23 December 2017

Do your best

This is a story about doing your best.

So like a lot of people I have a certain ambivalence about Ms Amanda Palmer, but I love this thing she did, not so much for the thing (though it is delightful) but for the story behind it. So first check this out:

If you don't know, Palmer is a musician who does very lively stage shows, is wildly narcissistic, and has a vigorously cultivated network of fans. So she is interesting in part as a creature of our particular media age. She has gotten crowds of people for her music videos by saying on social media, “Hey, we are shooting a video in such-and-such place on Thursday. Show up wearing something cool.”

Her original plan had been to simply perform the difficult Tchaikovsky piece, despite being a pianist who plays by ear. You should read her telling of how she failed — except she didn't. The Boston Pops hadn't sent for the most technically proficient pianist, they sent for her, so she wised up and delivered what only she could have done.

Whatever it is you are doing, the gods didn't send someone else. They sent you. Do your best.

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