BY BOB KRASNER
This East Village artist explores the ‘power’ of letters in your life
You’re either on the bus or you’re off the bus, they used to say in the 60s. Michelle Joni is definitely on, as the vehicle that she has christened “Glinda the Good Bus,” has replaced a fixed address as her primary shelter.
Relying on friends for amenities such as showers, she has been living on her 21 foot long bus full time since May.
Glinda has been lately parked in front of the Modern Love Club in the East Village, where Ms. Joni has installed a pop-up shop celebrating a system of her own devising called “AlphabetiX”.
While astrology is everywhere and numerology is familiar term, AlphabetiX has only recently seen the light of day after a five-year gestation period. Joni describes the operation as a way to “enrich your life with symbology that summons your inner child wisdom.”
In other words, she uses the alphabet, beginning with your “Power Letters,” to “synchronize your inner self with others … discover your creativity and power … and wake people up to their inner code.”
Through the four days of the pop-up’s existence, Joni danced on the sidewalk, encouraged passersby to make art and did alphabet oriented readings for walk-in first timers. Elise from Brooklyn wasn’t totally sold, but she didn’t completely dismiss it either.
“I’m not sure that I believe in this, but she sure does!” said Elise.
Sam, a writer, was intrigued. “It was a really interesting way to contextualize yourself,” he mused. His friend Virat noted that “it changed one’s relationship to letters in a way that you don’t stop to think about.”
To further celebrate this unlocking of the alphabet code, she drove the bus at the end of each day to, consecutively, Avenues A, B, C and D, stopping to perform for the random crowds. Joining her on top of the bus on various days were The White Roses, Heather Mo’Witz, Jantina, Special Head and Paperboy Prince.
Joni performed an original number on Avenue A entitled “Letters are Better,” but technical glitches (and a fight on the street below) cut things short.
AlphabetiX is pretty much the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Joni’s endeavors. Although she studied child education and fashion merchandising and had a corporate gig until a year ago, she describes herself as a “creator of philosophy, events and magic, a bus mama and a space transformer.”
She is also a visual artist, singer/songwriter, actress, performance artist and, incidentally, an unofficial candidate for president. She’s running as a representative of “The Surprise Party” and her license plate reads “JONI2020”. There’s a website – JONI2020.us – but she’s not exactly been proactive about it.
Even though she may not make it to the White House, Joni does not lack ambition and she is happy to lay out her goals.
“My intention is to synchronize humanity,” she states. “I want people to have a new expansive framework for discovering themselves – to be able to self-navigate, to be their own guru. My work is helping people discover their creativity and power and the alphabet is a tool for that.”
Joni hands us a workbook that she created to help explain “Letter Consciousness ” and how letters are a “more feminine ” system than our current number obsessed patriarchy. She then goes on to list some examples of her readings, including the young couple whose letters added up to an impending marriage. Pondering the results of that reading, she concedes that her conclusions are not always the final answer.
“It could mean something or it could mean nothing,” she states. ” That’s how life is.”
For more info on Michelle Joni and her various endeavors, you can find her on Facebook and follow her on instagram @michellejoni , @_alphabetix_ and @alphabetricks.