I’ve loved Amanda Palmer for a long time for many reasons that I won’t go into right now except to say that I admire her ability to be herself, and to know what that means and be completely comfortable with who she is. Not a lot of people can do that and I hope someday I will be able to.
I wanted to talk about her Ted Talk in this post though
She begins the talk describing her experience as a living statue, the 8ft Bride. Many people look down on this as a career choice because they don’t believe it is a career choice, but if you can make a living doing it, why not? Amanda Palmer talks about getting heckled and harassed with shouts of “get a job!” to which she could only reply “This is my job.” And to her, this job had meaning because the chance she got to interact with people was so meaningful and unique.
You really can make a job out of anything if you believe in it enough.
Amanda Palmer is a musician as a main job now, a career which even still some people look down upon. I love her outlook on how we can revolutionize the music industry and create an interactive and intimate environment with give and take, where people pay because they want to pay, not because they have to. There are a lot of risks in this theory, there will always be the jerks who take everything they can get for free and not bat an eyelash about it, but I have faith that there will always be the people who genuinely care about the product they receive and the person they receive it from, and they will go above and beyond to help.
In the end Amanda Palmer’s message is that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for that help, and you shouldn’t be focusing on how to make people do what you want, but rather how to let them help you. Whether that means dressing up as a Statue and exchanging meaningful moments for spare change, or getting up on stage and singing for the fans who’s living rooms you couch surf on. If you help others, they will return the favor.