Tag Archives: Sarah Kernochan

Last Day In Martha’s Vineyard!

Monday September 7th 2015

Today was a day of rest and relaxation for us before flying to New York tomorrow. I’d written to Benjamin Zander with the photo I’d taken of him and the other 2 conductors who’d come last night. He wrote a lovely message back, basically saying how much he loved us and the show. Wendy came over with our fee and Sarah arrived. We sat and talked about the show and what a success it was. Despite that, it’s unknown of she’ll bring us back next year. We want to put this show on in theaters and tour it. I wrote my blog and called people, then Thoth and I took a pleasant, exploratory bike ride around Edgartown.
IMG_20150907_152549247 IMG_20150907_152813370 IMG_20150907_152844409 IMG_20150907_153316962 We ran into Francesca Kelly, who was at last night’s performance and was immensely admiring of our work. She passed in her car and then found us when we were about to get lunch. She took us to a place to sit and talk and get drinks and gave us more fantastic feedback, which of course I can’t remember. She wants us to come back to the Vineyard next year and wants to help us. IMG_20150907_163800 We went home to put away our bikes and walked to Sarah’s house on the beach. She helped me get all ready for swimming (goggles, bathing suit. Thoth had already gotten in the water when I came back out. At first I was scared to get in, but I swam out and Thoth held me. Eventually I was having fun swimming around looking underwater with my goggles. I got out and we went back to the house to get the camera to take Thoth’s picture. IMG_20150907_181246689 We took a lovely wash off in the outdoor shower. It was so pleasant! Sarah was cooking dinner and Ben arrived at 7 for dinner with us. The three of us went out on the dock to see the sunset and he asked us tons of questions. He loves the purity of my voice and my facial expressions. He said the moments of romantic connection during our performance were “sexy” and said I am so “Puckish.” (as in Puck the character from Midsummer Night’s Dream.) I loved getting feedback from him. It was such a magical moment, sitting with him watching the sunset. Those are the moments we cherish and remember forever. We went back to the house and I helped set the table for dinner. Sarah made yellow tail with potatoes and spinach, her daughter’s favorite meal. It was stunningly delicious! The was she cooked the fish made it crunchy on top. Mmm! Thoth needs to make it for me! “You know how I love to pamper you.” Sarah said. Ben gave us his book, The Art of Possibility and two recordings of him conducting some Mahler symphonies. One he gave Thoth Symphony No. 2 and me Symphony No. 3, which was written for the pure type of voice I have. He talked about moving past life’s difficulties by using the methods in his book. “Can I call you when I get sad?” I asked. “Of course. You have my number.” he said. 🙂
IMG_20150907_233355We took a picture together, said goodbye to Sarah and Ben drove us back to the Vineyard Arts Project. What a lovely last day here!

2nd Performance of Esh and Ee-ay in Martha’s Vineyard!!

Sunday September 7th 2015

Sarah Kernochan came over at noon to give us notes. All were to help make the story more clear. Who knows if I would be able to remember and incorporate them! It’s fantastic to have someone who knows our music well enough and can tell us if something doesn’t make sense theatrically. We’ve never had that kind of person who could help us like that before! She had found some maple leaves on her walk and put them on her nose while she was talking. It was so funny, and she was being really serious. I had to immediately start doing my makeup when she left. I felt much more relaxed and ready today. I did a totally different look from last night. God this is so much fun!

Right before we left for the show, I checked my email. Wendy had sent something out to everyone saying “As you surely know, the response and buzz has been very very very good and if I do say so myself WELL DESERVED.” Now that made me feel fantastic! James and Sarah came to pick us up.

IMG_20150906_174901912We got ourselves ready and I got some pictures…

The great James Lapine and wonderful Sarah Kernochan. IMG_20150906_174934342 Here’s Thoth on the stage laughing at something James said. IMG_20150906_175028221Aren’t they cute? (James doesn’t like that word.)
IMG_20150906_175058152 unnamed-1unnamed-2My sister called while we were rehearsing and I put the phone to James’ ear. “Who is this?” she said. “A good friend of your sister’s.” he said. “Guess who that was?” I said taking the phone back. “I don’t know.” she said. “It was James Lapine.” I said. “Oh my god. Can I talk to him again?” she asked. I put the phone back to his ear. “Thank you. I’m happy to make people laugh.” he responded to whatever sis said.

James was cracking us up while we were rehearsing. Whenever we’re around him, he’s always making us laugh. That’s how he is. He’s very, very funny. It helps relax everyone. He’s the most laid back director I’ve ever worked with. No ego, no agenda, he’s just happy to help out in the creative process. No wonder he’s won so many Tony Awards. 🙂
IMG_20150906_180713041Uh oh, he’s coming for me… 🙂IMG_20150906_180717915That’s Wendy in the background and the Narrator to the right of James.
IMG_20150906_182458069 I was happy James would be staying for the show tonight. He has been such a tremendous, unexpected help to us. “Thank you so much James.” I said hugging him before going backstage. “No, thank you.” he said.

Thoth backstage before the show. IMG_20150906_184439790 The audience wasn’t as big as last night, but they were much more comfortable with us. I made more (unnoticeable) mistakes tonight because I was trying to incorporate Sarah’s notes. Thoth sweat his ass off (as usual.) He’s such a force to be reckoned with on stage. I think I added a lot of new shades to my character tonight. Being on stage with my husband makes me feel protected, while allowing me to fully be myself. I have expanded my violin abilities in a huge way this year. People see us as musical and creative equals. 11265308_10153570440609544_3290635441654181470_oWe are extremely expressive in general, but on stage even more so. This opera has forced me to do things on stage I’ve never done before.
10255522_10153570441719544_258578899548043165_oWe got another standing ovation and we stomped our bells while people clapped. That was fun. We played “Gypsy Dance” as an encore. It’s amazing how much I’ve grown as a musician through this work.

More people came to the reception tonight and we sold a lot more CDs. That made me so happy. IMG_20150906_210225877 The three conductors who were invited came to the reception. Ben, the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, came straight up to me and told me his impression. He was so enthusiastic! That’s him on the left. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “I’ve never heard a voice like yours before.”  Wow!IMG_20150906_210312055 All three of them loved the show. Meeting them was a highlight of the night for me!IMG_20150906_210317154#1James and Sarah came to the reception, but they had to rush to another event afterwards. I was able to thank James again. He held me by the hands and said, “You were amazing.” I blew him a kiss and he blew me one back.

 

Kate Taylor came. She was at the house party the other night and was so excited to see the show. Of course she loved it.

IMG_20150906_210703612 I love her style!IMG_20150906_210722496#1 People were bombarding us for CDs and showering us with compliments. That’s such a great thing about doing shows here. We get such great feedback! IMG_20150906_210903818 Puppies!IMG_20150906_210906822A lady is writing a review for Wendy. IMG_20150906_211254530She loved how I pulled the audience in with my little expressions towards them. She adored my expressions.  I wish I could remember what everyone said! I want to hold them in my mind forever! To have such incredible people loving us truly validated my feelings for what were doing. We are amazing, people do love us and good things will happen for us.

Wendy and Caroline took us to dinner afterwards. Wendy gave us fantastic feedback (I wish I recorded it) and read us some of the famous people’s reactions to the show (all positive.) Tony Shalhoub and Carrie Fisher both loved it last night, and Bob Brustein came tonight and was besotted. Lots of incredible people come to shows in MV. What an incredibly successful weekend!!!

PS. The show was filmed, so we’ll have to cut it all together and it will eventually be available for viewing!

The Debut of our Opera, “Esh and Ee-ay”!

Saturday September 6th 2015

I actually wasn’t as nervous this morning as I woke up. Thoth lay in bed with me and we talked about the opera. “I want to do a bit of ‘Anya’ to open.” he said. “I think it’s better if the narrator starts. You need to allow the work to change and grow. We can’t sing ‘Anya’ before every show.” I said. Thoth playfully growled. It’s the sound he makes when he’s not fully in agreement with me.

I had to start getting ready at 1:15pm to give myself 3 hours to do makeup and hair. James Lapine and Sarah Kernochan were going to pick us up at 4:15 and get all the props. I started getting nervous. Doing a makeup look that satisfies me creatively when I’m nervous is difficult. I’m very aware how big the show is going to be and a lot of important people are going to see me. It’s an interesting experience.

I finally got myself together and had a half hour before pickup time. 
IMG_20150905_160609202 IMG_20150905_160620127 IMG_20150905_160625969 Thoth’s headdress is a sight to behold. IMG_20150905_160538913 IMG_20150905_160532811 IMG_20150905_160550862I didn’t get a shot of him in his coat. I’ll do that before tomorrow night’s show.

I saw James walk around the back. Both he and Sarah loved how I looked. “What about me?” Thoth said playfully. “You look amazing, too!” James said. We got everything in the car and Sarah ran over to get Thoth’s coat from the seamster who removed the sleeves. James was so sweet. “You’re going to be amazing.” he said. He’s totally in our corner. While we drove to Union Chapel, he asked about where I went to school. I told him about dropping out of University of Kentucky, moving to New York when I was 20 and going to Circle in the Square Theatre School (where he did Putnam County Spelling Bee.) Eventually we got around to him asking what Thoth and I call each other. “I call him Bunny Face.” I said and he started calling him that. “What does he call you?” James asked. “Girl. Young lady.” I said. “Oh yes, he calls her Young Lady a lot.” Sarah said. Such an interesting conversation to have with him! So human, so normal, so sweet and so charming!

Wendy, Caroline and Steven the filmographer were there setting up. We put on our bells and Suzzanne (the narrator) arrived. James helped us through the cues, just so we knew what props we needed for each scene. It was very helpful. People were standing outside waiting to get in. “Now just have fun and breathe.” he said. He couldn’t stay for tonight’s show because he had a previously planned dinner party to attend. He’ll see it tomorrow. We went back stage to get ready. I dropped two of my jewels on the stage so Suzzanne went out and found them for me. I actually wasn’t nervous because I felt so prepared! Having James directing us was such a pleasant surprise. He’s so fantastic at what he does, and he’s so casual, gentle and sweet. We’re so blessed to have him lending his talents to our cause.

At 7:07pm, Wendy called places and went out to introduce us. Suzzanne hit her cane on the ground and announced, “The story of Esh and Ee-ay” and we came out to our spots. It was so helpful for us to have someone speaking in between scenes. It meant we didn’t have to rush into changing and drinking water and catching our breath. We had decided for Thoth to do our opening number “Esh” center stage and me to stand back accompanying him. Despite that we had a lot of cues and props to remember, everything went very smoothly. There were many comedic moments. I tend to ham it up on stage when the moment is right. I don’t have an opportunity to do that in public. People laughed unexpectedly a few times and we got a big applause after “Transformation and Meeting” and after “Falling in Love.” It was interesting to have different variations of applause. Every piece didn’t end with us speeding up and flinging our hands in the air, which Sarah didn’t want. Two little girls who had been dancing and talking for half the show were taken out during, “Esh Revealed” and one of them loudly shouted, “NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!” as we were in stillness. It was very distracting. I love having kids at our shows, but they need to be quiet! We ended “Birth” sitting on the floor holding each other and the lights when down. People instantly stood to their feet and cheered. We were even able to do “Pentagram” as an encore, which was fun.

We ran backstage to grab our things and get to the A Gallery for the reception. “You blew the roof off again!” Sarah said when she came backstage. People applauded when we arrived in the reception gallery. We sold lots of CDs and got great feedback. People were mesmerized. Sarah was so proud of us. “People are talking about you like you’re the real deal.” she said. “The comedy was wonderful. Thoth is more kabuki and you’re more Pierette. Also, people loved the story. They LOVED it.” she said.  I was so happy. I told her I was very calm and confident. “It showed.” she said. We have a show now!

Here’s Thoth signing CDs.
IMG_20150905_211545898Sarah with Thoth.
IMG_20150905_211655352Happy, tired me. IMG_20150905_211713640 We got a picture with everyone. From left to right is Sarah, me, Thoth, Wendy and Caroline. IMG_20150905_211758978

What a Coinkydink!

Thursday October 9th 2014

Today's Look: Asymmetrical Swirls.

Today’s Look: Asymmetrical Swirls.

I did some asymmetrical makeup swirls today. Fun! My earbuds broke yesterday so I couldn’t listen to my iPod. I didn’t want to borrow Thoth’s, ’cause I’d break them, too. Instead, I sat out near the fountain and continued reading “The Martian.” MIriam’s son, Tristian, was drawing on the sandstone with chalk yesterday. He even marked up the pillars with X’s. When Miriam arrived, I told her I was scared we’d get in trouble if a Conservancy worker caught him doing that. I know they wouldn’t like it. He won’t do it anymore. I got a wash cloth from Thoth and wet it in the sink, then wiped down the columns and the floor of all the X marks. It made me feel much better. Katharine, the violist who plays with the Boyds, thanked me for doing so. She’d seen him doing it yesterday to and told him to stop, but I don’t think he listened. Miriam listens to me. She likes me, and I was nice about it.

Prayforming.

Prayforming.

It was chiller than I expected today. I should have worn my pink coat. I definitely will tomorrow. Tristian watched me while I put on my bells and set up. He did that yesterday. He’s very curious and always wants my attention. It’s cute. Thoth wore his red feather for the first time in a week. He found some leather to wrap it securely in place with. He looks so dashing! Dan hasn’t been able to take pictures of him with it yet. Thoth didn’t wear his bells to the park. He hurt his knee yesterday. He was wearing his bells for too long, almost 7 hours a day. Each string of bells is probably 4 pounds. It strengthens his legs, but it also tires him out before we prayform. I’m glad he’s not overtaxing himself. “I felt light on my feet today.” he said. The most important thing is that he can prayform. It was so quiet and peaceful again today. Ahhhhh!

On our way out of the tunnel, a woman stopped us and asked for my picture. “Who are you supposed to be?” she asked. “I’m myself, Lila’Angelique.” I said. “Is it for Comic-Con?” she asked.”No.” I said. “That question is so odd.” I said to Thoth while she snapped my picture. “People usually dress up as someone else. We’re dressing as ourselves.” I said. We walked to Chirping Chicken for dinner. Fasting all day is good for my figure, (not that that’s the reason I’m doing it.) We fast because we are able to keep up our energy all day for prayformance. Once we eat, we pass out. We went to the drug store and I bought some teeth whitening strips and some new PINK earbuds. Yay. We were almost about to go into the subway when Thoth peered into a truffle shop. We went inside and he got a little Key Lime truffle. The moment we stepped out again, there was Sarah Kernochan! It was so nice to see her! We chatted for a bit. She asked how our prayformance went today. “Wonderful.” I said. She said her new film, “Learning to Drive” is a hit at the film festivals, but she’s still working diligently on getting our commission together. I’m so happy we have a friend like her! What a coinkydink! 🙂

We hopped on the subway. At 42nd Street, Thoth realized he forgot his Kindle at the truffle shop. Oops! We took the train back to 79th Street and went back into the shop. I could hear a woman calling, “Ladies! Ladies!” from across the street. I was sure she was calling to us, but I never turn around unless someone comes up to us. When we got to the door of the shop, the woman stopped up. “You look amazing. Can I take your picture?” she asked. “Of course.” I said. Thoth went inside the store and low-and-behold, they had his Kindle! Hurray! What a relief! The woman took our picture and asked what we do. It’s impossible to explain to people what we do.”It’s our own style. Kind of operatic voices. Etherial.” I said. “Well, anyone who wears a feather in their hair must do something amazing.” she said. “Thanks for making my day.” she said. How sweet. We went back on the subway and went home. We were both happy. What a nice day.

Everything’s Going So Well!

Thursday September 11th 2014

Today's look.

Today’s look

I was tired again this morning when Thoth woke me up. It’s 9/11. 14 years ago I was brought home from school to watch the horrors on the news. It feels like yesterday. Dan sent me the email of a fashion designer who wants to make costumes for us. I wrote to her and asked if we could come to her studio to see her work on Monday. She wrote back, saying Monday is great. So we’ll see her then. Exciting! I really liked my makeup look from yesterday, so I did something similar today, but a little different. It was cloudy and a bit muggy as we walked to the park. “I bet it will stay like this all day.” Thoth A woman recognized us as we were walking towards the Angel Tunnel. “It’s Mara!” she said hugging us. “Do you remember me?” she asked. “No. Who are you?” we said. “I did the house concert for you in Oakland 2 years ago.” she said. “Oh! Mara!” we said recognizing her. She was very happy to see us. “Are you just about to go perform?” she asked. “Yes.” we said. “I was just downstairs listening to that choir. They’re angelic.” she said. We went down to the tunnel. A breakdancer came through and said hello to us and shook both our hands. Things have changed. The Boyds finished early, but Katherine played viola for a bit until Miriam arrived to sing. I read a little of “Neverwhere” while we waited. We complimented Katherine’s playing when she finished. “I was a bit nervous to play while you two were listening.” she said. Katherine really admires us. John Valiant came and said hello to us before he left. He calls us “Mr. and Mrs. Thoth.” It’s very sweet. I can’t believe I’m married to such a well respected man who has created something so original and beautiful.

Prayformance.

Prayformance.

Dan came to photograph us. My hair was falling backwards. Dan suggested I put a chopstick in it to hold it up. I only had an incense stick, but it worked! While Miriam sang, her little son growled playfully at us while we set up. It’s a game he likes to play. I don’t find him so obnoxious anymore, but he is still a bit distracting. He’s much calmer now then a year ago. I made sure Miriam was finished before we started our ceremony. I was more tired then usual during prayformance.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

It was muggy, but not so hot. It made me sleepy. We played a shorter set, like we did yesterday. We packed up and Dan and I took pictures outside. It was much hotter outside of the tunnel, though it wasn’t sunny. A woman who was trying to get a shot of the entire tunnel, asked us politely to move our stuff to one side. We obliged. Two young men who help buskers with legal problems talked to us. “You’re legendary.” one said to Thoth. “How did they know you’d be here?” I asked when they left. “They follow our Facebook page.” Thoth said. Sarah Kernochan called me on the phone. “Where are you?” she asked. “We’re in the park.” I said. “I am, too.” she said. “We’re in the tunnel.” I said. “I don’t see you.” she said. I saw her coming down the stairs and waved at her. “You crazy kid.” she said and kissed me. “How do you do those things to your hair? If I did that I’d only have one hair left.” she said smiling. We went over to Thoth and she gave him back the gigabite stick. Her new film was a hit at the Vancouver film festival. She told us all about it. She told us the footage Thoth gave her will work for an avenue she’s following to help us with the opera commission. “We’re almost finished with the synopsis. We can probably give it to you this weekend.” we said. “Your photos are beautiful. I don’t think I’ve ever told you that.” she said to Dan. “I can see why you’re addicted to these guys.” “I’m going to be away for the rest of the month, but we can Skype and talk on the phone and work out the synopsis. I’ll keep up on everything. Thanks for writing your blog. It makes it so easy.” she said.  She kissed us and was off. “Sarah has changed in how she interacts with me. She feels like a mother figure.” I said to Dan. We took pictures and walked to the subway with Dan. At the subway, we hugged him goodbye and parted ways.

 

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Photo by Dan Rubin.

Once we got back to Williamsburg, I saw Sarah Gregory walking by. She’s part of The Gregory Brothers, a group who makes funny videos on Youtube. I said hello. “I love what you do.” I said to her. Thoth didn’t know who she was. I tried to explain to him what they do. “We make videos and stuff.” she said humbly. Her stomach was round. “Are you pregnant?” I asked. “Yes.” she said. “Congratulations!” I said. “It’s nice to meet you. I’m Lila.” I said. “I’m Sarah.” she said, and we walked home. “That was cool. It’s different to meet people in person then seeing them online.” I said. We got a lemon cake, unburdened ourselves and took a shower before going out to get dinner. We got yogurt at the grocery store and went home. It’s supposed to cool down tomorrow. Sis got on Skype with me and we bought tickets to two more shows. We’re going to see “Fuerza Bruta,” “Down She Fell,” “Sleep No More,” and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” when she comes to visit in October! Sal’s going to come see us prayform tomorrow and talk with us about the film some more.