THE ART OF ASKING by Amanda Palmer (PIatkus Books, 2014)
This book is part memoir, part manifesto and part egocentric vanity project.
Amanda Palmer is a performance artist. She has been a human statue, a stripper and is best known as the lead singer of The Dresden Dolls who, in their early years were, in her own words, “a punk-cabaret duo specializing in tear-jerking seven-minute songs with drum solos”.
The manifesto part, is her fervent belief that artists, and by extension all human beings, need to learn that there is no shame in asking for help when you need a place to sleep or money to finance projects.
The experiences she recounts are proof that this can work. The most dramatic example is a Kickstarter campaign to fund an album. She set a relatively modest target of $100,000 but eventually raised a record-breaking $1 million. This level of success was not without its critics. She has been labelled a “self-serving, greedy, superficial attention whore” but is thick-skinned enough to overcome such unmerited slurs. Continue reading