Amanda Palmer shares the crucial difference between Looking and Seeing, and offers wisdom on the importance of being truly seen as a full human being.
Excerpt from her book, The Art of Asking or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Let People Help.
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I wanted to be seen.
That was absolutely true. All performers -all humans- want to be seen; it’s a basic need. Even the shy ones who don’t want to be looked at.
But I also wanted, very much, to see.
I didn’t quite grasp this until I had been up on the box for a while. What I loved as much as, possibly even more than, being seen was sharing the gaze. Feeling connected.
I needed the two-way street, the exchange, the relationship, and the invitation to true intimacy that I got every so often from the eyes of a random street patron. It didn’t always happen. But it happened enough to keep me up on the box.
And that’s why stripping, even though it often paid way better, when I tried my hand at it a few years later, just didn’t do it for me. I was being looked at. But I never felt seen. The strip joint was like Teflon to real emotional connection. – page 46, The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer