I felt like shit before we went out to play. Hopeless, helpless. I can’t work on my play. I’m trying to think of ways for us to make more money, but there are none I can think of. No quick fixes. Patreon, but who would support us in the way we really needed? We’d need a significant amount of support to be able to support ourselves. I could ask people for help, my family for example, but don’t want to rely on them for help. I’m so scared and I don’t know what to do. We can’t survive on tips alone. It is barely enough to get by right now. It’s weighing heavily on my mind every day.
I got ready to play and did my makeup as always, but eventually I sat down wondering why I was even bothering. I’m worried about turning any lights on continuously, as it will add to the always unexpectedly ridiculous electricity bill we can’t afford at the end of each month. I snapped this one and only photo of the day. You can read my feelings on my face. What are we going to do? I just wanted to cry. I don’t know why I was putting makeup on. It doesn’t do anything for us. It doesn’t increase our money. It doesn’t help us. It can help my mood, but not today. My mind was elsewhere. I am preoccupied by money these days. I hate it. I need to pull myself out of it, but I can’t seem to. Usually I’m thinking about being creative and trying to write and draw and prayform beautifully. I have managed to keep my thoughts away from money since we got here. Just do my very best and things will get better, but two months of doing so badly it’s finally getting to me.
When we bike to the park to play, there is hope today will be different. There is hopefulness. Today was the same. Tori arrived all dressed up and so did Pascual. He had his hair slicked back and was wearing spats and a tie. Very nice. Both of them would help to sell CDs as best they could. While I was talking to Tori, a man and his wife bought two CDs and a download card from Thoth, That always lifts my mood and gives me hope to day will go similarly in terms of people’s generosity. I was more bubbly and full of good feelings as we started, but it didn’t last. We had a crowd for the first song, but it again was very slow. Crowds here and there, but not generous. I remember writing about these kinds of frustrations in Edinburgh in 2014.
I got more and more frustrated as we played. Same old same old. We were trying our best, people were watching us, but not coming forward. Every time I said we have our music available after a song, no one even inquired about it. The couple who’d bought two CDs came back to watch us for a while and bought another one. We told them they were making our day. The wife keeled next to me and I explained how hard it is for us not to sell CDs and we can’t survive on tips alone. “No, God no you can’t.” she said sympathetically. A sympathetic ear for once! So compassionate, and she didn’t really say much else than that. Just a little compassion goes a long way, especially right now when we’re struggling like this.
Bill couldn’t come today as he sprained his ankle on Monday slipping in the rain. Poor thing! We missed him. I hope he heals up soon so we can see him again. He is struggling too. Everyone struggles. When things are bad like this, the worst feeling is feeling alone, because no one can help us. Only we can figure it out. People could step forward and be especially generous all at once, but that doesn’t happen. We survive by a few people being generous for the many others who choose for whatever reason not to be. It’s been this way as long as I’ve been prayforming, almost 10 years. It hasn’t changed. People are greedy and ungenerous. That’s why I hesitate putting any of our music up for free online, as people would just listen to it and not give anything back, as most do in the park. I don’t trust people to surprise us by being generous.
I don’t know how we manage to keep things going. How do we manage to keep traveling and living in all these beautiful cities. NYC, San Diego, SF, Lisbon, Amsterdam, and London only from prayforming in public. I always fear that will end somehow. The only way it would end is if we stopped doing it. We’ve been to San Diego, San Francisco, Lisbon, Amsterdam, London, NYC, Malaga and Nashville just this year alone. I don’t want to stop traveling, no matter how hard it is, because it’s the only way we can keep playing. I hope things get better. I hope we can find another way, a way to fix this problem. We’ve been in worse experiences. When we finally find success, people will be wishing they supported us more. We need to figure it out. We will be stronger in the end. What won’t kill us will make us braver, stronger, more polished, more shiny and more beautiful. There has got to be a way. Please God make things better for us.
Friday February 24th 2017
I was very happy to start a new sketch on Wednesday and work on my play. It’s always scary to stare at a blank piece of paper because I never know I will be able to draw something good again, no matter how many good drawings I’ve done before. I was inspired to draw as many creepy faces as I could on the page. When I got up, I read the sweetest message from two new fans from Prague:
“My wife showed me your video earlier today, after she spent half a day listening to you. Now it’s 6 AM here and I’m finishing hours long binge listening to your amazing creations. THANK YOU! You stand out from the noise of music, you create something one would not hope to hear. The land of the orange despot is a bit distant to us these days, but I sure hope you might travel to Europe somewhere we can get and listen to you for hours live. For now we’re gonna figure out how to purchase your records online tomorrow. Well, my biggest hope is that one day we will pay big money to see you in a big baroque concert hall. And I’ll keep searching for a way to contribute a tiny bit to make this happen. Love from your (probably) biggest fans in Prague, Czech Republic.”
Both Thoth and I cried. It touched directly on the dream I have for us. To have someone we don’t even know from halfway around the world write the thing we want to be doing makes it that much closer to happening. It also makes me sad because I know we should be performing in beautiful venues and not have any other options but to perform in public under threat of park rangers. On the other hand, we are truly blessed to have a way to share our music whenever we want to and be creative every day of our lives.
I looked one of those scary faces I drew and wanted to try it as a makeup look. Here’s what happened…
The thing I’m loving is that my disturbing wiring and drawings are seeping into the prayformance. That has never happened before. Darkness is inside me. Always has been. Now I’m not afraid to let it show when I play with Thoth. I’ve only been doing dark looks like these since November. That’s only four months, and now that I have a few dark Gothic dresses I got from my old closet at my mom’s house in Nashville, I’m wearing black too. It’s liberating to be darker and more scary. It’s also fun to see what kind of reaction I’ll get, if any, to the complete change of my look (which is usually none.) People don’t ask me about my makeup or what it means or how I do it. That means I can do whatever I want and people will think whatever they’re going to think. I just follow inspiration wherever it leads me.
I’m very inspired by darkness. Phantom-y stuff. Horror. I love looking at horrific paintings and watching documentaries about serial killers. I love Sweeney Todd and Jekyll and Hyde. Anything about someone who is disturbed and mysterious and possibly bad, yet tender and gentle inside. I liked using crossed painted down my neck and on my head. I wondered if anyone would ask what they mean, but no one did. I’m not religious. I find the cross to be an interesting symbol, as it is a symbol for Yeshua, yet it also is a symbol for torture and violence. Such a simple image with so much meaning behind it.
Makeup gives me the ability to be whoever I want to be and I have the entire pallet available to me now. Pascual came to show his support of our prayformance at the park and soon after Tori and Sister Ida. For some strange reason I saw my cousin Addie from my mothers side of the family. They had to rush away but watched our first song for a moment. My mother’s family has a history of being judgmental towards me, so I didn’t feel comfortable until she left. I don’t like feeling judged, even if that isn’t what is really happening. I’m the black sheep of my family and none of them are apart of my life anymore, accept my sister father and mother. For a long time my mother wasn’t even part of my life. I’m glad that has changed. She and daddy are very supportive now.
We had to move down the hallway away from our usual spot because the white-statue guitar-man was right in front of us. We were nervous to talk to him as sometimes people aren’t so friendly. We played two songs and then Thoth ran over to talk to the man. I could hear them laughing so I knew everything was cool. Thoth and Pascual brought our things back to our spot and I ran to meet him. He was very sweet and really likes what we do. We were both relieved.
We had a lovely prayformance with our friends supporting us. I felt outrageous and beautiful. It’s so freeing and invigorating to be whatever the f*** I want to be, nothing more and nothing less.
I have my sweet Thoth who has inspired me to be whatever I want. No judgments, just the purest and most devotional love and support. He is the best thing I could have ever asked for. His love and support of my crazy weirdness has helped me to be myself fully and utterly. He loves me for what I am and makes me a better person. I love him more than anything in the whole wide world, as he loves me.