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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 04:36am on 23/04/2009 under , , , ,
I often forget that there are people who read my blog who don't read Amanda's.

This is a photo I took at Coachella:

We were at some fancy house in a fancy gated community near the site doing press. It was surreal.

My life is frequently very surreal.

I remember at some point this weekend, and god knows when it was, I looked at Katrina and I said, "Life is pretty amazing."

She agreed.

It is, actually. I saw Leonard Cohen play. He sang First We Take Manhattan and he got to my favorite verse and I cried a little.

I don't like your fashion business mister
I don't like these drugs that keep you thin
I don't like what happened to my sister
First we take Manhattan... then we take Berlin

Those words were written on a scrap of paper and pinned to my bedroom door all through college. I carefully unpinned the paper, which by that point was yellowing around the edges, when I moved. It's in a book somewhere, pressed between the pages to avoid wrinkles. And I got to see and hear the man SING IT LIVE. I closed my eyes and imagined that he knew that I was standing there and really feeling what he said.

I opened them and I was surrounded by a crush of thousands who were feeling it too. We sang the chorus of Hallelujah together.

The man is 74 years old. He spent five years in seclusion in a Buddist monastery. Leonard Cohen is an honest-to-god MONK. He radiated sheer JOY during his performance, joy and incredible grace. Seeing him play was transcendent.

Life is pretty amazing.

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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 12:30am on 27/03/2009 under , ,
Here is a photo I took at SWSW. On the left is Emily, Amanda's manager. I'm in the middle. You all by now know the lady with the ukulele.

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So. Went to DC and worked the Dolls show at the 9:30 Club. Bought a Bling-Bama shirt on the street (Barak, all in bling, it's amazing and says HOPE on it.)

It was a really beautiful night. I met a musician named Ari Gold who rocked the uke, keyboard, drums AND danced his ass off and was actually a really nice guy backstage too. And then I walked past Grace Potter a bunch of times while she was practicing backstage and every time thought, "Damn, that chick in the boots with the electric guitar is HOT." But we had to leave before her set was done to get the 2AM Chinatown bus back, which ended up not leaving until nearly three but which got us to NYC before 6. Daaaaaaaaaamn.

Highlights of the trip:
- War Pigs (AMAZING)
- An empty Chinatown bus on the way down... because we missed the one we had tickets for.
- Buying the BLING BAMA shirts with Katrina.
- The sense in the air of togetherness.
- Obama on my Metro ticket.
- Ending up at a restaurant in DC, randomly sitting next to the cousin of a girl I know through Amanda.
- Eating lo mein with my hands on the bus ride home.
- This photo:

Oh... and the fact that "President Barack Obama" isn't just a nice idea, but a reality.

So. Got back Wednesday EARLY morning, slept a few hours, worked for the rest of the night. Thursday we shot some material for an electronic press kit (EPK) for Amanda and then Friday we had the What's the Use of Wonderin' shoot.

Video shoots are hard. Crew members and space rentals are expensive, so you try to cram as much as you can into one day.

I've now done.... ten? Ten music videos. Wow. That's what happens when you work for an artist who decides to make a video for EVERY SONG ON THE RECORD. Anyway, every single time, I'm in awe of the quantity and quality of work that gets done in the course of a day.

Yesterday was a strange one... some of our usual crew wasn't there (since we were shooting in NYC) and there were a few new people filling in for them. It also felt exceptionally long, along I suppose it was about the same as all the others.

I did what I do, which is to say I took stills and pinned dresses and went on soda runs and made inappropriate comments to Pope and tried to stay out of the way. We also ran a Party on the Internet ( which was fun but there was really too much chaos. An experiment, we'll know for next time. I really want to do another Party on the Internet like the first one, which was on release night, at the Cloud Club. We drank a bottle of wine and Amanda talked for two hours.

I like video shoots because I feel very useful and I get to use my body in my work. So much of what I do takes place behind a computer screen, I start to feel disconnected. Must get back to doing yoga regularly.

Art. Let's talk about art in this rambly entry.

That is from a short (ten minute) shoot I did with Amanda before the EPK shoot. A friend looked at a larger set (about 20 images) and declared that a few of them were the best photos I'd ever taken. At some point, I'll release them and you'll see.

That's from the What's the Use shoot. I love it and I'm not precisely sure why.

Hillary, the director of photography. One of the things I love about Michael Pope is that he puts women in power. He's smart enough to pick the right ones, too--- Hillary is awesome, as is Bri Olsen, Pope's producer, and Casey Long, art director and reluctant music video star.

This is Casey:

Pope manning the monitor:

This entry has really meandered. So much going on, both within and without. Yesterday was the first day since New Year's that I didn't feel sick. Amazing feeling.

Paparazzi (photo by Bri Olsen):

I everything about that picture. The handsome fellow next to me is Desi and you can see AFP's profile in the shadow on the reflector. Also, BELLY.

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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 11:00pm on 04/01/2009 under , , ,
New Year's Eve.

Last year I wrote that I felt that everything was full of potential.

I saw The Dresden Dolls perform last New Year's Eve. For the first time.

I wrote this afterward:
She takes the time to have moments with people. There was this tiny goth teenager who was obviously saying something both intimate and long and Amanda was completely focused on her the entire time. No glancing around looking for her bandmates, no rushing people off. Just a genuine connecting to person after person after person. Sign this, smile for a photo, hug that fan, sign this, crazy face for a photo, hug, sign, smile, sign, crazy face, sign, smile, hug. At 2AM after playing a two hour long set, with the flu.

I wouldn't want her life. The crowd congealing around you, each person in it wanting a piece of you, a scribble on a napkin, an image of you in their iPhone. I didn't want to add to that, but I wanted my piece too. A delicate balance.

She is still that generous with her time and her self, but I've learned so much more about those little post-show connections after watching it happen again and again for the better part of a year.

The people who come to the shows aren't a swarm of hungry, desperate insects. They don't want pieces of her that she can't grow back.

They want to say thank you.

They love her and they give back more than they take.

The only difference this year is that she did all the hugging and signing and crazy photo faces at 6AM, not 2AM. And I felt comforted to watch it rather than anxious.


New Year's Eve was constant motion. The private party was a huge success. I was the door girl, which turned out to be way more complicated than I thought. There was a lovely girl named Pi who helped me the entire evening. I wish I'd gotten her email address, I wanted to give her some merch and explain that she saved me from spending the entire night frozen and stressed.

Midnight was... beautiful. Seventy-five people, completely silent even as we heard the screams and horns and cheering from outside. Amanda took my hand and we looked at each other and said nothing.

After midnight the night truly began. We made our way to the venue, where the bouncer wouldn't let us in. Jeff (the tour manager) explained that we were the next act. The bouncer said he didn't care. They argued. Amanda shivered.

We got nowhere until Jeff's girlfriend (also named Amanda) realized there was another door. We walked over and Jeff's Amanda said, "We're the next show, can we wait inside since it's so cold?" and the bouncer told us that was fine.

The moral of the story is to try another door.

Once we got in there was chaos from the midnight Patti Smith show cleaning up. We didn't get to set up merch until a half hour before doors. On a GOOD night I could do it in 45 minutes, but this was not a good night and a half hour is not 45 minutes. We were still setting up when people came in, but Katrina managed to sell anyway. She's an excellent merchy.

Katrina, after consuming only sugar free Redbull all day:

The show itself was epic. Amanda played Trout Heart Replica. I was sad that I didn't get to hear it in San Francisco but I think our version was even better. I hope someone recorded it. I stood with Katrina and did my best not to cry.

She played Hallelujah, too, and Another Year, two of my favorites that I have never heard live.

Hallelujah was incredible.

I did cry that time. I cried from happy, I cried from tired, I cried from conflicted, I cried from lucky, I cried from ALIVE.

After the show was signing and after signing we drove to Brooklyn. Amanda taught me how to parallel park as the sun came up.

I made it home around 8:30AM, after about 21 hours of work (minus one hour of tattooing). It was perfect. Exhausting, but perfect.


ps - Did I mention that the Other Girl with a Key Tattoo is here?

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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 02:13pm on 08/12/2008 under , , , ,
I took the 1:30AM bus back to NYC. It was the shortest, most direct option. A daytime bus takes 10 to 12 hours. This was six and a half. Perfect.

I missed New York. I love Pittsburgh, more and more the longer I'm away, but I missed New York.

The other day, Dakota made a joke to me that one day I'll end up in Portland, because everybody is moving there.

On second thought, she might not have been joking, but I laughed anyway because I've never even thought about leaving New York. Travel, yes yes yes, but home will always been just to the east of that tiny island.

In January it will have been three years since KT and I drove a U-haul across Pennsylvania. We screamed the whole way through the Holland Tunnel.

I've been thinking a lot about anniversaries. Dates and places and times have always held a lot of significance for me. I'm the girl who, moments after her first kiss, wrote the date and time down on an index card in green highlighter. But as the years pass, old dates are replaced by new ones.

New Year's Day is a big anniversary for me. Two years ago on New Year's Day I had my first date with The Princess. One year ago on New Year's Day I met Amanda for the first time. I stood there, crammed in with three thousand other people, and I looked up at the stage and I had a completely transformative moment.

... sometimes I take completely transformative to the extreme.

Since last New Year's Day, I got a new job, a new haircut, new tattoos, a new sense of style, new friends, new colleagues, new lovers and a new sense of what can be accomplished when one believes in fate.

It has not all been roses and cupcakes. Some times have been the opposite of that. There have been times I've doubted myself, times I've doubted everyone around me, times I've wished for more stability and times I've known that I make working for the Man feel like as unsteady as a high-wire act.

But I think... I know... that I'll look around on New Year's Day and declare that 2008 was more love than pain, more laughter than tears, and way more success than failure.


I believe in anniversaries. That a mood can be repeated, even if the event that caused it is trivial, or forgotten. In this case, it's neither.
-- Crave, Sarah Kane
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 04:55am on 15/11/2008 under , , ,
Things got better.

Tonight during the "Ask Amanda" section of the evening, one of the questions was "will your merch girl make out with me?"

"Sure... I mean, if you're a hot lesbian!" Amanda responded.

I blushed. I thought it was Dakota, but she said no. Finally, after I'd sold my last t-shirt of the evening, a beautiful, dark young girl stood quietly on the other side of the table. She awkwardly explained that she was the one who asked the question.

Of course I kissed her. She was sweet and hesitant and it was... perfect. And the perfect antidote to the self-questioning that comes with a unrequited crush.


During the show, Amanda said that if someone gave the Danger Ensemble $500, she would show her tits. Sure enough, a quiet, charming man with a boutineere brought five crisp $100 bills to the merch table and gave them to Steven. Amanda cued up the dance remix of Coin Operated Boy and called all of us up on stage. We jumped around like we were at a rave while she took her bra off. Everyone screamed. The man with the boutineere raised his glass to us from the back. It was perfect.


I laughed and joked and talked about sex with my compatriots. The bus generator is creating a comforting vibration. I am in my coffin-like bunk, swaddled in a blanket, exhausted but happy. It is perfect.


Merch got better to... my per head went down, but I am getting in the rhythm and I figured out how to make my count out from the other night make sense.
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 11:31am on 31/10/2008 under , , , ,
So... ages ago, before CD releases and tours and lost bags and tears and going a bit mad and crushes on redheads (athough there have ALWAYS been crushes on redheads)... I was in a music video.

Wait... what?

Yes, I was an abortion clinic nurse. The evil one with the syringe. Unfortunately my most evil moment got cut for legal reasons, but rest assured that one of us was evil and the other was infertile and sad about killing babies. And that one was Wizzle, not me.

The most fun part of the day may have been Michael Pope saying, "Smile like you are SELLING CARS!"

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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 02:37pm on 28/09/2008 under
Amanda got hit by a car in Belfast today.

Her foot is broken, but she is otherwise okay.

My impulse to embrace is pretty useless with an ocean in the way.

Jesus, it's been a shitty couple of weeks.

Dear Universe,


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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 10:33pm on 25/09/2008 under , , ,
A year ago, I got my heart broken.

I ran away to Provincetown. I rented a bike.

I was surprised to see that entry, because I'd omitted something important. But its significance comes clear only in hindsight, I suppose.

I'd started to write about it back in January, in a post titled "Four Meetings with the Dresden Dolls". I had an image in my head of tying my three major encounters with their music into a post about the first meeting I had with Amanda (and eventually Brian) in January.

This was meeting number three:
I fled to Provincetown. I rented a bike, I ate dessert every night and I answered the phone every time my ex called.

I still have the mix I played on an endless loop that week, anytime I had solitude. The usual suspects-- Wake Me Up When September Ends (Green Day), If I Didn't Believe in You (The Last Five Years), and Hallelujah (covered by The Dresden Dolls).

I locked the bike and climbed to the top of a dune. I could see the rolling hills of Provincetown all around me. The ocean was close enough to smother me. I sat down and dumped the grit out of my shoes and wailed, sobbed, pounded my fists into the scrubby grass. I had an epic fucking breakdown where no one could see or hear me. The wrenching began and I laid on the ground, shuddering until everything in me dried up and went cold. My breathing stilled and I realized the music was still playing in my ear.

I took a deep breath and I started to feel better.

A year ago the sad, pathetic, doormat of a girl I'd become evaporated on a hilltop in Provincetown. I fell down one person and got up another.

This life is not all fun and laughter, but it is more fun and laughter (and love) than the life I left.

Tonight I am very grateful.


Dear Universe,

I am letting go. Send love, please?


I believe in anniversaries. That a mood can be repeated, even if the event that caused it is trivial or forgotten. In this case it's neither.
--Crave, Sarah Kane
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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 04:15pm on 22/09/2008 under
She's in a car on her way to the airport for a six week jaunt through Europe.

I feel sad.

Sometime, some time ago, the lines between boss and friend started to blur and I can honestly say that I will miss my friend while she's on the road.

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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 11:38pm on 20/09/2008 under , , , ,
Yesterday, in the day of many consecutive days that finally broke me, there were several small bright spots.

Returning Amanda's iPhone to the Apple Store and having the boy who was helping me say, "You're awesome, by the way. I love your music. You're great." I said "Thank you! You're great too."

(We don't really look that much alike, but I suppose if you've only ever seen her in whiteface you might think that she'd look kind of like me if she wasn't wearing makeup.)

New keys from friends at the in-store.

And this:

Despite the stress and feelings of being overwhelmed and of fucking everything up... my life is pretty great. The point is breathing, I suppose.

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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 09:31pm on 18/09/2008 under , , ,
Some of the fans are upset they haven't gotten their pre-ordered signed CDs yet.

The CDs were supposed to arrive in New York from the distributor last Wednesday. This was the absolute earliest the distributor would release them to us, and Amanda's manager Emily had to pull many strings even to get them a little early..

They did not arrive. Then they were supposed to arrive Thursday, so Amanda rearranged her schedule so she could stay in NYC to sign them. Emily was on the phone with the shipping company a dozen times that day, as several "expected delivery times" came and went. I waited at the place they were to arrive for six hours... and they didn't show up. We found out later that the shipping company didn't bother to ring the bell. Great.

Amanda needed to go back to Boston, The CDs arrived the next day and we sent out a plea to get a fan to drive them to Boston. I am so happy we found someone, because I had a very sinking feeling that the solution was going to be "Beth rents a UHaul.". I rarely lose my cool but being behind the wheel of "Americas Moving Adventure" always does the trick.

Once the CDs were safely in Boston, Amanda discovered they had arrived wrapped in plastic, so I convinced two of my friends to come over and unwrap them. It took them four hours and cost Amanda $100 and me countless as-yet-to-be-paid sexual favors.. I still think we got a good deal.

Amanda signed the CDs on Sunday. We packaged them up and a very nice man from DHL came to pick them up. He almost didn't take them because he hadn't been told that each box was 45 lbs and he didn't have a dolly. Luckily Brendon (the TM) and Dave (soundguy) were at the house sorting gear, so they loaded the packages on the truck. Crisis averted.

The first batch of Amanda signed CDs arrived at musictoday on Tuesday. The same morning, the Ben Folds signed CDs arrived at Amanda's house. Tuesday was the release date of the record, so its not like she had anything to do other than sign CDs and eat peanut butter chocolate Kashi bars. Oh, except for phone interviews, a radio appearance, an in-store performance and signing and a webcast. I believe she also

Amanda signed the CDs before she went to the radio station. I packaged them up and shipped them before dashing across town to meet her for the signing. A girl at the post office recognised me (!) and told me she loved the record (!!). I mentioned that there were 250 in this very large package and she eyed me up as if she were deciding if she could take me in a fight for it. Ultimately I must have looked too crazed, and the cds made their way to musictoday.

Today is Thursday. The rest of the CDs to be signed (3,000 more) were supposed to arrive at my house in NYC around 1PM. This means I got up at ass o'clock this morning to hightail it out of Boston to meet them.

They arrived at 6PM. I'm so glad I left Boston five hours early, that really made my day. It also made my day that it was a PALLET of 87 small boxes and the delivery man "doesn't do stairs". I stood on the middle step and he tossed them up to me.

My roommate David is a saint and is helping me unwrap them in exchange for sushi and cash. Amanda will sign them tomorrow and off they will go to musictoday, after I scavenge for boxes to pack them in so we're not paying to overnight 87 boxes.

All this isn't meant to be an elaborate excuse. It sucks that the fans haven't gotten their orders yet. But it is so frustrating to read people's complaints when we are really doing our very best to get the CDs to them under less than ideal conditions.

And we are learning for next time. Next time, we will get the CDs a month in advance if I have to break into the factory and hijack a UHaul to do so.

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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 10:40am on 16/09/2008 under ,
On March 2nd I sat on a train and plugged my headphones into my laptop and heard the first few notes of "Runs in the Family."

Even as a Dresden Dolls fan I was surprised. The punk cabaret roots were apparent, but the album had been forged with such an eye to maturity of songwriting and sound. It felt big and special.

I knew, sitting on that train, that everything would work out. Now, six months later, that album is FINALLY on store shelves... with a photo I took on the back.

Please, take some time out of your day to buy this record. Own the first commercially available piece of Beth-art. Help keep me gainfully employed. Embrace (or at least experience) new art.

Go. Go go go.

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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 01:33am on 16/09/2008 under , , ,
Amanda once woke me at dawn. [ profile] kylecassidy was in town and we were going to go out and shoot an early morning light dead photo. On the median strip of a busy highway.

I was still drunk. The night before I'd tried to challenge Kyle drink for drink, not remember that a) he is a man, b) he has a bit more body mass than I do, and c) I'd already drunk a bottle of wine before he even got back to the house.

I puked in the garden. Chelsea, amazing human being that she is, stroked my back and waited to make the inevitable "too drunk to get it up" jokes until I was alive again. I hadn't been that drunk since college.

But there I was, trying to cross a four lane highway so Amanda could strip her clothes off and play dead while Kyle shot from above.

She was cheerful. I was drunk verging on hungover. Kyle leaned on the cement barrier and I was glad I wasn't alone in my early morning misery.

You will not see a photo of Amanda naked and dead on the median strip in the book. We never made it across the highway. After a half hour of trying to time our cross, we gave up and headed back to the Cloud Club. Kyle burrowed into his covers and I snuck back to Steven's living room floor, where Chelsea was still asleep.

Record is out. It's judgement day. I love our team, I love my boss, I love working hard and I love love love this record.

And I love you.

Love (see?),
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My life is about traveling these days. I've logged more hours going from place to place this year than I did in the previous five combined.

Places I've laid my head this year:

Norfolk (and Richmond), VA
Boston, more times than I can count
SF, LA, San Diego, Tempe, Albequerque, Denver, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Houston, Dallas, Austin. On a tour bus.
Pittsburgh (as always)
Rothbury, MI
London, UK

I hope my credit card recovers enough to spring me from the US again before the end of the year.

I am on another bus to Boston. It has become routine. Pack my life into a backpack and go. I went to London with one pair of pants and four shirts...had to sacrifice fashion to fit the computer, camera, video camera, harddrive and sundry cables.

I like the freedom of it all. Moogie asked if I was still planning on visiting this month. I objected to the word "planning" but told her that I had an idea that I would visit, and that I would know for sure when I got on the bus/plane.

I will tire of the travel, I'm sure, long before I log as many miles on the road and nights in stark hotel rooms that Amanda has.

But for now, the hours spent in transit give me time to collect my thoughts.

Album drops in two days. I have this feeling of quiet anticipation, as if this is the guillotine dropping on our former notions of what life is. When it does well--and it's too good not to do well-- things will start to move fast and loud.

I am ready.


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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 06:08pm on 30/08/2008 under , , ,
I wrote this blog on my Blackberry on Monday, when I was on my way to Boston. I stayed in Boston for 6 hours, went back to NYC, threw some things in a bag and got on a plane to London.

I held off on posting this until I had the Boss's okay.


I am on a bus to Boston. The power outlets don't work so I can't either. Frustrating.

Saw [ profile] alannabear and her husband Mark. It was fun, like old times. Except instead of being jaded theatre students, now we're grown ups with jobs. She's a nurse. She helps deliver babies.

She said sometimes she wishes she had my life. I wanted to say that in the grand scheme of What Matters keeping babies alive probably trumps keeping the circus running smoothly.

Someone asked in a comment a while ago what I actually do. Well, I've got time and only a Blackberry to entertain me, so I will tell you.

I usually wake up around six because Cinderella wants food. At this point I will have slept between three and no hours. I stagger out of bed, feed the cat, and check my blackberry for anything Urgent. If I find nothing Urgent, I go back to sleep until about noon, when I get up, get breakfast, shower and start the day.

Email. Email requires about an hour to deal with Important things every day, and another hour for maintenance. I can skip maintenance, but each day I do that adds another 100 to 150 emails to be dealt with, then filed or deleted.

What are these emails?
Out of 100:
- 20 of them are from my Boss, to only me, asking that I Do something
- another 20 are from my Boss to other people and I'm CC'd.
- 5 are from my Boss's rad manager, asking that I Do something
- another 20 are from my Boss's rad manager to other people and I'm CC'd.
- 10 are from other people on the team (photographers, filmmakers, our internet marketing team, designers, publicists, the label, our artistic director, touring crew, merch folks), some of which require that I Do something
- 15 are from people who Want Something (an interview, a meeting, a track for a compilation, photographs for a press outlet, to open for my Boss, a box of swag for a charity auction, an introduction for a book, an advance copy of the CD, a spot on the guestlist, a photopass, an autograph)
- 3 are fanmail
- 3 are friends wondering why I've been out of touch for so long
- 3 are from my Mom
- 1 is a Your Mom joke

After email there are Projects. Right now we have:

- book with Neil Gaiman and Kyle Cassidy
- 7" vinyl
- WKAP songbook
- world tour planning, including:
-- merch round-up (we'll talk more about this later)
--photo passes
--finding yoga on tour for my Boss
- launch of
- launch of redesigned
- peak oil awareness project (I am trying hard to care about peak oil)

These projects take varying degrees of time. There are also ongoing projects like:

- artist outreach and relations for Post-War Trade
- fixing my Boss's computer when things go wrong
- reorganizing the tens of thousands of live and promo photos in the archive
- pulling photos for use in press, website, MySpace, etc.
- helping troubleshoot when Things Go Wrong (like the recent binding problems with The Virginia Companion)
- maintaining my Boss's schedule. Sometimes this involves the actual creation of more time
- keeping a finger on the pulse of the fanbase; this involves checking MySpace, the forum and the comments on my Boss's blog
- sorting fanmail
- general clerical (mail this, order that, file this, draft a letter to her, etc)

These things also take varying degrees of time. I do things like check the forum every day. I haven't really started reorganizing the archive.

Now let's get back to merch. I'm in charge of organizing all our ideas, pricing things out, guaging interest, and making recommendations to my Boss. Then we talk it out and come up with a full plan. I work with designers to make it happen. Sometimes time is short and I do the designs myself. Sometimes I clean up or alter old designs. Then the art goes to the merch company who produces it.

This takes way more time than it sounds like it would.

Okay. So Projects, both finite and ongoing, take up most of the rest of my day. I usually get dinner around 8PM and then settle in for a few more hours of work. By then there is new email to be dealt with, so I do that.

Around midnight or 1am I usually spend some time reading the blogs and watching YouTube videos. I also try to fit in time IMing with various friends during the course of the day-- I take breaks or multitask whenever they happen to be around.

About 2am I realize often that I Did Not Do something important, so I do it then. Wander to the kitchen for a snack, then I settle in to try to sleep. About this time Cinderella decides its time to sleep too, so we snuggle. While we snuggle, I think about the things I didn't get done and create a mental gameplan for the next day. Around 4 or 5am I fall asleep.

This is a day when I'm in New York and my Boss is not. When we are in the same city, my days are very different, especially if there is a show. But the majority of the time, this is what the days look like. Sometimes I alter my schedule to see a movie or have brunch with a friend. I am finding work life balance, slowly.

I find it incredibly fulfilling. Yes, I'd rather be out on tour, but until that happens again, I do this and I know that what I do is necessay and important and keeps things running smoothly--and I am
good at it.

And, unlike Alanna, when I have a bad day it's not because babies died.

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posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 12:12am on 21/08/2008 under ,
So. As some of you probably read, my boss lost her favorite jacket.

She was wearing it the first time I saw her play live:

She was wearing it at the first show I worked for her:

(Photo by korrileigh)

She wore it in the first music video I worked on:

And, even though there are no photos, she was wearing it the day we met in a cafe in New York City to talk about possibilities. She was wearing four coats that day, and before the evening was over she produced a fifth from her bag. I wanted so badly to take a photo, but I didn't want to jinx it.

Somewhere on a train or in a club in Germany, the jacket lives. It's probably gone from us forever... so I need your help.

I want very much to find another one of these jackets. I've emailed the designer (No.l.ita) but no luck.

Anyone who can find a way for me to acquire this jacket, gets their choice of the following:

1.) Awesome AP/Dolls swag
2.) A care package of original art by yours truly
3.) A date with me*

Another color would be fine. I am a bad assistant because I do not remember the size, but I think it was a 40.

Repeat after me... I believe in the power of the Internet. C'mon, if it can bring us (warning:DO NOT CLICK THE LINK) zombie porn**, it can bring another one of these jackets to my amazing boss.


* Hot chicks guaranteed a goodnight kiss.
** For those of you who against my advice clicked the link, be glad I didn't link to the WEIRDEST porn I found - man on blow-up PIG.

Edited to add: She bought the jacket in Sydney Australia in December 2007, if that helps.
bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 10:16pm on 12/08/2008 under , , , ,
"You haven't written in your blog in a few days."

"Yeah, I've been writing mostly one person blogs."

"One person blog?"

"You know, when you write a blog but instead of posting it you just email it to one person?"

"Beth... those are called 'letters.'"


I've spent today on my back and not in a hot way.

I fell down the stairs right before Amanda's set yesterday. There was no light on the stairs from her trailer-- someone told me later that they thought there'd been lights but maybe the rain took them out. As I neared the bottom, I thought, "This is too dark, Amanda might fall--" and then I missed the last step and my ankle bent in a way that ankles should not bend.

I fall down enough to know when it's a bad falling down experience.

Amanda's manager Emily is always great to have in a crisis.

"You fell down?"

"Yeah, the stairs were--"

"Here's an icepack. Want a shot? Here's a triple shot of whiskey."

With the help of Emily's whiskey, I made it through the show. I tucked myself into a corner near the side of the stage. Soon I was joined by Michael Pope. We sat hip to hip and took in the beauty of the room, without words.

I forget how magical she is.


During signing, I stood with the man who runs the site. He was a little younger than my dad, Italian, with a suit like he'd stepped out of some mob movie.

A woman came up to Amanda and extended her hands. They were shaking. Amanda took them and a whispered conversation began.

"She's shaking like a leaf," the mob boss marveled, no hint of judgement in his voice.

"Amanda has that effect on people sometimes."

"I watched her tonight and I said to myself, I said, 'How did you not know this woman?' She's something rare."

Another fan approached, a boy. He dropped the CD he was holding.

"That one's shaking too!" the mob boss exclaimed. "This is incredible."

I looked out at the lights of the Brooklyn Bridge and I remembered waiting in line to speak to her the very first time. I kept fading to the back of the crowd so I could watch her speak to everyone else. I was so touched that she took her time with each and every person-- even sick with the flu, even at 2AM, even when her friends were waiting.

"I like the ones that stay late the best," I told him, gesturing to the small crowd. "They make us possible."


It was 2:30AM. Late May. My first tour. I'd just finished telling Amanda how frustrated I was about everything.

"And I hate the fans! At the end of the night, I just want to be done and crash and they always are hanging out by the bus and you always sign. I hate that."

Her lips grew tight. I could tell I'd said something wrong. But she just got up and walked toward her bunk.

"You will have to find a way to love the fans, Beth," she said, turning back to me. "Otherwise you won't last six months in this job."


Those first days of tour were excruciating for me. I'd just left a very normal 9-5 job where I wore stockings and heels and made bland conversation with my coworkers. Switching to the 24-7, hectic, high-stress and completely foreign world of tour was hard.

I stewed. I stressed. I had a short temper and a bad attitude. I can't imagine I was very pleasant to be around.

And then The Universe sent me what I needed to transform. It sent me a girl with a guitar in Denver. It sent a boy in a dress in Albuquerque. It sent the fans in Texas, every city, who stepped back during Gardener instead of crushing in on Amanda like they did in LA. It sent the brother and sister who came to Houston and Dallas and then let me convince them to come to Austin. The girl was delicate and serious and she gave me a note for Amanda.

She reads them. I know people wonder about that, but she reads them all.


Someone asked me the other day if I was uncomfortable that the fans know who I am.

I'm not.

I feel more connected to the world now that I have the fans in my life than I ever have before.

And I do love them. It didn't take learning. It took lessons.

bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 11:19pm on 09/08/2008 under , , ,
It wasn't really all about the t-shirt.

Someone on The Dresden Dolls forum posted a question asking those of us who work for Amanda how we got our jobs, and if we were fans first.

I started to answer the question there, but I knew my reply would grow too long.

I was a fan first. Still am, most of the time. ;)

The long answer to the first question. )

Here's the short answer: I got the job by dreaming big + being damn good at what I do + working hard and taking risks to get what I wanted... with an assist by fate.

bethofalltrades: (Default)
Back in January, before we knew each other, Amanda posted a blog entry that contained two important things:

1.) A photo I took at the New Year's Eve show
2.) A list of t-shirt slogans she and her companions on tour had come up with.

This caused two things to happen.

1.) I bought a plane ticket to fly to The Dresden Dolls' last show of tour in Virginia, the photograph being a Sign From The Universe.
2.) I decided that Amanda Palmer's wish should be my command.

I'd never silk-screened anything in my life. I found directions online and went to Pearl Paint and spent an evening teaching myself how to do it.

My roommates thought I was crazy.

Thanks to the long signing line at the NorVa concert, I worked up the courage to ACTUALLY GIVE IT TO HER.

She liked it:

She posted it in her blog a few days later:

More recently, she died in it:

And, when fate conspired to give me the opportunity to offer my services to her, I attached the below photo, so she'd put it all together:

(Photo by Fairytale Vegas)

When I was looking for a photo to use with my bio on Post-War Trade, Amanda said I should use that one.

"Because you look hot in it! I hired you because of that photo."
"You're impossible."
"You look confident. Confidence is sexy."


So that is the tale of how the "Text Me" t-shirt came to be, and how it helped me open the door to my New Life, where I get to take photos at concerts all the time and where Amanda Palmer's wish is truly my command.


ps - The shirt will be on sale on Post-War Trade as soon I as print 100 of them. Hopefully mid-next week!
bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 10:26pm on 03/08/2008 under ,
Wow. In about 72 hours I've added more than 150 readers to my little blog.

This kind of blows my mind. Thanks Neil and Kyle. You both rock.

I feel as though I should SAY something.

So I will say this.

I used to guard this blog as if I were protecting state secrets. No one in my face-to-face life knew about its existence. I was, therefore, completely candid, the sort of candid you can only be with strangers.

... of course, people in my real life found me. Friends, a crush or two who read about themselves and (hopefully) were flattered by the depiction.

The blog morphed into a way of keeping up with friends. I shared mundane details of my life with an amusing anecdote or two to help wash down the bland main dish of the thing.

When Amanda and I were getting to know each other, I read her entire blog. I wanted to know as much as I could about her before I committed to her circus.

I did not tell her about mine. It made the getting to know you process a bit unfair. I could stay up all night Googling her and she...

... had to actually talk to me.

Moogie (my mom, aka [ profile] moogiemom, for those of you who are new) kept telling me to send her a link to the blog.

I didn't.

My resistance came from two places.

One, I tend to get both bossy and intimate here, and one does not necessarily want one's prospective employer to read about one's feelings on closeted celebrities or threesomes or crash diets.

Two... the potential for rejection was too high. I didn't want to send her a link and have her say, "Oh, right... yeah, I MEANT to look at that," three weeks later. Three weeks I would have no doubt spent agonizing over whether or not she was judging me (as in point one.)

I find it odd that 150 total strangers reading my blog seems perfectly natural, but when I replace "150 total strangers" with "a person who I trust and care about a great deal," I get all nervous.

Of course, that's probably perfectly natural.

Readers of le blog... how does the thought of your blog being read by people in your daily life make you feel? Is there anyone in particular you'd prefer NOT read it?

bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 05:55pm on 31/07/2008 under , ,
Amanda is dead, again. [ profile] kylecassidy is armed with camera. Neil Gaiman is writing big stories in a tiny black book.

Life is too fucking amazing.

bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 02:14am on 01/07/2008 under , ,
Two days ago I had a dream. In this dream, a key was tattooed on my arm.

A friend told me of her dream two weeks ago. She said the woman told her, "Mary Jo... You have to find new ways to open doors."

Six months ago today I met Amanda Palmer. It was the beginning of the rest of my life.

And so is this.

bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 10:45pm on 26/06/2008 under , ,
So Amanda played with the Boston Pops. I was there, many of you were there and...

My mom was there.

On Friday night, Moogie saw the performance and afterward had occasion to chat with Amanda's mom. (It was almost too much mom-radness in one place.) Moogie did not actually meet Amanda until she came to Amanda's house on Saturday morning to go to brunch.

And their meeting went like this:

Amanda: It's so good to meet you!
Moogie: Amanda, you were amazing last night! And so was your mom.
Amanda: Really? I thought my mom went straight home!

My mom made a perfectly executed "your mom" joke to my boss, the QUEEN of the "your mom" jokes.

I am so proud.

bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 09:57pm on 17/06/2008 under , ,
bethofalltrades: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] bethofalltrades at 09:02pm on 30/05/2008 under , , , ,
Go read Amanda's blog.





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