Profiles

Amanda Palmer on Taylor Swift and Dealing With Internet Negativity

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Whether she's sleeping on a fan's couch or taking to Kickstarter to fund her last CD, Palmer has built her career around asking for help. And she's received it. Her Kickstarter campaign raised almost $1.2 million, or twelve times the amount she had asked for. She talked with Westword about her street performing, the risk of asking, and the future of the music (including the Taylor Swift vs. Spotify debate).

Westword: Can you tell me a little about being a street performer?

I was in my early 20s and didn't want a real job. I looked around at other people doing living statues and thought, 'What's going to stop me from doing that?' So I just stood up and tried it one day, made five times more money as a was making at my shitty barista job and never looked back.

How did the lessons you learned as a street performer translate into your music career?

I really learned how to trust in a sliver of the population to support an artist. I think the poetic parallels between performance art and crowdfunding are incredible. The entire world doesn't need to support you and pre-order your album, you only need a few hundred or a few thousand people to have a sustainable career as an artist. The most important part of the job is to focus on that sliver of a percentage who are stopping and engaging, while you let the rest of the humanity walk by and ignore you

Why do you think there's a stigma against asking people for help?

I think people fear asking deeply because asking makes you feel incredibly vulnerable to another person. It's a larger cultural problem we have.

Keep reading for more with Amanda Palmer.

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Amanda Moutinho
Contact: Amanda Moutinho