there are loads of people who have influenced or inspired me, but the first one i’m going to talk about is miss amanda palmer. because she has had the most recent impact and really changed my attitude about some things.
for those unfamiliar with afp, she’s one half of the dresden dolls and has also put out a really outstanding solo album, complete with tour. i have considered her a genius for years now, but only started following her blogs and such this year. not sure why it took me so long to get around to doing that. and the woman is an inspiration.
she’s clearly hard working. not just living the easy life. when her foot was broken toward the start of her european tour, she did all she could not to let that change her stage show or interrupt any of the dates or signings. from what i can tell, no one got a lesser experience due to this. if someone runs over my foot with a car, i can’t say i’ll do so well…
also, her current record company are not being supportive. they don’t understand why she isn’t toeing the line for maximum fame, they don’t think people will get her odd album and they don’t want to promote it, and they can’t imagine why she won’t let them cut out parts of one video where you can see that she has an adorable and normal-girl belly instead of starvation abs. she is keeping things honest, even when it won’t get her pop stardom. she is promoting the tour and album herself online and in person. she is busting her bum.
part of how she does this, i believe, is that she clearly loves and appreciates her fans. she totally gets that the reason she gets to live off music is that her fans support her. and she is overwhelmed with gratitude. seriously. the woman tears up when talking about this.
the other thing you get from her blogs is a lot of openness. a lot of us artistic types are torn between our desire for privacy and protecting our internal and personal lives and the desire to put it all out there in our art and show it to you. i never feel like afp is giving us everything, but she isn’t hiding either. if she has had an emotionally rough day, she tells us. when she gets hurt or happy, we often know. and that, i think, fosters a connection with us and gives us a better glimpse into the place from whence the songs we love are coming.
ah, the songs we love…i waited around after the afp show in seattle because i wanted to give her a note about a song of hers that is saving me right now. i knew she was planning a signing, so i figured i’d hand it over and move on. what really happened was that she stood in front of the table, instead of sitting behind. and things were physically arranged such that each person could have a moment of quiet near-privacy with her. and she gave each person a few minutes if they wanted. so that i was telling her what the song meant to me and thanking her for being such an inspiration to me as she held my hand and hugged and kissed me. no joke. and i saw tears in her eyes as we talked about some things…
so, thank you, amanda, for teaching me about being gracious and grateful with fans, about the value of being open, and about working hard and having joy even when the world seems against your art. if i turn into one of those nasty diva types, i hope you’ll pull me aside, rockstar to rockstar, and smack me. and not in a sexy way.