I know that heading home for the holidays (or even on a family Zoom call) emotions can get triggered, questions get asked + expectations for perfection are high.
You may find yourself sitting at the dinner table feeling the need to explain yourself and your acting career more than ever.
This is easy to do when you’re working. It’s fun to share what you’ve “been in lately” or where everyone can tune in to “catch you next.”
But what about those times where you don’t feel you have “anything to show for your efforts?”
Inquiries about your “actor-life,” can start to trigger frustration, self-doubt or even sadness.
If you don’t take time to quiet your mind this season (or anytime of year), it will continue to judge + label everything you do as good or bad.
Even though it may feel like inquiries about your acting career sting, the real issue is that you’ve come to the table already labeling yourself as bad or a failure or a fraud if you
- haven’t booked anything in a while.
- aren’t making a real living acting.
- have siblings with “real jobs” who are thriving.
- ____________(whatever story you tell yourself of why you are “not enough”)
It’s your own shame, blame, fear, frustration and harsh judgment that other people’s questions are most likely bringing up within you.
Here are 5 Tips For Peaceful Holiday Gatherings + How To Answer Questions About Your Acting Career
- Take a moment BEFORE you sit down to any holiday gathering to quiet your mind + make peace within you.
- Soften your OWN judgment about where you are or the feeling that you “should be further along right now.”
- Do not use questions as an opportunity to defend yourself, but rather to share your vulnerability.
You could simply reply to “How’s the acting career?” with “I’m enjoying the journey + excited for what is ahead”
They might say, “Why, what’s ahead?” and you can reply with, “I have no idea, but that’s what makes it so exciting.”
- Take nothing personally + simply answer from your heart (which only loves), not your mind (which only labels).
- Keep your answers brief + ask more questions.
Ultimately people love to talk about themselves, so feel free to throw the question right back with, “How are things with you? What was the most fun you had this year?
The key is to answer any question from a state of pure unconditional love (for yourself + the inquirer).
Many people outside the industry are well-meaning, but sincerely don’t know the questions to ask an actor. Others are simply critics + will always find fault in those who are courageous.
Best-selling author, Brene Brown, reminds us that:
“Vulnerability is the most accurate measure of courage.”
In fact it was her own naysayers in the height of her recent TED Talk fame that led her to this Theodore Roosevelt quote (and the title for her recent best-seller, Daring Greatly.)
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,
because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;
but who does actually strive to do the deeds;
who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
Pursuing an acting career takes courage, effort, determination, perseverance, patience + most likely, blood, sweat + tears.
Know that no matter how many new credits you added to your resume this year, that you are among the bold, the brave + the few who dare greatly each and every day. Be proud you are in the arena.
Keep in mind that the person who asks you, “Are you’re making a good living acting?” might be doing well financially, but may secretly wish they were as brave as you, who has the courage to follow your dream in the face of uncertainty.
Ultimately, you’ll never really know what’s going on in the minds of other people, but when you quiet your own, you’ll discover that who you are right now is more than enough.
Leave a comment below + let me know your favorite takeaway. I love hearing from you.
Wishing you peace, serenity, love + joy this holiday season and always.
Love + Gratitude,
P.S. I”m kicking off the New Year helping actors gain clarity, eliminate overwhelm + jumpstart your best year yet. Get on my VIP Waitlist here + be the first to know about my free events!
26 thoughts on “5 Tips For Peaceful Holiday Gatherings + How To Answer Questions About Your Acting Career”
Today’s ActorInspiration nailed it, Wendy. Thank you so much!
So glad you loved it. (And that my tools are helping you ROCK your career!)
Congrats on it all!
I 100% agree and shared part on FB with a hashtag shout out to you, Wendy. Mahalo for your inspiration.
Thanks Beth! Love that. Happy Holidays!
thank you for this, this was very helpful
do you have daily declarations and morning mindset mantras, for every month of the year
I only have 4 of them
So glad this helped you! Within each blog post (usually the graphic) is the mindset mantra.
As for a list of them, in January, Monthly Mindset Mantras will be given as a bonus to actors in my Spotlight Club. You can sign up for a free 30 day trial here.
Either way, thanks for being such a loyal fan of ActorInspiration!
Wendy, thank you so much for the Actor Inspiration this morning. I needed to hear that so badly! Thanks for separating the story our mind tells versus the story our heart tells. I will start practicing this quieting of my mind and tuning into my heart so that I’m ready for any events this holiday season and beyond.
Much love and light!
You are so welcome! I love that this really spoke to you as deeply as it did that you were open to the message. It’s really a daily practice – tuning into the heart quieting the mind. Here’s to a peaceful holiday season!
Today’s Actor Inspiration was right on time for me!! Thanks for sharing! Happy Holidays!
Love knowing this! There are so many divine messages all around us. Glad your heart was open enough for your soul to hear it!
You are ALWAYS spot on. This piece was so perfectly timed and insightful-I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard already agonizing over the questions they’ll get at Christmas dinner. Thank you for this and all of your articles!
I feel like you’re really talking about the true of life an actor (and strangely enough that’s the only part NO ONE wants to talk about). Everyone wants to brag on this credit, that credit or complain about this reader or that scene partner but that’s all along the wayside. The REAL endeavor, the ACTUAL work of this profession is calming your mind, knowing yourself, understanding how you are perceived as you move through the world and then using your clear mind to navigate your voice, body, mind, eyes, etc in tune with those realities.
You are one of a SMALL handful of people who are ACTUALLY talking about Acting and Being An Actor as it IS. Thank you for keepin’ it 100!!!
I am very very grateful for your words
You are so welcome! Thank you for your kind words awesome description of the “actual” work we do in this profession. You are spot on too!
I’m grateful to be part of your journey as an actress am thrilled that you found this article so insightful. Enjoy the season.
Hi Wendy! This is a wonderful and heartfelt article. My husband William and I are also glad that were following and living our dream. 🙂
Thanks so much for your sweet acknowledgment. You and your husband are lucky indeed!
I read this right before going to bed and it was a comfort to me. It helped me quiet my mind and sleep more soundly.
This is music to my ears! It is always my intention when I write to speak directly to your heart, help you quiet your mind inspire you in some way. And hey, sleeping more soundly is an AWESOME benefit! Here’s to a peaceful holiday season 2016!
“Many people outside the industry are well-meaning, but sincerely don’t know the questions to ask an actor. Others are simply critics will always find fault in those who are courageous.”
“Keep in mind that the person who asks you, “Are you’re making a good living acting?” might be doing well financially, but may secretly wish they were as brave as you, who has the courage to follow your dream in the face of uncertainty.”
This. yes. oh this article popped up a moment after a ridiculous family flare up over this VERY judgement.
Thank you, boo~
You are so welcome lovely lady! Taking nothing personally is always a good idea, although not always easy to do…especially with family. Keep going Shantala!
This is one of your Great ones!
Actor Inspiration is truly the Perfect name for your site
Thanks so much
Wishing you and your Family and all loved ones a very Merry Christmas and Blessed and prosperous New Year
Happy Holidays to all and to all a Good Night
Thanks Freddie! So glad this one inspired you.
Happy Holidays to you your family too!
Thanks Wendy! This was beautiful advice! Love it!
So glad this spoke to you! Enjoy the holidays.
I am so very grateful for you and your weekly emails. They touch my soul, bring me joy and truly are actor inspirations.
Bless you and happy holidays!
Great suggestions and advice for any time of the year! Wendy, thank you and best wishes for a fantastically satisfying 2022.
You are so welcome! Glad this spoke to you!