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 September 23rd 2016
It was a tiring, yet painless little trip from Malaga to NYC. I’m glad to be home again!
Tuesday August 2nd 2016
I got up at 8:30am after having not slept at all the night before. I just can’t go to sleep when I have to fly. I hate flying that fucking much, as it was as bad as it always is. I’m always incredibly bitchy when we travel. Thoth puts up with me splendidly. He smiles and laughs and hugs me. I’m a lucky girl.
Thoth went to grab a coffee for himself and a muffin for me before the flight, but it was tight. I got scared so I asked a lady with blue eyes to watch our stuff. She was very sweet. I could tell she was a nice and trustworthy person. I ran fast to get him. Thankfully he was almost back. I don’t like being separated from Thoth when we’re in Europe, or anywhere really. He’s the only person I have when we’re traveling. I lost him once when I freaked out at Burning Man, which only lasted a few minutes, but it was terrifying.
The flight was painful for me, as flying always is. When we travel, I don’t know how we’re able to keep this lifestyle up, but it’s because we love being in new cities, and it is worth the torture of flying. I was so tired but I couldn’t get comfortable. I could barely stand up or keep my eyes open. I thought I was going to faint at one point, or blackout. I couldn’t stand on my two feet without teetering. It was weird. I’ve never fainted before, and I’m glad I didn’t. The air is so dry too. I practically fell into this sweet woman with blue eyes, I didn’t notice until the flight was almost over that she was sitting in the isle seat next to me. “Are you OK?” she asked. So kind! I hate flying. Thoth was fine. He’s perky.
It was only 3 hours in the air, but I was dead tired by the time we landed. I used to be so excited when we traveled when I was a child, but now it’s just par for the course. I wish I had a way to at least sleep the night before. I even took melatonin, which always helps me sleep. It’s just a complete nightmare for me. I hate it so much, and it just keeps getting worse. The flight to London in 2 weeks will be horrible too even though it’s just an hour. It’s the stress of having to get up and do something so uncomfortable, and we have to do it in order to be comfortable again.
Once we got to Wim and Marja’s house, we were instantly at home. “It’s becoming a tradition.” they said. We love Amsterdam and their house. We stayed here for 2 weeks last year. Marja made the bed for us while I showered and then she made dinner for us. The upload speed here is phenomenal. I’ve spent the past 2 and a half months making videos every day that take all night to upload, while here it takes 6 minutes! We had a lovely dinner together, all four of us. I forgot what a home cooked meal tastes like! It’s been 2 and 1/2 months since we’ve had one.
Monday August 1st 2016
I dreamed I had a trip planned for myself to fly to South America while Thoth was in Europe for 2 months. I wanted to see if I could busk by myself. At the last minute I was scared to go alone and was trying to figure out how to get flights for Thoth, too, but it was too late. I eventually took the flight and was there in South America playing for tourists on a mattress near the beach. I went to look for my hotel so I could Skype with Thoth and tell him I was OK. I went to a woman at a restaurant stall and started crying because I missed Thoth so much.
When I woke up and told Thoth, he said it made him sad. “It’s a very lonely dream.” he said. It made me feel a surge of gratefulness for my hubby, not that I’m always incredibly grateful for him! We went to Praca De Flores for lunch at Tease Cafe and sat in the park eating a Pao de Canela, our last for the year! We know we’ll be back in 9 months, but it’s always wistful to have our last day anywhere. We have no home. When we’re in Lisbon, we are at home. When we are in Amsterdam, we are at home. When we are in London, we are at home. Etc. etc. That’s our life. I love it. Sitting in the park together was so lovely. We made sure to pack before going to lunch, so we could rest before going to our last dinner at the Brasserie. It was a lovely day before our big trip to Amsterdam. We’ll miss it here, but we’re ready to go!
Monday May 30th and Tuesday May 31st were weird days off last week because we were preparing to move to a new place. We had a nice time anyway. We’d finally gotten our finances together to have a nice day off. Lunch in the park on Monday, and sushi dinner on Tuesday. Yummy!
On Wednesday June 1st, we were moved to a new place, just down the street from where we were living before. I had been discouraged about vlogging, but a fan wrote with some encouragement and I made a vlog for my channel. We were incredibly tired by the time we went to play at Rua Garrett and it was a slow night. We dropped our stuff at home and had thin crust pizza for dinner. That was nice.
On Thursday June 2nd we played and were treated to dinner at Food Temple. It was slow again at the spot. Having a lovely dinner with cool people was helpful. By slow, I mean people didn’t come into the space and sit down. The crowd would disperse after every song and we had to build one up again. It’s tiring and energy depleting after 2 hours.
Friday June 3rd was another slow night, but it finally picked up at the end. The was a music festival happening at the end of the street, which delayed us over an hour from playing. A man came and sat down and led the applause at the end. His name was Victor and he absolutely loved us. —>
On Saturday June 4th we had a great prayformance AND a lovely surprise lunch at Miss Jappa. (We just stumbled upon the place while looking for a vegetarian place near by.) It was so much fun. The best day we’d had since we got here. Victor came again to see us prayform, this time with his two little dogs, which I held before we played. We got a lot of compliments and had big crowds all night and people sat down and stayed a long time. —>
On Sunday June 5th we had a pretty great night, but not as good as Saturday night. Victor came again and made the night wonderful by staying the whole time and clapping. After playing we ran down to Miss Jappa for a sushi dinner. I even managed to make another vlog for my channel. —>
We didn’t sleep because we were being bitten so much by mosquitos. On Monday June 6th we went out to find mosquito repellent (which we couldn’t find at first.) I was in a bad mood. We were stopped in the street and interviewed by Time Out Lisbon. Surprising. We found what we were looking for to repel mosquitos at the grocery near Tease. I was so relieved. We had lunch and sat in the park eating cupcakes. Later we had dinner at the Indian restaurant. Thoth got sick because they put too much alcohol in his drink without his knowledge. We didn’t go to sleep until 2am when he finally started feeling better. —>
Now that’s I’m all caught up, it’s back to the grind. I work so hard on these vlogs. Does anyone have suggestions of what they want to see in the future?