On a cool and sunny Monday evening in mid-May, P!nk took to the stage at the famed Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles ahead of the premiere of her documentary All I Know So Far. It was the first time the brash performer renowned for belting her tunes while executing complicated feats of acrobatics above the audience had performed live in more than a year. Sporting a billowing yellow dress and a grin from ear to ear, she sang a short acoustic set to a socially distanced audience that included frontline workers. The crowd at the Bowl, which seats 17,500 people, was purposefully thin for the event, but the energy for P!nk and the film was kinetic, especially when she sang her clarion call for outsiders “What About Us” from her Beautiful Trauma (2017) album. The outdoor setting with an audience of people who've been deprived of communal connection these past 15 months was the perfect fit to introduce the documentary that follows P!nk on her Beautiful Trauma tour in Europe during the year or so leading up to shutdowns.
From The Greatest Showman director Michael Gracey, All I Know So Far focuses on P!nk and her immediate family (husband Carey Hart and kids Willow and Jameson) along with her found family of dancers, musicians, backup singers, and crew as she demonstrates what doing it all looks like.
At any given moment, she balances her identities as a performer, mother, wife, businesswoman, friend, and inspiration (especially to queer people and outsiders). It’s no accident that so many songs in her canon speak to othered and marginalized people, like “Fuckin’ Perfect,” “Raise Your Glass,” “Try,” and “What About Us.” The superstar who is set to receive Billboard’s Icon Award for 2021 on Sunday has made it a mission to champion outsiders. And she loves her LGBTQ+ fans. It's evident from the knowing chuckle she emits when a queer fan writes in that she'd never seen so many lesbians before in her life until she attended a P!nk concert.
“The most important responsibility as a human being on this earth is to take care of the earth, and then take care of all of its people. It's important to legislate and to fight and to be vocal,” P!nk tells The Advocate. “It's as important to teach your children to be kind and to be compassionate and open to other people's experiences. I think the worst thing that's happened over the last, I don't know how long, is that we can no longer allow other people their experience, everyone's afraid of everybody else's experience. We've lost the art of communication.”
“Those that are strong enough to fight should fight, they have a responsibility to do so. I think you have a responsibility to be a good person,” she adds.
All I Know So Far — which is also the name of P!nk’s latest single and a new live album that includes covers of “Time After Time” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” — kicks off with a stunning live performance at a massive venue before cutting to an intimate scene between P!nk and her family on their plane (the kids wear matching pajamas). Whether she’s discussing the stage setup for her show at the massive Wembley Stadium, playing the trumpet in her hotel room with Willow and Jameson, or interacting with fans on Twitter, she does it all with humor and heart.
The idea for the film came from Gracey, a friend and collaborator who was impressed with P!nk seamlessly juggling parenting with work.
“He couldn't get over the fact that we're in like this creative meeting and I'm changing diapers at the same time. But that's every working mom,” she says. “He was fascinated by that aspect of it. I was fascinated by the opportunity to capture our family for our children. We come up with these narratives that my mom was this and my childhood was. … I'm sure they'll have their own experience of it.”
“I can't imagine it's easy being my kid, but they'll be able to go back and see it — how much I tried. And how much I tried to do it all and that I was constantly asking that question of Can a woman have it all? And what is all? And what's the compromise? And what's worth it? And what are we doing?” she adds. “None of us know if anything we're doing is working, and we won't know until our kids grow up. But here we are.”
The film is indeed a look into how she does it all — one wonders how anyone possibly catapults around a stadium for two-plus hours and has anything left over — but her connection with outsiders and her LGBTQ+ fans is never far from being in the frame. In a tear-jerking moment in the film, P!nk reads a letter from a lesbian who once found the courage to come out thanks to her authenticity. The letter writer later explains that she once considered harming herself after a breakup but decided against it because she wondered what P!nk would do and realized she’d never give it all up over one girl.
The film cuts from intimate moments of P!nk with her family to behind-the-scenes footage of rehearsals. Willow and Jameson run, roll, and occasionally tumble in and out of the frame as P!nk and her dancers move as a singular entity to her music. At various points, Jameson joins a percussionist at the drum set and Willow learns to tumble in the acrobatic apparatus. There’s a distinct throughline of connection from P!nk to her family to her chosen family to her fans.
“People who have struggled in some way are the most interesting people and they have the most love to give,” she says. “My favorite people are the outsiders. They have the best advice. They have the funniest jokes. They have the most wisdom and the biggest hearts, and we're all very loyal to one another. That's what's so interesting about being human is learning other people's experiences. Doesn't matter what it is. Everybody has a story.”
Fans won’t be surprised that P!nk manages to wow 80,000 people at Wembley before stepping off the stage and being just as inspirational as a mom. She memorably delivered an empowering speech at the 2017 Video Music Awards about girls and self-esteem after a then-6-year-old Willow said she felt ugly. All I Know So Far offers a close-up of P!nk’s world that is filled with empathy and tender moments. But at the end of the day, she’s still a rock star with some solid advice.
“It's important that we all teach the next generations just a tiny bit more kindness, maybe a little bit more of a sense of humor,” she says of haters. “Like, try to chill the fuck out. Go eat some sourdough and shut up.”
Watch The Advocate's full interview with P!nk below. And watch All I Know So Far on Amazon Prime now.