A couple of weeks ago, Amanda Palmer released a half an hour documentary called “Bride Tripping” on her Patreon page. Most of it is based on the footage taken with a hand held camera on a road trip in 1999.
About 7 and a half minutes into the movie, Allie, the girl behind the camera, asks the 23 year old Amanda what her ideal job would be. Amanda responds: “The ultimate goal is to be an icon. <…> That means I would be making money in all sorts of ways.” While there is no hesitation in that response, there is no 100% certainty either, and who knows if there is a plan. It sort of sounds like just talking. There she is, on a random beach, on a random road trip, more than a year before the Dresden Dolls were formed, years before she became – well, just that, – an icon. Shivers.
While my life has been very different from Amanda’s and arguably much less interesting or instructive, the tone of that response was remarkably similar to my own response to similar questions. Likewise in the late nineteen-nineties, likewise, in my early twenties, I would state that “I want to sell my head applying stats, but not counting money.” With predisposition and position of privilege, yes, but without a clear path, any obvious plan, or certainty. There wasn’t even much talent or dedication. And yet, a few years later, out of grad school, in another country, I ended up doing just that. For years; for the most part, happily.
Which is sort of remarkable. It’s also anecdotal. Still. Maybe one can simply decide what she wants, and doesn’t have to be perfect or whatever to get there. Maybe the paths are supposed to be twisted and muddy. Maybe just being true and sometimes focused on the goal is enough.
With that in mind, what else do I want?
Side notes and links
You need to be Amanda’s patron on Patreon to get to the “Bride Tripping” post. The price is rather nominal, and you help the artist be free to make art, when you are a patron.
While the documentary might stand on its own, I think it would make most sense with some prior knowledge about the Eight Foot Bride, e.g. see Amanda’s memoir “The Art of Asking“. The book definitely stands on its own; I recommend it as an audio book, narrated by the author; there are songs there.