Tag Archives: struggling artist

Protected: We Must Prevail.

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Possibilities of Life

Wim, Thoth and Me. Photo by Marja Van Putten

Wim, Thoth and Me. Photo by Marja Van Putten

In childhood, most parents and authority figures try to tell us how to live life “correctly.” They try to lead us down a narrow path that is socially acceptable. Be a good student, get good grades, go to college, get a good job, blah, blah, blah. When we grow up (especially for creative individuals like myself) we learn that life isn’t that simple and straight forward. Now I know that there is no one way to reach my goals. There are many varied possibilities, all of which I must decide for myself. Not one person in this world will find satisfaction and happiness in the same way I will, not even someone who wants something very similar. As children, we’re made to think other people can tell us the right and wrong way to live, but it’s all a sham. It’s all bull shit. My path is completely different from any person who has or will ever live. That’s the beauty of life. It’s all a big mystery. All we can do is inspire each other to not give up and keep trying our best.

If you have a dream, go for it. Don’t let anyone take it from you. I know this has been said a million times before, but life is what you make it. If you want something, don’t stop until you get it. People will try to bring you down. You will bring yourself down. I’m really good at getting down on myself and thinking I’m a complete fuck up. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing half the time, but I just go for it. I don’t let my uncertainty get to me. Sure I have bad days where I can’t take life for another second, but I take those days for what they are. I move past them. I am not immune to sadness, mood swings and depression. They make me who I am. I take all of that and I continue to make music.

I’m counting my blessings today. Despite that I was one fucked up sad fuck for a week, I am living in a great city and staying with great friends and I’m able to travel and perform for a living and I have a husband who loves me dearly.

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go

Sunday August 3rd 2014

Thoth and I started discussing flying back to Oakland when we finish our show at Martha’s Vineyard. We were planning to stay in NYC through the Fall, but we have nowhere to live. The idea of not having to deal with New York made us both feel better. Why would we go back? Dealing with the Afrobats is bad enough. They turn up their boom box as loud as possible and play at exactly the same time we play. They even curse at us and yell at us when we get them kicked out by the park rangers. The thieves. Then we have to deal with the various people who play in the Angel Tunnel, all of whom are greedy and pushy. We have no respect from them or from the Conservancy who arrested us 5 years ago. To top it all off, audiences hold cameras in their faces and aren’t as generous as they used to be. Really, why would we go back?

Let’s make something clear. I don’t need your advice. You don’t know me and you don’t know what I’m going through. I am an artist who is struggling to make my art. What I really need is for you to be caring and understanding of my situation. Most of you are and I appreciate that, but lets get some bugs out of the works. When I write on my blog that I feel sad about people’s lack of generosity on Friday, some of you respond by giving me advice on how I should change the way I perform. I am relying on you all for support, the same way as when we prayform we rely on our audience for donations. When you give unsolicited advice, I feel sad and misunderstood. I shouldn’t have to change the way I live because people weren’t generous one day. We make plenty of money, more then most street performers do. Our true friends and fans know we’re doing exactly what we need to do and they never give us advice. Instead, they give us encouraging words of support, a place to stay, a meal or a monitory gift to continue our travels. That’s what we need, not advice. We usually never give people advice, even if they ask for it. Only we know what’s best for us.

Feeling so sad and defeated.

Why did I even bother?

We got all dressed up to prayform, but it was raining on and off all day. I was hoping beyond hope we could play and I’d feel better. We went outside, but the rain started coming down in buckets. Thoth went to the store to get risotto and I went home. I was already soaked. When we think things can’t get worse, they usually do. I’m afraid we won’t be able to prayform again until we go to Rio next week. I took a sad picture and took out my violin and worked on some ostinatos. Thoth came home and cooked dinner while I practiced scales in the bedroom. “Why are you making risotto?” I asked Thoth. “I wanted to make you feel better.” Thoth said. I practiced some vocal scales while I waited for dinner to be ready. It makes me feel better when I sing.

Thoth is such a good husband. He takes good care of me. He always thinks of my needs before his own. He’s able to put aside his sadness and comfort me. He hates when I’m unhappy. “Sometimes I feel guilty that I have a made you into this jaded, world weary person.” he said. I am so lucky to have such a sensitive man in my life. I feel like Thoth is on a similar path Yeshua was on. He was rejected by society because he preached love and freedom in a world that celebrates greed and oppression. I don’t think Thoth will ever be truly respected during his lifetime. I think he will die a misunderstood creative genius. At least I have him and I know how much he loves me.