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Fate / Red Hot Annie by Paul Natkin (Chicago) - Chicago Burlesque Dancer Red Hot Annie Weinert
She really makes the wieners boil!

Red Hot Annie / Ann Marie Weinert
Date: 2014-02-18 09:22
Subject: Fate / Red Hot Annie by Paul Natkin (Chicago)
Security: Public
Tags:chicago burlesque, paul natkin, red hot annie, viva las vegas burlesque competition
Almost ten years ago, I shot with Paul Natkin for a little clothing company called Evil Kitty...

Earlier this winter, a couple of my younger performers (21-25) mentioned they'd recently shot with a rock star photographer named Paul. Had I ever heard of him? ;)

These days I find myself increasingly tuned in and aware of what's going on around me. It's become a daily, common occurrence for me to say exactly the same thing at the same time as someone else, almost as if I'm in sync with them in this meaningless, random way. All the while, these random people and experiences are repeating themselves in my life, bringing us closer into each other's spheres, and I feel really at peace with the idea that our experiences in life are circular, repetitive, and largely out of our control.

I suppose what I feel is Fate.

Fate is not something I've really put stock or thought into before. I've always believed that I have control, and that I could have chosen to do things differently (for better or worse). But as I coast along, I've become increasingly aware of how many of my daily choices and activities are on "auto-pilot" and the amount of conscious control one has to exert to actually make an impact, let alone CHANGE in our lives or the lives of others.

And no matter how seriously we take ourselves within this life - no matter how present we are and conscientious about making "right" decisions within our life, if a star explodes in another galaxy and we're in the path - light-years away, we'd be gone in an instant - "life" is completely out of our control.

This weekend, as I prepared to debut the 'first draft' of my Viva Las Vegas act, I was momentarily crippled by a sense of fear and panic. I knew, going into the preview, that the act isn't ready to compete with, and 'putting it out there early' is a natural part of MY personal process of creating. I like to be able to step away from my work and look at it from a distance (as one does with a painting)...so this is an important step for me, and something I'm usually able to shrug off as part of my process.

But the fear hit me, and I realized that THIS means something to me - to put together an act like this, to compete, to try to put my best foot forward. Am I trying to prove myself? What am I trying to get something out of this? Why am I doing something so stressful? Am I even good enough? And in spite of how huge I know the world is, I want to control every square inch of it and never feel afraid or ashamed or lost or inadequate.

I stood there, in the dark of the backstage, and took a deep breath. Reminding myself that I'm a small person in a huge building, in a huge city, in a huge state, in a huge country, in a huge world, in an enormous solar system, in a 13 billion year old galaxy, in an ever-expanding universe, I told myself, "Remember this nervousness, savor it - because years from now, you'll relish the fact that you took chances that made you feel this way."

...And I'll be damned if my preview didn't go even better than I hoped!
(It's still not ready to compete, and that video will go to my deathbed with me!!)

So, I suppose this is a very long way of saying that I give up control on where this entire burlesque path will take me. I'm going to focus on the things I love, the things that make me curious and excited, and I really don't care what happens next. I love burlesque, I love performing, but I'm not in this to prove I'm better than someone else or try to topple someone else's dream. I think there's room for everyone, and all I really care about is enjoying the journey and learning new things about myself - to me, it's the only thing worth tasting, savoring, relishing in this life.

And with that, I leave you with a couple pictures I recently took with Paul.
Hard to believe 10 years have gone by so quickly, and yet, here we are back in each other's orbit!

2 SFW Images on Flickr

Images by Paul Natkin - http://natkin.net/

See more of Chicago burlesque showgirl Red Hot Annie - http://redhotannie.com

See Red Hot Annie perform burlesque with Chicago's TOP RATED burlesque ensemble Vaudezilla! - http://vaudezilla.com
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