The Amanda Palmer Party at our house

After the incredible experience of study abroad in Rome for sixteen weeks, I came home and had a week to put together the Amanda Palmer Kickstarter party at our house.

(If you are unfamiliar with Amanda Palmer and her music: FIRST download Theatre is Evil, listen to it…. read the lyrics…… bathe in this album, it’s an experience. THEN go read about her on the internets. I recommend that order.)

I don’t have very many pictures. This was a conscious choice on my part. I wanted to be in the moment and not behind a camera. I’m not sure I know how to do both. There were others who shot some great photos, like this one from Nick Hollup.
AFP014 Check his Flickr for many more like it.

I’ve been thinking about the house party for several days now and I know I cannot convey exactly what it was like. There were many amazing moments. Moments of connection. Moments of laughter. Moments of delicious warm hugs.

There were conversations about art. About how we choose which music to listen to. About how we feed bad journalism by linking to it and at the same time people who do great work and write well, but don’t have the “page views” can lose their jobs. I will be keeping that in mind when I link to things.

Jon Ronson came with Amanda Palmer, he’d been following her for a few days. He’s a British journalist/author who wrote “Men Who Stare at Goats” and “The Psychopath Test” He read from his work and had the room riveted and giggling.

And of course there was music. A box of harmonicas in 5 different keys that were Jack’s were sitting on the shelf, right next to “The 5 Keys to Stress Reduction.” Amanda saw a joke there somewhere. Nick gracious agreed to be her human harmonica holder as she played Werewolves of London.

My daughter Gwen, who is usually very shy about playing music, was convinced with Coriander to play Ukelele Anthem along with Amanda Palmer. I believe “Shanghaied” is the word Gwen used. I’ll cherish the video forever.

Awesome photographer and writer Kyle Cassidy also joined us with his talented wife, actress Jennifer Summerfield. He set up a corner of the living room to take photos of each person with Amanda Palmer. Then he showed young photo artist Coriander how the set up worked and let her do it instead.

We told the story of our house, the 1941 rowhouse which belonged to my friend Jack. How he lived here for his entire life, except for the 2 year exile in a nursing home after his stroke which brought me here as caregiver. And about his obsession: the ever expanding camera collection. We spoke about the serendipity of keeping this house accessible after he passed, especially fortuitous for this event.

Amanda’s husband, author Neil Gaiman hoped to attend as well, but was delayed in transit. He arrived for the last thirty minutes of the party and graciously signed books and posed for pictures while eating pizza and being his charming self.

So that’s a short version of what happened, but it was so much more. I believe I am going to be processing this event for a long time and it will become part of who I am. I have an idea where it is going, though.

Each and every person was encouraging with one another. Both the names you might recognize and the ones you don’t.

Creating is what I do. I believe we are all creative in some way, even if it is just the choices we make in our life. Each of us had stories to tell about our paths. The things we have accomplished and the things we are in the process of accomplishing.

It is the generous, encouraging spirit that I felt from every single person in our house that night that still I feel glowing right now. It was like a huge supernova of positive energy that I can still feel buzzing around me. Not just a meeting of famous people with a group of fans, but the convergence of many loving, caring, trusting, talented people with one another.

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