Sunday October 16th 2016
We got to the park a bit late again. Didn’t matter. We had plenty of time to play. We got all ready, said hi to the Boyds and started. Dan Rubin came to see us. “Surprise.” he said. We had another great day. A lady bought two CDs before we even started. She had seen us play the year before and was looking for us again today. Magically, there we were. She stayed and listened for a while. People were very supportive. I wish we sold more CDs! I know people don’t buy CDs as much anymore. I sure don’t, but I don’t know if they would buy download cards if we invested in something like that. Who knows.
The highlight of the day was when Kalan Sherrard showed up to see us. He’s a fellow street performer who does unusual things, one being his puppet show using animal skulls, inside out stuffed animals and baby doll heads. I think he’s a talented puppeteer. He offered to do a puppet show for us when we were finished. While we packed up, we talked. He’s a very intelligent young man. Only one year older than me. He’s been doing what he does for as long as I have, too. 8 years. That’s saying something to me. He was very smart and mentioned something no one else has said. He noted the difference in our sign compared to Marcela, the armature opera singer who sings after us. Ours says “Donations Greatly Appreciated.” where as hers says “Singing For Dollars.” There’s a big difference. Her sign shows clearly, as she has made clear in what she says to us, that she’s only doing it for the money. That’s not what we’re doing. We’re doing it to express our creativity. Money is a bonus, but not central to our work. Having that kind of mindset when doing what we do causes us to do well.
We walked him to a little park inside the park where we used to sit after prayformance in 2013. He found a little nook to set up his puppets and did a show for us. It was funny and we laughed a lot. A few people stopped and threw him a few dollars. We gave him some too. “I think you’ve given me too much money.” he said. We took the subway together and continued talking about lifestyle and art. It was great. He definitely feels like he’s part of the tribe. We had a lovely dinner at Santos Anne to reward ourselves for a great week of prayformances!
Saturday October 15th 2016
I did my makeup while listening to music. I liked it. Someone said they loved my look when we got on the train to the park. Weird. People usually say nothing about how I look. Strange.
Got to the park a bit late. There was a wedding in the tunnel 20 minutes past our start time, so it didn’t matter. We would have been upset if we had been on time. We had a great Saturday prayformance, which is unusual for us. Usually Saturdays are slow and weird. It was super busy in the tunnel when we arrived. A wedding was happening in the corner and there were lots of people just milling about. We arrived late, but the Boyds were there holding down the space. I don’t really like chaos at the park, or anywhere for that matter. We started 20 minutes late, but oh well. It’s fine! Big, pretty generous crowds to start, big, not so generous crowds at the end. When people are generous and interacting with us, other people do. When people don’t, they don’t. It’s nice when someone(s) set a good example.
We had a nice big “Bravo!” when we finished, unlike yesterday. We felt happy. Patricia came to say hello and was very loving and friendly to me. She said my makeup inspires her, which is something that doesn’t happen much. She told Thoth he better take good care of me. “You sound like my mom!” I said. “But you’re not my mom.” I said. “No, I’m your friend.” She asked if I had her number. I said yes. “Then use it.” she said. That’s nice. We passed by her on the way out of the park and I blew her a kiss. 🙂 We had a yummy dinner. Got a cheap chicken and salad with potato wedges. Yum.
Wednesday October 12th 2016
I did makeup today. I liked it. Makeup gives me an opportunity to be more creative. It’s like painting or drawing, but on my face.Our friends Cover Story were sangin away in the Angel Tunnel when we arrived. They always acknowledged us. Sweet. It was an… interesting day. We had a big crowd for “Anya,” but “Romanza” and “LA’s Waltz” gathered no crowd, literally. No one watched us. They walked past us as if we weren’t there. Not standing at a distance, no, not standing there at all. Like we were completely invisible to everyone for two entire songs. We suddenly had a crowd again for “Gypsy Dance.” It’s not us, it’s just the day!
We both had fun anyway. I was focused on being as expressive as I could. Our friend Eric and his best friend came to see us on their yearly walk through the park on Yom Kippur. They both knelt and listened to “Plucking Song” and the stood and clapped for “Sea Expressions.” Eric is such a supportive and inspiring friend. He inspires us. I wasn’t thinking so much about money, as we weren’t doing that well in that department today. I let myself do whatever I wanted in terms of expression, not caring if anyone liked it or not. I was inspired. That’s what prayformance is for. It’s a communion between me and the universe. Amazing we can make a living having a communion with the universe, with the earth and the sky and the birds and the trees and the people. When people treat it spiritually, it is. Prayformance is many things. Theater, music, dance, self expression, sacred expression, self therapy, performance, art, creative expression… We walked to the East Side and found a diner to have dinner at. Yum.
Monday December 14th 2014
This morning Thoth got in bed with me, wrapped me in a blanket next to him and cuddled with me. He began rocking me back and forth. “Rock a-bye baby.” he said. Oh. My. God. So cute!
A friend wrote on my blog yesterday mentioning that a Butoh influenced dance group was giving a class today in SF. I remembered the word and looked it up. I had seen a few videos of this dance style in the past and didn’t like it. A woman standing on stage shaking with her eyes rolled back in her head seemed too one dimensional and simplistic to me. I looked up a documentary about it and found that it’s much more than that. I actually like it! It’s a style of Japanese dance created after WW2. I don’t really see it as dance though. More a type of theatrical expression. They’re not dancing like ballerinas dance, they’re expressing something deep and unconscious from inside themselves.
It made me look into how I prayform. I tend to make pleasant expressions with my face, body and voice when I’m performing. I never make ugly expressions, like gritting my teeth or sticking out my tongue or singing in a growly voice. I have a fear of looking like I’m crazy or scaring people. Thoth has tried to teach me to use a lot of different expressions instead of one expression all the time. For example, he will sing in his beautiful high voice, then start growling, then sing in his baritone voice. He always has different expressions on his face. To some people it may look crazy. It never did to me. I always saw it as him telling a story.
I do have a desire to break out of this “pretty girl” image, but I like it, too. I like being etherial and doll like, but I want to be scary and dangerous, too. I used to be more wild in my expression. I had an experience years ago where I was singing to a little girl and she ran away crying. It scared me. I love being beautiful, but there is this need inside me to not be sometimes. It encourages me that a dance style like Butoh exists. Something that is so dark, confusing, disturbing, and downright terrifying in it’s looks is embraced by a lot of creative people.
One comment under the Butoh video wrote, “Anyone can do Butoh if they’re on enough hallucinogens.” People write that kind of thing about us under videos sometimes. “What kind of drugs are they on?” or “They must be incredibly high!” It’s interesting people equate full expression with being on drugs. Maybe I will start exploring my wild self again in prayformance. It’s an exciting thought! I can always change. That’s the beauty of prayformance. I can be whatever I want. It’s interesting how we trap ourselves in these identities. I am a blank canvas. I want to always grow and change and challenge myself. I can be whatever I want, and prayformance is the perfect medium to do so. I want try out new pieces and work on being more intense at our house concert at John’s house this Saturday.
I had a wonderful talk on the phone with my old acting teacher Andrew Kimbrough. He was sitting outside watching his kids playing. I could hear them over the phone. Occasionally he called to them to be careful or something. I haven’t seen him in 7 years. He asked me how it was to be married. “I love it.” I said. I told him Thoth feels closer to me since our marriage, as if he feels more comfortable that we have made it official. He calls me sweet names more often and is more affectionate. It’s not something anyone else would notice accept me. Andrew is part a little group of people who get me. We were talking about how the world needs artists, despite that we misunderstand them. “We need you.” he said. It was so sweet. “I’m always rooting for you.” He’s really in my corner. I said I’d love to see him again someday, but I have no idea how we’d get to Stillwater. He said he’d like to be in a more urban area on the East coast. “In a few years we’ll be in a place where we can host you. You guys can come stay with us and we’ll have fun.” he said. That will be so nice! He even said, “I love you” before he got off the phone. It made me so happy.
I first met him when I auditioned for The Tempest my freshman year in college. He was an amazing director. He encouraged me to write my first songs, which I got to sing in the play. My friend Will came and said I stole the show. Andrew was the first to introduce me to Meredith Monk, an artist who still influences me to this day. Her opera “Atlas” had a lot of influence the opera we just recorded yesterday. It was Andrew who gave me the motivation I needed to move to New York. He is the only person besides Will I keep in touch with from back then. He and I really connected. I was a young artist, hungry for someone to guide and direct me. He was a teacher looking for students who were passionate about learning. I’ll never forget when he helped me with my audition material for Circle in the Square Theatre School. He was the reason I got in and was able to move to New York (and eventually meet Thoth.) I am so lucky to have a group of people from all over the world who really love me and are in my corner. I could name names, but I’d leave people out!