Saturday April 17th 2016
Saturday’s look: (Hard day. Did crazy hair and makeup.)
It’s hard to work so long on my look and not feeling it was worth it. Having to bike 5 miles in 80 degree weather completely sucks. I was not in a good mood, and prayformance didn’t make me feel better. People gathered to watch us, but they barely clapped when we finished. WTF? I wrote on Facebook asking for help with a car for our final two weeks here. No one offered to help. It made me sad and pissed off. We’re giving away our art, our music, our time and most people give us absolutely nothing back. Most barely even clap when watching us. I spend hours making vlogs and blogs. People read them sometimes, but no one gives anything in return for them, accept maybe a nice comment. It made me think that compliments mean nothing. The person giving us the compliment probably wouldn’t do anything for us other than say they liked our work, or maybe throw us a dollar. They may not even do that. They may be saying they like what everyone else does just as much as us. I don’t know. It made me feel very alone. When we really need help, no one helps us. We need access to a car. No offers. We needed housing in New York. No offers, or the offers fell through.
I felt very abandoned today. What’s the point of social media if your “fans” won’t help you when you need it? It’s humiliating to ask for help because no one even bothers responding to the post. Why is that? Are we not worthy of support and help? We work our ASSES off to bring FREE music to public spaces all over the world! You’d think people would be falling over each other to help us when we ask. We rarely ever ask for help anyway. We love being independent. For 7 years we have been doing this work on our own. Don’t we have the right to ask for help? I guess we don’t have a big enough or committed enough fan base to get help. The thing is, if we ever became successful and had a big fan base, we wouldn’t need help like now. We need help NOW. We are doing art NOW. Some people get that. The other day a woman sent us a monetary gift and didn’t want anything in return. She hadn’t even seen us prayform live, she just follows us online. We sent her a CD as a thank you. She got it. People should support artists more.
Sunday April 18th 2016
Today I was hoping we would have an amazing day. I needed to have an amazing day. I didn’t start out feeling well. I spent three hours creating this incredibly intricate makeup design. Why do I bother? It was going to be hot, and probably no one would say anything. My “plain clothes” are just the same as when I “dress up,” I just don’t wear such complex makeup. Why do I put myself through so much effort if not many people seem to care if I dress up or not? Because I care. I owe it to the work to put every effort into looking my best. I owe it to prayformance. No one forces me to dress up. I really could wear plain clothes and no makeup and no one would care. Sometimes I dress more “down” and it doesn’t change our day in the slightest. Prayformance is a challenge for me. I have to challenge myself every day. I owe it to myself. Today a man said, “You work really hard.” Yes, thank you.
Before we even started today, a man said he was listening to Cochella on the radio and said, “You guys could be at Cochella.” Two women stopped and said they saw us in New York. “It was beautiful.” they said. Another woman stopped and said, “Are you on a pink bike?” I nodded, pointing to my bike in the corner. “I see you a lot and I really admire you.” she said. This is all very interesting. We’re biking to the park every day just hoping we can play without anyone harassing us, and someone thinks we could be playing a Cochella. It seems we would have a lot more attention, respect and money if we were doing that, but we can’t play at Cochella. It’s interesting how strangers stop in the park to tell us they love our work and admire us, yet we struggle just to get to the park and make a life for ourselves.
This made me realize something. How people see us is not how we are at all. It’s similar to how people see celebrities. You don’t see their struggles. We’re constantly struggling, yet people love us and think highly of us. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could call up Cochella and get booked to play there this weekend? They would never give us that opportunity. Why? Because we have no credentials, no prestige. We’re just incredibly talented, hard working people who have created an original art form. Talent and originality alone don’t get you very far in terms of societies standards. It’s a sad fact. We’ve been lucky to be able to live and do our art, but we’re in demand or being called to appear at festivals and concerts. We make our own performances in the street. If that ever changed, if we started getting treated the way people imagine we’re treated, that would be something, wouldn’t it?
People continued to compliment us while we played, but I wasn’t taking very well to it. It was a similar thing to yesterday. We had big audiences, but half of them barely clapped half the time. People would go 15 to 20 seconds without clapping after a song. It’s demoralizing for me. I know people who watch us don’t know that. I wish people would just start clapping. I know they want to. People do this thing where they put their hands together for one enthusiastic clap, then they see no one else is clapping, so they instantly stop. If I could instill anything into people who read my blog, it’s this: If you’re watching us, or watching any street performers, clap for them and give to them when they finish. We work so fucking hard to do this work! Today half of the people watching us literally did not clap! Why? It’s unacceptable, ridiculous and unbelievable, and anyone who does it should be ashamed of themselves. If you can’t give us anything, at least clap for f**k sake. We need to change the way the world views and treats public performers.
Now here’s something good to end the weekend on a great note. Thank God.
A wonderful thing happened to end our prayformance. A family came to watch us during our final song. I knew they knew us from how focused they were. One of the girls came up to me when we finished and placed a big bill in my hand. At first I thought they wanted a CD, but only had a big bill to pay for it. Then the mother came up to me and handed me another big bill. I was so confused. “I read your blog and I feel like I love you.” she said hugging me. I was so shocked and moved, I started crying while she held me. She understood. I was so humbled and awed by the generosity of this family. Amazing. The thing I was longing for happened. A couple with a young son talked to us when we were finished. They said such wonderful things. I was so happy.
Hey everyone. Long time no see! Sorry I haven’t posted in a few days. We didn’t play today because it was raining. We got two days of over two hour practice sessions to spend on our new opera. Today was the first time we started playing the music and working out what works and what doesn’t. I talk about it, as you can see, in my video above.
Creating music is so challenging, yet it’s rewards are abundant. The reward is in the doing. I can’t believe what I’ve accomplished in only 7 years. I hope I can be an encouraging person to other black sheep like me. I am so grateful to Will and Andrew and Thoth, those people who were/are my mentors and supporters. Everyone needs a mentor to do amazing things. I couldn’t have done all I’ve done without their encouragement. I hope I can lead others to be themselves and not give up on their dreams. If you want something and you work every day for it, you can have it. Nothing is set out of us to be easy. If it were, we wouldn’t appreciate it.
Every day I thank god for my husband and the amazing life I live. No one I know has such a rewarding life, and I now know what it takes to achieve it. Sacrifice, pain, sadness, tears, frustration… it’s all part of the package. That’s why most parents dissuade their children for having careers in music. It’s too painful, but honestly I know I’d be miserable if I sat behind a desk or something. I needed to do my own thing. My family didn’t understand, many of them still don’t, but the people who are the most important do. I’m grateful for that. So many things could have happened to stop Thoth and me from being together, but if it was easy, we wouldn’t be grateful for each other every single day for the rest of our goddamned lives.
Wednesday March 23rd 2016
I realize something. When I first started writing the synopsis for the “2nd Act” of Esh and Ee-ay, (if that’s what it ends up being) I did it because I was trying to impress people. I thought by showing certain people we could write another opera without their motivation and support, they would support us again. I held onto that hope for 6 months. I thought our show in Martha’s Vineyard, with all the amazing people who helped and attended, would be the beginning for us. The beginning of our success, our careers, the beginning of us being able to perform indoors. Everyone who was there or knows about it and talked to us clearly thought the same. That’s not what happened, not yet anyway. It made me sad for 6 months. It made me doubt everything and question why we did it. If I had known we’d do this amazing commission and work with all these amazing people, and nothing would have come of it, would we have done it? For a year and a half I hung all my dreams on that commission.
I need to do things because I want to do them. I can’t trust or rely on anything or anyone but myself. The sooner I learn that, the better. I can rely on Thoth, my sister and my parents. That’s it. Life has taught me that. When the going gets tough, you’re on your own. We so desperately want people to care about us, but very few do. We’re incredibly lucky to have a small group of people who love us and have helped us. People who keep in touch with us and let us stay with them when we’re in town. Friends who come to see us in the park. We’re lucky, but no one is going to make our work easier for us. It will always be hard. It is a bitter pill to swallow as an artist, but it’s true. If we want something, we have to do it ourselves. We can’t wait for someone else to do it. That’s why we prayform. Prayforming gives us everything we need. That’s why I blog and I vlog. I do it myself. It’s hard. A lot of the time feel like I’m fighting a loosing battle, but I’ll never give up. Creating anything is difficult for a reason. Nothing has been set out before me to be easy, even Thoth. I had to fight for the right to be with him, but now that I am, I am that much more grateful for him. I’m that much more grateful for my life because of how hard it’s been to get where I am.
Sometimes I feel like I’m trudging up a sheer ice cliff. When I get discouraged or something difficult happens, it seems like I fall down and smack my face on a ledge, but eventually I get up, clean my wounds and bandage them, and keep going. I haven’t given up yet. I can’t. Life has little to do with how gifted you are, and more to do with how hard you’ll work to achieve something with the gifts you have. Life is about self-motivation. People will lend you a hand occasionally, but they’re dealing with their own problems. I’m not the center of everyone’s universe. If you’re not willing to work hard, you’re gifts and talents will never see the light of day, no matter how many people love and support you. I used to think everything would be easy for me. Nothing is easy. Road blocks are constantly put in our way of achieving our goals. That’s life, but if you’re able to just keep at it, you can do anything.
And now for something completely different… in case you haven’t seen it. 🙂
And an improv we did on Sunday… in case you haven’t seen it. 🙂
Tuesday December 22nd 2015
I love making Youtube videos!! Imaging what I could create if I continue to apply myself!! It’s so exciting!!! Here’s one about following your dreams…
…. and here’s me singing a song from “Sweeney Todd” !!!