crazy hair and wore an old black dress. Wondered what I would do. I’ve been exploring such deep and dark emotion recently in my videos, I had no idea what it would do to me in prayformance, plus we hadn’t played in three weeks. That performance was no different. We’re both out of shape too. I knew I’d be aching in the morning (which was true.) Thoth went nuts. When he is tired, he throws himself even more intensely into the prayformance. I was intensely, but still couldn’t keep up with him, especially for almost an hour and a half of basically non stop performing. We don’t usually do that. In public, we have to take breaks in between songs.
I was plagued by self doubt while playing. I had lunch with my father and he was harping on us creating music with words and how good it is to make lots of money. I know he only wants the best for me, but that may not be the best way for me to do it. It made me doubtful as we played. I was thinking, “God this is stupid. No one knows what we’re saying. We need to sing in English.” I was also feeling immensely doubtful of my skills on violin. God. Not fun. That’s what happens when we take time off. Thoth was bounding around the stage like a crazy person, even though he knew he would hurt himself. He is nuts.
A young woman named Tara wrote her about her reflection of the show and shared it on Facebook. It was so sweet. I was really touched and it gave me immense perspective about what I’m/we’re doing.
“The Tribal Baroque performance was so much more emotional than I was prepared for with all the changes that winter brings energy wise, and changes in my own life…
The performance marked the dichotomy of the human condition for me…with passion, love, suffering, and adversity. The opera was so deeply characteristic of their actual love. and that was a tear jerker….watching them really feeling what they expressed, and not acting in any way. I had never seen anything like that before.
Let me put it to you this way, there was a grown ass man in his 50’s in front of me with his head buried in his hands nearly sobbing.
This was a masterpiece. Lilla and Thoth gave us true magic, and because of it, I feel like I can move on with my life. Because of the arts, I can accept even the darkest things about reality, and can transmute that suffering into celebration. ॐ <3 <3 <3 <3 ॐ”
I realize that reading about my personal experience prayforming might very odd for those who see a performance I’m writing about. It’s my perspective. People watching us live, reading or watching the vlog have a completely different perspective. Nothing like my own, and nothing like Thoth’s perspective. I’m in my head, in my body, doing the work. People watching have perspective formulated in their own heads from their own life experiences. I have no idea what that is. People were very vocal in between our songs. Very supportive. “We love you!” “Welcome back!” “You’re making me cry!” People seem to love us there. We had our first kiss with them. The Flying Monkey theater troupe came out to NYC to do a show. They came to the Angel Tunnel to see us prayform. This was back in 2009. We had a big group hug and accidentally kissed each other! It was a shock. He was still with his girlfriend at the time. Very naughty of us. God.
We haven’t performed in Huntsville since 2010. 6 years. So much has happened since then. We got married. Made 5 albums. Wrote our first opera. We worked with James Lapine. I’ve grown as a singer and a musician and an artist as I never thought I could. What will happen in another 6 years? I have very little memory of our first performance there. I just remember we got there really early and people were surprisingly supportive of us. No memory of what we did or how much money they gave us. I was totally shocked the next day to see how generous they were to us. That was totally unexpected. They really did love us. It really is amazing we make a living doing something that is fun and challenging for us.
We still have 18 days here in Nashville. I’m having a wonderful time. Spending every day in my childhood bedroom listening to music, singing, making videos, writing, etc. Never leaving the house. I’m pleased and very happy. I wonder how I’ll feel when we leave.