The art of asking | Amanda Palmer | Summary and Q&A

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March 1, 2013
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The art of asking | Amanda Palmer

TL;DR

Amanda Palmer shares her experiences as a living statue and musician to highlight the importance of asking for help and building trust in the music industry.

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Key Insights

  • 🥺 Genuine connection and trust are crucial in the music industry. Building relationships with fans and involving them in the creative process can lead to support and success.
  • 😷 Asking for help can be vulnerable, but it can also create meaningful connections and support systems.
  • 🥶 Giving away music for free can actually lead to increased support and success, as it fosters a sense of reciprocity and trust.
  • 😷 The internet and online tools can facilitate these connections, but it's important for individuals to face each other and ask without shame to create authentic relationships.
  • 😚 Celebrity status should be about connecting with people up close, rather than being distant and untouchable.
  • 👯 The focus should shift from making people pay for music to finding ways to let people pay for it, fostering a sense of voluntary support and appreciation.

Transcript

[Applause] so I didn't always make my living from music for about the 5 years after graduating from an upstanding liberal arts university this was my day job I was a self-employed living statue called the 8-foot bride and I love telling people I did this for a job because everybody always wants to know who are these freaks in real life hello hello ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How did Amanda Palmer's experience as a living statue help her in the music business?

Amanda Palmer's time as a living statue allowed her to have profound encounters with people and learn the importance of direct connection and engagement. This translated into her music career, where she focused on building relationships with fans and involving them in her journey.

Q: Why did Amanda Palmer choose to give away her music for free online?

After experiencing the generosity of people when she was a living statue, Palmer wanted to create a similar exchange with her music. By giving away her music for free, she was able to connect with fans on a deeper level and foster a sense of trust and support.

Q: How did Amanda Palmer's crowdfunding campaign become so successful?

Amanda Palmer's crowdfunding campaign was successful because of the strong connection she had built with her fanbase. By asking for help and involving them in the process, Palmer was able to mobilize her fans to support her. The campaign also offered unique rewards and experiences, further incentivizing participation.

Q: How did Amanda Palmer's experiences with asking for help face criticism?

Palmer faced criticism for asking fans and musicians to join her on stage in exchange for love, tickets, and beer. Some people saw it as begging or unfair. However, Palmer argues that this exchange was fair and meaningful to both parties, but it may have been misunderstood by those who were not directly involved in the relationship.

Summary

Amanda Palmer, a musician and artist, shares her experiences as a living statue and musician to highlight the power of connection and the importance of asking for help. Through her stories of street performance, couchsurfing, and crowdfunding, she emphasizes the value of building relationships and creating a sense of community with fans and supporters.

Questions & Answers

Q: What was Amanda Palmer's day job before she became a musician?

Before becoming a musician, Amanda Palmer worked as a self-employed living statue known as the Eight-Foot Bride. She would paint herself white, stand on a box, and give people a flower in exchange for money. This job allowed her to have profound encounters with people and experience moments of connection on the city streets.

Q: How did Amanda Palmer make a living as a living statue?

Amanda Palmer made a predictable income as a living statue, despite not having regular customers. She would typically make around $60 on a Tuesday and $90 on a Friday. This consistent income surprised her, considering the unpredictable nature of her job.

Q: How did Amanda Palmer maintain a direct connection with people after she quit being a living statue?

Even after quitting her job as a living statue, Amanda Palmer wanted to maintain a direct connection with people. After her band performances, she would sign autographs, hug fans, and engage in conversations with people. She also made a point to ask people for help and encourage them to join her in her music and art.

Q: How did Twitter enhance Amanda Palmer's ability to connect with people?

Twitter played a significant role in enhancing Amanda Palmer's ability to connect with people. She could instantly ask for help or resources from her fans and followers. For example, she could ask for a piano to practice on, and within an hour, a fan would offer her one. Twitter enabled her to create a sense of closeness and collaboration with her audience.

Q: Why did Amanda Palmer decide to give away her music for free online?

Amanda Palmer decided to give away her music for free online because she saw the power of asking for help and receiving support. Inspired by her experiences on the street, she wanted to connect with her audience and create a sense of trust and reciprocation. By sharing her music freely, she was able to establish a connection with her fans, which, in turn, led to their support and willingness to help her.

Q: How did Amanda Palmer fund her next music project after leaving her label?

After leaving her label, Amanda Palmer turned to crowdfunding to fund her next music project with her new band, the Grand Theft Orchestra. She asked her fans to support her financially, and the initial goal was to raise $100,000. However, her fans backed her with nearly $1.2 million, making it the biggest music crowdfunding project at that time.

Q: Why did Amanda Palmer choose to ask her fans for help instead of making them pay for her music?

Amanda Palmer believes in the power of connection and building relationships with her fans. She didn't want to focus on making people pay for her music but rather on creating a space where people could choose to support her if they wanted to. By asking for help, she connected with her audience on a deeper level, and people genuinely wanted to support her.

Q: How did Amanda Palmer respond to criticism regarding her asking for help from her fans?

Amanda Palmer received criticism for her continued practice of asking fans to join her onstage in exchange for love, tickets, and beer. Some people viewed this as begging or taking advantage of her fans. However, Amanda saw it as a fair exchange and a deep connection with her audience. She recognized that those who criticized her were unable to see the true nature of the relationship she had with her fans.

Q: How did Amanda Palmer create a sense of trust and reciprocity with her fans?

Amanda Palmer created a sense of trust and reciprocity with her fans by being open and vulnerable. Through blogging, tweeting, and sharing not only her music but also her fears, mistakes, and personal stories, she formed a genuine connection with her audience. By seeing and acknowledging each other, people naturally wanted to help and support her.

Q: What is Amanda Palmer's perspective on the future of music and payment?

Amanda Palmer believes that people have been focusing on the wrong question of how to make people pay for music. Instead, she suggests asking how to let people pay for music. She emphasizes the importance of building connections, creating a sense of community, and allowing people to support artists in ways that feel meaningful and authentic to them.

Takeaways

Amanda Palmer's talk emphasizes the power of connection and the importance of asking for help in the music industry. She highlights that building relationships with fans and creating a sense of community can lead to support and collaboration. Palmer encourages artists to embrace vulnerability and share their work and stories openly, as this can foster genuine connections with their audience. By reimagining how artists can be supported and valued, the future of music can shift towards a more reciprocal and fulfilling experience for both artists and fans.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Amanda Palmer worked as a living statue called the 8-foot bride, where she had profound encounters with people and learned the value of connecting with others.

  • She used Twitter to ask for help and support from fans, leading to amazing experiences like getting a piano to practice on or receiving home-cooked food.

  • Amanda Palmer started giving away her music for free online and turned to crowdfunding, which resulted in a highly successful campaign that raised almost 1.2 million dollars.

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