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A N I N S P I R I N G L I F E S T Y L E

Thursday January 19th 2017

I just finished my first diary in 10 years. 160 pages in a month and a half. WTF. I’m gonna have lots of diaries by the end of the year. 🙂 That’s why I haven’t kept a physical one in so long. More sh*t to carry around. We went to play today. Thought it would rain, but it was sunny. We can’t stay home on a usual prayformance day when it’s sunny. We’re improvising a lot, as I wanted to. Thoth had more fun with it today. He was in a much better mood. My poor baby gets so emotionally inside out when the weather changes. He is such a sensitive soul. I love him so much.

Sometimes I feel so strong, other times I don’t feel strong at all. Today I felt strong. Today I had fun and believed in myself. I did yesterday, too, even though Thoth wasn’t doing well. I love trying new things. I love improvising. Prayformance, the act of doing it, our day leading up to it and after it, is so good for us. It gives us purpose and happiness, as nothing else does. Writing, drawing in the morning. Singing and breathing in the afternoon. Writing and drawing in the evening. It’s a perfect, all-day-creative day. Some days are more of a struggle. Some days I wonder why it has to feel so hard, other days I can’t believe how blessed we are. I love the freedom of our life. The spontaneity and the discipline of it. The humbleness and the giving of it. The raw and openness of it. The simplicity of it. Balboa Park is an easy and painless place we play for 4 months out of the year, especially right now living downtown. NYC is much harder. Lisbon is pretty painless too. It’s getting there that’s hard and where we live. We’re living in such a beautiful place now.

I’m loving the vlog these days. I love this video I made of us singing after prayformance today. I think it’s beautiful. I discovered if you play the video at different points in a few different tabs the harmonies are really pretty. I wish I had been vlogging this consistently when we first started traveling at the end of 2009. We have some random footage, but not of our time starving in Marrakech… or our week in depressing Athens or our fully paid trip to and performance in Madeira, or when Thoth danced on the ferry to Greece or our first trip to Amsterdam or our fully paid for trip to and performance in Sao Paulo for a festival, or our all night and all day drive from Texas to San Diego, or…… I need to write a book about our travels. I’ve been working on it over the years. There is footage of us playing in every city we’ve ever played in. If we got famous enough, it would be amazing if every video ever filmed of us (on people’s camera phones, etc.) were sent to us and we could make a documentary using their footage. That would be amazing.

I have so many dreams for the work we do. I believe in what we do. I believe creativity and art and imagination are the most important things we have.

The Darkness in Me and Our First Performance in 3 Weeks (+Two New Videos)

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. 

OK, onto the blog.

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.

Dark, Rainy Play Days

Friday October 21st 2016

I got all dressed up as usual in 1…..

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-3-25-54-pm2…..screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-3-26-23-pm3!screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-3-24-40-pmscreen-shot-2016-10-21-at-3-25-22-pmand 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.

1 2 3 4I’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.

Our First Play At the Angel Tunnel for 2016!!

Friday September 2nd 2016

Our first play at the Angel Tunnel today!

Thoth was in a bad mood when I woke up around 8:40am. He lay down and snuggled with me. He gets crazy when we don’t play in a few days. We hadn’t played since Monday. He said he feels old, like a has been. “Just as long as you are living a life you love, which you are, fuck everything else.” I said.

We went to the grocery store to get breakfast stuff and got ready to go to the park to play. It’s always weirdly nerve wracking playing in the Angel Tunnel for the first time in a year. We never know what’s going to happen, but things always seem to work out for us.

We got to Central Park in an hour, door to door. Amazing. The fastest we’ve gotten there in years. We passed the Boyd kids coming from playing in the tunnel. The doo-wop group was there, just as John said yesterday. They were pretty great and didn’t repeat a song. Unusual! Totally acoustic and very loud too. They finished at 3, just like John said they would. One of them waited and watched our first song. The break dancers were there, too, but not too loud.

I find if I just stay calm, everything always works out. It was loud and distracting when we arrived, but once we played, it all got better. Always does. I never assume it will, but it always does. Vlad even came to see us. He’s a young musician. Very talented. Always jams out to our music. I appreciate that. Discovered us last year. He stayed for our prayformance. We were on point today. It’s amazing to first play in that tunnel again. Amazing we get to every Fall. We have the right connections.

It was a very fun, energetic and tiring play. Vlad walked with us. We saw our friends Kishan and Lei the ballerina. Vlad took the train with us a little ways home then said goodbye. We got salads and went home. There was a cute guy in heels and a cool looking top that came out of our building. The building we live in is full of artists and musicians. I love it. Thoth felt better.