Amanda Palmer’s Lessons For Musicians Too Uncomfortable To Ask Their Fans For Money
At the 5:55 minute mark of Amanda Palmer’s now legendary TED talk, I actually teared up a bit. I could totally relate.
She talks about the un-documented immigrant family who sleeps on the couches and the floor in their small apartment so that Amanda and her band can take the beds.
Amanda lies in bed with a sinking feeling of “These people have so little. Is this fair?”
In the morning the Mom expresses her gratitude to Amanda for what her music has done for her daughter.
She realizes after talking to the Mom that it IS fair. It’s a simple human exchange.
Each side gets something they need and can’t get anywhere else.
If you’ve ever experienced anxiety or awkwardness from asking for or
receiving help, you will probably be moved by this story like I was.
Amanda has a lot to teach us in the way of trust, connection, & asking for help
Of the 100′s of interviews we’ve done with crowdfunding project creators, asking for money is at the top of the “feared” list.
Musicians feel uncomfortable looking into the camera and asking for money. It feels like begging.
Amanda often asks opening bands if they’d like to go out into the crowd and pass the hat so they can make a little extra cash. She recalls one band member being reluctant because it felt like begging (6:35).
It’s a feeling that what you’re doing is “not very job like” or it’s shameful. Wondering “is this fair?” and the fear of someone yelling “get a real job!” as Amanda has experienced.
This deep seated fear is the root of why almost every artist second guesses herself and her dreams.
When crowdfunding, it’s the one thing that keeps many artists from flipping on the video camera and asking for help. They can’t help but imagine that one person telling them to, “get a job.”
The Ninja, Master Level Fan Connection
At her Kickstarter backer party in Berlin at the end of the night, Amanda stripped and then let everyone draw on her. She claims this to be a “Ninja, Master Level Fan Connection.” The ultimate display of trust where she seems to say, “I trust you this much. Should I? Show me.”
Amanda’s message is clear: Make the human connections, then trust the relationship even though it sometimes seems awkward. Just trust.
[Thumbnail image of Amanda Palmer courtesy Luis Pedro de Castro.]