No doubt plenty of you have been watching Amanda Palmer’s mind-blowing Kickstarter rocket all over the place the past few days. …ology has a good article about it, which is summarized by focusing on AFP’s understanding that the music, making the music, sharing the music, is about connecting with the listeners/fans, and that it pretty much always has been.
I admit with no particular pride that for about the first day and a half of AFP’s Kickstarter I was consumed with envy. There is a part of me which, offended, says, “Let Kickstarter be for people who REALLY NEED the money!”
Except, y’know, for one thing, I have no idea how much money AFP has. I know she’s married to a rich man, but I’m quite certain she’s not interested in having him bankroll her career. And for another, realistically, I know that musicians do not exactly roll in cash. There are exceptions, as there are with writers, but realistically: yeah. Very few of us are getting rich off our art. For a third, although I’m reasonably certain there’s some small crossover between my readers and AFP’s fans, I mean, really, what the hell is my deal, it’s not like she’s taking money out of my pocket or anything. o.O
Furthermore, it doesn’t really matter. The truth is the reason that AFP’s Kickstarter is running out of control is because she’s got direct access to thousands of passionate fans*^, and she interacts with them on a personal level that means a lot to them, and, vitally–and this is something I understand from doing my own Kickstarter–people want to help make art happen. This is *important* to people, and we’re suddenly in an era where individuals can come together to offer small patronages which add up to something wonderful happening. I came to that realization before I read the above article, but really, it’s utterly true: the important thing is that this is about the art, whatever the art is, and its success should be celebrated.
So my hat is off to Amanda Palmer, and I hope that crazy thing cracks a million bucks before it ends on May 30th. Because even if I’m not a particular AFP fan (I’m not *not* a fan, I’m just not a fan), even I’d kinda love to see what she does if she gets that kind of money to do it with. :)
*and, okay, here, her extremely-well-social-media-connected husband is not exactly a down side: no one I know wouldn’t give an arm, leg or eye to get a boost from Neil Gaiman, because that’s a career-making kind of high-five
^which is also why Order of the Stick did so incredibly well, and why Womanthology blew all expectations away–neither of which, interestingly, got up my nose in terms of “but that’s not FAIR!” I suspect this has something to do with how closely to my own passions the wildly successful Kickstarters lie.