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.
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.
Wednesday November 4th 2015
Today started out bad and ended great!
When we arrived a the Angel Tunnel, the Central Park Conservancy had set up their tents for their big gala. It takes up all of upstairs, where the break dancers perform. So that meant there were some very loud performers down at the bottom of the stairs near the tunnel. It was a group I’d never seen before. A breakdancer and a guy playing loudly at a big drum set. They were performing for over an hour. Infinity, who was singing at the back of the tunnel with her guitar, told me her family had had a tough few days. “The break dancers have been performing down here one after the other.” she told me. I didn’t want to set up. “If I have taught you anything, it’s never to give up.” Thoth said. Dan Rubin came, and that encouraged me. He sat with me and we talked while I put my bells on. I went back to talk to Infinity. She told me they had talked to the break dancer and they didn’t start for an hour so they could sing. “I hope they stop for you.” she said. “I do, too.” I said.
With Dan’s encouragement, I went over and talked to the drummer and the break dancer when they seemed finished with their show. They were both very nice. They said their set sucked and they wanted to do another one. I told them we usually play from 3 to 5 and could they give us some time to play. At first they didn’t seem like they would, but when I went back to Thoth, they seem to have decided to stop. One of the guys ran over and said they’d go somewhere else. They shook hands with Thoth and were all around good guys. I was so happy.
We were going to get to play! Yay! What BIG crowds we had today! We turned our light on, the one we used in Lisbon. It seems to draw more people. Having a light shining on us makes me feel like we’re in a theatre! The sun set as we were performing. It’s the first day the light is changing. This is our time. Our voices felt very clear and strong. I’m glad because Dan recorded it with a hi-def recorder.
When we finished, Dan took some pictures of me near the fountain. It was a perfect night. Very comfortable. His pictures are beautiful no matter how I look.
We walked to the subway with him. The sun had set. Prayformance always makes life better.
ALL PHOTOS BY DAN RUBIN.