Yes, phobia, that weird thing that we have in our language that is listed as such: pho·bi·a (pho·bi·as), strong fear or dislike; an irrational or very powerful fear and dislike of something such as spiders or confined spaces (a phobia about traveling in elevators). Since the day I FOUNDED what became, The Actors’ Network, it was and always has Continue reading
So they’ve asked you the “age” question and you’ve given them a fun, pithy answer (like the ones we discussed in part 1 of this post)…
…but they don’t let the subject drop.
Instead they say: “No, really, how old are you, really. Like, ‘for real-zies’?”
How do you respond then? I have a suggestion.
In fact, it’s one of my all-time favorite responses to use whenever you feel cornered by a question or you think that a conversation is dancing around a deeper issue.
No, they’re not suppose to ask you, but they do.
And you need to have a response to this question ready to go – so you can avoid becoming flustered, or impulsively lying, or letting a defensive tone creep into your voice. Those types of responses can lead the person asking the question to determine that YOU have an issue with your age.
And if YOU have an issue with it… maybe they should have an issue with it too.
The unabridged title of this post is:
How To Get Out Of A Commitment Without Seeming Like A Flaky Actor
Yes, your schedule can be unpredictably unpredictable. It’s very likely that there will be times when you will agree to do something only to have another opportunity pop up that you need or want to do instead…
In the previous post, I gave you some examples of exactly how to firmly but genuinely decline a request. Well, there’s one little thing you can add to your communication that will help the person accept your answer.
When you say something like this:
“I truly appreciate that you thought of me for this – and, although it does appeal to me, in order for me do it, I’d have to back out of something I’ve already committed to and I feel that wouldn’t be right.”
Add something like this:
So, as we were discussing in part 1: when someone has made a request of you that you don’t want to do, you need a sincere yet definitive way to nicely say “no” that lets the person down easy but doesn’t give them any room to wiggle around your answer.
Here are two suggestions – which you can tweak to suit your particular situation and to make your reply genuine and honest:
As you know, building an acting career requires a great deal of your resources – a lot of time, energy, and money.
As you also know, your resources are limited. Very often, the actors who are moving forward are the ones staying focused on what they want to achieve and making wise choices about how they use their resources.
In other words they are “putting their own agenda first.”
Your mom was right when she told you that “please” is a magic word.
I have another magic word for ya – one that no one has probably told you about yet. One that, more often than not, will lower people’s defenses and produce a positive response to your request.
The magic word is:
If you do get a meeting with someone after requesting a very specific amount of their time (as we discussed in part one of this post), make sure that you honor the boundaries of your request.
If you asked for 13 minutes, at minute number twelve say something along the lines of: “I requested 13 minutes and it’s been 12 and I want to respect your time so…”
“Do you have a minute?”
When someone says that to you, you pretty much know you’ll be talking to them for more than a minute. (And if you get out in under ten minutes you count yourself lucky, right?)
“Just five minutes” really means fifteen… and “fifteen” is around a half hour… and, well, you know the drill.
And so does everyone else!