"So, what have you been in recently?" (Navigating Holiday Party Hell)

Tis' the season of holiday parties and that probably means you've been getting this question A LOT:

"So, what have you been in lately?"


"What are you working on?"

or, worst yet,

"Are you still acting?"

Take a deep breath. 

In most cases, these questions are not meant to make you feel panicky or small. 

More often than not, it's just a friendly person trying to make small talk. And if you are in the middle of a project right now, or just closed a show, you probably don't mind this question at all! 

But, if you've had a slow fall, (as many actors do) let's talk about how to navigate that conversation. 

My #1 tip for navigating the holiday party minefield is: 

Model the behavior you want to see. 

"What have you been working on lately?" is a automatic question many of us ask at holiday parties where actors congregate. It's a default setting. 

Flip the script by starting the conversation on your own terms. 

If you want to talk about theatre, try asking them: 

"What's a project you've done that you were really proud of? Doesn't have to be recent!"

Friends, this is a WAY better conversation starter.

We all have projects we're proud of. I personally, did an AMAZING puppet show in the 2nd grade that receives raves to this very day.  

Of course, if you don't feel like talking about theatre, there are a million other great ways to start the conversation on the right footing: 

The basic: 

"Any plans for the holidays?"

The controversial: 

"Christmas music before Thanksgiving--yea or nay?"

The oddly-specific-with-an-ulterior motive: 

"What's your feeling on terrible made-for-TV Christmas movies? Are you fan? If so, have you seen Christmas Wedding Planner. Want to leave this party and go watch this travesty/masterpiece right now?!"

You get the idea...

You do you! 

Do a really honest assessment of the kind of small talk you're initiating at parties.You may notice you're asking the very same kind of questions that make you uncomfortable. (Don't beat yourself up--we all do it!)

But try to start modeling the kind of behavior you want to see and you'll be amazed how the quality of your conversations improves.

Or, you can always skip the party and watch Christmas Wedding Planner

The choice is yours.

<3 Sara Glancy 

P.S. Want to get your audition book in shape for the new year? Take 10% off all song coachings when you purchase before Dec 25th by using the code "Santa19" at checkout! 


Sara Glancy is an NYC actor and the founder of Audition Rep Matchmaker, a service that helps match actors with the audition materials that will book them jobs.

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Photo by Jessica Osber.

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