“Work with the man when the man can help you make your art…”
– Amanda Palmer
“When in doubt, remember: At the end of the day, you get to do whatever the fuck you want.”
– Amanda Palmer
My guest this episode is Amanda Palmer, who first came to prominence as one half of the internationally acclaimed punk cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls.
Many of you have no doubt seen her surprise hit TED presentation, “The Art of Asking,” which has been viewed more than 6 million times. But her story goes much deeper, and, in this conversation, we delve into her routines, habits, creative process, relationships, business models, and more.
Her new book is aptly titled The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help. I finished 50% and fundamentally upgraded my life in an afternoon of asking for help. It’s one hell of a read.
Amanda is also widely known as “The Social Media Queen of Rock-N-Roll” for her intimate engagement with fans via her blog, Tumblr, and Twitter (1,000,000+ followers), and has been at the vanguard of using both “direct-to-fan” and “pay what you want” (patronage) business models to build and run her business. In May of 2012, she made international news when she raised nearly $1.2 million pre-selling her new album, Theatre is Evil, which went on to debut in the Billboard Top 10 when it was released in late 2012.
We get into it all, including war stories, cursing, and meditation techniques. It’s a fun ride. Enjoy!
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as”.
Want to hear another podcast with a world-class musician? — Listen to my conversations with Justin Boreta of the Glitch Mob or Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park. In the fomer, we discuss his meditation practice, morning routines, and creative process (stream below or right-click here to download):
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: Have you ever overcome the fear of asking for help? Please share stories or examples in the comments!
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help
- Dropping Ashes on the Buddha by Zen Master Seung Sahn
- Only Don’t Know also by Zen Master Seung Sahn
- A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
- Unfamiliar with Amanda Palmer’s music? She made this for you.
- Connect with Amanda on Twitter
- The origin story behind the alias Amanda Fucking Palmer [4:40]
- On the creative process behind The Art of Asking [7:40]
- Simplification and honing in art and life [19:10]
- Lessons learned as The 8-foot Bride [25:10]
- What separates a good living statue from a great living statue [30:40]
- Advice for effective use of eye contact [33:25]
- Amanda Palmer’s meditation techniques [42:25]
- Most gifted books [49:50]
- Who is the first person you think of when you think of “successful” [55:50]
- Common misconceptions about Amanda Palmer [1:02:10]
- Why the Amanda Palmer fan base is so dedicated [1:09:40]
- Lessons learned from the rebellion against Roadrunner Records [1:17:25]
- If Amanda had to choose one online tool, which would it be and why? [1:25:40]
- The dynamics of having two creatives in one household [1:26:55]
- Rapid-fire questions: Drinks in Boston and advice for her 20-year old self [1:34:10]
- Thoughts on flying solo or working with “the man” [1:37:25]
Posted on: March 30, 2015.
Please check out Tribe of Mentors, my newest book, which shares short, tactical life advice from 100+ world-class performers. Many of the world's most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, poker players, and artists are part of the book. The tips and strategies in Tribe of Mentors have already changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for a sample chapter and full details. Roughly 90% of the guests have never appeared on my podcast.
Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.