Being in the entertainment industry is not easy, especially with the recent SAG-AFTRA Strike – which is finally over, and the contracts are being reviewed. If you are part of this field, then you know what it is like to be exposed to snarky comments from family members related to your interests and career. This can be especially tough during the holidays, given this is when families come together.
You may be one of those people who tend to avoid family gatherings due to these comments, along with the fact that your family doesn’t understand your field of work. Well, if you learn how to handle such situations, you might find the holiday season more pleasant. To help you out, we have created a guide that can teach you how to make the upcoming festivities more bearable.
What’s your backup plan?
One of the most irritating questions that often get asked at family gatherings is whether you have another plan for the future. This can only make you realize that many relatives don’t get your job seriously. Especially during the SAG-AFTRA Strike, people in the entertainment industry got a lot of comments about their jobs not being real or not having any future.
If you get such a question, explain to your family members what is happening in the entertainment field. Or, you can use humor as your shield and keep the situation on a positive note. For instance, responding with “What’s yours? Is that a trend going on today?” can be a safe way to get out of a serious conversation you want to avoid.
I’ve never seen you in anything.
This is another comment that can really strike a nerve- especially at a holiday gathering! With so many changes in our biz and navigating getting work as an artist in entertainment and the recent SAG-AFTRA Strike, actors, writers, and entertainers often find this question a bit disheartening and may feel the need to defend their career on all fronts. Bottom line: The concept of creation and performance is delicate, and it is not easy to get on top.
However, you are not obliged to explain yourself to someone who knows nothing about your field. Instead, try a comment like, “My style of work might not be something you can relate to” or “You have probably missed it”. You can use a little bit of humor to avoid tension and follow-up questions and always deflect them by saying something like, “What have you done that I may have seen?” This is always a great way to lighten up the conversation with non-creatives.
How much do you earn as an actor/writer?
Asking about someone’s salary is inappropriate, even among relatives. However, because people think of actors and writers as special kinds of professionals, they tend to ask this question a lot.
If you don’t want to get into all of that, try getting out of the conversation. For instance, find a family member and say you need help with something in the other room. Explaining why you don’t want to answer this question might get a lot of your energy and spoil your mood. So, ignoring it might be the best way to enjoy the holidays with the family. Or, simply put, just say, “I don’t feel comfortable answering that question,” and then keep it moving.
In entertainment, you get used to being asked inappropriate questions about your job. People got (and still are) incredibly nosy or inconsiderate regarding the recent SAG-AFTRA Strike and its impact. However, using wise strategies to deal with snarky comments and questions is a solution for having a delightful holiday season. Above all else, keep in mind that most people mean no harm and are just simply curious about what we do as actors, writers, and creatives. So it’s important to keep your defenses down and just enjoy the holidays!
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