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 (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.
Amanda 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,