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A Successful Performance in Amsterdam!

Saturday August 6th 2016

IMG_20160806_154440017 IMG_20160806_154325448 IMG_20160806_144920157 IMG_20160806_144857726 IMG_20160806_144819950Today was a wonderful day for us. First day playing in a week, and we didn’t even have to play very long. It was Gay Pride today, so we were slightly excited to play. I saw two drag queens with big orange and yellow wigs out the windown. We decided we’d take the train to Vondelpark around 2pm to play for a little, and then go to Leidseplein to play in the beautiful acoustics.

I made something to eat and sat with Wim and Marja. Wim had been thinking of resonant spaces we could play. He mentioned one place, but it was too out of the way from Vondelpark, but we’ll probably go check it out one of these days. I went back upstairs and got dressed up and went out. We got to the park around 2:30pm. The woman who usually plays there was there singing cover songs. She finished after a few songs. We chatted and set up in a new place. It worked better. We used to set up where the bikes would stop and block traffic, but in this other place bikes didn’t block anything and pedestrians could watch us easily without having to worry about being hit by bikes. It’s pretty dead in terms of acoustics, and there’s dust, but it was fun enough that we played five songs. Big crowds the whole time. I was surprised. I don’t really like playing there, but people are very appreciative of us, so it’s worth it.

We walked to Leidseplein and played two improvisational songs. That was fun. No need to overdo it. We went over to a square where Thoth did a little (big) song. I didn’t because I didn’t want to hurt my voice. It was awesome. Another big crowd gathered. A woman said I looked perfect for this fairy festival that was happening near Amsterdam. I told her I was a street performer and this is how I dress all the time. I really liked my outfit and makeup today. I filmed everything, as I do, so I got footage of his performance. It was cool to go around him and film the crowd. It’s cool because people didn’t know I was his wife, even though I’m dressed up. 🙂

We took the train home and walked back home. We stopped to look at the canal boats and a woman in a pink jacket stopped in her tracks to look at me. She stood for a moment and then said she recognized us from Ruigoord back from 2010! She loved our music, our outfits, and said I looked younger than I did then. “I was 21 then!” I said. “How old are you now?” she asked. “28.” Her eyes widened. That was cool. Nice compliment! People were pointing at me as we walked home. We felt great!

Wim asked if we’re having dinner with them. I wasn’t expecting it, but we said yes. We like Marja’s food. It’s Asian and Indian inspired. Yum. Tonight’s dinner was especially yummy. Indian yellow rice with veggies, chicken and vegetarian meatballs. YUMMY!! After dinner we took a walk around the Red Light District and over to Dam Square. People were still celebrating Pride. A group of 4 young people saw us and one of the girls called out to me happily. We got some dessert and a worker asked to ake a picture with us. “I like unique people.” she said. “I do, too.” I said. I f’ing love Amsterdam.

One of the Best Nights Yet

Saturday August 1st 2015

I had to do pig tales again…IMG_20150801_203423It makes me feel so childlike…
IMG_20150801_203002698…so sweet…IMG_20150801_203518338…so playful!
IMG_20150801_203612618 I feel so freakin’ cute with pig tales! I’m like a little elfin fairy!IMG_20150801_203717614 IMG_20150801_204109751 What an amazing night it was. It started out pretty average, but it got better. I snapped a picture of Thoth doing his solo right before people started sitting down. IMG_20150801_213853987In the middle of the opera, tons of people suddenly came in and sat down along the wall to watch us. There must have been 20 people sitting watching us in the space, and a ton more hanging right in the doorways. We were surrounded on all four sides! That used to happen all the time when we were here in 2010. When we finished, almost everyone who was sitting got up and bought CDs. They all stayed for most of the show. I was impressed at peoples focus tonight. I don’t look people in the eyes, but I can see them energetically. I know when people are really in the zone with us, so to speak. There’s a certain feeling I can’t explain. People cheered and clapped so heartily and boisterously. I have no idea who they were or if they knew us. Some of them might have been fans. Some pointedly asked for our new album.IMG_20150801_225356138

It was an incredibly magical night!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

It Gets Better!

Saturday March 14th 2015

I look so beautiful, how could I have had a difficult day?

Look, a fried egg on my head. 

Our summer is all set! I bought our plane tickets to Lisbon and Amsterdam (and maybe we’ll go to London, too!) We’re leaving May 19th, the day after our wedding anniversary. Summer in Europe! I’ve missed Lisbon and I’m so excited. It’s such a relief to have bought the plane tickets almost 2 months before leaving. Now we don’t have to worry about it anymore. 🙂 Yay hurray!!

Today it was hot as hell. You could have fried an egg on my head it was so fucking hot. The sun felt like death on our bike ride. Days like these call for very skimpy costumes, hair up and very little makeup. The heat really gets to me. Thoth, too. “I’m not a sun bunny anymore.” he said.

Our performance felt strange to me at first. I was extremely unsure and doubtful of myself. I wondered if anyone liked what we were doing. Why do I doubt myself? Why can’t I feel what our audiences are feeling? When we finished the opera, we played some of the old pieces. The applause and reaction was exactly the same. It was just me doubting myself.

Our friends, the two Susans, came to see us. They got to see the second half of the opera, and a few of the old pieces, plus a completely improvised piece. We didn’t film it, but someone in the audience did. They said they’d send it to me. I hope they will! I felt better by the time we finished. “I don’t hear the difference from when you are improvising and doing a rehearsed piece,” Susan said. “I could listen to your voice forever.” They sat with us for over an hour while we waited for the sun to go down. They bought the new CD. Susan wants me to give a masterclass for her singers on how I use my whistle tone so effortlessly. Wow. I’ve never been invited to do something like that. One moment I’m doubting if I’m any good at what I do, the next I get invited to do a masterclass. Goes to show me I guess. The other Susan said it feels like something magical just happened and clapping will break the spell.

Laughing at something Susan said.

Laughing at something Susan said.

The sun was setting as we biked home, so it wasn’t so hot. My mother had called, so I called her back once we got home. She had listened to the new album, and adored it. She took notes and read them to me. She had nothing but praise for the new album. She was actually crying when she first called me. She said the ending was perfect. That’s what made her cry. 🙂  Just then Michael, our drummer friend, called. I called him back. He’d just gotten the album two days ago and had listened to it twice. “It’s so magical.” he said. He said he felt magical when we were recording but didn’t know if was just because the atmosphere was so full of love He wondered if it would transfer to the album. It did. I was wondering that, too. I told him of my doubts today. He totally sympathized because he goes through the same thing when he performs. I gave the phone to Thoth so they could talk.

Isn’t it interesting how I get that kind of deeply supportive feedback I needed during the prayformance when I was finished. It’s like I did my duty and I’m getting my reward. Michael said I have to realize I’m giving love and it will come back to me eventually. Maybe in an hour, maybe by the end of the day, maybe in a year, but it will come. Thoth said something so sweet to me. I’m so lucky to have a friend like him. “You keep me going.” I said to him. “I’m doing my duty as an angel in training, helping a young angel find her path.” he said.

Fantastic Prayformance

Sunday January 4th 2014

Our prayformance today was fantastic. Heather, the British woman who photographed us yesterday, came back just as we started today to photograph us again. I love when people return to see us! Our homeless friends came to see us, too. I don’t like calling them that, I just can’t remember their names. 🙂 They gave us big hugs. I love them both. They said they have a special gift for us they’ll bring on Friday. Our friend Bill came to see us, too and two women who were belly dancers. They told us an interesting story of how they discovered us. “We do tribal belly dance in the park once a month and were looking on Youtube for Balboa Park performers. Your video came up. We looked up your website and discovered you had JUST left San Diego, but we kept track of you until you came back.” How fantastic. My energy was very high today. I am exploring my physical movements more than usual. I did simple makeup again today. When I first started performing with Thoth, I was very facially expressive. I wish I could find some of the old pictures of me. I was always gritting my teeth or making some kind of less-than-angelic face. Over the past few years, I’ve focused more on wearing elaborate makeup and less on using my face. When I wear less makeup, I contort my face more. Funny. I will say I am inspired by my friend James Swanton. He just does whatever he needs to do to express his given character. I can do whatever I want. No one thinks “She’s contorting her face too much.” or “She’s moving her body too much.” It’s all part of the performance. Performance really does give me the excuse to do whatever I want. I stabbed Thoth with my bow accidentally I was so excited. He’s very patient with me. It’s like he is the rock and I am the bird. I can fly wherever I want and he is always there to catch me. I have gotten so much better at rhythm and phrasing I don’t step on his toes musically like I used to. 5 years ago I was a little wild thing. I didn’t know what the f*** I was doing, but I just dove into it. You have to. Prayformance has become safer to me over the years, but I don’t want it to feel safe. I’ve been changing a lot of my regular movements and trying new things. I listened to our very first album “Live in Central Park” yesterday. It’s incredible how much I’ve grown musically. I used to just sing. No phrasing, no nothing, just sing. I was having so much fun! It was a completely new experience, singing in a tunnel for random passers by. I want to recapture that. I want to be like a wild fairy nymph, not a perfect pretty princess. I will always be pink, but I don’t always have to be perfect. No one else may notice it, but I feel the wild side of me coming back into prayformance. I used a voice I haven’t used in a long time today. A scream, crying voice. I use my pretty coloratura voice mostly. It’s what feels most comfortable. It’s good to have a balance of comfort and danger in prayformance. Someone gave us hot coco when we finished. I gave it to our homeless friends. I gave them a CD, too. They are such big fans of ours. We have homeless fans everywhere we perform in the world. They said they would come up to San Francisco if we staged our new opera. They even saw our wedding pictures on Facebook.

Jim came home from his long weekend at a festival in the desert. He said he didn’t sleep for 80 hours. OMG. I could never do that. We haven’t seen him in 9 months!