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Setting Expections - Chicago Burlesque Dancer Red Hot Annie Weinert
She really makes the wieners boil!

Red Hot Annie / Ann Marie Weinert
Date: 2011-05-04 09:03
Subject: Setting Expections
Security: Public
Every day things around me seem to be becoming clearer. I can see the next level and I think I know how to get us there! If not for the hard knocks and politics, I think I'd be really muddy about what to do next. But watching and learning about the people in the community and how we each respond to different/similar experiences in different/similar ways, I feel like there is *almost* a very tangible "do/don't" list that serves as a dependable guide in how to interact with eachother.

There are obvious ones like "don't take someone else's act/name" and there less obvious ones like "do overcommunicate when you are about to do something that might piss someone else off" - it's amazing how much easier life is when everyone's expectations are out in the open.

No one likes surprises that make them feel like they've been tricked or taken advantage of - and I think this is a very common source of hurt feelings that can be avoided in the community. I've been on both ends of it - the surpriser and the suprisee - and in both cases, there's been heartache and, in some cases, what appears to be irreparable damages.

Didn't pay your performers because the venue didn't make money? Should have set expectations.
Considered yourself part of a group but didn't make cut? Should have set expections.
Took over someone else's venue? Should have set expectations.
Wanted someone to be exclusive to your group? Should have set expectations.
Wanted to leave group without causing 'drama'? Should have set expectations.
Wanted to do a spoof on someone else's act? Should have set expectations.

(And yes, there are some people who can't be reached, regardless of how hard you try to communicate - but in the end, I don't think there's *anyone* who can stop you from doing burlesque, being damn good at it, and getting the deserved recognition for it - but they sure can make it a longer and harder path!)

I think people are really afraid of communicating, because I think that sometimes they think the end result is going to be more painful than just suffering in silence or taking revenge later. I think what's hardest is getting over the knot in your stomach that develops when you know you have to tell someone something they might not want to hear...but then again, sometimes I think the hardest part is getting over the knot in your head that tells you that you don't owe them an explanation (guilty!).

Yes, I don't OWE you an explanation, but in the end, my life is going to be easier if I just tell you what I'm going to do and prepare that it might hurt your feelings. It's an arrogant artform, burlesque - full of soloists and dazzle and "I thought of that firsts" - most of which go without any kind of validation. And it's no wonder that we sometimes feel so entitled to our right to do whatever we want whenever we want.

For a long time, especially early on, I was afraid of the things that I was writing about - afraid that what I had to say would piss people off...but you know what, I think it actually set expectations. When people read my rants, they know I'm going to touch on some things that 'shouldn't' be talked about, like the politics of this artform. They know that I'm going to occasssionally reference someone who very well might be reading. (Sorry!) But, for every one person who reads this and feels a little sting of recognition, there are dozens of people who are reading it and learning something from my experiences, and - hopefully - finding ways to improve on how I do things!
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AynAtonal: life the stage
User: aynatonal
Date: 2011-05-04 15:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:life the stage
YES! I think setting and managing expectations is one of the most important things you can do as a producer, and your list of touchy situations that can go awry when you don't do that is superlatively good.
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Red Hot Annie / Ann Marie Weinert
User: redhotannie
Date: 2011-05-04 15:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks! I thought of others after the fact, too! So many issues that are easily avoided by a simple "I'm going to..." or "It's possible that..."
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User: pamelaneko
Date: 2011-05-04 17:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Spoofing someone's act!!?! LOL!
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Red Hot Annie / Ann Marie Weinert
User: redhotannie
Date: 2011-05-04 17:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Someone did that, believe it or not! It was one of the main reasons behind a very major rift that occured just before you started performing!
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