Artists and the art of asking

Amanda Palmer just moved up several notches in my inner hierarchy of awesome people that I want to be when I grow up. Her TED talk went live, and I cried three times in those short 13 minutes.

I want to be a part of the world she’s talking about. A¬†world where we can ask for help and get it from the network of trusting, supportive connections we’ve formed in our lives. Connections that extend beyond close friends and family into the ether of social media and the internet where we have a chance to forge a new future where we don’t “make” people pay for things or shame them for following their bliss. A world where connection is king. Not content or capitalism or culture. A world where we can be vulnerable and open enough to ask and let the voices who speak up support us, not because we deserve it or have tenure or are famous but because there’s an exchange of love taking place.

We’ve been taught that we should be ashamed as artists to ask for money. That we need to just make our work and shut up and hope someone has pity on us or is so enthralled with our work that they shower us with riches. That would make us lucky. Otherwise, we should get “real jobs.”

We’re taught that to ask for help – artist or not – is to be weak and helpless. And if you get help, you cannot ask for it again because you’re no longer in need.

It’s not about need. It’s about the connection.

It’s not about masses of screaming fans. It’s about connection.

It’s not about piles of cash. It’s about connection.

“It’s about a few people loving you up close and those people being enough.”


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