Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

I've been listening to Amanda's music for a bit. Backed her infamous Kickstarter. Read all her husband's books (which is, actually, how I came to discover Amanda) and listened to her TED talk.

I finally got her audiobook and finally listened to it. If you read this book, I highly recommend the audio. Amanda reads it herself and there is a lot of music. I usually enjoy when authors read their own non-fiction work and Amanda is no exception. It's a conversation, full of inflection and emotion. Just like she's right there with you, telling you stories.

By deciding to move forward and basically set the bar in crowdfunding, Amanda created a stir when her Kickstarter raised over a million dollars. Folks, like myself, love her and her music and were willing to back her Theatre is Evil project. I used to think that since I was not an artist, I should at least support the artists I like.

Except, listening to the story from Amanda when she asked her mom about being a programmer, I realized, I am an artist. As Amanda's mom put it

"You know, Amanda, it always bothered me. You can’t see my art, but… I’m one of the best artists I know. It’s just… nobody could ever see the beautiful things I made. Because you couldn’t hang them in a gallery."  

She's right. I think where your passion lies is where you find art. And my code is pretty badass.

I digress.

Amanda talks about how she started asking when she became the 8ft Bride (a living statue). How she kept going from there. A lot of people see her as begging but honestly, she is very connected to her fans, she's built a base, a network, a family. Obviously, it takes something to ask for money or help. But, as her friend Anthony said,

"If you love people enough, they will give you everything."

And he is right. If you ask with an open heart and let the person know that they can say no without repercussions, people WILL help. People, I think, naturally want to help other people.

Whether you like Amanda's music or not, this book is well worth the read. Being open, trusting people, not turning bitter when things go badly, and asking for help and offering help. We have very little of this in the world now.

You don't have to go it alone.

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