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Dark, Rainy Play Days

Friday October 21st 2016

I got all dressed up as usual in 1…..

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-3-25-54-pm2…..screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-3-26-23-pm3!screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-3-24-40-pmscreen-shot-2016-10-21-at-3-25-22-pmand we headed to Central Park as usual. It was pouring with rain. We hesitated, but went out anyway. The tunnel was soaking wet and we couldn’t put anything on the ground. Marcela was there and was also wondering if she should sing. Thoth and I stood together talking about it and eventually decided to go home. I knew it would clear up and I’d wish we’d stayed. If only we’d brought some plastic bags to put our things on the ground. The floor was much too wet anyway. It would have been dangerous to play. Imagine someone pouring water all over a stage and then saying, “Now perform.” We wouldn’t. Same thing, accept for when the tunnel gets wet from rain it’s full of grime and dirt, which makes anything that touches it dirty. It will be very cold tomorrow, but we’ll be prepared! It was important we tried.

We went home and of course the f**king sun came out. Oh well! I hate loosing a prayformance day. We got something to eat and relaxed until time to have dinner. I love where we live. It’s so homey and safe and cozy, completely the opposite of last year!

Thursday October 20th 2016

I was inspired again today so I went for it with my makeup.

1 2 3 4I’m having fun vlogging again. Sometimes it gets so hard. I notice no one has commented on my blog for over a month. We need to find a way to drive traffic to my blog and our vlog channels. I think we’ll make brochures or something to give out in the park. Most people take pictures and videos of us and don’t bother getting our names before walking away. We have to find a way to draw more people to Tribal Baroque after they’ve seen us. I’ve always said if someone wants to look us up, we’re very easily accessible but today I saw how most every person watching us left without knowing who we are. The other thing is I don’t want to be giving away more free shit to people who are already taking our music, pictures and videos for free. There needs to be some kind of compensation. We should be getting hundreds of dollars per person for what they’re experiencing from us, but we get %1 of that. We do attract a huge amount of attention to ourselves when doing what we do. If people want to know who we are, they can easily do that. We can’t force them to. I kind of like making it a little more difficult. A lot of people recently have told us they came looking for us and didn’t know our name.

We had a fine play. Not the best. I got a bit discouraged when people weren’t so into clapping or coming forward, but some people were very moved and talked to us and bought CDs eventually. Our friend Jessie showed up out of nowhere and cheered me right up. She’s my favorite person (other than ourselves) who sings in the tunnel, as far as classical singers go. Not only does she have a pure, pleasant, she is a pleasant and genuinely respectful and loving person! We need more people like that. I love Cover Story, too because they are also genuinely friendly, talented and hard working. I made some vlogs and we went to 23rd St. to get salads. I saw two girls, one with light blue hair and one with light pink hair. Unusual.

Silence and Assertiveness

Thursday June 30th 2016

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 1.20.04 PMWe had silence tonight for our prayformance. It was also very slow and few people on the street, but I was grateful for the silence. A friend came by with a friend of hers. I was excited to see them. They sat and waited for us to start, but sadly they talked through three of our songs and didn’t seem to be paying much attention to us. It was irritating. After the third song, I knelt down to them, pressed my hands together and asked as gently as I could if they’d go outside if they wanted to talk. The space we play in is very resonant so when people talk it’s very distracting. Our friend was apologetic. I think her friend had had a little too much to drink and she didn’t know how to tell him to be quiet. It wouldn’t have bothered me so much if we’d had a quiet play last night, but I was dying for a little peace tonight, the ability to “carve out the silence” as Thoth put it. Silence is so important to us and our work. In Balboa Park and here in Lisbon we’ve never had trouble being heard. I take it for granted when we’ve had it for so long. 6 months of relatively uninterrupted prayformances. So that was the start of the night. I’ve learned to be straightforward with people in public when they’re doing things I’d like them not to do. We’re so big in how we are and how we dress that sometimes we attract unwanted attention. It’s as if by dressing up I’m inviting idiots to treat me like an object, but you know what? I’m able to tell people to stop doing things quickly, succinctly and gently or just ignore them, depending on the situation. A man started mocking Thoth during his solo today. We ignored him. By the end of the song, a little girl was cutely dancing to our music. We both looked at her and smiled. I remember in New York a few Halloweens ago a man saw us in the street and started to try and grab me. I pushed him away immediately. I called out some people the other day who were snapping pictures of us out of costume like we were mannequins in a department store. “It’s nice to ask first!” I said. The other week a strange man came over and tried to kiss me and I immediately walked away and said no. I’m not afraid to seem rude. I am fearless in protecting myself and the work we do. No one else is going to do it for us. People may look at me and think I’m just this pretty girl, but I’m fierce. You have to be when you’re a street performer. I’m street smart and street tough, even though I don’t look it. That’s why I always go and confront people who set up on us. My looks are disarming, especially to men. I’m not afraid to speak my mind.

It was a great night. We had fun singing together and did well, despite there being no one on the street. I don’t know how we’re able to gather a crowd even when it’s like that. It turns out there was a game on. We decided to go to the burger place near home for dinner. Our waiter was fascinated by us and asked lots of questions. Turns out he was a street performer in training and wanted to know how we were able to perform where we did. We didn’t give away too many details. 🙂 He was 6 years younger than me. If you wanna be a street performer or any kind of performer period, by best advice I can give is to just go out and do it.

If anyone else had to deal with being set up on they would not handle it as well as I did. They would most likely give up. We don’t ever give up.

Creatively Inspired

Saturday June 25th 2016

The last few weeks I was feeling so down I thought my inspiration for prayformance was gone. I was simply going through the motions, but this week I’ve had a breakthrough.

I’m not doing anything for anyone other than myself. This really has been a revelation for me. People have talked to me about it in the past, but there’s no way I could really understand than on my own in my own way. I’m not wearing makeup or a costume or singing in my own language to make people like me, I’m doing it because it helps me to feel my characters better and dig into the emotional intensity of the creative work I’m doing with Thoth. Getting compliments is superficial in comparison. I’m not doing it to make money either. That’s also an immensely superficial thing. It’s a bonus. Money and compliments and inspiration come because I’m focused on the WORK, not what I’m getting superficially from it.

Prayformance is a deeply personal and powerful process for me. When I truly embrace that, instead of looking for approval and attention, I truly understand what it is I’m doing. I’m breathing life into myself and fully singing that out into the universe. The more open and vulnerable and exposed I am when I perform, the more rewards are reaped, both physically and spiritually. I’ve been prayforming for a long time, but I don’t think I’ve really understood what that means until now. I’m having a communion with my true self. When people see that in a theatrical and heightened expression, emotions, kind words and money come to us. That is magical, and a blessing. To be able to go outside and sing for people, and those people to make it possible for us to continue singing and performing is an amazing gift.

The less I focus on what I’m frustrated about and the more I focus on the simple steps I can take to be a better artist, the better things will get for me. I think that’s why I’ve been in a rut since February. I want something, but I feel like it won’t happen so it doesn’t matter. It does matter. If for no one else, it matters for me and for my own growth as a person and as an artist. That’s the most important! Who cares what it does for anyone else if it’s not helping me?! I’ve been so wound up in wanting more attention for our work, I’ve lost sight of what is really important. Growth. I do the work every day to grow and learn. When I have a bad week, it’s OK, I just need to keep doing the work and growing and learning as much as I can. I’ve been focusing on the wrong things and not digging deeply enough. No one but myself can give me what I want. There isn’t anything anyone can do that is more powerful than me doing it myself. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. I can be and dress and sing and dance and act and move and play however I want to. No one is telling me what to do. I am free. That can scare me sometimes, but it’s not scary.

I’m 28 years old. I’ve been traveling and performing for 7 years. I’ve done lots of amazing things already, but there is so much more to learn. Sometimes I feel like we should be successful with what we do now, but I have so many things to improve on. It takes decades to become great at something. Just because we haven’t become famous after 7 years of Tribal Baroque’s existence doesn’t mean we’re failures or we’ll never be successful or our dreams will never come true. It takes a long time for success! It takes a long time for things to come together, but I can do things to get ready. Readiness is all. If I just focus on that, on working as hard as I can to be the best person I can be, then that’s all I need to do. No one can say I didn’t try or that I didn’t throw myself into my dreams with my whole heart, come hell or high water. I am successful now. Whether anything really big happens for us or not, I will always be learning and growing and changing and accepting myself for who and where I am in life.

A Lovely Day!

Sunday February 22nd 2015

Supposedly it was going to rain today, but it didn’t as much as expected. Forrest was picking us up so we didn’t have to ride on our bikes. I painted my eyes with rainbow colors and put some tulle on my head.I’m loving taking pictures of my full outfit. It’s strange I never did that up until a few weeks ago. My look changes every day, especially when I have access to all my clothes and makeup, like now. I love how I’m all colorful and Thoth is very dark and stern looking. We contrast each other perfectly. I like to see how outrageously I can dare to dress. It wasn’t raining by the time Forrest and Tasha arrived. They dropped us at our spot in the park and I ran up front to see what was going on. “There are a lot of performers up there. We need to stay back here until it starts raining.” I told Thoth. We set up and a bunch of people gathered to watch us, including Forrest, Tasha and Bill.  The crowds left after the first piece and we sang a few pieces to just those three people. I wasn’t bothered by the lack of audience like yesterday, because I had no expectations today. I did as best I could and found the energy inside of me to keep going. I know that the few people who were watching were enjoying us. They don’t care if there isn’t a big audience. It started raining. Thoth went up front to see what was going on. “There’s no one up there.” he said. Tasha, Forrest and Bill helped us carry our things to the front. As we played, I saw Sister Ida come over to watch. She was all dressed in her Sister of Perpetual Indulgence outfit.

I hugged her when we finished the piece. She was helpful with getting people to come into the space to watch us. She is definitely part of our tribe! The bongo group came out from their hiding place and started banging away to attract an audience. Thankfully it started raining again and they had to leave. We finished up our set and talked with the Sister while Forrest and Tasha went to get the car. “I’ve made a reservation for 6.” he said. He was taking us out to dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant in San Diego! Sister Ida walked with us to his truck and Mitch saw us and said hi. I ran to him for a hug. I love his hugs. He makes funny robot sounds. “See you on Friday!” he said. I’m so excited about my birthday party! We drove to Harney and Forrest parked the car. We ordered tons of food and everything was so delicious! I couldn’t stop eating! Tasha is such a doll. We danced in our seats together. 🙂 After eating, I was super tired so we drove home and said goodbye. “I’m so excited about your birthday party!” Tasha said. Me too!!!