Tag Archives: support

Protected: Last Week in San Diego, Show in the Dome and Last Prayformance in Balboa Park (Plus Videos of the Performance!)

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A Much Darker Look

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.

Doing myself up like this gives me more focus when we play. I feel like a different person and I feel fearless. I’m still Lila’Angelique, but I’m not. I’m enhanced me. Expanded me. Fully embodied me.

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.

Freedom of Artistic Expression Under Threat in Balboa Park

Friday February 10th 2017
When I speak of “support”, I’m not speaking of people giving us money, I am speaking of people helping us and showing their support of our work in a variety of ways.
Three examples from today of what I mean:
-Complimenting our work.
Without being asked, a man at Balboa Park said he loves our CD and he still listens to it. He said it sounds like a soundtrack to a movie. That was incredibly encouraging for me before we started playing.
-Standing up for us.
I wrote something yesterday on Facebook about how artists aren’t supposed to talk about how hard it is to be an artist. A stranger said I was being arrogant, but our friend Risha stood up for me.
“Lila Angelique actually IS a great artist who inspires and creates beautiful things. Who are you to dictate that she can’t have a sense of self worth and know this about herself??? She was born gifted and has spent so much time and energy cultivating and developing these gifts in every way she knows how.”
Her words canceled out the stranger’s meanness. It helps so much when people stand up for me, even if they’re not %100 with what I’m saying.
-Helping us.
Today in the park, after we got stopped by a park ranger and a police officer, our friend Tori sat with us while I was hanging my head in despair and then said she would help by watching out for park rangers when we started playing again. She comes almost every day to see us and wants to help us.
Other things people can do to show their support:
Coming to see us prayform in public (staying the entire time and clapping is most appreciated) Talking to us after prayformance
Commenting on our online vlogs and blog
Sharing our videos with their friends
Sharing our music with their friends
Etc…
None of these things require money, and they are some of the most helpful things people can do.
Today the dreaded thing happened. We were in the middle of playing our second piece in the park when a park ranger truck rolled by. He stopped, turned his lights on and stood in the corner with a policeman and watched us. He walked past us. We had closed our violin cases, so there was nothing he could do. He stood in the corner and flashed a flashlight at us and motioned us over. He threatened us with a ticket for not having a permit. He claimed we have to go to the lottery (which happens the first Saturday of every month) to get a permit in order to collect donations. We don’t need a permit to express our artistic free speech. That is unconstitutional. The ranger claimed that once he saw money exchange hands, it was no longer freedom of speech, but commerce (which is also completely false) and he had no rules to back up his claim. He gave us a verbal warning, because we’re “awesome” and we spent an hour talking to the other buskers about it. At first, I was utterly broken and disheartened. While the officer spoke to us, everything broke apart in my mind. We wouldn’t be able to perform in Balboa Park anymore, so we wouldn’t be able to live in San Diego anymore. I guess the rangers would rather see us be homeless rather then share our music freely with park goers. I told Thoth I wanted to play again, even just a little, to try and get rid of these awful feelings, so we did. Tori watched out for park rangers, so we wouldn’t have to play scared. I thanked her. “Thank you for being brave enough to continue.” she said.
Now we’re scared. We know the rangers are trampling on our rights to freedom of speech, as happened in 2009 when we were arrested for prayforming Central Park. If we get a ticket, we could fight it in court, but we’re only here until the end of April. The rule of permitting buskers is unconstitutional. Someone needs to fight it and get it disbanded. A fan said he is going to start a petition to get the park to give us a permit, but I don’t know if that will happen, or even work. Why should we be afraid to prayform in Balboa Park? We’ve been giving our work to people for free at that park every winter since 2010. We have a following here and park goers love us. The park should thank us for the work we do, not threaten us with tickets. A fan, who is wanting to create a petition, said this about our work in the park:
You are an immeasurable asset to the park and the city while you are here. Undoubtedly tourism satisfaction experienced while you are in residence spikes, and you have extreme world appeal with the amount of ambiguity throughout the work, and all of it basically for free. They are actively placing you into poverty for no quantifiable reason other than control.
Balboa Park should welcome Tribal Baroque and thank us for what we do here. We are not doing anything wrong. We are not breaking any law. I need to learn that no one can control how I feel, even if they are trying to assert their authority over me. If I am breaking no laws, they have no right to detain or harass me. Period. I need to learn to control my emotions when confronted by authority. I need to be strong and stand within my joy. Just a moment before the ranger arrived, I had been feeling utterly at peace and happy. That ranger was trying to bring me into his realm, and I let him. I got sad and depressed, but no one can make me sad or emotional accept myself. I have the power to assert my constitutional rights and continue singing and performing in the park, no matter what rule there is against it. As long as I am not breaking a law, I have the right to do what I do in Balboa Park. I am not taking anyone’s money, they are freely giving it to me. I am not selling anything. I am flexing my rights to freedom of expression. Just because people give us money for our art doesn’t make it any less a first amendment right.
(Check out the Tribal Baroque vlog with footage of the ranger bothering us : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r02m_VZpAUw&t=3s)
(Also, check out my vlog talking about our work as freedom of artistic expression: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9BCX5xaBKk)
Thursday February 9th 2017
We took the day off today and I had a very difficult time. I couldn’t get my writing together and I tried watching an online lesson about breaking into the “New Music Industry”. The speaker said “Doing it organically takes too long and is a waste of time.” That is how we live our lives, organically. Like our friend Tori said in her note on Sunday, You are a force of nature, taking it’s time, making its natural mark.” So is our lifestyle a waste of time? Why do I watch these things? I’m trying to learn something and all it does is depress me and cause me to go limp for the day creatively. I just stared at my new drawing feeling worthless and hopeless and wondering what the god damn point of it all is. I asked my friends of Facebook and got a multitude of answers. Thankfully we had dinner with Tori and Michael and they cheered me up.
“You are masters of the realm beyond.”
Wednesday February 8th 2017
I am so keen to fears and worries about the future. Our lifestyle is on the edge. We became aware that we are not moving CD units like we used to, and I got very scared. CDs are becoming extinct. It was a problem that has been sitting in the background of our lives all year. We didn’t move many units in Lisbon or NYC either. We have to find another way. I had a difficult play, but when we got home, I started drawing again and felt better. Thoth came up with the idea of having download cards of all of our albums available at the park. He ordered 100 for us.
Tuesday February 7th and Monday February 6th 2017
I was immensely creative on our days off. I drew two pictures of my characters from my play, and I wrote productively both mornings. When I am creative, I feel like my life has a purpose.

Our True Fans…. Are Our Friends.

Wednesday April 20th 2016Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 10.24.01 PM

The past few days have been weird. Monday was fine. We really relaxed on Monday. The day after prayformance is usually pretty relaxing. One Tuesday we went out to lunch at a cafe, which was nice, but were both feeling like shit. We really couldn’t get over some bad feelings. Today I was immensely cheered up because with the help of Forrest and my dad, we will be able to get to Balboa Park via Uber for our final 8 prayformances in Balboa Park. Our friend even said he may be able to help us next year with car transportation in San Diego. It was messing with my mind all week the thought of having only our bikes to rely on to get around here. It’s so hard. It calmed me and made me feel cared for that people are helping us in the way we really need to be helped. That’s all I needed to cheer me up. Finally! I couldn’t bare the thought of biking to the park and back again eight more times in the hot sun. We’re not able to prayform as long as we like to when we bike. Using Uber will make it so much easier for us, and will make these last two weeks much more enjoyable. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 10.27.54 PMI realize the other day’s blog post may have turned some people off, but I feel hurt and humiliated when we have to ask our fans for help and the response is….. *crickets chirping.* I don’t like asking for help, I don’t think many people do. I’ve spent the past 7 years that way, even when we didn’t have enough money to eat. We’ve gotten a lot of help over the years from friends and family, but¬† mostly the people who help us just help, or we trust them enough to know they will help if we ask. We don’t ask for help when we prayform in public. We have signs that ask people to do the generous thing, to donate. Those who give to us do so because they want to. There is no begging involved. Some people say I shouldn’t expect people to help us, as they have their own lives and problems to attend to. That is true, but many famous people and organizations rely on, ask for and get help from their fans, so why shouldn’t we?

Maybe I’m having a fantasy about what having lots of fans supporting us means. Fans are not friends. Friends are the ones who really love you, know you, are there you us and stick by you. Fans are people who think they know you and support you up to a point. Our friends are our truest, most super hardcore fans. They stick by us no matter what happens. They don’t get turned off by what I write or vlog about, because they know us. They accept us for who we are and what we feel. Even the biggest, most famous celebrities who have a million fans say they feel lonely. No matter how successful or famous we get, our friends will always be our friends.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 10.29.15 PMWe know who our friends are, that’s for sure, and they know who they are. They are the ones who help us, and in return we love and trust them above all others. Most all of them started out as hardcore fans and then became dear friends. Usually people who are hardcore fans of ours become close friends. We never know who those people will be. I am so grateful to them. The ones who come to see us prayform (even who don’t as much, but still love us and think of us), the ones who read my blog and support me no matter how I’m feeling, the ones who give us a place to stay in their homes, the ones who help us out. They are our true fans and friends and we couldn’t do this without their help.

Focusing On The Support!

Monday March 21st 2016

IMG_20160321_222036265Hello again friends, fans, family… and voyeurs. ūüôā

How are you all doing? I’m doing quite well these days. Life¬†has been treating me¬†well. We get lots of compliments in the park, but Saturday was hard starting. We had this HUGE crowd and almost EVERYONE walked away when we finished. I actually see that happening more than ever before, because I film and edit daily prayformance vlogs. People gather when we’re loud, and then most of those people walk away immediately when we get softer. We’re not always going to be loud because it would hurt us. Many stay, and those are the ones I need to focus on. The others are just being voyeurs. I can’t pay attention to them.

It is true that in every situation, if one doesn’t have to pay for something, they usually won’t. For an individual watching us to have the sole desecration of¬†how much to give us (or not) is significant because what they give is more meaningful.¬†Those who give to us, and give more than expected, are showing us truly how much they value what we do.¬†I am so¬†grateful for the people who give to us and appreciate us and say nice things to us every day. I will always appreciate it. That’s what keeps me¬†going. We wouldn’t be able to do this without them. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

The people who get us are the ones I need to focus on. I know they’re there, reading, supporting and enjoying what we share and do. I’m realizing that more than ever before. Who cares about those who don’t. Sometimes I worry about sharing too¬†much for fear of being hated on or¬†ridiculed or misunderstood. Our music speaks for its self. There really isn’t a need to share more than that, but I like to. I like share more about myself than just singing. I like to share my thoughts, frustrations and feelings about everything I experience. It’s fun. The people who love us understand. Those are the ones that count. Thank you to the people who read my daily ramblings and have compassion for what I’m going through. It means a lot to me. I am so happy we have fans who love us and our work.

Anyway… now for something completely different.

I got an amazingly supportive email from my sister this morning.

“Hello silly faces. I don’t think I’ve actually ever listened to all three of your albums (there are 5 actually) in their entirety. I’ve listened¬†to parts of them but I’ve never listened to the entire thing. I probably lied about that.¬†I think I lied telling you¬†I listened to your entire opera and I only listened to parts of it. I’m¬†on your Tribal Baroque Facebook¬†page listening to parts of every song. and I was like ‘Oh my god¬†I want to listen to the whole fucking thing now.’ I was wondering if you could send me the albums. I know you’ve sent them to me before. I’d love to listen to the full¬†albums.

I watched the Youtube video that you put up today of the girl trying to sing with you. It’s really hysterical because she obviously can’t improvise. She might be able to sing fine¬†but she can’t improvise. It makes me happy that when I came to visit you I didn’t try to sing with you because it’s your thing. It’s not mine. So I’m glad that I saw that. It made me realize how incredibly talented¬†you guys are.¬†I’ve always known that, but in comparison to her,¬†it made me go, ‘WOW,¬†my sister has learned so much from Thoth over the last¬†6 or 7 years. It’s incredible.’ And sis your right, I couldn’t do what you do, I really couldn’t. Your so confident, and it makes me really proud of you. I hope you know that. I love you both.”

Not many people believed in me, or us when I first started prayforming with Thoth. My family didn’t. They all thought I was nuts. I was, but you have to be nuts in this world to make anything truly magical happen. I knew from the moment I set eyes on Thoth that we were destined to be together and he would help me become my own person. I knew that subconsciously from when I was a kid. That’s how I found him. I was laser¬†focused on what I wanted from¬†the beginning.

OMG! My mom just sent me a new Lamby! I cried when I first saw her. I lost a babe just like her 7 years ago when we first flew to Europe together. I forgot her in the airport because Thoth was so late we missed our flight. Now, 7 years later, I have a new one! It feels like a full circle.
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AWWWW!