Tag Archives: Things I love

On Thoth’s Birthday

Sunday June 20th 2016

Photo by the incomprable Dan Rubin.

Photo of Thoth at the Angel Tunnel by our dear friend and official photographer, the amazing Dan Rubin.

It’s Thoth’s 62nd birthday today. Can you believe it? What a magical being he is. Just look at him! This is a man who was born mixed race (during a time when being mixed race was very dangerous) who loves wearing skirts, dresses, makeup and jewelry and sings like a woman in public. This is a man who has given up everything to pursue his passion and to be with me, the woman he loves. I’ve never met anyone so fearless and committed to what they believe in. He follows his guts and he is so gentle and humble about what he does, yet he’s feisty and is not a person you want to cross. He protects me and the work we do above all else. We are so blessed to have found each other when we did. Neither of us would have been able to travel and perform like we do now alone. He would be homeless and I would be completely lost and unguided and working at a job I hated, even if it was on Broadway or in Cirque Du Soleil. He keeps me going, I keep us housed. We both keep each other safe.   Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 1.24.32 AM Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 12.57.17 AM Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 7.17.18 PMIt’s been oddly chilly since we got here, but today was the first hot day of the summer. We went to get cinnamon buns and lunch at the park, but when we got home it was so hot we both thought we were going to figuratively die. It’s naturally very humid in this apartment. I didn’t want to put on makeup I was so uncomfortable. Thankfully Rui brought us two standing fans, which helps so much. We both thought it would be another slow night, but we ended up having the best prayformance in weeks!! It’s been at least 3 years or more since we’ve had a fun prayformance on Thoth’s birthday. There were a lot of French people around, same as last night. Two French women sat for a long time and complimented us a lot in French when we finished. I like when that happens. I was smiling from ear to ear for the entire 2 hours we played. When we have a bad week I start thinking there’s something wrong with me. When we have a good night again, I realize it’s not me, and I am so happy and grateful to get to have fun again. I’ve been having trouble with pushing too much with my voice the past week. I push when I get frustrated. Tonight I didn’t push, and my voice felt lovely when we finished.

We booked a table at Sea Me, a really delicious seafood restaurant we’ve been to several times, for Thoth’s lovely birthday dinner. They put us as “VIP’s” since the manager knows us and a few of the waiters have seen us prayform. They treat us like celebrities. After our delicious meal, they gave us  drinks and dessert with a candle in it. “I’ve seen you perform. I keep telling everybody how amazing you are and they don’t believe me.” our waiter said. He was very funny. They sang happy birthday to Bunny. This kind of thing happens to us a lot here. Restaurants we visit regularly get to know and love us all over the world, and we aren’t easily forgotten. We can be quite off-putting at first with our unusual looks, but our kindness and good nature can disarm people of their preconceptions quickly. I’m so happy we had a great night on Thoth’s birthday! Now time for two lovely days off!

WHY PRAYFORMANCE IS IMPORTANT TO ME

Saturday August 16th 2014

“The Beauty Is”

a Stream-of-Conciousness Poem by Lila’Angelique

“It’s the beauty in you that is so blinding. Mesmerizing. Soul shaking. I reach for it in every tearful word I hear. I embrace it in every touch. I am not alone. There is no space between anything. It is all an illusion. There is only one truth. Love. The beauty is not being able to capture it. Ever. Love is infinite.”

Photo by Kaja Gwincinska

Prayformance is very important to me. Because we aren’t connected to an agent or a corporate sponsor, we are able to do exactly what we want whenever we want to. No one can tell us what to do or how we should live our lives. That is what has made Thoth’s, and now my, work so unique. We’re not influenced by the mainstream. That, in turn, makes our lives somewhat lonely and separate from other people. But if we don’t create our music, who will? Every original artist was lonely at one point. I have an entirely different way of thinking because of what I do. I don’t go to parties, I don’t go see shows, I spend most of my time working on my blog, drawing or reading, when I’m not prayforming. I’ve become quite a weirdo. I felt very strange when a woman asked us, “Why don’t you go out and see some shows at the Fringe?” How can I explain I wouldn’t have any fun doing that? Prayforming is what makes me happy.

Why is prayformance so important to me?

-It has turned me into a creative, confident, hard working and self motivated person.
-It has given me the ability to create original music,
-to share what I do with hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.
-to practice the four main pillars of art on a daily basis; music, dance, writing, and visionary art,
-to touch people’s hearts and connect with them on a deeper level.
-It has given me friends who give us housing all over the world.
-It has given me the ability to create my own creative persona,
-to express myself exactly the way I need to,
-It’s taught me how to interact with the public,
-how to improvise musically,
-how to improvise musically with other people,
-how to be compassionate and nonjudgmental of others,
-how to stay strong in who I am and never give up,
-how to bounce back when things get hard and continue trying,
-how to use the my emotions, like depression, fear and jubilation, in my music to cleanse myself,
-how to reward myself,
-how to be healthy and take care of my body,
-how to save money and be financially responsible,
-how to defend myself when I’m being attacked,
-how to sing fully without the aid of amplification,
-how to find acoustic spaces in public and create shows where people wouldn’t expect,
-how to be an independent artist.
-It has give me the ability to travel the world and meet people I would never of gotten to meet.

And more questions:

Norma asked: “How long have you been performing, is this how you survive financially, are you guys like gypsies???:) and Do you plan to come back to San Diego?”

We have been prayforming together for almost 5 years. This is indeed our only source of income. That was my first question for Thoth when I first met him. I was shocked he had no other job. Now I can’t imagine having a job and doing what we do. It would be impossible. We return to San Diego once a year during the winter.

Marianne asked: “Just curious: you said you are an ‘eternal virgin’. What do you mean ? You will never have sex?

I have never been interested in sex, even before I met Thoth. I have always preferred singing or drawing. Yes, I’m very weird. When I met my husband, he had similar feelings about it. I don’t plan on having sex, ever. Sex leads to children. I can’t afford a child, nor would I have the time and energy needed to raise one, so I don’t have sex. I think more people should practice abstinence, but that’s just my opinion. I also have a more spiritual reason for being abstinent. I dress in white and pink because that represents purity and innocence. In prayformance, as in my life, I see myself as the eternal virgin princess. Forever to be longed for, never to be conquered. Makes my energy very potent. Having sex would destroy it. Thoth’s and my relationship wouldn’t be the same either. We make love in our music. It’s not a sacrifice, it is a choice.

How Tribal Baroque was Created

Friday August 15th 2014

Thanks for the questions, guys! Here are the answers, plus some things you don’t know about me!

Susan asked: I am curious to know how you two met, how YOU learned to play the violin, how you and Thoth developed Tribal Baroque.

Timothy asked: How did TB come to be? Where did such a unique sound and style come from?

Chris asked: I was wondering LA, if you feel that you are also in a past or parallel life from the Festad. That was one of the most fascinating things about the Thoth film to me and also about Thoth’s music and language. When you two started to play together, it felt like you were also from that same world! You obviously connect to it wether it’s just through Thoth or on a personal level. Just interested to hear about your connection to it and was also wondering if the Festad is still the subject of TB’s music. Was the Festad theme just one opera? Thanks!

I’ll answer all of these together. I met Thoth on October 11th 2008 when I was moving to New York to study at Circle in the Square Theatre School. I had been looking forward to moving to New York and going to a conservatory, but I hated Circle. I felt really lonely and left out. I didn’t know how to make friends. I tried to dress normally at first, but it didn’t last long. I went to Central Park looking for the Angel Fountain. I remembered it from my childhood. ‘Where is that fountain with the angel on top?” No one knew what I was talking about. I eventually found it on my own. I would see Thoth going up the stairs or hanging around the tunnel. I recognized him from America’s Got Talent and had quite a negative reaction to him at first. I thought, “He thinks he’s so great. I could use that tunnel better then he can!” Isn’t that funny I would think that? I saw him several times before I actually saw him prayforming. I was walking through the tunnel on my way home and saw him standing in stillness. I stood waiting, curious to see what he would do. When he opened his mouth, my jaw hit the floor. He was a countertenor! And what a beautiful countertenor it was! I was very impressed. When he finished, I ran over and said, “You’re a countertenor! I love your voice!” He looked up at me somberly and said simply, “You’re intelligent.” I was amazed at the way he spoke. It was very deep, with no clear accent. “I’m coming back next weekend in costume!” I said. He gave me a look that suggested he didn’t believe me. I ran home and looked up every video I could about him. I watched his documentary over and over. The AGT clip made my blood boil. “What an amazing person! How is he doing this and he’s middle aged? He must hold some secret to lifelong creativity. I have to figure this guy out!” I said to myself. The next weekend my sister came to visit and I brought her to see Thoth. “Hello Zoe.” he said to me in that same somber, low voice as he came out from under his umbrella. Sis was enamored, too. A few days later, I ran down the stairs of the tunnel and fell on the floor at his feet and danced. He kneeled over me and sang to me. Every weekend, I’d go to the park and dance with him. I eventually learned all his songs, so I harmonized with him. People had a mixture of feelings about me. Some loved my voice, others thought I was intrusive. I started wearing a pink wig to school every day and was eventually outed for it in a group meeting. “We need to talk about the pink elephant in the room.” a student said. People’s comments eventually made me run out of the room crying. I went to the tunnel and told Thoth. “You’re not a elephant, you’re an angel. A Pink Angel.” Thoth said. That became my name. Pink Angel. I went home for Christmas and got my violin. When I got back to New York, Thoth invited me over to his house to see if we could play together. “This will work.” he said. He was suffering from nerve damage in both of his hands, which caused him only to be able to play with one finger. So I became his mentee. Things continued to evolve from there. We went out to play at the Angel Tunnel for the first time in March 2009, just 4 months after meeting. I was terrified those days. Thoth taught me various rhythms with my bells and ostinatos on violin and we had lots of deep, philosophical conversations. I discovered my personal style. I didn’t want to be just like him. I needed to find myself within his work. I eventually dropped out of theatre school to prayform with him full time. We were arrested summer 2009 in the Angel Tunnel for prayforming, which really bonded us. The name “Tribal Baroque” came to me one day when we were prayforming in the tunnel. The sound of our voices was very Baroque, but the bells and rhythms sounded Tribal. So I put the two together. It made sense. Our music just developed naturally. We were both heavily influenced by opera and classical music, yet we were both different and like to follow our own drum. We just meshed. I loved the idea of creating our own opera and our own story. I felt very connected to Thoth’s opera, the Festad. I tried writing my own story, but gave up because it was too much like his. The Festad is Thoth’s work, and it’s based on his opera. Our music isn’t based in the Festad, it’s based on our own story. I don’t consider myself to be from his world. I see more that we are from two worlds that integrate well together. Someday we will create our own opera with it’s own story. I think Thoth and I are twin souls, soul mates who have been working our whole lives to find each other. I had already studied voice and violin well before I met him. It’s like I was prepared to meet him. I consider myself more of a singer, as Thoth does about himself. Violin is just the supporting tool. I started studying violin when I was 7 and stopped when I was 16 because of tendonitis. I’ve been singing ever since I was 5, but started training when I was 11 or 12.  Everything came together for me when I met Thoth. Opera, theatre, costumery, singing, violin, dancing, creativity. I had always dreamed of singing with a countertenor. It was all meant to be.