Behind the curtain

Yesterday was the show. It happened. It’s over. It wasn’t a monstrosity. The audience turnout was smaller than we hoped for, but it is what it is. The show itself was beautiful, and our live music elements went okay, even though we had some issues with the microphones. Quite a few people said we sounded just like our album, which is a pretty big compliment. The performers were all super on point, and talented, and beautiful, and amazing. There are tons of pictures going around on facebook and stuff and I’m in a lot of them and I just like can’t even deal with seeing that at all. It makes me feel so fucking gross and bad about myself to see. Like… I absolutely can’t deal with it at all, which makes me sad for a slew of reasons and yeah. whatever.

Anyway, it was such a chaotic day, from start to finish. We had two hours to set up the venue before the show started, and we basically had to do **everything**. The place used to be / sort of still is a bar, and we had to move out allllll the tables and arrange the seating in a way that everyone could see the show with enough performance space left open. We were hoping that the people at the venue would have done some of the setup, but they did not. Sadie, the person basically running the entire show totally lost her voice, and could **not** speak above a whisper at all. Anyway, I somehow became in charge of setting up all the seating, so i moved a ton of couches and chairs and shit, and told other people what to do, and had occasional whispered conferences with Sadie to make sure everything was okay. (My costume for the show was a random circus hand, and I felt like I was really getting into character by moving a ton of heavy shit.) We also had to put up the aerial fabrics, which involved a giant ladder and was pretty epic. Anyway, it sucked that we had to be responsible for all that stuff, and we didn’t really have enough time to properly set up our music equipment, which is why the microphones were kinda fucked up. But oh well.

My brother and I had a thermos full of honey tea, and a thermos full of whiskey so we could be slightly un-sober when we had to perform. We shared our whiskey with a couple of the darlings and some of our friends as well. Everyone was amused by it. I’m glad that so many people I know made it there.

It was pretty fun collaborating with all of these artists and performers, and just hanging out with them. The members of Clan Tynker were all awesome. Just really cool and really nice and really professional. They’re kind of a big deal, you can look them up online. One of the performers, Serendipity was so fucking amazing and ethereal. She did fire eating to one of the songs we sang live, and it was pretty rad. Anyway, I met her during rehearsal a few days ago and she seemed really nice and … fairly normal? But yesterday she was in costume and in character the whole time and she just blew my mind basically. She hardly talked at all. She asked me if I wanted her to help me move tables by pointing at a table and then flexing her muscles. “Um… sure, if you want to!” I said in return. During the pre-show she was walking around blowing bubbles and doing tricks like blowing bubbles inside bubbles. Then she would walk up to someone, blow a ton of bubbles, and grab one as they floated down. Then she’d open her hand and hand the person a tiny clear ball… like the bubble made solid. It was weirdly magical, and you felt so blessed and special when she gave you one. It was hard to describe. She like… transcended mere humanity. And then the show was over and she was human again, and we talked to her and hugged her and talked about being mutual fans of each other.

God, the whole night was just so much. So many people wanting to talk to me and hug me and it was sorta overwhelming. We gave away a bunch of copies of our album, and made about $120 in donations… which we split. That’s the first money I’ve ever actually seen from our music, lol. A few people wanted us to sign them, but we didn’t have a sharpie, because we are stupid and didn’t think of that. Someone found a shitty brown permanent marker and we ended up using that.

It was so weird being up on the stage and just… being. I basically opened the whole show with a somewhat dramatic introduction. I didn’t tell my parents I was going to be doing that and they were pretty surprised. yeah. It was weird watching the show take place from that perspective, you know? You probably don’t know. You almost certainly didn’t know. It was bizarre and lovely to see all this physical art taking place because of music we created, set to music we created.

At the end of the show Santiago (the ringmaster guy, one of the Tynkers) announced all of the performers, basically calling everyone out in groups to take a bow. He called us last, “the band” and we got the loudest applause of anyone. Roaring and cheering. I bowed and my brother did a well executed curtsy. (I showed him how to do it, we practiced in advance)

After the show was over, and we talked to a million people, and gave out CDs and buttons, and hugged and thanked a million people and accepted accolades from lots of people (A lady I had never met but my brother apparently knew: “My husband always says that he thinks the female voice on the album is beautiful, so he was really excited when you sat down by the piano” Me: *internally* holy shit. *externally* “Wow, thank you so much! I’m so glad you liked the show” *puts my hands together in a praying / begging gesture for some inexplicable reason* )and everyone left, and we packed up aaaallllll of our tons of equipment, and took the aerial fabrics back down, a few of us went over to the nob hill location of the brewery my brother is the head brewer for. (They were serving his beer during the show as well, and everyone was really liking it) Anyway, we all went there and he basically gave everyone free beer and food, which was rad. It was my family plus some of the darlings and their significant people, and a few miscellaneous others. It was really pretty fun and chill. I talked to a really cool *two ladies* couple, made them laugh a bunch of times.

Elija, one of the Tynkers came and joined us as well. He said he quit drinking a few years ago, but he had some of the kombucha that my brother made, and he hung out with us. During the pre-show he was juggling pins while zipping around on a “hoverboard” and I asked him questions about how long it took him to learn to ride that thing, etc. He was messing around with us and doing some simple magic tricks, he did some coin tricks and one of the coolest card tricks I’ve ever seen in my entire life. When it was past closing time my brother let all the other employees go home, and everyone hung out a little longer. Eventually he and I closed the place up and headed home. On the drive home we were pretty quiet. Neither of us quite knew what to say, quite knew how to process it all.

All day today I’ve felt…. so fucking weird, and kinda bad. Depressed I guess. I feel empty. This event has consumed nearly all my waking thoughts for the past month or more, and in a matter of hours it was all over. What should I do with my life now? I feel empty, like I’ve lost something. It was in all my thoughts and making me so nervous, but it was something. It was something different, something exciting. Something real and artistic, a collaboration with people I really like. And now it’s done, and I feel pretty lost. But, we met our parents for dinner a couple hours ago, to re-cap and re-hash and talk about life… and that made me feel a little bit better about everything. I’m granting myself an extra night of drinking, because I feel I’ve earned that wine. I’m going to try and relax, and just let myself be for the evening. Much love.

Image 1: the $61 I got from people who chose to donate something when they took an album. I had to spend it immediately, but I wanted a picture to remember that it existed, that it happened.

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Image 2: Serendipity

serendipity 2

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Practice makes

So I spent a large portion of today at a full rehearsal for our show on Saturday. It went pretty well, I think the show is going to be awesome. But the rehearsal was physically and emotionally exhausting. Lemme tell ya, If you ever want to feel bad about your body, if you ever want to really really really fall deep into your body issues, spend four hours in a mirrored room with a dozen beautiful dancers. That’ll do it. That will do it. That. will. fucking. do it. Boy howdy, golly gee, it certainly will.

Sadie’s advice about preforming is let yourself be your character, and then it’s not you doing that stuff, it’s whoever your character is. I find that strangely comforting in a way? Mine and my brother’s characters are random circus hands. (or as we have been referring to it, circus poverty hobos) So for my character, none of this shit would be weird or scary at all. It would be old hat. Old hat like the old style hat I’m going to be wearing with my costume. Oh shit, I need to ask Sadie what I should do with my hair. I need to figure that out and also I should probably practice the introduction thing that I’m saying to open the whole fucking show. At the rehearsal today I talked to Santiago, the guy who is acting as the ring master basically, and we decided that the script Sadie wrote needed more detail so people knew what the hell was happening in the show. So I basically am just going to write my own lines for that part, and it should be fine. yeah. Okay, I need to go now because it’s snake feeding night and I need to feed some snakes. haha. yeah. okay. bye.

Pain bonnet

Currently sitting here with bleach in my hair, attempting to get some highlights. The S.O is helping me… A.k.a the S.O did the work for me. I used the little cap thing they provide instead of doing foils like I did last time. You know the thing I mean? It looks like a little bonnet and it has a ton of circles and you use a hook to hook little pieces of hair you want highlighted and pull them thru. We call it the pain bonnet because I’ve done one on a couple other people and they were basically in tears the whole time, and/ or made me stop after just a few. (And their hair was way shorter than mine, which means significantly less tugging) I have a high pain tolerance, so I was able to handle it pretty easily, with just a couple short breaks. It was almost nice in fact, meditative. A study in patience and pain. A solid two hours of hair tugs and pulls, and a hook stabbing and scraping against the scalp. It put me into an interesting mindset. I feel… Strangely calm. Hopefully it turns out well. I’ll rinse it out pretty soon, but won’t know what it really looks like till it dries… Which will probably be tomorrow because it’s already so late.

shit socks

So hey, my show is on Saturday… and getting ready for it is currently basically consuming my life. I’m freaked out… but our rehearsal today was basically perfect. We were both on point, so if we can just do it that well on the actual day of the event it will be okay. On Thursday we’re having like… a full rehearsal with all the dancers and the tinkers. I’m pretty nervous about that honestly, but I think it will be good overall. It’ll give us a chance to practice in front of a crowd but a small, friendly crowd of other performers. Even so, I’m nervous. I didn’t feel anything about this show for months. A vague sense of excitement maybe? a whisper of anxiety? But now it’s kinda really starting to freak me out. I’m basically opening up the whole show now… so there’s that. But it’s public speaking, which is way less scary to me than public singing. So yeah. I dunno. Saturday night was a really nice night for me. We did a long rehearsal over the course of a few hours, and after each set we drank more alcohol, and practiced more, laughing and messing around and actually enjoying practicing for the first time since we started getting ready for the show. We found the limit of how much we could drink and still perform really well. We made my brother’s sober girlfriend listen to us over and over again, probably getting annoyed with our drunk selves. We even started vaguely working on some new material, which we haven’t done in a really long time. I was feeling inspired to write some stuff. After three shots I told my brother that I thought six would be the absolute limit and he said “Yeah, shit socks” So we started calling six shots shit socks now and forever. Anyway, eventually he came over to our apartment and we just hung out for a while, which was nice. Overall, I think the whole experience helped us feel a bit more relaxed and a bit more confident about the show. We’re going to practice every day between now and then, and we’re going to go into Rio tomorrow to try and get our costumes sorted, or at least figure out what else we need to get for our costumes. yeah. okay. okay. yeah. ** air guitar sounds**

Bad weekend for body image and impulse control. Good weekend for learning stuff??? Hah haha. Yeah. Whatever. Teach me how to be a person. Teach me how to speak a true thing. Teach me how to not say shit I feel embarrassed about and instantly regret. Teach me how to let myself enjoy a good moment with true personal connection without poisoning it with my dissonance, with my what and how and why

thought catalog

The S.O. “What are you doing?”

Me: “Looking into online sex work”

The S.O “Oh, okay.”

h-h-h-hey there kids. I kinda am vaguely looking into online sex work… of the text chat / phone sex / virtual avatar sex variety. Because I have literally no money at all at all at all and haha yeah. I know a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff so I could probably do it. And like…. I dunno. whatever. It’s just a random thought like the tons of other random thoughts I have about how I can make money. Honestly, would it be much worse than selling my writing to soul killing corporations? I dunno. I dunno.

Animal crackers are delicious and I want to eat a million of them but I will not do that thing.

I just remembered I had a random $16 in my odesk account so I transfered that shit. wooooo. whoopty shittin’ do. I’ll get that in like 5 days. Lucky lucky me.

I’m at my parents house, watching the dogs and stuff. I wanted to go to the Bernie Sanders rally downtown, but like… I didn’t feel like driving all the way back there and then walking down there and then having to come all the way back here to watch the dogs tonight as well. Soooo I decided not to go, and I’m slightly sad about it but also it’s like… whatever, you know?

Our show is coming up really really soon. Like a week from tomorrow. Tomorrow night my brother and I are planning on a special type of rehearsal, where we drink alcohol while practicing to find the perfect balance of how intoxicated we can be while still managing to preform well. haha. yeah. So that’s a thing that’s going to happen. Also, I need to figure out my costume. I think I’m going to need to buy at least the hat online, but I haven’t done it yet. I should measure my head lol.

Last night we spent a long time at our friends house, and it was actually really cool. They have a terrible fucking dog who hates me and would literally attack me if they didn’t keep her on a leash so it’s like… not fun for me to be at their house really at all. yeah. But this time she was asleep, locked in their bedroom… so it was actually really fun to be there and I could wander around freely in their house and it was nice. Fuck that dog. Worst dog ever. Anyway, I’m pretty sure they are going to come to my show. They said that they would, which is cool. I’ll be glad to have a couple more of my people there amidst a crowd of strangers and belly dance people.

In a couple hours we’re going to take the dogs for a walk in the bosque, and if we time it right we might see hundreds of crows coming to roost in the trees for the night. We will hear them calling warning calls about us and our dogs.

For right now times I might to try and lie down for a while. I’m really tired and slept so poorly last night. I never sleep well here. I wake and feel confused and weird and ugh. yeah. It’s not comfortable. But it’s okay. It’s still nice to be here sometimes, It’s a bit of a break from our normal style life.

To: me From: me

I spent a huge portion of today sorting through a huge box of all the schoolwork I ever did from kindergarten to 10th grande, plus some personal project type shit. My parents had it stored in their shed and my mom has actually been bugging me to go through it for like a couple years but I was always like… nah. But they recently re organized the shed and so today was the day. Honestly? hahaha. honestly it was so fucking emotionally draining to go through all of that stuff. Like…. oh my god. it was so emotionally draining. It took like 4+ hours and I was so fucking exhausted when it was done. I felt like someone ripped my soul out and then shoved it back inside me. I don’t know. Some of it was cute and funny but a lot of it was really sad for me and some of it was just … ugh. I dunno. I threw the vast majority of it into the recycling bin, and just saved a few morsels and mementos that I thought were important pieces of myself. I remembered a lot of things I didn’t really need to remember. It broke through my robot shell and made me feel real feelings. God, my child self. I was so fucking weird and confused about everything. I don’t even know how to fucking process it honestly, so I’m going to do my best, by writing a letter to my past self. And here we go.

Hello baby me. Hello small time self. I’m so sorry my darling. I’m so sorry. You said you wanted 100 reptiles when you were 25, and now you are 27 and you have two, so that’s something. But you aren’t a zoologist or a botanist or an artist. You aren’t anything really. You’re alive. You’re working on yourself. I know it’s not what you wanted or what you planned. Times is hard my tiny self. My fresh faced me. Times is hard. You were the cutest kid in your second grade class, you know. I know you don’t know but it’s true. Possibly for the last time ever, you’re the cutest in the room. Okay. It’s time to talk about something else now. God, I’m so fucking sorry you have to feel this weird shit. You instinctively know that it’s not something you should talk about openly, or ask the grown ups about, and you’re right. That’s good. For right now it’s just for you to know and feel. I read some of your writings. You were about 9 I think? Maybe only 8. You didn’t date it, so I’m estimating like an anthropologist based on sediment layers and handwriting and language use. God, I’m so sorry. You wrote such a detailed, descriptive story about yourself being a dog. But all the details are about your interactions with your “owner”. (you named him tim for some reason????) and how he was training you and about how he chained you up to stuff when you wouldn’t behave and god, I’m so fucking sorry. I know how weird and confused you feel. You want, you yearn, you obsess over certain things that make you feel a certain powerful way, and I know. I know. It’s so weird and undefinable and you have literally never ever ever seen or heard of another person feeling this type of way about anything and it makes you feel isolated in a way. Yet, at the same time, it feels so natural, it is always a given for you, and how could something that natural and pure be bad? It isn’t, my sweet small self. It isn’t bad, but you need to relax and breathe.  Please, just wait. Just give yourself some time. I swear to you, my spry young self, you’ll get it someday. When you’re a few years older you’ll find a certain book at the library, and you’ll be brave, and you’ll check it out. You’ll read it and your heart will alight, and you’ll understand. I love you. You need to stay safe, and I know you can do it. By the way, the grown ups aren’t always right. I know you’ve seen a few examples of this, instances where you knew you were right and they were wrong, but you still see them as above and beyond. They aren’t. Sadly, I’m one now…  and I know that I don’t know shit about the world or about anything. Adults are fallible,  all of them. even your parents. They’ll all fuck up and they’ll all hurt you in stupid, imperfect human ways. Even if they love you they will. Be ready. Be strong. I love you. I believe in you.