Tag Archives: Kickstarter

Ladies and Gentlemen….Amanda Palmer

English: Amanda Palmer Live 2008

English: Amanda Palmer Live 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Amanda Palmer has quickly become a person I greatly admire, and one day, I really hope I’ll get to attend one of her shows maybe even get a hug.  The awesome part is, with the kind of person she is, all of that is a possibility, and how cool is that?  Who is Amanda Palmer?  She is a musician, and a seriously kickass one at that.  You should really check out her latest album Theatre is Evil.    It will make you weep and smile and dance.  The more I listen to her music, read her blog, follow her on Twitter, watch her Ted Talk the more I want to hear about her opinions and the way she thinks.

Now some of the people who know me may laugh, because they’ve heard me wax poetic about a few celebrities that I would love to sit down and have a drink with lately.  (Most of them, it is solely for their personalities, and not because they are amazingly attractive men…mostly for their personalities and not only because they are amazingly attractive men…their personalities are great too?  No really, it is because I think they would just be fun interesting people, the pretty part doesn’t hurt though.)  The whole idea that I could sit down and have a drink, a cup of coffee, or a conversation with these people, all started with Amanda.

She has this connection with her fans that I hadn’t seen before in individuals who enjoy (or are burdened) with that level of fame.  Now, given, I was introduced to her just about the same time that her Kickstarter  campaign was coming to a close (The info is still there.  I love the video!), and I am still kicking myself for not contributing to that while I had the chance.  (However, thanks to her, I know what crowdfunding is, and I’ve gotten the chance to back several other projects.) You may have heard of it.  She raised nearly $1.2 Million to fund her album.  You know,Theatre is Evil , the one I was talking about.  The campaign got a lot of attention, and not all of it was positive.  However, what the naysayers failed to realize is that this idea of asking her supporters for…well, for support is not something new for her.  Go to her site, and check it out.  Want music?  Pay what you can…yeah, that’s right.  If you can afford to pay the regular price of an album, do it.  If you can’t, pay whatever you can.  If you can’t afford anything, just enjoy the music.

Amanda Palmer's Ninja Beach Gathering

Amanda Palmer’s Ninja Beach Gathering (Photo credit: Burns!)

They couch surf when they travel.  If you’ve got some free space and are willing, there is a decent chance that you’ll have a band sleeping at your place.  She does “ninja gigs” all over the world, small, free, last minute shows, spread by word of mouth and social media.  They could be anywhere, in a park, on a street corner, empty theater at SXSW…wherever.  Sometimes her husband comes along too.  Wait, did I forget to mention him?  She’s married to Neil Gaiman.  (Yeah, now you figure out how I found her, huh?)  Her connection to her fans isn’t some ephemeral thing.  This is an enduring connection that she has to the people who love and support her, and it never fails to amaze and touch me.  Through her blog, the comments she receives, her tweets…all of it.

5563952_zps605a5261Amanda and Neil are also releasing An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer that looks absolutely amazing.  You can pre-order that too (and I have) here.  I cannot wait!  There’s Amanda singing, Neil reading, Neil & Amanda singing and then there’s stuff! (See picture: Left)  Oh my, I’m giddy with anticipation.  Anyway, back to the point(ish) things.

After the Kickstarter Amanda was asked to give a TED Talk.  You might have heard of TED, yeah?  No?  Definitely something you should check out.  She gave her talk on “The Art of Asking”.  As of September 3, 2013 it had 1,534,822 views on YouTube…and counting.

Asking is hard…I mean really hard.  Right?  Reading the comments, this isn’t just me.   I know I am a headstrong, stubborn independent woman who would rather fail abjectly than ask for help sometimes.  (It is all a pride thing, I know.  I’m working on it.)  It really isn’t easy, but the video helps.  Every single time I watch it, it helps more.  Don’t ask how many times I’ve gone back to this video, because I honestly can’t answer that question.  It isn’t just about asking though, for me, it is about communicating too.  People don’t suck as much as we all believe sometimes…most of the time.  They can be wonderfully generous people if you give them a chance, but you have to let them.  You have to open up and let them in, and holy cow is that a terrifying prospect.

At first, I asked myself, how does she do it?  How does Amanda Palmer open herself up to all these thousands and thousands of people, because that’s where the support came from, you know.  All these people she’s touched over the years in one way or another, when she needed them they showed up…in droves, with everything they could give…because she asked…because she gave.  I’m still wondering how she does it, because it is freaking scary!

She’s writing a book now, and I think that is fantastic.  I cannot wait to see what she gives us!  Pre-order?  Sure.  No question.  Not just so I can support, but because I want to know what she’s going to say!  She’s asking for those of us who read her blog for help/input/feedback/support…whatever.  The questions she’s asking on her blog “what’s the difference between asking and begging”  and “what do you wish you’d asked for”  are good questions.  They’re hard questions.  She’s reading the comments and using them in the book.  Amanda Palmer asked…as hard as the questions are, I’m commenting with answers…what can I say, she asked.

‘Til Next Time,

Jessica

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Crowdfunding is Cool

Cover

Cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday, I talked about a crowdfunded short film that I kicked in some money to support.  This was not the only project that I’ve contributed to, but it is the first one to be completed that I’ve been able to anticipate the release.  (Read: I didn’t forget about it after I gave them money.)  They sent out a few updates, but didn’t overwhelm my inbox.  There a lot of additional upcoming projects that are doing a great job of sending out updates as well.  This is just the first one that I’ll get to actually see.

Maybe it is a little strange coming from someone who has never had a campaign of their own, but I think crowdfunding is awesome.  Seriously, I love it.  I’ll troll Kickstarter and Indiegogo when I have a chance just to see what kind of cool stuff is out there, and there is always something cool out there.  It gives me the chance to tell someone that I believe in their idea too.

The light went on for me with Amanda Palmer’s Kickstarter campaign.  I discovered it just before it closed, and started doing some research.  I really wanted to support someone who obviously had such passion about what they’re doing, but I was a bit skeptical at the same time.  How did this whole crowdfunding thing work? There were questions, and I needed answers.  Unfortunately, my wheels turned too slow for me to get in on the awesomeness, and it is something I really regret (they do say that you regret the things you don’t do.  They’re right.)  Since then, I’ve contributed to lots of projects.  If I’m honest, I can’t remember how many.  Sometimes, I’ll kick in something for a project and forget about it.  Then I get an email or a reward in the mail and I’m reminded about how amazing I think the project is all over again.  Probably not the smartest thing (Okay, I know it is definitely not the smartest thing, but nobody’s perfect.)

There are some amazing artists out there doing really incredible things, and I can help get them there.  Following your dreams is scary…especially when it requires an investment to even get your dream off the ground.  I like to think of it as funding someone’s dream.  The fact is, I’m not made of money, and I can’t contribute much.  I’ve never backed anybody for more than $100.  However, I figure if you have a bunch of people like me who can kick in like $25 each…it will get you a long way.

“You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.”

– Inception

Yesterday, one of my projects announced that you can pre-order the short film on iTunes.  It will be officially available on  on November 5, and it looks so awesome that there was no way I could keep it to myself.  I can’t remember for the life of me what my reward is supposed to be…again (this would be the second fourth time I’ve had to look it up.)  The short film is titled Little Favour and stars Benedict Cumberbatch & Nick Moran and was funded through Indiegogo  Yeah, I was fairly certain that it wouldn’t suck when I read the synopsis, but then I heard about the cast and was prepared to throw my money at them.

Here are some of the other projects that I’ve contributed to…there may be a couple of more, but I can’t remember if I got to them in time or not.  I guess I’ll find out when my reward arrives.

Adam Suzuki and The Method – Born Out of Mischief Album

Stephen Elliott – Happy Baby Movie based on the book of the same name by Stephen Elliott

Devil’s Panties/Jennie Breeden – Devil Girl & Angel Girl Plush Dolls based on the Devil’s Panties web comic

Jill Thompson – Scary Godmother Doll based on the Scary Godmother Comic Book series

Save the Coney Island Mermaid from Extinction – Parade

The album by Adam Suzuki and The Method.  This was a project that didn’t send out any updates, so, of course, I forgot about it.  Once they got the funds they got to work and made a kickass album.  Then I got an autographed copy of the CD in the mail.  Truly awesome music, I played it for at least two weeks straight.

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2007

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Next was the Mermaid Parade, my name was on a banner in a parade on Coney Island…that’s a long way from home and I’ve never even been anywhere near there. (except possibly an airport) However, they got hit hard by Sandy and I couldn’t stand to see such a cool tradition end because of the capriciousness of Mother Nature.  I’m from Oklahoma, and we know a bit about about storm devastation.  We also know all about community and pulling together to put things right again.  There were PDF’s of freak flags for me to fly and something that’s coming in the mail too, but I can’t remember what I picked.  It will be a surprise upon arrival. (Some days, opening the mailbox is like Christmas!) This came just after I finished writing this post.  Are you ready?  Temporary tattoos and buttons from parades from previous years!  Awesome!

Happy Baby is in post production now, and Stephen Elliott is great about sending updates.  It doesn’t hurt that I also subscribe to the Rumpus daily emails, and Letters in the Mail and…I’m just going to stop there.  I really love the community that The Rumpus has built, and as a passionate reader, exploring new authors is always a bit of a thrill.  A copy of the script is mine!

The dolls are new, but I look forward to my daily dose of the Devil’s Panties every morning.  Jennie Breeden’s comic never disappoints, and I spent many hours laughing my way through the archives to catch up after I’d gotten hooked.  To the point that I would have to make myself a deal.  I would get to read one for every project I finished, that way I would actually get stuff accomplished.  Why wouldn’t I jump on the chance to be part of bringing Devil Girl and Angel Girl into 3D?

Jill Thompson’s Scary Godmother doll campaign was something I discovered through a tweet by Neil Gaiman.  She’d worked on Sandman with him, and while I haven’t read about the Godmother who helps kids not be so afraid of things, I think that is an awesome idea.  I love the artwork, and I can’t wait until my own set of postcards arrives.  I only wish I had enough money to contribute more because this doll is adorable!

Every time  I start browsing through the projects, I wish I had more money.  I would love to be able to fund so many more projects and kick in so much more money than I do now.  That’s what I think I would do if I won the lottery. I’d fund artists, just because I knew they could do amazing things if that one obstacle (which can be a big one) was removed.  Until then, I’ll just keep pitching in where I can and spreading that budget out every month.  (I do try to have a little self control….stop laughing…I said try!) Just looking through the projects, I am renewed and inspired by the talent and spirit of people all over again.  

What do you think about crowdfunding?  Have you ever contributed to a campaign?

‘Til next time,

Jessica