Juliet Frank

The Centipeep Show!

Throwing Stars on Sunday

Posted on | March 19, 2013 | 1 Comment

Angelic Personnel,

Jesus golly b’gosh! After a rough week last week, I had the most perfect non-birthday I could ever ask for this past Sunday!!!

First of all, y’all know that I am a firm admirer of Ms. Amanda Palmer, no matter what kind of controversy she has stirred up re: her abundantly successful Kickstarter & her unconventional methods of paying musicians and donators.

She is unique in her approach to performance, to life itself really, so why not be unconventional across the board & incite an eye contact riot? I remember last year I declared her “Ginsbergian” for her fearless efforts to “see everyone” and acknowledge especially those who aren’t “fitting in with the crowd.”

So….in my 2 years of following her on Twitter & reading about the “ninja gigs” she was doing at all the Occupy Camps in 2011, I have desperately wanted to tweet her & ask when she would be coming to a place near me, say Tampa, St Pete or Wimauma.

But I never did. Just like I know that God loves everyone except me, I felt that Amanda would love everyone except me too, and I never dared ask her to ‘ninja’ in my area….

So imagine my mixed horror/delight when on Sat 3/16 an announcement went up on the Twittersphere that Amanda and her husband Neil Gaiman would be staying in Sarasota, FL and were looking for a place to do a ninja gig the very next day!!!

(I say ‘horror/delight’ because it meant that I had an undeniable reason to leave my house, be among people & celebrate the birthday I didn’t want to celebrate.)

Within hours of the announcement going up on Twitter, a gig was arranged at Ringling College of Art in Sarasota. And at 2p.m. the next day, there we were, me & my favorite Cookies, in the crowd awaiting the start of the ninja gig.

When Neil & Amanda arrived, they walked right between me & the person I was trying not to stand too close to. I was dumbfounded & silent, though I wanted to “squeeee” and hug. I’m glad I didn’t.

It was an unbelievably gorgeous Florida Spring Day & they took to the stage that was “fancier than any other ninja gig thus far.” There were comfy chairs and working microphones. Neil’s 95-year-old cousins Sidney and Helen were in tow, and they were adorable. (They are the reason Neil & Amanda were in Sarasota.)

Anyways…the show was just a treat. A tiny miraculous tidbit of reality that I was not bargaining for, ever, in my life. Amanda played a song on uke, Neil read a poem, Amanda played a few more songs (including Map of Tasmania!!) and Neil read a brand new passage from an as-yet unpublished short story. A couple more songs and then a brief Q & A, which like most live Q & A’s took a little effort to get off the ground…

I wish they had answered the girl who asked about how to mend a friendship she had fucked up. They promised to talk to her in private after the show >: / Most of the other questions were pretty unimaginative ie, “do you have carpal tunnel syndrome?” They both spent quite awhile answering that, though!!

Anyhow…it was just very special for me that an event like that happened on my birthday & that I didn’t even ask for it, never imagined it happening or anything…and then it did. It was kind of magical.


BUT….sigh…whenever something that amazing happens in my life, it is always, always, ALWAYS followed by something not so amazing….

The very next day we received some drastic news. I won’t quantify it as good or bad right now, but it is drastic & it’s forcing us to make some decisions we weren’t prepared to make for 2 or 3 years. I feel like it will be a GOOD THING in the long run, but right now it’s a stressful crossroads for the hedonist hermitty hobbits we are.

Stay tuned.


Some of y’all asked about “skipping birthdays.” How do you do it & why? I’d like to answer that at length (medium-length) next time, here in The Centipeep Show.

Also next time I hope to have more Singlewood panels for you (I know you love them) and maybe some pure innocent Vogon poetry. I just had to share the Ninja Gig Experience with you today…

…and here are some photos that Amanda herself retweeted after the show. They are all taken by different folks who were there (not by me) and I hope they don’t mind me sharing them here [(i doubt it…) Go to Amanda's twitter if you want to know whose photos they are]



more love

more love

The book table. Everyone (except me) brought books to exchange

The book table. Everyone (except me) brought books to exchange


One Response to “Throwing Stars on Sunday”

  1. tony egler
    March 20th, 2013 @ 8:31 am

    Happy Post Non-Birthday, Ninja Gig Miracle, OMG we have change our lives and be the nugets we want to be and not the ones the world is trying to make us day!

    It great meeting your friends Amanda and Neal. I hope we can catch up with them someday and chat about life, art and surviving in an ever changing world. I was so inspired by the realness of it all.

    The universe must love you as much as I do to have given you such a gift as last Sunday. I say we build the rest of our live on what we learned by looking at the faces of everyone there. There is hope and we found it at a Ninja Gig.


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