AFP talks “The Art of Asking” at TED 2013

On February 27th, Amanda Palmer took the TED stage in Long Beach, California.
Today, we are proud the present Amanda’s inspirational “TED Talk” in its entirety! In the words of TED curator Chris Anderson, it’s “absolutely awesome”. Watch below to see her open a beautiful dialog on art, the state of the music industry, connection, and trust.

Click HERE to watch on or HERE to watch on YouTube

Once you watch, please share anywhere you can. Twitter, Tumblr, Skype, email, postcard, Facebook, by slingshot…WE ARE THE MEDIA! When you can, use the hashtags #TheArtOfAsking and #TED2013 so that we can see what you’re saying.

What some people have said:
• “Amanda Palmer wins TED.” – Mashable (the awesome indie website dedicated to news & resources)
• “A gorgeous talk.” – Susan Cain (author)
• “Fascinating, poignant and innovative.” – Tony Hawk (professional skateboarder)
• “Amanda Palmer just blew me away at TED.” – Brené Brown (professor & author)
• “The best talk so far, by far.” – Maria Popova (blogger)
• “Fantastically insightful.” – Lee Kemp (director)
• “I have never been happier or prouder.” – Neil Gaiman (author & moxy)
• “I’m a capitalist and I loved your talk!” – A guy in a suit (speaking to AFP at a bar)

...i borrowed the above phrase from my friend maria popova's blog ( - it's awesome)...i think the phrase pretty much explains itself. i put a lot of time and effort into this blog and want you to have it and read it for free. if you want to give me some help for the time and effort, THANK YOU. you can either kick me back directly through paypal using the button below, or if you want to take some MUSIC TOO (even better, yay!) go to the store section and kick me back through paying what you want for an album or a song.

Support My Mission - Enter Amount Here

301 Responses to “AFP talks “The Art of Asking” at TED 2013”

  1. Jes

    I love this. I was just talking to my mom the other day about this actually. She thinks asking for help is shameful and makes people appear weak. She won’t even walk over to a neighbor if she needs sugar!

    I think that’s the shameful bit. Letting your fear take over your success. If she could built up the courage to ask for that sugar she could probably make a damn good cake.

    You delivered this beautifully and I’m just really glad you were able to deliver this to everyone. Now the trick is sharing it(which of course is no problem for anyone in your fanbase lol)
    I love you! Thank YOU.

    • Monica

      I think the idea of asking for/needing help is so ingrained in our culture as shameful we don’t even realize that that’s why we’re afraid to ask. Even though the talk got me thinking on a big scale of asking for help… it wasn’t until I read your comment that my brain clicked into the small scale (a cup of sugar). I’ve always been very shy and hate asking for help (especially looking for something at a store)… I wonder if it’s a cultural thing brought on by the idea that being independent is better than relying on others.

      • Mike Pollock

        I think it is. And its so harmful to us since people need other people to be safe and happy and healthy. Amanda spoke about that vulnerability. We need to be vulnerable to really connect. Its hard, but something I’m trying to do more and more.

        • Monica

          I’m going to start trying it to. Being vulnerable doesn’t mean your placing everything on other people but that you’re trusting them to be good and human. I think if we want to live in a world that works like that we need to start living like it is one.

  2. Paulzuzu

    I’m copying and pasting this from Facebook because I’m lazy. That and and I’ve just woke up and only had one cup of coffee so far, so…

    I just watched it, very inspiring. Asking for things has always been very difficult for me since I don’t really feel like I have anything to offer in return, but your talk has given me some things to think about.

  3. Ashley Pérez

    Back when the kickstarter first came out, I was watching the video at college sitting next to a not-so-close friend of mine. She asked to watch the video with me, so I let her.
    I was grinning from ear to ear, so happy that I had the chance to help somebody I admired as much as Amanda, that I’d be a part of something I was sure I’d love

    My not-so-close friend turned to me and said, “I don’t get it. Why is she begging? Isn’t she an artist?”

    I frowned and told her. “Yes. She IS an artist. The best kind.”

    This was further proved when Amanda came to Puerto Rico for and offered the best show of my life. The eye contact was real. The connection was real. And I’m so thrilled I was able to contribute to the making of this amazing album and everything that came with it.

    I already sent my friend this video. I hope she gets it now.

    Thanks, Amanda.

    • Susan

      Amanda, you have changed me and I am not sure what to do
      with it yet. I am a 49 year-old graduate student who has had an amazing life by
      my account, but from the outside it might not look that good. I have gone back
      to school to advance instructional material I have created to teach young
      students to use sensory and emotional imaging when reading. It is curriculum
      that is severely lacking in schools. I have a school that is willing to let me
      do a study on it, so now I am jumping through the hoops.

      One hoop lead me to a social worker that love what I have
      written so much that she wants me to talk at a meeting of social workers. The
      only thing is she wants me to give my material to them. This brings up a great
      deal of fear in me. You see I am living on little income and I have gone out on
      a limb for this instructional material.

      After watching your Ted video (two times), I am going to
      have to fall into them!!! Not because I have to, but because I know that my
      letting go and giving them the material frees me.

      The part of your Ted video that I am still working into my
      mind is of course the “asking.” It is so beautiful. I think it will help me
      when I take the material to the teachers who are doing the study. Because I do
      feeling like I will be imposing on them. I know how much work they have to do. I
      think I will just ask them.

  4. Gina Terzino

    Amanda–well done!! You started simply with that image of the connection and kept alluding to it as a metaphor for connecting with people on multiple levels. It was truly brilliant. And it made me tear up a bit at the end. Pat yourself on the back. Ya done good. :)

  5. Erik Griffith

    As a guy in a suit, I haven’t forgotten what capitalism is. Capitalism is exactly asking for payment for your work. Bravo.

  6. gabakulka

    It was both fragile and powerful – so much in accordance with how you do what you do, Amanda. Thanks ever so much!

  7. Lily Mae Martin

    Love this and hearing about your life. Incredible.

    As an artist it has also given me a lot to think about, just hearing about how you have been able to do it really opens my eyes.

    Awesome and thanks for sharing!

  8. Kate

    Thank you very very much, today has left me questioning what the point is of even continuing when “doomed to fail” in life and having no purpose by other peoples’ standards because of my art pursuing and I’ve been provided very much with the answers and inspiration. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  9. Randy Schott

    Thank you Thank you Thank you. That was, well you brought tears to my eyes. You do so much, and we love you for that.

  10. Mandi Blahey

    Again and again and again… love you from this Amanda to that Amanda. Amazing, informed, and real. I’ve watched thousands of TED Talks. This, this is goosebumps, this is connection.

  11. Grace

    I love listening to you talk, and sing…it feels so powerful to me. Your music gives me hope, and the story of your journey gives me hope. I hope one day I can do what you do. In the meantime, I have my music, and I have your music, and life isn’t so bad.

  12. Janette Rose Rathbun

    I was moved to tears by this talk, I feel as though allowing ones self to trust goes beyond the exchange of art; it extends into our lives. How much richer we would all be if we allowed ourselves to break down the barriers between us, and trust…

  13. Stephanie

    Amanda- The past few months have been really hard for me, and today, watching this video, has reminded me of how easy it can be to open up, and express myself, and to find inspiration in all the little things in life if I let myself. Your music has gotten me through some difficult shit, and I, from a distance, thank you for that from the bottom of my heart.

  14. Courtney

    I am in grad school and hate asking people to sponsor me even in the form of scholarships. I’m getting a professional degree and am being sponsored by a community, and it shames me to ask for help. Your talk brought me to tears, to think that I can connect and trust, that I might ask fearlessly and be willing to receive fearlessly. I love your music and have been to several concerts, but today, this is the message I needed. Thank you.

  15. BriPie Thompson

    That was wonderful. I’m so glad you got to do this because the way your music has helped not only me, but my entire circle of friends, you deserve the world Amanda. Because you can make the world realize how beautiful it is.

  16. Lyf

    absolutely amazing. Inspiring for people who are making music, and fans of music. Also really hits close to home with the idea that life isn’t about making money, it’s about being happy and making connections. If you have to ask people for help sometimes, that’s okay because making connections allows you to do that.

  17. Dovile

    I dont know why, but I have tears in my eyes. So powerful, so fragile, just like gabakulka said. Thanx…

  18. KnightErrant

    i don’t know how else to respond to this but to say thank you.

  19. Tommy

    I remember watching your first talk a few years ago (the one at harvard?) and your story about connecting with people as a statue has always made my chest feel lighter. Even as a musician even when your fans are not with you physically, you are always connecting to them, you always see them. You give people strength, through your music and your words. You bring people together. Thank you Amanda. Thank you for giving me hope and strength when I thought I had none. <3

  20. Ukulele Kris

    I’ve just decided to make my debut EP free to download because of this talk. I’ve had it set at £2 for 6 months, and in that time, about 10 people have bought it, but nobody else has been able to download it because of that.

    At least now, people will be able to download and enjoy it, and who knows, if I just ask, people may think it’s worth a couple of quid?

    I’ve always been a fan of your work, AFP, and I’ll admit I did have a wobble at unpaid-musicians-gate, but you explain everything so brilliantly in that talk, that I’ll trust your judgement from now on :)

  21. GalileoFloatsAboveMe

    Love TED. Love YOU. You are welcome on my couch any day. MIT would love to have you and I’m sure you’d love East Campus. We have to met eventually, anyway…

  22. Defunct Ional

    This makes me want to make music again. Thank you for making a career out of Being Fucking Awesome, you’re a pleasure and a treasure and in my cap, the feather.

  23. Monika

    Amazing Ted talk. You’ve got a new fan right here, and I can’t wait to catch up on your music and art!

    • Monica

      welcome to the community! Here’s your complementary party hat, don’t forget about Friday Nights on twitter (#lofnotc). Enjoy!

  24. Samuel Aaron Grandt

    I’m currently watching it for the 4th time…Never before have I listened to somebody talk and literally agreed with EVERYTHING they said.
    When it comes to religious/political views, you and I differ greatly, but I still appreciate and love everything you do…But this talk…Wow. I got teary-eyed.
    I loved the “25,000″ comparison you made from the amount of 2nd-album-sales, to the amount of people that backed you on Kickstarter…Briliant.
    Thank you SO much, Amanda. you are an amazing inspiration, and a constant reminder that if we connect, we can LIVE. plain and simple.

  25. Rebecca Morgan

    THANK YOU! I truly believe yours is the future of music, adapt and survive – others complain of torrenting and shit, whereas I happily hand over as much money as I can to artists that believe in their own music and willingly share it so openly, knowing it leaves them so vulnerable. Thank you Amanda :)

  26. Emily

    Just re-enforced the feeling that the money I pledged to Kickstarter was worth it. Life is about connections and people need to remember that at some point you are probably going to have to ask for help. We need to learn not to be afraid of that. Thank you for this!

  27. Edward Cherniga

    Amanda, I spent my morning working @ my drawing board, listening to Alan Watts, striving to resolve an important decision on my plate and it was the sincerity in your talk that made my choice clear. I like plenty of artists, but I fucking love you. Thanks!

  28. Chloe Henderson

    I’ve never really known how to put how much you mean to me in words, but the need to comment on this is great! I’m so proud to be a part of your fan base, to be a part of your community of beautiful arty wonderful weirdos. We are amazing. You are amazing. Going on TED and telling a wide audience of intelligent people how to get music and art out into the world and how to get creatives to be unfraid of asking for help to further art is amazing. Thank you for being open and honest and for sharing your love. Thank you for everything.

  29. Sheena Nicholson

    This made me want to cry. I really wish more artists sought to connect with their fans the same way you do. Music has always played such an important part in the lives of people. It marks relationships, moments of sorrow and loss, moments of triumph…. it only makes sense for artists to want to connect with the people whose lives they will always be part of. Thank you for being you.

  30. Jules


    This talk moved me to tears. That might sound silly, but it’s true. I saw you in Seattle and I feel like you saw me. I’m an artist and performer as well, and you are paving the road for us. You are making music and art something to be shared and experienced and I desperately want to show this video to all the people who keep telling me my art is not a real job. We can literally bleed for our art, why is that seen as less important than making coffee for minimum wage?
    Thank you endlessly.

    • Andrea

      Wow, I feel exactly the same way! I was about to post a comment about how moving this talk was to me. Specially since I have been following Amanda´s career since I was around 14 and not expressing myself through music. Now, being a 21-year-old singer in Argentina, I’m determined to be inspired by artists and not by someone who’s telling me that working 2 ‘unreal’ jobs is not enough. I’m definitely going to show this to my English students and make a lesson based on the issues addressed on this talk! Cheers!

  31. Leslie Edens

    Beautiful. As that person who has gone weeks without talking to a person, I appreciate and admire exactly who you are and what you’re trying to do. I’d back you on kickstarter any day.

  32. Monica

    I said this on Twitter but I’ll say it again. This is trust, this is love, and i really hope this is the future.

  33. Jennifer Gandin Le

    So good. So damn good. This is my favorite part: “For most of human history, musicians, artists — they’ve been part of
    the community: connectors and openers, not untouchable stars. Celebrity
    is about a lot of people loving you from a distance, but the internet
    and the content that we’re freely able to share on it are taking us
    back. It’s about a few people loving you up close, and about those
    people being enough.”

  34. Hannah Ford

    This is so beautiful. Very few people in my life have ever been placed in a position in which they were forced to ask for help. To those people it is almost impossible to convey the very real terror, humility, and connection that comes from having to depend on the Kindness of strangers. This is something you do masterfully everyday, with thousands of people. Thank you, for everything.

  35. Alivia with an A

    Thank you for making me feel like I can do something when I was convinced I could do nothing. Thank you for making me feel like I am something when I was convinced I was nothing. Thank you for helping me cry. Thank you for helping me laugh. Thank you for influencing my ukulele purchase. Thank you for being a beautiful, brilliant, brave you.

  36. Matthias Metzler

    This is truly an inspirational talk that will stick with me. It not only touches on subjects that are close to me (music, theatre), but applies to everything in life. Connecting with people is always something I find difficult, but here you’ve shown me that simply being honest and letting the shame and fear go can help you achieve a real connection. What you’ve done with your art is truly amazing, and the trust and respect you have with your fan base is something beyond words. Your stories and music continue to bring tears to my eyes, sometimes tears of sadness, but mostly tears of joy. Amanda, thank you for continuing to share you experiences with us and for being who you are.

  37. grainnerhuad

    The first album I remember owning myself was Pete Seegar’s Children’s Concert. I remember, I think it was in his opening to Abiyoyo, that he explained he decided to be a musician because “A musician always would have a seat close to the fire.” That always stuck with me, and I think it is in the same spirit. We don’t always have more to give than ourselves, and how beautiful is it when we can open up and give it? Whether that be a seat by the fire, food, a dollar, music or a picture? Asking should always accompany an open heart and willingness to give in return and I do not see that you, Amanda have ever fallen short of doing this. I don’t feel you ever will. And, you are infecting others with this as well. Shine On!

  38. Jonathan Davies

    Get your damn fine ass back over to the UK so that I can come and see you. Found out about you completely by accident (I’m a Leeds United fan), but now just a teeny bit hooked :)

  39. halcyon

    Wonderful talk! I’m glad you brought up how the internet made this posible for you. There’s so much chatter about how the internetis alienating us, but the truth is that me (and your fans in general) have a connection to you that we never could have had ten or twenty years ago.

    Tldr; I love you Amanda!

  40. tania meek

    A BEAUTIFUL message that couldn’t come at a better time! Thank You!!
    Amanda, I received your flower gift many years ago in NO, kinda creeped me out, but our eyes met, you saw me and I saw you.- Tania Meek (glad I kept the picture)

  41. Piper Shepherd

    So I’ll start my comment off by saying you are one of my biggest heroes and you have the most beautiful influence on my life every single day. I’ve been on a sporadic cross country road trip for the past month. I haven’t read your blog since January, but since I’ve been traveling around the country I have shared your stories and the amazing things you do with people from all over. Ironically, I found myself in Albuquerque last night with nowhere to go and nothing to do. This road trip has been so wild and nothing has gone according to plan. As I’m sitting in the parking lot trying to come up with some sort of plan, I remembered that I have an account with, and I have never surfed with anyone there before. So I post about needing a place to stay within the next few hours and immediately get a response from this man. We gave him a call and the next thing I know, I’m staying at this cute house with a very interesting Asian man with a thick accent who made us delicious vegetarian noodles. This morning I wake up and see that your TED talk is finally up. I immediately clicked the link and watched it and it was completely surreal. For the past month, I’ve been calling upon friends online to connect with all across the country. I’ve never met any of these people in real life before this trip. I just put my trust into all of these mysterious online faces and in return, I’m constantly connecting with people. Mostly just for the night, or even a few hours. But these encounters enrich my life so much. I’m driving around the country on a shoestring budget and I’m under 21. Most of the time I can’t get into parties or I can’t afford to do the touristy things. However, on this trip I’ve learned that I get more from connecting with people than I could ever get out of going to a bar or touring the Hollywood Wax Museum. Building a network of friends who are all willing to help each other out is the most amazing thing to do. It brings so much beautiful chaos into my life. For instance, when I made it to Seattle I had intended on staying for two days. I accidentally ended up staying six days. On my last night in Seattle, we get a call from this girl who asks to ride with us to Portland. She had an ex girlfriend whom she thought was dead for two years, and she had recently discovered she was alive. We got her address and all of us went to Portland to find her and reunite them. Things like that have been happening all month long. It is truly awesome to mix paths with the randoms of the universe. Anyway, your TED talk was so amazing. It interconnects with my life perfectly right now. I wish that one day I could have the chance to just sit down and talk to you, if only for a few hours.

  42. Matthew Bracaglia

    While watching this, all I can think of is how scarred I am to ask for help. I am very shy when it comes to meeting people. Right now I am studying abroad in London, and I started to think some of the people I met were my friends, but it turns out they don’t like me much. I am afraid to ask why, but I think the major reason is that when we started hanging out, I barely said a word. I just followed them and listened to them converse with each other, and I think they think its creepy. Now I just feel alone, and I am afraid to ask anyone for help. Hopefully I can try to change that.

  43. Elisabeth

    Once again, you make me feel real and justified and inspired and brave. Thank you so much, Amanda!

  44. Alex

    Your seemingly alien way of thinking has inspired me for the last five
    years or so, since I discovered you exist. For me, you define the term
    ‘artist’, and have forced me to rethink my musical options to the point
    where I’m now embarking on a solo career.

    Now, I’m only 20 but
    I’ve been playing in bands since I was 12, and it scares the bejeezuz
    out of me to be doing this alone… but I love it. I love the people,
    the intimacy, the interaction. I intend to support you on tour one day
    soon Amanda, and hopefully join you up on that stage you dominate so
    fearlessly. Thank you, for everything you’ve given to this world and
    everything you’re yet to give. And thank you even more so for what you’ve given to me. Heart, courage and mind. I’m one wizard short of Oz over here.

    Keep your head up, and your heart open.

  45. Skully

    I love how you present yourself to the world with your throat bared trusting the world not to cut it, or cut too deeply. I was moved by your courage, yet again.

  46. Andrea

    I’ve been playing guitar for a year now. Yesterday my mom asked me, while she listened to the new songs I was learning, why I hadn’t performed in public as a solo artist yet. I said I wasn’t ready, but after watching this talk I realize there is no such thing as being ready. Art is there to be shared, and being locked up isolated “making mistakes” (that will actually lead to better performances) is completely the opposite to sharing art, so what is it that I have to lose?
    At the same time, yesterday I told a lady on the bus stop I’d give her the money for a bus ride if she lend me her SUBE card (the one with which we pay for bus tickets in Argentina), because I didn’t have any money left on mine. She paid for my bus ride and wouldn’t take the money I wanted to give her.
    What do I learn from this? Screw the people who yell ‘Get a real job’, screw the lack of trust that the media try to get inside our heads everyday, screw not sharing with other people in a genuine and selfless way. Just trust.
    Thank you so much for this talk, Amanda!

  47. Jennifer Kirby

    Amanda, you are so beautiful and I hope you know how much your fans appreciate the relationship you have with us. And not to sound creepy (though there is really no way to say this without doing so), I feel like I know you better through your music than I know most people in my life. Cannot wait for Auckland show in September!

    • Jennifer Kirby

      And I am not entirely sure why this video made me cry but I know they were good tears

  48. Amber

    Music has always been a big part of my life.. I mean too the extreme. Until the day I realized that all of these over-commercialized celebrities had no real interest in their fans. I began rethinking my musical choices and the amount of money I spent on music plummeted. I thought why in the hell am I going to pay to support someone who has no interest in me and really couldn’t care any less if I’m listening to their music because they have MILLIONS of listeners and album sales. I began taking huge interest in garage bands, I became the poster girl for a few of them.. groupie, roadie, whatever. Many of them are still local, some quit all-together, the ones who moved on to be the next big thing stopped caring about the people they made music for.

    Now here is Amanda FUCKING Palmer.. Someone who’s personality I got to learn before ever listening to her music thanks to Twitter. Someone whose music I didn’t care for at first until I saw YouTube videos of her live performances. Someone who has inspired me in so many ways and has made me reconsider giving up on performing. The first video I watched was of AFP onstage alone behind a piano singing her heart out to her fans, giving all she had to those people and it made me think.. WOW!! Now I’m waiting desperately for the day she will do a show in Ohio so my broke ass can go see the legendary Amanda FUCKING Palmer live.

    Best TED talk ever, definitely a major win. I may not be able to support the cause with money at this moment but I’m still a supporter. I will definitely be one of those people in the crowd at a show who hands over cash and says.. here, you’re awesome I love your music and this is for every song I’ve downloaded for free when I was down and out… you’re music is what helped me survive.

  49. Monica Byrne

    I’m so delighted by this. And it brought up a painful memory of being shamed for asking for help for a creative endeavor. I wrote about it here:

    Amanda Palmer’s TED talk is really important to me. Here’s why.

    Three years ago, when I was starting my novel and having a really hard time finding a day job, I asked my community for help. I was really, really afraid to. I’ve always prided myself on being independent and self-sufficient—even today, it’s really hard for me to ask for and receive help, especially financially. But the novel was trying to burn its way out of me. I had to find a place to rest and give birth. When I went to Ethiopia and India and the South Pacific on fellowship to research the novel, I’d asked who wanted to receive letters on the way, and about two hundred people said yes. Since these people knew about my project, and had responded very warmly to my letters, I figured they’d be worthwhile to approach.

    This was before Kickstarter and IndieGogo. So I applied to Fractured Atlas, a well-established fiscal sponsorship organization for artists. Most of their clients are dance companies and theatre groups, so I expressed worry to them, but they said it was fine to be sponsored as an individual artist. I spent a lot of time crafting a letter to my mailing list, breaking down my expenses, listing my upcoming publications and productions. I added that in this economy, good wishes were just as welcome as donations. I asked LOTS of veteran fundraiser artist friends for advice. I promised donors “something pretty or weird in the mail,” which is now what Kickstarter does as a matter of course. Here’s a sample:

    “No amount is too small. In many ways, I’m lucky to be a writer—compared to other artists, my overhead is blessedly low. All I need is time, space, food and coffee. I just moved into a cozy little apartment in Durham with a gas stove, plenty of sunlight, and a whole room devoted to writing (see the picture!). I’m doing my best to pull in money on my own through freelance and contract work, but the more freedom I have to write, the better.”

    I sent it off and felt very nervous.

    And then donations started coming in. The first was from an acquaintance I hadn’t spoken to in years (but have now happily reconnected with). There were donations from good friends, and donations from people I barely knew. And I never cared about the amount. It was always just the gesture, the connection. And that included those who took me at my word and replied, “I can’t afford anything right now, but best of luck with writing!” because that meant just as much. Plenty of people didn’t respond at all, and that was fine with me, too.

    In this sea of positivity, two friends wrote me otherwise.

    “I’m pretty appalled that you would send a mass email to your friends asking them to pay your rent. I would love to write full time too, but I have to work a day job and so do most of my peers. If I were to donate money to help someone with their bills, I certainly wouldn’t choose a privileged woman whose ‘artist’ status makes her exempt from the drudgery of employment.”

    “I have to say I was pretty offended by your email. To have sent what is essentially an appeal for personal financial support to people who are themselves going through all sorts of financial and career difficulties seems like an insensitive move to me. It would be one thing to ask for donations toward an organization that was, say, contributing to relief efforts after that giant storm wiped out the place you’d stayed in Samoa, but soliciting personal gifts to subsidize your own living situation is something different. I know artists have worked in patronage-based systems for hundreds of years, but those are usually established crafters of something the public (or at least the cultural elite) has already deemed important, and that’s not really the case here, either.”

    These really hurt.

    I wrote to an officer at Fractured Atlas about whether responses like this were common. She wrote:

    “I guess the reality of the situation is, some people don’t consider supporting an individual artist’s craft as important as say, giving the Metropolitan Museum or the Getty Museum support. It’s unfortunate, I completely disagree with it (for too many reasons to get into here) but, some people don’t understand how this is charitable or beneficial. It’s something many of our individual artists struggle with.”

    And eventually I replied to my friend:

    “Yes, patronage of the arts is as old as art itself. For example, theater companies and dance companies absolutely rely on patronage from family and friends, not to mention poets and composers and painters throughout history. They use that patronage to pay for their rent and their food. And as a writer, my expenses are more synonymous with living expenses than most other artists’.

    For the past five years, I’ve made choices such that making art is at the center of my life. This is why I choose day jobs that don’t drain my creative energy (and yes, I am looking for a day job. I’ve applied for 124 positions at this point with no luck). This is why I live in a city with a low cost of living. This is why I’ve disciplined myself to sit down at a desk for at least two hours every day, unpaid, regardless of my financial situation, whether I like it or not.

    If you had approached me to ask for a donation for further your ability to work in the arts, and allowed for the fact that financial times are tough, I would have gladly given what I could. I think it’s interesting that you had such a sharp reaction as a fellow artist/arts educator. Artists may work in isolation, but they live in a community. And they rely on each other. Period.”

    She didn’t reply. I ended both friendships because I didn’t see a way forward, and I didn’t see any benefit to trying. I’m still glad I did.

    The end result of the whole endeavor is, of course, that with the help of those donors, an awful but steady day job I eventually got at a pharmaceutical company, a residency at the Vermont Studio Center and a grant from the Durham Arts Council, I did finish the novel. It’s called The Girl in the Road. I sent it out and received four offers of representation. This week, I finally chose one, a fantastic agent who represents Barbara Kingsolver and Adrienne Rich, and who’s already pitching it to editors. (More on him later; he’s wonderful.) And when it gets published, I’m going to send a personalized copy to every single donor if I have to buy all the hardcovers myself.

    But on the other hand, I think none of that matters. I think the act of asking, itself, is totally okay. I also think not giving anything—money or good wishes—is also totally okay, if you don’t have the funds, energy, or are simply not feeling the project. And this is why I love Amanda Palmer’s TED talk so much—because she’s signaling a shift to a new creative economy, enabled by new technology.

    Before, to shame someone for even asking was hurtful. But now it’s just passé.

    • Tanya Speed

      Thank you for your comment to AP. I too am a writer. But I work. My job sucks a lot of the energy out of me. My spelling, grammar, vocab…. dieing. I still have my metaphors and ideas. In November I wrote my first novel. I still haven’t edited it and I am currently working on another project with some friends. But I feel drained 24/7. So what you are doing is brave. What you are doing shows courage. I am scared to do what you are doing. I am scared to be in your position (but I take care of others too~its not just me I have to feed). But this is helpful to me. Because this gives me hope that I can exchange a struggle of one kind (the kind that I am sucking for air and trying to express my heart) with the war for another (the kind were my heart is free and I fight for food and shelter). I wish you luck and hope to read something you write one day.

      • Monica Byrne

        PLEASE do! I see so many fellow artists throw their energy down the drain at day jobs that suck the life out of them. If you can get a day job where it’s easy to draw boundaries, or even freelance, or anything that’ll directly help your art, do it. Don’t waste time!

        • Tanya Speed

          It will happen. I see a light somewhere at the end of this dark tunnel thanks to being awaken by this song bird that has a brain (AFP). If you have a blog or something I can follow so I can support your work please send me your info. You are welcome to facebook me. I have a site but I am not posting new work for awhile. …. amazing how conversations and comments from strangers on the internet can be so inspirational. <3

          • Miserichik

            As another writer working on my own novel while I work a soul sucking job, I am so into all of this. I do not have facebook, but would be very much excited to talk to other writers who post here (we are a very amazing bunch)

  50. Eriana Marcus

    Thankyou, Amanda, for the message, the feeling, the reason of being that i have needed to allow myself the permission to be the person I am with people, to also be an artist on my own terms because i want to share and connect – and without sharing and connecting – i cannot do my art. No one has ever understood that. Not only do you inspire me to keep going – you can put this to words – simple – in 13 minutes . Excellent. Love!

  51. Violet No Yume

    This surprisingly moved me to tears. I really want to be able to Ask the way you do one day.
    Amanda, in many things you do, you’re inspiring (back then when i sang in a band your voice gave me confidence in singing facing a microphone and people…), you’re moving because you’re true…

    Thanks so much !!

  52. Colleen

    If ever there were a person I would strive to be like, it would be you. I have had teachers and programs and religious events try their hardest to teach me how important trust, interaction, and the sheer humbling effect of asking for help is in life. None have done nearly so well as you have. That at least one soul out there understands the connections of humans and… I have no words for my adoration of you, Amanda Palmer.

  53. Jessica Grubaugh

    Love you, Amanda. You are such a beautiful person, inside & out – the difference you’ve made in the lives of your fans (including this one), not only with your art but by simply being YOU is astronomical. THANK YOU.

  54. lentower

    Like the line for the economists, such a more positive word than capitalists ; – }

  55. Cheyenne Rosey Mihalik

    Amanda, I have to say you went into this talk with nervousness and with so much preparation but up on that stage, atop your milk crate and speaking to these strangers about your work as a statue; you opened yourself up the people in the crowd and you did it without shame and got such an amazing point across. We as humans expect to much. We try to find ways to manipulate and gain and to become the best; when all we have to do is be human and communicate with one another and show compassion. A billion thumbs up to you Madame’ AFP. Thank you for being you.

  56. SarahLuthien

    The Bed Song does not make me cry, but it does touch me. The TED talk did make me cry! Thank you so much Amanda, for opening yourself to us, and sharing your amazing love, experiences and knowledge. See you in September, from Sydney xx

  57. Marc Kevin Hall

    Thank you for this, Amanda. Your ability to communicate is extraordinary, and your message is wonderful.

  58. Cassie

    Beautiful, powerful. I feel connected with you on some deep level buried way down.

  59. Jiv

    I loved this, I was trying to explain to my roommate why kickstarter is most definitely a GOOD thing, and this is why I’m always so willing to pay for your music (whereas with less awesome musicians i’m not)

  60. Dave Mac

    Wow! I was on the edge of tears, you are beautiful, we need more human beings like you Ma’am! ^.^

  61. StarrHrdgr


    You have been an inspiration to me for a long time. I’m a fan of Brecht, a theatre artist for 20+ years, and last year, I put up a circus tent in Tulsa, Oklahoma for a polish absurdist piece called Vatzlav. My wife is an visual artist, and I am a theatre artist. We have tried crowdfunding for years and years, and have met resistance almost every day. Most recently we relocated to Chicago to have a change of headspace and we are creating more an more every day. Your work has been inspiring for a long time, but your talk today, which I have to admit, I was anticipating and refreshing the page at TED to see when they would post, was everything I would hope it would be. Thank you for being the pied piper of theatre nerds and just being uniquely who you are. Anyway. I’m rambling, because I almost don’t know how to process what I’m feeling. But thanks for showing us your heart. For your daring. For your artistic expression. For just being Amanda Fucking Palmer:) If you’re ever in Chicago a need anything. Let me know.

    Best Regards,
    Starr Hardgrove

  62. Tanya Speed

    The first time I went to New Orleans (the only time I went to New Orleans) there was a silver cowboy painted on the street. His movements were robotic and he would incorporate mime into his act. This was 11 years ago, but when I think of New Orleans… he is the first image that ever enters my mind. I have seen him years later in photos people have taken on their trips. It’s almost been a month since I accidently fell into you. And though it was a video and a song and your face conveying emotions that I have been experiencing that drew me in…I did fall. I couldn’t stop. I started researching you. (Thank you internet). I started advertising you. I am still a walking advertisement. I tell everyone. I got a woman in her late 50′s that teaches a Sunday school class at a Catholic church to fall in love with you. Not everyone is receptive but I love observing the people who are and having conversations about you. Some people have sticky notes on their desks at work. I am still waiting. Two days after I discovered you, I found your blog and had learned of The Dresden Dolls and Evelyn Evelyn and the book you did with Neil Gaimen that I will save up to buy as soon as I pay the IRS and some other bills that are whipping invisible scars in my back. But while I was being filled with your music I came across an article written for the New Yorker. And it was one of these articles that put you down and screamed at you for what you were doing. It was full of astericks because the writer, after publication, was forced to go back and correct errors to avoid slander. It made him look like a fool but even with the astericks…. it was one of the ugliest pieces trashing a person in an attempt to seem intellectual that I have ever seen. That was how I learned about you and Kickstarter and I felt this since of pride that a human being would do this and it filled my heart with love for you. I read through the horrible things that were being said and I saw someone reaching out to us. To me. To the fans and the people that really want to hear you. Mind you this is two days after I fell into you. My favorite part of the article that was posted online was the comments below. Your fans defended you. And usually when you read the comments people post after articles…well they aren’t so bright. But this was different. One of your fans went and researched the writer and exposed him as a hypocrit for the things he was saying about you…and I thought: “Yes, there is still hope in this world.” My biggest disappointment was that I did not have the opportunity to know about this and to give to your efforts. But I feel like when it comes to the negative backlash, the people that matter see through it. I kept researching you and your music. My vocabulary and the intellectual side of my brain had fallen asleep and all of a sudden it had been awaken. I went to itunes and bought both Amanda Palmer cds and Three Dresden Doll cds. And I advertise. Through my verbal advertisments… “Have you heard of Amanda Palmer? No? Really? You have to You Tube her. Check out this and this and this. She is a strong highly intellectual force and some of her work is dark but it’s too deep not to at least give her a chance.” I have gotten several people asking me to burn your albums for them so they can listen to you. Because they are as poor as me. And I haven’t. But this video you have posted gives me the feeling that …. yes, you are okay with that. (Thank you. Because it means the world that I can share something that is moving me so deeply with people that I feel need to be moved too). The other day I had a dream. Neil Gaimen was talking to me and you were walking around and I wanted to talk to you but he started talking to me about my writing and how I need to open my imagination. I woke up and went online and saw you and him were going to SXSW. I was upset that I could not get in due to badge prices. But I know when I do have the money I can support you in another way and give back to you what you have given to me and to the friends I have introduced to you. But….my imagination is awake and great things are coming to me…not from the outside world but from myself and I am going to be able to share this with the world. Because you woke me up. Metaphorically I was walking a street thinking I was dead inside wanting to be dead and full of so much apathy and pain that I had numbed. And I saw a painted bride holding a flower out to me and I thought “I’m not alone.” You are my hero. And I know that I am not alone. It isn’t just your music. It is your innovation. Your sharing and trust of the public. Your openess. And this speech just concretes it all.

  63. William Ames Prather

    As always, your insight, humility, humor, intelligence, and sensitivity leave me breathless. Please keep being willing to fall and I, we, will continue to be here to catch you. Thank you.

  64. aussiegeezer

    that was the best ted talk I’ve seen, and FINALLY I think I understand a little more, Thank you, Im once again stuck in Edinburgh, torn between Here and home, (Melbourne) I miss my family back home but can’t seem to work there, you’ve given me hope and a new perspective, I might just see my daughter again after all

  65. CeramicBullet

    Now I understand your eye contact at the shows. Thank you, Amanda, for being wonderful. And thank you for inspiring me to teach myself piano.

  66. Shannon Gardner

    You’ve been able to blur the boundaries between the artist and the listener, and pulled us all in. We’ve seen ourselves in what you say and do and we all believe in what you do, because you are not just telling your story, you are telling ours. You’ve added so many things of beauty to this world.

    Thank you.

  67. Anon

    Thank you, Amanda. I’m an artist myself, visual and musical, and I’m glad you shed light on this situation, connecting with fans, and opening possibilities with them for what’s important, the art. From a loyal fan. Love ya.

  68. Tammy Dalton

    I loved your talk! It was awesome, which was exactly what I expect from you, Miss Amanda. You never disappoint. The fascinating dichotomy of responses this concept elicits is something we can all chew on for weeks. Value, price, worth, vulnerability; it’s really so subjective. For some, your point of view is so comfortable, reasonable, and such a relief. For others it’s jarring and alien and feels intensely wrong. Love it! Thank you!!

  69. Jessie James

    amazing talk, thank you so much! I truly admire the kind of person you are and your strength to never give up… your strong beliefs and passion prove you right. People are indeed willing to support the right cause or the kind of art they love if they know that they’re not being fooled by any kind of marketing machinery. Please continue being so real and may no harm ever come your way.

  70. Kevin Borneo

    Amanda, I love you!!! I want to read tarot cards for a living, and its a scary lifestyle choice to make, but you have inspired me to trust, and let go of fear. Your words are a mantra that anyone brave enough to follow an unconventional path can live by.

  71. Marla Wright

    This reminds me of when I saw Annie Lennox in concert- a smaller venue in DC, where she made you feel as if you were in the room with an actual shining star. Her presence and energy overwhelmed me, and it was one of those more memorable events of my life. Amanda has that same energy. Can’t stop the ♥

  72. stefanie

    when i become a veterinarian i’m just gonna walk up to Amanda and hand her a $1000…but right now “i’m not exactly the person that i want to be”…

  73. Lucy Merriman

    I loved this talk, and, as always, love your music. It makes me wonder, though: why is it some artists are able to make that connection, and others, no matter how willing they are, just can’t seem to, or not with many people?

    It’s been on my mind of late, I suppose, because a few of my friends have run their own kickstarter campaigns. Two were incredibly successful, smashing through their goal, and having a very successful album and short film made (respectively). But the others didn’t meet their funding goals, and one in particular has bee feeling really defeated :( What do you do when you go out to trust your community, and they end up letting you down?

  74. Kate Rønning

    I was so excited to watch this today – New Favorite TED Talk! Fantastic work Amanda! Great voice for the artists of today

  75. Jennifer Taylor

    The sincere way in which you express thoughts about life, love and the interconnectedness of us all truly brings me to tears. I don’t know that everyone could be as positive and outgoing as you are, but I am glad that you are. Your outlook makes me very happy. Thank you.

  76. lola425

    Fuck commerce. The future is lovemerce. Money sometimes still part of the exchange, just coming from a place of trust rather than exploitation. Truly inspiring talk.

  77. NurseySarah

    Squeeeeee! You remembered me taking you the neti pot! In a blooming TED talk no less! It was so nice to meet you and you just made my Sunday <3

    What you probably don't remember is that at one of the Northcote gigs, you let me buy a poster for less than the asking price as it was all the money I had that day, and I was all of a mess as I had just been dumped. The massive hug you and the band gave me kept me afloat when I was sinking a bit. I have that poster framed on my wall. Having the opportunity to interact with you meant that both you and I were able to benefit, and that's what makes your approach so wonderful.

    I'm looking forward to seeing you again when you return to Melbourne,

    All my love,

    Sarah the nurse, x

  78. Tichi

    Joy of joys! This is amazing, dazzling and mindbogglingly fantastic! This is when I feel I have the greatest luck to even know you. Kapau! Wrrrrr!

  79. Lucinda

    Recently broke up with long term boyfriend – this is the first thing I’ve cried at since that wasn’t about him (in a positive emotional growth way). Thank you! See you in September!

  80. Finkdoobiest

    Brace yourself – The art vs. the artist discussion is coming

  81. amy from germany

    Wow, got me teary-eyed. Wonderful talk, congrats.

    I’ve always wondered how in these times where people get shot down on streets you can open up so much and trust your fans so much to let them come this close to you, without securities to stop them. I mean, who else would strip for strangers and let them touch you? Who else would open up their stage to have a party with random strangers?

    Well I guess, they’re – we’re – no strangers to you anymore, thanks to the internet. By now, you got to know us, you know we will catch you. And in return, you will help us catch ourselves with your lyrics. Does that make sense for people who speak proper English?

    Well, anyways, thank you, keep up the great work and trust and I am SO looking forward to meet you on a gig in Germany.

    • lentower

      Amanda’s trust in her fans started to evolve before twitter, before the blog, before she used the Internet much at all.

      But the Internet has made many fans, before they see her live.

  82. Si

    There are so many good people in the world, I wish I could trust everyone like this… from now on I shall try, thank you

  83. Cori Martinez.

    I’ve seen Amanda a couple times. The first was with Jason Webley as Evelyn Evelyn. It was my first time meeting her. I had loved her for years, and suddenly I was at this moment in which she would be right in front of me, and I was terrified. What could I say to someone that had lived in my heart since I was young and broken, and whose voice ushered me into better times. What could I say to this woman whose words were etched into my soul. How does one even begin to explain? I was shy, I asked for a picture and an autograph. For weeks I was upset, because I felt like I had not gotten it right. I hadn’t told her what she really meant to me. Then, in 2010, I had a chance to see The Dresden Dolls and, after an amazing concert, I was there again. In line at the signing table, shaking. When it was my turn I still couldn’t find the words. I just said, “Thank you.” Then there was the Theatre Is Evil tour. My boyfriend drove me to Chicago from Indiana. We waited in line all day, and when we got inside I was front and center, leaning over the barrier. There was a moment when my boyfriend (who is not really an AFP fan and came along mostly for support) was not feeling well and went to get some air. This was right before they played Bottomfeeder, and I knew what was coming. A crowdsurf. When the time came, Amanda leaned toward the barrier, hand outstretched. After what felt like an eternity, I realized that she was looking at me. As I reached my hand out and grasped hers, there was this perfect moment in which I saw her and she saw me. I didn’t need to say anything. We had connected, in that one single small moment. She saw me. I pulled her up on the little shelf attached to the barrier. She sang as my hands held her hips. And then she fell and she was all around me. After the show, she was too sick to sign, and as I watched her walk to her bus I knew that I had finally gotten it right. There were no words that could have been exchanged that would have been as completely perfect as that single moment when our hands touched.

    Amanda, I am glad that you’ll never afraid to ask because I’ll never afraid to give.

    • lentower

      When meeting Amanda or Brian at a signing, its sufficient to say:

      “Hi, I’m _____. Thanks.”

      with eye contact.

      Sure it’s cool to do more, but it’s not at all necessary.

      Cori: a perfect Amanda moment.

        • lentower

          You know understand that there are many
          right things to say,
          and many right ways to respond.

  84. zorya

    Just watched & of course it was amazing! Brought tears to my eyes! Keep fighting the good fight, AFP. You were brilliant!

  85. Nicole Xao

    Thank you Amanda. I’m listening. One of my greatest hopes is that some day I might be able to lend you my couch (maybe metaphorically), and to look into your eyes. I see you, and I will catch you.

  86. Mary Egg

    I just love you Amanda FUCKING Palmer – thank you for you and your amazing ability to make me cry and love and laugh :-D

  87. John Coons

    So, you ask a lot of your fans, and trust…. do you feel that your fans ask as much back of you? Do you feel that that’s why their fans- because they feel that they can ask things of you, unlike other artists?

  88. thelustlizard

    I think that you are brave, and amazing, and the fact that you understand the need to ask is so important Thank you for being a real person.

  89. Alisha Rose

    You are the foot kicking me in the ass to realize the truth. In a good way. I’m sure hundreds of thousands agree. I love you for this. Keep being YOU!!

  90. Fab Karen

    Some of us have only heard of you from friends who are fans ( there’s the beauty of the internet,allowing people to find new art/artists without creators needing an expensive PR service or having to sell their soul to corporate ideals ), and may have heard a little something about how you’ve made a success without the “Official Music Business.” We who are artists of whatever sort including other than music wonder “HOW DO YOU DO THAT?” – you’re at least handing out a good road map if not a blue-print. Thank you for sharing this ( though trust doesn’t come easy for those of us who’ve learned THE HARD WAY in life to be cautious with trusting people ).
    Power To the People as they used to say decades ago

  91. Musings

    This is less about the content of the talk, and more about the art of storytelling.

    I have become very familiar with the art of storytelling through Amanda, and her fans, and those associated with her. Stories have power, give us means to connect, give us context for an idea. This talk is beautiful, not simply because of its ideas, but because the ideas are wrapped in a great story, of a performer with hat and her growth through time.

    I didn’t realize how much I had to be grateful for great storytellers until I started applying to grad school. In a few of my interviews, many of them said “We remembered your story.” Not my personal statement, not my resume, but my story. My ideas are far away from the land of music making, but for about 6 years, I’ve been reading and learning from a great storyteller who weaves ideas into personal accounts of triumph and tragedy, with pictures and videos sewn into the seams. It was great to see that brought to life on TED’s stage.

  92. Harley Pearson

    Excellent job, Amanda! I respect you so much that I constantly push you onto my 13 year old little sis. Hopefully she will respect me enough to love you as well.
    Much love,

  93. Candace Sargent Putman

    Getting to be one of the people who has experienced what you do 1st hand, on more than one occasion, I still don’t think this is something that could be done by just anyone. I have spent a lot of time and money going to concerts and you are the 1st artist that has ever taken the time to take a picture with me and act like you were just as happy to meet me as I was to meet you. That formula wouldn’t work for everyone because you really were happy to meet me and you really do care about other people. Could you see Kayne West doing something like this? I think most people fall in love with an artists image or their “stardom”. Your fans fall in love with YOU because of who YOU are. Unheard of. And every part of you comes out in your art. In my eyes you are a bigger star than they are for that very reason. I hope this thing of yours continues to grow and I hope to be there with you every step of the way. Can’t wait to see you in Atlanta again. You can couch surf anytime here. Thanks, Amanda Fucking Palmer!!

  94. Melody Harris

    Beautiful. Long time reader, posted on the old Dresden Dolls forum (did that actually exist? yes.), and long-time follower of you, Ms Palmer. Inspiring talk, and you are indeed the forerunner of this new Fair Trade music industry. You are inspirational, and catching fire. Bravo.

  95. jessthemullet

    Amazing talk. I’ve yet to see a TED talk that wasn’t highly intelligent, but I can honestly say that yours was the first that got me all teary. You are such an incredible soul, and even just knowing that you’ll take the time to read these comments can mean a lot to people. The connections you talk about are the kind that stick with a person for all our lives. You are incredible, and I feel lucky to be one of your fans. You are loved, unconditionally, by so many of us, and I hope you know that we all believe in you.

  96. Kay

    I didn’t think I could love you more. Then, well… TED. The next step would be you playing within an hour of where I live, then I could glomp you in person and tell you how much you are totally, completely, my hero.

  97. JulieAnn

    I love you.
    You are an inspiration. This talk reminded me of why I became a music teacher. I was sitting at a recital & the etiquette that is required just felt wrong. Something beautiful was happening, but we were only allowed to clap politely & not until the end. Music is a group event, solo artist or orchestra (or both;) Let’s make it that again! :D

  98. Kevin Gibbons

    Congratulations Amanda! You nailed it! What an excellent talk.
    You reminded us all that, no matter what the venture or venue, it is all about connecting with people.
    So well done!

  99. Denni Elizabeth Bryant

    This talk was brilliant ^_^
    I was at the ninja gig in Auckland, it was wonderful. I gave Amanda & Brian each a copy of my ill fated solo album.
    I’ve now got two wonderful band mates in a new band, The Panacea Effect. I hope our paths cross again.

  100. Brian Phelps

    That was beautiful. Your connection with your fans is inspirational and something every artist should strive for. I can relate to the man with the ten dollar bill. I had a lot of your music from “borrowed sources” when I just thought, “There is something about this music…” When the true power of your work really hit me and I realized what that something was, I went back and actually purchased the albums. Thank you. My couch is always available.

  101. Nick Risen

    i saw you live for the first time at Tipitina’s in New Orleans. My buddy Matt Owen played with you guys. It was the first time I met him as well. We had been in touch through facebook from just being huge fans of The Flaming Lips. So, that night at Tipitina’s, I painted rainbows under my eyes (crainbows) and listened to your show. It was truly one of the most beautiful experiences in my life. Watching this video really touched my soul. In the understanding of asking, rather than making. You are a rare soul. A beautiful talent. And I can’t wait to see another show of yours. Here’s one of the videos I took from that night!! Thank you, AFP. You fucking rock!!

  102. Shannona

    Hi Amanda. Last year I was working as a street fundraiser, and this talk reminds me of the things I learnt by asking strangers on the street for their money and their help. Fundraisers are not a popular group of people, and I was often shouted at, verbally abused, and at one point even spat on. But it was probably the best job I ever had in terms of forcing me to grow and teaching me new life skills. When you spoke about the way people responded to you as a street performer it really resonated with me. Because being told you’re a bad, useless person who is perpetuating everything that is wrong with the world hurts, but finding people who are genuinely interested and kind (despite what they might think of big charities and the way they source and use money) is an amazing feeling. My job also taught me that asking for help -financial or otherwise – is not a dirty thing. Though it’s not a job that I want to go running back to I’m glad I did it. It made me braver – I have no fear of asking anyone for anything now. It also made me a more grateful person. Your talk made me proud of my work, because I feel like you’ve been doing the same kind of thing as I have (albeit on a different scale), and it also made me feel strangely validated. It made me feel that I should go on asking for what I need without feeling guilty

  103. Georgianna Delorne Newburg

    What is this thing — this wonderful, truthful thing? The connection and the give that sometimes comes before the ask, and the ask before the give. Really, and truly who are we without each other, and the ability to “see” each other? Your speech was the thing and the everything, about that moment. I listened to a new artist last month, one of those happy youtube related videos, and I heard this song from this singer, and this song was just an a lightening bolt, soft but startling, as to my own personal journey. So, I took a chance and was completely honest with this singer about the moment he created for me,

    ” Are you kidding, kidding me? That’s the only thing I’m going to ask, the rest is a tell. “Calculated” my best new most important song, a rock in the bottom of my heart; which has kept that heart my chest.
    There are not that many musicians who give way to the words… you don’t make room for them, you let them go, these are moments, the strongest ribbons ever that connected a person to another person. Do not ever stop doing this thing that you do, Brett. Not ever. Thank you for the ribbon.”

    And this singer, who I assumed would just pass over a random internet ask on a tumblr, responded in such an honest and heartfelt way:

    “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Nothing has touched me more in life than music and to know that my music has touched you, is incredibly meaningful. Thank you for taking the time to let me know this, you’ve helped energize what can be a tireless process. Thank you.”

    And then we began a conversation through appreciation, and “seeing” the other. I went to his bandcamp, I paid more than the ask — because his music, his voice, and his art is important. I asked my friends in his neck of the woods to go his show, and I am not doing things because of a compliment or some sort of awe-star-struckness, not at all. It is because I recognized the honesty of his work, and in that moment I took a flower he handed from that one song I heard — I handed it back.

    And the conversation, went on:

    “I don’t have much, except what I am. These two hands and this brain, and fortunately this heart. That last part was almost rendered from me, as I was the one who willingly guided a hand, and then my own hand into that cavity to pull my most important muscle out. Lying will do that. So will love. A lying true love is incompressible in it’s destructive powers. I would like to thank Brett Gleason again, for this anchor, this song, “Calculated,” which all of you should listen too, and purchase, and all of his other music as well. A soul is well fed by his songs, and I am better because of it, it’s pulled me through an impossible moment or two. I’m happy that when a kindness finds another kindness the world is not too large or cynical to allow reciprocation, and your acknowledgement Brett, it’s a virtual card I’ll place on the mantel of my fireplace. I’m far past the place where I hate myself over past events. You can’t live in hate, everything will be bitter and bear no fruit. So I throw it out here, more refined, my impossible moment with a full heart, with love, and without fear. That’s another reason you should listen to the musician in this video. This art has no fear, it is, because it is, and aren’t we all lucky that artists are still so bold and talented?”

    “It’s not every day a musician gets a beautiful ‘thank you!’ note! This is very personal for me and good to know it’s not just a one way street. xBG”
    Then we talked about more of the daily human being things, which you mentioned in your speech, and through technology, a thing that wouldn’t have happened even maybe a decade ago, has happened now. And now some of my friends have recognized how special this artist is, and because of this — it grows. And you were there in the beginning, and it’s just so damn cool to hear you tie it all up in a bow, that moment of connection.

    I have never, thanked or “seen” an artist, in this way before. And the conversation goes on, and really, truly, your speech about the ask, the fairness of it, the recognition; it’s all completely true. I’ve been led thru a rough patch thru your music–of course, that’s why I am here talking to you, and this community. But this recent connection was so bright and so spot on with your speech, that I had to share this.

    These are important things; exchanges, they are how we grow, and how we learn who we are and who we aren’t, and how we love, and learn about the the world.

    It couldn’t have been said better than in your speech. Thank you a million times more, and for the strength of your presence, being open with your supporters — because without that example, seeing you do this and these interactions, among other things; I most likely would have never reached out, to a person I did not know, and hand him a flower that he had given to me through a song.

  104. seudonimosa

    Dear Amanda,

    Hey there. I’ve known about you for a while now. A friend introduced me to The Dresden Dolls back in 2004ish. I was instantly taken with your work, but I was broke as hell at the time, and so I didn’t pay for your albums. I didn’t know much about The Dresden Dolls other than the fact that you made music that was awesome and different and that you had a voice that boomed and screamed and sounded
    like maybe it could have been mine, only not from Jersey.

    Time passed and things happened. I never saw you live because no one else I knew (I thought) had heard of you, and the friend who introduced me to you lived far, far away from me, and I was afraid to go to a concert alone. You started getting more attention, you got a blog, you got on the Twitters, but these things were on the periphery of my awareness because I was busy and juggling my grown-up
    full-time-job-and-school-life was hard. Having only snippets of the story, an impression was built in
    my mind of someone who was self-promoting, attention-hungry, someone feeding her ego.

    There was the thing with the conjoined twins, which I felt a certain way about.

    I didn’t look for myself, and I realize now that was a mistake. Generally speaking, if I can relate to and connect with an artist’s work, that’s more than enough reason to give the artist the benefit of the doubt, and I usually do. But having watched this TED talk, I realize that Jesus Christ, I was unfair to you.

    Amanda, I doubt you even knew I existed before you read this, much less that I rolled my eyes when you came up in conversation for a little while there, but I want to apologize.

    It’s fairly simple logic to do a little research before making judgments about something or someone, but I think maybe with celebrities, the market is so saturated with stories of them (you) that sometimes, I just go with the flow. But what’s problematic about this is that sometimes, the flow is racist. Or sexist. Or homophobic. Or misogynist.

    I think that if you were a dude, a lot of the haters would respond to you differently. Maybe I would have responded to you differently. And that’s an unsettling thought, being the forward-thinking progressive sort of chick that I am.

    But this is kind of beside the point-ish. I felt compelled to write to you because your TED talk made me see you in a different light than I had in the past. I heard in your voice the woman who I thought was singing for me. Not to me, but on my behalf. And you said a lot of beautiful things in this talk that I believe in. Because I believe art has worth. I think your bravery is extraordinary. I think your humanity is immense, and I should have known that from the music, but hey. Sometimes we’re all dicks.

    Anyway, thanks for giving that talk. Thanks for changing my mind. Because having love for you feels a lot better than being mad at you did.

    I’m glad we could have this little chat.


  105. Kiersyn

    I was another one of the Kickstarter backers. It actually took me a while to decide to support the project since I wasn’t familiar at all with Amanda’s music. You see, I’m a huge geek and a big fan of Amanda’s husband, Neil, and it was in following his Tumblr that I found out about things. In the end, I felt like the concept was simply so cool that I had to be a part of it, however small.

    Amanda’s TED talk was amazing. Of course. (Though I rather doubt the process was quite that matter-of-fact for her…) I had been looking forward to being able to watch it for weeks and I’m pleased the video was posted so quickly. I still think the concept of modern art patronage is superb, especially in that this version is for everyone and not restricted to being a privilege of wealth. It means something to me that my interest and participation, even if it’s passive, makes a difference. And I greatly approve of the idea of not only making connections with people, but in knowing they count. As an introvert, that’s both a scary and a fun thought.

    I’m still getting acquainted with Amanda’s music and I fully expect my interest will be handsomely rewarded in time. But even if it doesn’t, I have already gotten so much more in return than I may be able to adequately explain. It’s been a slow-motion fascination in watching someone who is passionate about her art be open, honest, and genuine; someone who doesn’t care about worrying about what’s conventional or not, but just about what is. Being able to watch someone be all these things (which is amazing enough to me in itself) and do so successfully, by many measures, is astounding. By contrast, I have a hard time reaching out to people even if I crave that connection, especially if I’m vulnerable, which lately seems to be always.

    I think the Kickstarter updates were what really drew me in, as each bit of new exposure piqued my interest a little more. Then I found her blog. I love books, I love reading a well-written phrase, and the fact that she was able to express so much of herself so well in this format was pure enjoyment.

    Next came the blog entries and posts on bullying, and seeing how that enabled so many people to find connections and perhaps even a little solace in each other. And it wasn’t something that seemed like an outlier for Amanda, her blog, or her fans. It was natural and it was real. I realized with some surprise that for the first time, without even having posted word one, I felt like I perhaps had somewhere safe to go where, even unseen, I had a place and would be welcome.

    You see, my mom died a little over two years ago. We lived in the same small city that was in fact my hometown. We were a daily part of each other’s lives and she was one of my best friends. Losing her, far before I ever thought I would, absolutely smashed my world. I spent a year grieving and trying desperately to regain my balance. When I achieved some measure of it back, the next nine months were spent in how to rebuilt my life and make changes for the better.

    As I was the last of my family in a place where my grandparents had settled over sixty years ago, I decided there were too many ghosts there. I left, and moved over a thousand miles to a completely new part of the country which I had visited and found myself drawn to somehow.

    I’ve been here for almost eight months somehow. Finishing up some contracting work meant that I have been working from home, which sounds nice but has kept me from meeting people. This is something that’s difficult for me anyway, but indeed impossible when you don’t even see people to meet. My best friends are still hundreds of miles away, as they were before. Not many of my family are left and are also far away. Around the holidays, depression snuck up on me again and has made sure that days pass in which I don’t talk to a single person. And holy shit, it’s March already? Time passes quickly in dark places.

    Still, it will pass. Or so I hope and believe. And I will make a new life here with new friends, and at least be able to give myself the chance to be happy. On the way, watching Amanda shows me what’s possible. It shows me how people can ask and love and help and accept and support, beyond the bounds of being an artist; it proves that all this can and does happen. That’s inspiration far above and beyond simply her music or artistic career.

    The TED talk was amazing. I admire Amanda’s vision and courage as an artist and I’m happy things went well for her, from the Kickstarter page to the TED stage. I’m glad I backed AFP and the Grand Theft Orchestra. But honestly, I admire her more for being such an astonishing person, daring to be genuine, to trust others, and in doing so, showing me that it might be okay and even good to trust again. It somehow helps me see that I can be myself and let others into my life who will value and accept me for it.

    I honestly doubt I’ve stated any of this well enough, but I find these examples to be valuable encouragement as I continue this new chapter in my life.

    Thank you, Amanda. (And to all of you who managed to read all of this as well. It’s been floating in my head for a while now and apparently wanted to be said tonight.)

  106. Becky

    Just watched this, Amanda, and it really touched a chord (like a lot of things you share). I’ve recently moved back to Tasmania after living in Melbourne on and off for the last 12 years(I grew up about 45 minutes north of Cradle Mountain, and if you ever need a couch surfing spot or want to visit the north while you’re in Tassie, then our house is big enough for an army).

    I turn 30 this year and I was finding the city more and more isolating – I feel like sometimes a city is the loneliest place to be. It’s not considered appropriate social behaviour to talk to people on the train or at bus stations or at the supermarket.You can be standing in a crowd waiting to cross at Flinders Street and feel completely alone because everyone is listening to their mp3 player and thinking about their day and avoiding making eye contact.

    I missed the community that I grew up in and had always fought to leave because as a teenager I found it smothering. Everyone knows everything about everyone in my town (population 395) and I didn’t appreciate that when I was younger.

    My boyfriend and I are trying to start a family, and this is the environment I want for them. They will rail against it as I did – all my mistakes, my breakups, my first drunken experiences were never private. It wasn’t until I was older that it dawned on me: because of this lack of privacy, I was supported and able to make my mistakes without suffering more than embarrassment. If I drank too much as a teenager, there was someone older there to make sure I didn’t get in trouble. When my Mum had a fall and couldn’t walk for 6 months, pot roasts turned up at our house daily.

    I’m trying to embody this spirit of community, of giving. And your talk reminded me to be brave and strong and remember that if I throw myself into the crowd, they’ll catch me.
    Thank you for being so willing to share yourself with the world and with your fans.

  107. Stephanie RaincloudAxberg

    Dear Amanda,

    I loved your TED talk… I knew it would be amazing, and I let out a high-pitched squeal that I think my neighbors heard when I saw that the talk was up.

    Every time I read your blog, or watch an interview with you, or listen to your music, it touches something inside of me. I’ve said it in comments here before, but your music has been a guiding force in my life for over ten years. I grew up with your music, fell in love with it and you in my freshman year of high school. Your music has been a constant in a life that has been full of chaos, and as I’ve grown and matured as an individual, so too has your music grown and deepened. I don’t know if I can fully express how much you have meant to me, what you mean to me… all I can say is that you are my inspiration. Your words have been a light that guided me through the darkest times in my life and have celebrated with me in my most joyful moments. I’ve never met you, but without even asking you’ve unknowingly helped me more than almost anyone in my life.

    I wanted to mention an experience I had a couple of years ago. I was living in Philadelphia and working at the CVS in down town, and failing at making ends meet. My boyfriend at the time had lost his job and we were close to getting evicted. I didn’t have a dollar to my name. I got sick… this horrible cold, and I was shaking and sweating and dizzy and just felt absolutely miserable, but I didn’t have the money to get any cold-medicine. I didn’t have anyone that I knew who I could ask for help. I finally got so desperate that I made a sign that said, “I am sick and can’t afford medicine. Anything helps. Thank you.” I sat outside by the train station at rush hour, feeling ashamed and miserable. People dropped some money, but it was getting cold and I was shivering even worse and I was about to just give up and go back to my apartment when this woman walked up to me.

    She asked me what I needed. I told her that I needed some sort of cold medicine, mucinex or something, I didn’t even care. She walked with me to the store, and bought me the cold medicine, and also got me tissues, cough-drops, and orange juice. I was crying so hard when she gave it all to me… I had been so ashamed to ask for help, and here was this woman who I didn’t even know helping me for no other reason than because I asked. I thanked her, and went home. This has stuck with me over the years.

    I don’t know why it’s so hard for us to ask for help… but I think it’s beautiful that you can and do ask for the help you need to create what you do. How can someone on the outside quantify what an exchange like that means to the people making the exchange? I couldn’t put a dollar amount on what your music has meant to me over the years… and if I had to hazard a guess, that number would be more than I make in a year. More than I’d make in several years. I can’t wait for the day when I am in a stable enough financial position to make a large donation to one of your projects… I’ll finally be able to show you, at least in my financial support, how much you’ve meant to me.

    Until then, I’ll continue to buy your CDs and go to your shows and buy your merchandise.

    One last thing… I saw you preform in November in Detroit. You were really sick, and it boggled my mind that you were even preforming at all. I was the girl in the front row who gave you the print of my art work… I was hoping to give it to you after the show, so I could tell you how much you mean to me in person, but I knew you were too sick to stay after and sign things in the freezing cold, so I handed it up on stage. You looked at it, and said it looked like a psychedelic Alice in Wonderland. You said that you felt like if you looked at it long enough it could heal you.

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a better compliment on my art, or one that has meant more to me. Ever. I hope you still have it. I hope that when you look at it you smile. It’s not much, but it’s something tangible that I could give you, because of all that you have given me.

    Thank you, Amanda.

    Also, if you are ever near Ann Arbor, MI and need a place to sleep, you can have my bed. Any time. Seriously. <3

  108. Vallie in Portland

    I knew you had it in you! Congratulations and Good Job, Amanda!

  109. Patrick91

    WOW! Thank you so much for this. As an artist myself i know exactly what you men about the importance of human connection. I often feel bad about asking for help with things, and its a fear that i need to conquer, especially in the current state the arts community in queensland is in, where government funding for the arts is dwindling. So thank you for sharing your ideas! You are such an inspiration! Much love and respect, Patrick.

  110. spleen

    Moving and enlighten! You, Amanda Fucking Palmer are the new Renaissance. I always loved the way you spread all to your fans all you’ve got and with this TED Talk I can show all my friends why I love your Job, your Art and You. Thank you very much for this New Wave. Hope to see you soon in Italy.

    p.s. there’s a Band in Italy they’re called Elio e le Storie Tese, from nearly 10 years they share music: 2500 songs videos and CD Brulè – CD they record during the gig – and benefits: discounts on merchandising, chance to reach backstage, asking only 30€ per year.

    p.p.s Proud of me, because I understand almost everything from your talk, and sorry for my bad english

    Love <3

  111. Naomi

    The trust and exchange that exists between you and your audience is such a precious thing, THANK YOU for continuing to nurture that and for having the faith to take that step and have tried in the first place. Your TED talk was so beautiful and inspiring, As an artist I’ve always struggled with that fear of asking for anything, but your talk demonstrated brilliantly how well the exchange works when someone asks, someone gives and both people recieve something out of it. You give so much, Amanda. In so many ways. From your music, your blog, your ninja gigs, to random hugs with your fans. You continue to reach out and it is wonderful, as are you. Thank you again x

  112. Thou mayest

    I really really love this and whole heartlessly believe in it! Thank you!

  113. Léonie Postma

    This is beautiful!
    Amanda, your TED talk hit me where it counts the most, in my heart. I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes. It’s so inspiring!
    Thank you! :)

  114. Ju Carroll

    I was so completely inspired by the content and the delivery style of your talk. It triggered so many ideas for me about improving our current social and economic systems. You are a goddam economic theorist and social genius. This idea could get much bigger… It could extend to everything. The way we think about human exchange and balance is so warped and contrived and the consequences of that thinking for both relationships and resources is self-evident and disastrous. I am a lecturer in health sociology in Brisbane, Australia – and my students will all be watching this next week in class and discussing current economic systems, theories and consequences for human capital and human health. You rock beyond anything I can tell you. My husband is an IT programmer and we are going to start a website called ‘Get It’ inviting human cooperation and exchange in our local area based on the ideas you have presented here. So many better ways to do human relationships and resources – and you have realised this in your way of doing things, and in your TED talk. Thank you.

  115. T

    Awesome message! But now what? We need a part deux about how to shift corporate practice.

  116. Alex

    I discovered your music when I was an angry and furious 14-year-old on a forum on the internet. I downloaded “Yes, Virginia” in a world where no one used torrent and we were stuck with emule, and I loved it. I went to my local CD shop to ask for your albums but they didn’t have any, so I downloaded everything I could with a small sense of guilt and the thrill of the ilicit you can only get when you’re a teen.
    Every song, every note, every lyric resonated inside me and made the anger go away for a bit. When I wanted to hurt myself I slowly started to furiously play one of your more fast paced song on my keyboard instead. When I hated myself I started to dance and cry and shout the lyrics at the top of my lungs. Your music got me through so much shit, you have no idea.
    Today, I am 22 years old and somewhat more balanced than I used to be, even though I had to endure a lot of pain in all this time. I still play Bad Habit until my wrists hurt, every time I catch myself looking longingly at a sharp object, and now I cry to Lost when I miss my loved ones too much.
    Your music is like a balm for the wounds on my soul and this blog is like a big therapy session and a safe haven. Your presence in my life made me stronger, fiercer, more confident in my looks and my personality. You made me the person I am now which is way better than a lot of the versions that might have been. You saved my life.
    So it’s only fair that the first money I’ve ever spent in musicians’ merchandise was used to buy all your sheet books, because I needed to pay you back for all the life saving songs I’ve downloaded.
    When your kickstarter came up I was among the first backers because my first thought was “Ok, Amanda needs help, what can I do for her? How much can I spare? How many people can I convince to donate?” because I’d long stopped seeing you as a celebrity but as the fantastic person you are, as a friend, as a relative. You needed help, after being so incredibly kind to me: Being part of your project was nothing but an honour.
    And that is why whenever you ask, I’ll answer; and know that there will always be an extra bed, a meal and some wine ready for you in my house if you ever need them.

  117. diableri

    It’s wonderful Amanda. It was every reason we love you. Because you share yourself with us, we share with you. <3

  118. Vallie in Portland

    There’s so much of what you said at TED that clicks with me. Music has always been this deeply personal thing for me and the songs I’m the most attracted to are the ones that are highly emotional. An artist that puts so much of themselves into their work as you do shares all these deep truths with people who are veritable strangers and their fans feel like they know them in this deeply intimate way without perhaps ever meeting.

    And with the majority of artists, that’s where the story ends: To always be loved from afar with no real connection to their fans that are a sea of faces in the crowded stadium. You were so right about that. And you are so different from it, and we’re so grateful for that difference. Not only is there the social media connection of twitter, this blog, and The Shadowbox community, but also in the way that you do make yourself completely available to your fans in person if you all happen to be in the same zip code that day. And then we respond by wanting to be helpful. It’s an amazing reciprocation.

    Last summer, when you played at the Q center in Portland, I attended. While waiting outside for seating to begin in a mob of people just standing around in no discernible fashion of order, I realized you walked past and through the crowd. I think I said really quietly, “Yay” as you passed by. You walked down the street and stopped to chat with people as you walked and high 5′d a person or two. A little while later you came back and went back into the venue. Not too long after that, seating started.

    When I got in, I chose to be along the back wall where there were still some chairs open instead of standing through all of the opening acts. I realized during The Doubleclicks set that you were at the back of the crowd, too. You were just another person in the mob of people enjoying a performance, When the set was over, there was to be a short break before your set and they brought up the lights, but you didn’t run off. You stayed and talked with people. I hung back, and just was content observe the moments you were having with other people. I helped a woman calm down after her experience with you moved her to tears and we shared our stories of how we came to know your music and how long we’d been fans, etc. I also tried to help you explain to two confused souls what “Throwing up horns” meant (Really how do people not know this by now?).

    When it was time for your performance, you let everyone sit down (THANK YOU!). You started taking requests, and I rose my hand. That day on twitter, there’d been a conversation about body image issues, and I thought “In My Mind” would be a great way to round out that earlier conversation (“I am exactly the person that I want to be”). And you saw me, and you called on me. You called me “The Lonely Girl at the back of the room”. In the immediate moment, my reaction was “Who me? Did she pick someone else? Nope, I guess I’m The Lonely Girl at the back of the room,” which amused me in the moment, because I wasn’t necessarily alone, my husband was there with me. But I recovered and I remembered what I wanted for you to play and you agreed. Not only that, but when you played, you did that extreme intentional eye contact with me and it was an excellent shared moment that we were having. It was very awesome.

    It stuck with me, though, all these months after, that you referred to me as “The Lonely Girl at the back of the room.” Momentary fleeting thoughts of, “I wasn’t alone, why did she pick me out as being lonely?” Your TED talk has brought a resolution to that. It wasn’t a judgement, but you identified in me a common thread with The Lonely People that would stand in front of the 8 ft bride and suddenly realize, “Holy shit, she sees me. No one ever sees me.” And in that moment I proved your assessment by reacting with, “Who me? You must have picked someone else. No one ever calls on me.”

    You were right. I was The Lonely Girl at the back of the room. On behalf of all The Lonely People, Thank You for seeing us.

  119. john

    loved the TED talk! you really nailed it- congratulations :)

    i really hope more artists of all sorts take up this trend &
    continue to innovate new ways for us all to engage (we are, after all
    creative people by definition).
    i hope y’all come to hamilton,
    ontario, canada soon, and you’re all welcome to crash at my place
    (there’s a 100+ year old upright piano, floor-to-ceiling library made
    out of milk crates, & other elements of general awesomeness).
    take care, & best wishes :)

  120. Ashley Marshall

    I was at TEDActive and saw your performance of The Bed. It was, well, there really aren’t words. Just know my heart swelled and tears filled my eyes. It was simply beautiful. Thank you.

  121. Ron Wild

    Thanks for such an inspiring story. I’ve always said I would never be rich because I would give riches away to those that need them more. Not having money makes me work an exchange system too I prefer having enough, and the love and appreciation of those helped. You have given me perspective. xx

  122. Ametista

    Thank you Amanda! Your speech really made my day. I’m sorry I couldn’t contribute more to your Kickstarter campaign – I’m young, unemployed and often working for free just because I like what I do – but yet, you made me feel so special! I would offer you a flower, right now. Thank you.

    • lentower

      Glad you could contribute what you did.

      When/if/as you can, give Amanda a few $$$, and/or pay it forward by supporting others.

  123. Dineke

    Dear Amanda,
    For me the talk tells your story perfectly. Funny, poignant, wonderful. If, ever, someone will ask, who is this AFP and why do you love her so much, I can point them to this talk.
    The Kickstarter experience was one of the highlights of last year for me, exactly for the connection I felt to you and yours.
    And, lastly, I was really impressed with the way you explained the kerfuffle.
    No wonder Neil was proud!

  124. Ms. Dr. Bonzai

    I loved this TED talk. The concept of asking goes so far beyond art, and is so often forgotten or ignored. I shouted with joy as I watched you Amanda. I struggle with the asking part of life. As someone with a relatively recent physical disability, I often see the times I should ask, and yet the little devil “fear” prevents me from doing so. I’m not certain that I’ll be any better at asking, but I can promise you that I’ll remember your concept, and perhaps it will help me to trust that people are willing, if I just speak the words.

  125. RiverVox

    I wonder how many TED talks start with 10+ seconds of silence.

  126. Taryn

    I seriously love you more now after watching this, and I didn’t think that was possible. You are revolutionary. I can’t ask for things, now I have a whole new view. Thank you so much for being you, Amanda Palmer.

  127. illuminatia

    That talk was beautiful. There was so much love and courage that I had tears in my eyes and for some reason I felt proud, because I felt connected somehow to you and what you were saying and that connection alone made me feel like a better person. Proud to be your audience. Weird, but I guess that is how inspiration works. Thank you.

  128. Jessica Malitoris

    Though there was not a single moment when the camera let our eyes meet….

    This was amazing. Thank you for seeing me.

  129. Riane Justine Mantz

    When I saw that you(one of my favorite people), had done a TED talk (one of my favorite things), I was so excited!! And I was in no way let down. What beautiful things you said, things that really needed to be said.

    You give me hope that musicians can still be real people :)

  130. Groovymoonflower

    As a psychology student, I spend a lot of time watching TED talks, usually listening to professors in the field and neurosurgeons, all doing profound research. You, my dear, gave them a run for their money! You were poised and intelligent, like you always are. I hung on your every word and was blown away by your message. I am so proud to be an AFP fan! You are truly a treasure. xoxo

  131. Alicia

    Amanda… I can’t say how much courage this video put into me. My partner and I are at that awful, wonderful precarious point in life where we’re leaving University with a decent degree and a burning desire to make music and really KNOW the world, and a million job sites and Guardian articles trying to tell us that’s not going to work out, and time and time again we’ve tripped ourselves up trying to find a game plan to get into the music ‘industry’. What your talk told me anew, and I was ashamed to have forgotten it, was that it doesn’t have to be an industry. We don’t have to be pawns in a game. We don’t have to be striving so hard to ‘win’ the game that we lose the love of playing… the sense of belonging. In a sense, when I’m making music with him, I’m home. That’s why I do it. The idea that with enough love and enough trust, that home can become bigger and wider than we can possibly imagine is… perfect, really. So thank you… thank you for reminding me why I want what I want.

  132. Juan Fernandez

    This, for me, is the future of interacting with fans, whether they be die hard, casual or completely new. Money raised goes to the artist (or whoever is “asking”) and cuts out any unnecessary middle man who is tied into their old mindset of what works, what doesn’t, their need to meet their corporate image and their ideals. Not that of the artists and certainly not the fans. This is why I love the power of crowdfunding. Aside from the direct contact between fan and artist we all get to do it on our own terms. As much as you put your trust in the fans, we put ours in you. Thank you.

  133. Leigh Anne Focareta

    Honestly, you did win at TED. I know you were really agonizing over this, and I could tell from the final product that you took people’s feedback/comments seriously. I shared on my Facebook page and watched the goodness ripple out. Thank you, so much, for all you do. If you are ever in Pittsburgh PA, and I can help, just ask.

    Introvert lurker delurking, :)


  134. Virginia Crawford

    That is one amazing talk, Amanda! Articulate, touching, strong. *hug*

  135. Thomas

    I admit I used to have doubts about your kickstarter, even after reading the blog on björk’s kickstarter and kickstarter for stars-already in general…

    But the way you put it in that video really made me see your point, thanks :-)

  136. Laura Mecklenburger

    Thank you so much, Amanda. As always, you give me hope and direction. I’m graduating my MFA program soon, trying to figure out how to have as much human connection as possible as I make/perform my art. That giving gesture you have, and the way you made your Kickstarter as HUGE as it could be in its reach and ambition, and the way you blog – that’s what motivates my art, too. I want to avoid having to feel about my own funding source the way you felt about your label when you were signed. I’m sure you know how much the visual arts “establishment” is just like the music “establishment” in that “star-maker machine” kind of way, to quote Joni. Vulnerability and trust have always been my motto/goal in life, they are always where the best of everything is. But just as you said, it’s hard to ask. I have only a couple of overloaded months to figure out how to start my post-school life, and you give me the courage I need to take the trusting chances. Whatever they turn out to be. And as soon as I figure out how to make something that can survive couch surfing and travel, I want you to have a piece of my art. Love to you and everyone here!

  137. Julie Berger

    An inspiring and beautiful TEDtalk. I hope to hand you $10 when I see you at The Echoplex and at SXSW. You also have a place to stay anytime you’re in LA.

  138. Josh

    wow. just…wow. I have never had goosebumps like that before. Literally from start to finish. Goosebumps. all over. I still have them as I type this…just wow

  139. Stephanie

    You don’t even know me, but that doesn’t matter. I am so proud of you! I think I speak on behalf of all of your loving fans when I say I know how hard you have worked to get this message across to people and change the way we think about art, music, and personal connections; the value of expression and the freedom to share it. Your words and actions go a long way, and will continue to affect those both near and far. You are such a shining example of what we can do as individuals to make a difference in others’ lives. Every little bit matters. Thank you for seeing me.

  140. Gina S

    Excellent!! Congrats on it. You are incredibly brave and a wonderful speaker! xx

  141. gz

    It won’t play in Firefox on my WinXp netbook – error #2032. Plays ok on TED and YouTube.

  142. Anthea

    Yes, there are tears in my eyes, down my face, because this is so poignant, so beautiful and real. There are so many TED talks, but no others have affected me so much. I was a passing fan of her before I went to a concert of hers (because why not go to a concert on a school night with people you hardly know in an unfamiliar area?). There, she had a box that she encouraged us to describe what has happened in our rooms on paper and put them in the box. A few songs in, she read us some of the stories. They were heartbreaking and joyful and unexpected and in those moments, I felt close to strangers. It’s kinda what she does and I love it. I’m a relatively closed off person (a common thing said about me among friends is if I have any emotions) but she makes me want to trust and I adore that.
    And her songs (particularly Ukulele Anthem) remind me it’s ok to fail, that I’m not a letter on paper.
    I guess what I’m saying is that by giving her trust, she’s reminding us to be human, to let ourselves be open and love and trust.

  143. UnexpectedDreamer

    Why you were so nervous I have no idea. You were a natural speaking from a very deep place. Really putting yourself out there for yourself, your music, and for us. This talk is just one of the many reasons I like you, your music, and what you stand for. As my husband would say “she’s good people.” To that I add our couch is your couch. Thank you.

  144. CSC

    Amazing, AMAZING message. Powerful representation of what is ‘possible’ when we reach out and connect with each other as human beings. LOVE THIS. (:

  145. Amanda DeLong

    You totally nailed this AFP. I’ve seen your journey, and I know it hasn’t been easy, but you’ve put yourself out there, you believed in the good in people no matter how hard it was, and you’ve earned the trust. I love you massively and thank whatever gods are out there that there are humans like you helping people connect and feel loved.

  146. David Parnell

    60 bucks on a teusday 90 bucks on a friday IS ALREADY MORE THAN I MAKE working part time ata coffee shop why don’t I have a box to stand on :(

  147. Indigo Starry

    Thank you.
    When I needed someone to guide me through hell, I found you and you shone like a beacon and helped make me stronger! Keep shining your light, your insight and your profound wisdom. If you’re in Phoenix and you need something that I can provide, I will be there, because you were there for me, even though you didn’t even know it.
    Karma works; give and you shall receive.

  148. Jessica Taylor

    No TED talk has made me watch with tears in my eyes. I am so unbelievably happy that you’ve had the opportunity to share like this. It’s about time the whole world was allowed to hear the AFP ethos, let’s all help each other help each other. Looking forward to seeing you when you get Europe reorganised, then, finally, I can have the eye contact for real. x

  149. Scout

    I just want to say you’re doing one of the best jobs I’ve ever seen anybody do. Thank you, this has been, and will continue to be, inspiring.

  150. CubicCircle

    A Mantra or a Sutra for a bowl of rice isn’t exactly a new concept. Generosity of spirit and trust in your fellow Human Beings either. What is new is the decline of Secular Religion and The Corporate Cult of Celebrity and it’s associated machinery. I’m suspicious of anyone aspiring to be put on a pedestal as should we all be. Art though! Art for Arts sake made by humanity to make life worth living isn’t a pedestal, a plinth or a pillar. It is the foundation of aspirations for something better. Well done Amanda! I believe you gave many something to aspire to.

  151. Josh Goldsmith

    This is what came up for me after hearing your TED Talk
    I craft my feelings carefully
    Wrapped up in words deliberately
    Frame them linguistically
    And hope to hang them eloquently
    For people to see

    Despite my feelings
    Of separation anxiety
    How do I extricate a piece of me
    And share with others trustingly?

    My artistic flow is not a sales proposition
    I pour my heart into every creative decision
    However, I am eternally grateful
    For any compensation
    Or demonstration that we shared a connection or affection for a value or direction
    Amanda Palmer understands the value of acknowledging
    Someone where they stand
    That the moment shared,
    Can expand exponentially
    Much like the gift
    Of Abraham’s hospitality

    To meet new people
    He was always delighted
    He knew interaction, is never one sided
    After entertaining his guests they always left each other inspired and excited
    Like his tent
    He was open to all on all sides
    To enhance the chance of
    Locating the place where connection resides

    I stand before you sometimes a desperate poet, linguist, or spoken word artist
    Searching for space that my art can exist

    So Amanda
    If my words
    touched you in any way
    And you want to compensate
    Me for sharing my perspective, directive or the experiences that I have collected and have distilled to be injected in hopes that we can be connected like strangers to the 8 foot bride you erected. I would accept cash or be more grateful if you would share with your fans that you have affected and infected some of poems that I have selected.

    Yours truly,

  152. Dave

    Amanda, Great speech on TED. It relates a lot with what we are doing except that you asked for money for your music but we created a way for people to ask for help for the good they have done in the past. We are working to create a cycle of good in society which will give people some future security and allow them to continue to concentrate on doing good now. The more people doing good will help more people who will eventually go more good. It can snowball and allow more and more people to help each other.

  153. Marymooo

    Standing O, Amanda Palmer!! Way to go!! It was a great TED talk. I loved it- your points were concise and it was really well done. Thank you :)

  154. miserichik

    I just watched this, with my mouth agape. All I could say was “Why isn’t EVERY musician doing this?” Amanda, you have just made me worship you more, as if that was possible. You make me want to DO STUFF. You make me want to create, and dance, and scream, and sing. I hope that the people who watch this talk feel the same way. *bows and makes prolonged eye contact* thank you.

  155. Na

    Came from Email TED talk of the week to TED website to Kickstarter to Here, I think you are amazing and I love you too! Keep on creating! Thank you.

  156. Sylvia

    the first thing i did after watching your talk was send it to my mum. you remind me a lot of her in appearance (although you’re younger), in enthusiasm (though hers is directed to education, rather than music), and in the way you connect to other people. you particularly reminded me of a conversation we had at christmas about the most important thing she does in schools: make eye contact with, say hello to, pat on the shoulder the kids that most people try to look past, the ones with: behavioural issues, poor families, disabilities. she felt honoured and inspired. thanks from us both, amanda.

  157. Lady In Black

    I just love and respect you so much. You make me want to be a better human.

  158. Laurie Miller

    I watched The TED talk last night. It was amazing. Now I have heard of Amanda Palmer, but never realyy payed attention for no real reason honestly. Just didn’t. But after while the TED talk and before listening to any of her or her band’s/past band’s music. I was becoming a fan/admirer/supporter ect. For many people music and many other forms of art can be life CHANGING. Even, dare I say (and I speak from experience) life SAVING. So to listen to her talk about closeness and trust with fans and appreciation for the fans, that is when I fell in love in a sense. I developed great respect for her. The time she takes to meet her fans is wonderful. She’s an actual person, not an untouchable being. She doesn’t take people for granted. No one is “small” or “smaller” than her. There aren’t enough people like that in this world that seems so negative and full of self-centered indaviduals. It’s refreshing. And it gives me hope. *hugs*

  159. Angela Sheik

    Amanda, you clearly put into words the same reasoning behind why I offer CD’s for donation whenever possible, rather than asking a set price: “I think people have obsessed with the wrong question, which is, “How do we MAKE people pay for music?” What if we started asking, “How do we LET people play for music?” Yes, exactly. When offered the opportunity, again and again I’ve seen that people enjoy being generous and giving love in all forms when they feel recognized and shared with. I also resonated with your description of the artist-listener connection: “Thank you, I see you / Thank you, nobody sees me.” Still chewing on that…Great talk!

  160. L.A.

    I know even if you don’t answer to every comment here you read them, and that’s our connection. I saw your TED talk today, and I’m still swimming in my emotions. I’ve tried to write something here a hour ago but I couldn’t manage words. Then I shared your talk on FB and a woman that I’ve never met, since she lives in USA and I live in Italy, but we casually added each other on that social network, replied. Words came up to me. Now I know what to say to you. You’re a great communicator and motivator. I don’t know how, but you really make your way into my mind and heart and make my thoughts, hopes and emotions speak aloud. The idea of building up a career on trust and connection is amazing, because you’re really making it. Today I feel a bit more brave and strong. I wish I was as good as you in touching people. Thank you dear. <3

  161. Lauren Mermini

    This was beautiful, entirely. I read you struggling over if you wanted to just talk or make your talk more of a moving performance art. This, entirely this, was the most perfect balance of the two. Subtle and wonderful, and I’d like to blame my teary-eyed feels on “that time of the month”, but I can’t. You’re moving even beyond my lady-week ;) .

  162. Kendrick Hough

    That was an incredible Ted! I love how you addressed just the fear we all have of asking anyone for something, and just blown away again by your honesty and empathy.

    Thank you for continuing to change the world for the better even with your dear friend’s health constantly on your mind.

  163. Jodi Fuchs

    You totally fucking inspired me as I’m about to launch an indiegogo campaign and ask for help to fund a passion project. Thank YOU! We’re all in this together

  164. Ernie Hendrickson

    thanks amanda, i have been watching and learning from you for a while now. as an artist running my first ever kickstarter campaign, i have felt the uncomfortableness and even shame of which you spoke of here, and it really rings true that growth requires that we confront these fears. you are helping us all, thank you for what you are doing – ernie

  165. E_Maus

    Watched this video then went on a massive youtube trip on everything I could find with your name. You’re amazing and have given me far more confidence than anything every has within about 2 days. Thank you for your music and you :D

  166. Jasper

    That was a great talk I thoroughly enjoyed, Amanda. I like your work, original spirit and refreshing ideas.

  167. Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan

    You remind me of the Minstrels of old and Kabuki.

  168. Darren Robinson

    Great! Wonderful talk! Even if you didn’t use unicycles and all. The opening comments and the 8-foot bride were inspiring. It shows the best and the worst of humanity.

    Its funny as I know a fellow musician who was on the ‘anti-crowd musician sourcing’ yet I understand (even more so now) both sides. Still I find myself in the opinion; if you are in the area and ask for something and I can do it I will, because I want to- even playing (as my friend would roll his eyes and start his pro union play for pay stance). But I see the dynamic; we’ve all been paid to perform stuff we don’t give a crap about, does money need to be present when we want to perform something? I can see the cynicism with the Money song (Money makes the world go round) from Cabaret (which I look forward to playing in this summer).
    It is hard to ask for help, I’ve been severely underemployed with only teaching lessons, and the occasion gig to make it by, which I am doing. I also have amazing friends who ask me to arrange and transpose parts for them and grossly overpay me and buy me beer. Side note: I got on to the site to get “Theater…” and I decided to take one of the pay options just because you gave me the option not to. I haven’t forgotten and one day…

    And now I just got this great idea for some collaborative stuff;street performers and In C (pet project).

    Again: “Go show!” well done, keep doing what your doing

    Thanks for bringing Neil Gaiman to my attention- I’ve been enjoying his book greatly.
    again thanks for letting me ramble.

  169. KimBee

    I just became aware of your talk (shoutout to YouTube for having my tastes down so accurately), and it was phenomenal. Past and present, I think you’re spectacular. Giving freely and receiving suppport in return is a beautiful thing, and I’m happy to be a tiny part of it. Tuition is a bitch and I currently have $15.73 in my bank account but life is good and I dig what you’re doing so I sent you five bucks to show love. Money, mouth, etc.

    Give it hell, what you’re doing is amazing and right.

  170. Wendy Jewell

    I watched the TED talk today for the first time. I had never heard of Amanda Palmer and I am so happy I know who you are now. I want to give you thanks because today as I watched “The Art Of Asking” I was given a gift so profound that it will change my life.
    My whole life I have had what I have always imagined to be a curse of being a super approachable person. I have always referred to myself as a freak magnet or weirdo magnet. Friends over the years have expressed their displeasure of the times they were out with me and a random person would approach us and begin talking to me about this that and the other. I have some amazing stories that have come out of these encounters and there have also been times that I was not very nice at all.
    Here is the gift. When you were speaking about your time as the 8ft bride and the exchange that happened during that personal moment of letting the other person know you see them, I realized I have had that moment. I have been in that moment with others as a natural gift given freely to me and I have taken it for granted. I have called it my curse and have let other people treat it as an inconvenience to them.
    Thank you so much for opening my eyes to this terrible mistake I have made, I have time to make amends for it, I have time to go out in to the world and be approachable and to hear what others have to say and how they feel and their stories. I have time to look into their eyes and let them know I see them and know they are there and that they are important.
    Thank you.

  171. Izzie


    I haven’t listened to your music before, but I stumbled upon your TED talk in a post by a friend. I was very much intrigued and impressed by your presentation. You have touched upon–and successfully utilized–something our interactions so often lack: the recognition of our shared humanity.

    Thank you for your lovely dialogue–and the positive energy you’ve inspired! Truly, where else on the internet can you find a page so full of kind and thoughtful comments? It’s a breath of fresh air, and it gives me hope.

  172. Deliberate

    Good for you rising to a level of performance for the intellectuals at a TED talk. An entire market place not yet tapped into for your “art of asking” techniques. You’re oh so eloquent way of pan handling.

    I have watched you rise from a local talent. A whisper amongst crowds of “someone to watch” to stepping on whomever you needed to elevate yourself. I have seen you lose the respect of other musicians, as well as many a fan, when promises are broken and pockets empty. I myself have a collection of useless AFP crap that was packaged purely out of your ego and led me, as a fan, on no journey promised of intrigue, mystery or prize. I have read, watched, listened to you insult your peers in the industry only to deem them “jealous”. Use your Lexington sophisticate to try to unnerve them. Even steal a boyfriend or two for the pure game of it.

    You have been a pretty savvy marketeer for your career, though. The amount of publicity you get yourself by playing every roll needed called for in the media. “Bi-sexual” for the gay culture, “homeless” for the underground pit kids, and NOW an NPR interview on “cyber bullying”.

    Oh Amanda, you’re real talent is in your sociopathic charm. Turning social media into a church where your followers worship you is brilliant. However, you are not the first to dine on the emotional needs of a fan base starving for acceptance and throwing you their meals of attention toward you. Many an evangelist, crusader, cult leader, have succeeded and also fallen. It’s been historic that the thirst of power is destructive personally and the casualties of such are endless.

    I can’t deny that you are a smart business woman. Too bad such talent is wasted on your ego only.

  173. Kelly Adlington

    Amanda, I just watched your TED talk. My eyes welled up a few different times. But instead of my lip quivering and starting to get a headache like I do when I sad cry, I was smiling. Sitting here on the computer in my kitchen, with my shitty ass ear buds in, smiling from ear to ear. I will never have the words to describe the inspiration you bring to me. I will never be able to thank you enough. I love you so much.

  174. LM

    Loved it all, but especially the bits about connection. It’s such a rare, precious thing that everyone needs. After all, connection is the reason why people fall in love.

    I think you’d enjoy talking with this woman——or at least reading her book. She’s a fantastic street performer as well as a friend and former teacher of mine, and it just seems like you two would have some great chats.

  175. LM

    Loved it all, but especially the bits about connection. It’s such a rare, precious thing that everyone needs. After all, connection is the reason why people fall in love.

    I think you’d enjoy talking with this woman——or at least reading her book. She’s a fantastic street performer as well as a friend and former teacher of mine, and it just seems like you two would have some great chats.

  176. Deborah Aldridge

    This made me cry. I will not say your music is to my taste, but YOU are. YOU are like me. My father once said that I would never have anything, because I would give it all away. I said “But there is always someone who needs it more than I do.” I circled you on G+. Please circle me back. I want to get to know you.

  177. Dirk

    Lemme jus’ say that this is the by far (faaaaaaaaar) the bestest and mostest inspiring TED talk I have seen (and I’ve spend whole weeks surfing their website and watching talks). Dankeschön!

  178. Dirk

    Lemme jus’ say that this is the by far (faaaaaaaaar) the bestest and mostest inspiring TED talk I have seen (and I’ve spend whole weeks surfing their website and watching talks). Dankeschön!

  179. Dirk

    Lemme jus’ say that this is the by far (faaaaaaaaar) the bestest and mostest inspiring TED talk I have seen (and I’ve spend whole weeks surfing their website and watching talks). Dankeschön!

  180. KLA

    I’ve never heard your music, never heard of you before today. A link to your video from TED talks was on the postsecret site and while watching I was inexplicably brought to tears by your message. Thank You.

  181. Curt Stockford

    Your message is inspiring. Not only does it reaffirm hope for the human condition, but also opens endless possibilities for us individually. Thank you for this public affirmation on behalf of all who believe in essential goodness.

  182. Hi Amanda,

    until 13:48 minutes ago I didn’t know you. Know you showed me the way and I thank you for this teching.

    I know we’ll meet soon :)

  183. F

    Amanda, you’re such an amazing, mind-blowing inspiration, and you don’t let society define and chain you, your music, or your job. You give me so much more hope in the world when I’m surrounded by ignorant, judgmental people who are part of the “masses.” You’re so wildly and beautifully different, and so are all the people you surround yourself with. I’m so glad you did a Ted talk, because I have to find a few Ted talks for my English class and write about them, and it’s exciting that I can write about one of my most favorite artists/musician in the world. My class is going to be doing Ted talks for our final, and to see how charismatic you were up on that stage while writing about how nervous and flustered you were gives me the confidence that mine will be fine.

  184. Fdhior Albered

    Ok now I get it, that is why the rock stars commit suicide, or get lost into drugs, they actually lost contact with audience in order to become “famous” and “glamorous” then they endup making “sellable” music, they become some sort of a product available to anyone and expendable once they are “worn out”, true artists need feedback from the people who love what they do, doesn’t matter if its only a smile or 20 cents, anyhting is worthed, the most important is to connect with people, to be able to express that thing that is impossible to express without burst into emotions, the same thing most of the people don’t dare to talk about ’cause it would be so intense that it would make them vulnerable.

    For the artist that is so easily unveiled, and I think that is why so much people resonte to the music and the way the true artists express the inexpressible, the exchange between the artists and the audiences goes far beyond giving money to support them, is about giving yourself to receive what you’ve never imagined you would recieve: love.

    Thank you Amanda for such an insightful talk


  185. Eliana Gilad

    What an inspiration Amanda! I sang on the inner trains of France – and earned more money than I did in my corporate position. I never once asked! I tell the story on my own TEDxtalk – Your Voice – Let it Be Heard:

  186. Moira Campbell

    I’m an astrologer, and asking if you’d share your birth stats with me. It’ll save me a lot of time guessing what’s where ! Birth-time and location. Promise, I’m not a stalker … just a profiler ! You can reach me via Excellent talk, and just getting into your special place in Utube! Namaste, Moira

  187. Moira Campbell

    I’m an astrologer, and asking if you’d share your birth stats with me. It’ll save me a lot of time guessing what’s where ! Birth-time and location. Promise, I’m not a stalker … just a profiler ! You can reach me via Excellent talk, and just getting into your special place in Utube! Namaste, Moira

  188. Moira Campbell

    I’m an astrologer, and asking if you’d share your birth stats with me. It’ll save me a lot of time guessing what’s where ! Birth-time and location. Promise, I’m not a stalker … just a profiler ! You can reach me via Excellent talk, and just getting into your special place in Utube! Namaste, Moira

  189. Moira Campbell

    I’m an astrologer, and asking if you’d share your birth stats with me. It’ll save me a lot of time guessing what’s where ! Birth-time and location. Promise, I’m not a stalker … just a profiler ! You can reach me via Excellent talk, and just getting into your special place in Utube! Namaste, Moira

  190. Moira Campbell

    I’m an astrologer, and asking if you’d share your birth stats with me. It’ll save me a lot of time guessing what’s where ! Birth-time and location. Promise, I’m not a stalker … just a profiler ! You can reach me via Excellent talk, and just getting into your special place in Utube! Namaste, Moira

  191. Kit Writes

    I’m such a huge fan, and it took me too long to finally get to watch this. You were brilliant, as expected! It was a beautiful, trusting message, and you delivered it so well. Impressive, as always, Amanda. <3

  192. Rebecca

    I work for a non-profit agency and having watched your Ted talk I have a new approach. Asking has a negative connotation for many in our culture for sure and even though the kind of asking I do is never for myself but for the children and youth I support, I always did it with a sense of hesitation. Now I do not. Now I put it to the community and I let them know that their support of us is absolutely vital. By asking, I have received. Made new connections, unexpected connections & therefore increased the quality of service we can provide. Sharing my gratitude with our new supporters is a part of the process that I am enjoying very much. This is my profession yet on a personal level, I love making new connections with people – exchanging ideas, sharing passion for the work we do. Your words changed the way I think and the way I approach our community and I am grateful for that. You are truly beautiful.

  193. Rebecca

    I work for a non-profit agency and having watched your Ted talk I have a new approach. Asking has a negative connotation for many in our culture for sure and even though the kind of asking I do is never for myself but for the children and youth I support, I always did it with a sense of hesitation. Now I do not. Now I put it to the community and I let them know that their support of us is absolutely vital. By asking, I have received. Made new connections, unexpected connections & therefore increased the quality of service we can provide. Sharing my gratitude with our new supporters is a part of the process that I am enjoying very much. This is my profession yet on a personal level, I love making new connections with people – exchanging ideas, sharing passion for the work we do. Your words changed the way I think and the way I approach our community and I am grateful for that. You are truly beautiful.

  194. Mary Tobias

    I love you. I am you. Over here. Seeing you over there. Only not, because there is no space between us. I’ve looked into the eyes of a stranger for 5 unbroken moments and slowly peeled away the social masonry. Touched another naked soul only to discover my own in the process. We’ve been lied to, told that value only exists in things that we can hold. Your humanity is your treasure. Your relationships are your bank. What you stand on is stronger than the world. You trade in a force of nature, that E.E. Commings called the wonder keeping the stars apart. You trade in Love. Your greatest composition is rendered in spirit and soul and blood and bone and beating hearts. You are an open invitation to love and I do. Thank you for this dance. It leaves me more me and you more you.

  195. Mary Tobias

    I love you. I am you. Over here. Seeing you over there. Only not, because there is no space between us. I’ve looked into the eyes of a stranger for 5 unbroken moments and slowly peeled away the social masonry. Touched another naked soul only to discover my own in the process. We’ve been lied to, told that value only exists in things that we can hold. Your humanity is your treasure. Your relationships are your bank. What you stand on is stronger than the world. You trade in a force of nature, that E.E. Commings called the wonder keeping the stars apart. You trade in Love. Your greatest composition is rendered in spirit and soul and blood and bone and beating hearts. You are an open invitation to love and I do. Thank you for this dance. It leaves me more me and you more you.

  196. Maria Ribeiro

    You are an incredible human being with an absolutely awesome life experience and I’d just love to meet you someday ;)
    You should come to Portugal


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>