A few holidays are coming up soon--Easter and Passover. If you are lucky (or maybe you think not) you'll spend time with your family and friends. Families are still families even if social moires have changed (I think for the better.)
My husband recently retired from his instrumental music teaching position and I from teaching drama. Our daughters were both theatre majors and heavily involved in music as well. One daughter is still involved in the arts. Her sister became a nurse (which she should have done all along, but everyone has a journey.)
We always have plenty to talk about when we get together and surprisingly it isn't Broadway. We can dish like the best of them, however. Whenever this occurs, I'm sure our sons-in-law don't know quite what to do with us. We try to keep it to a minimum around them.
I thought about this challenge for other members of my family. They need conversational hacks--easy ways to converse with others.
My personal hack is F.O.R.M. ( questions about family, occupation, recreation, money) to create conversation and usually I have little problem talking with others if I initiate the conversation.
It doesn't go very well the other way around.
I bet other arts people have the same problem I do. In fact, I know they do. It's one of the reasons arts people are such good friends with one another--we understand each other, because we are creative people. We try out best to talk sports or politics and sometimes we are successful. Remember, we are chameleons. If there is someone who can change themselves in order to blend with others, it's an actor.
However, if someone would take the time to sincerely converse with us, I think they'd find what we do to be fascinating.
As you read the questions, just stick in art, music, dance or theatre as the project.
Here are some questions you can ask your "artsy" relative.
- What are you working on now?
- How is it progressing?
- Is it ever frustrating? How so?
- What's the best part of the project?
- Do other people help or work with you on it? Who?
- What is their involvement in it?
- Do you work with a budget on the project? If you don't mind my asking, how much money is it?
- Is that the usual budget for a project like this?
- Is this the first project of this kind you've done?
- How is it different from others?
- Do you have a deadline for completion?
- Are you confident you'll make the deadline?
- Are you ever worried about it? What are the worries?
- Does thinking about the project keep you awake at night?
- Is the worry well founded or unrealistic?
- When you visualize the outcome of the project, what does it look like?
- Is there a message you want to convey through it? What is it?
- Have you patterned your project after someone else's? Whose and why?
- Who do you admire who has done this same project or a similar one?
- Why do you admire them?
- Will there be a public exhibition of your project? When is it?
- Will admission be charged to see it? How much does it cost for admission?
- Do you set the price of the admission or someone else does? Who and why?
- What is your most proud moment concerning the project thus far?
- Do you think you'll attempt the project again? Why or why not?
Now you have twenty-five questions (or hacks) to ask your relative or friend while sitting around the table.
Trust me, they are dying to share their work with you.
Just ask them.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or my website DeborahBaldwin.net
I'd love to chat with you!
Thank you to Deborah Baldwin for participating in Friday's Fun and Family-Friendly Guest Posts. Debroah, you are welcome to participate any time.