ūüé∂ It’s the mooooost wonderful tiiiiime of the yeeeeeear…

With the kids jingle-belling and everyone telling you to MAYBE START THINKING ABOUT A PGCE BECAUSE YOU WERE ALWAYS SUCH A CLEVER CHILD AND AUDITION FOR EMMERDALE AND PERHAPS ITS TIME TO COME BACK FOR GOOD AS THE PROPERTY LADDER ISN’T GETTING ANY SHORTER AND THE MORTGAGE ADVISORS WILL LAUGH IN YOUR VERY FACE ON THOSE WAAAAAGES ¬†ūüé∂

Ah the family Christmas. You can run but you can’t hide. Even if you have spent the last 11 months avoiding home like the plague “incase an audition comes in” – Someone’s now conveniently made a holiday where nobody cares about your availability for anything except the 3pm megabus back to Blighty. Here is a brief version of my own festive times since graduating and trying to be an actual adult doing acting for an actual job 5 years ago.

 

2010 – Fresh from the womb of Welsh College Got me a seasonal temping job in Ann Summers Cardiff to afford my London deposit. Spend Christmas Eve price tagging dildos and Boxing Day dealing with the returns. But it’s all okay though because I’m moving to London to be rich and famous.

2011 – 10 months in London. So very poor. So¬†not famous. So very grateful for the pigs in blankets – I’ve not been able to afford meat since February.

2012 – Panto. Leeds. Whole family came up and spent Christmas in the Radisson Blu. Mum put a Christmas tree up in the hotel room and Gramma didn’t have to cook dinner for the first time in 50 years. As a result all went a bit mad at the routine being upset. I of course blame myself and my chosen career.¬†Turkey wasn’t a patch on hers and we got stoically drunk and fell asleep by 9pm.

2013 – Panto. Stoke on Trent. Drove down the motorway for 6 hours with my Dad after the evening performance feeling about as festive as gastroenteritis. Spent approx 20 hours in a manic Christmas frenzy like a sailor on leave. Left Bridgend at 6am on Boxing Day with Turkey sandwiches in cling film for a 2pm matinee. Cried for a considerable amount of the way.

2014 – See 2011 for further information

2015 – I’ve just finished my finest role as an elf called Sparkles in a grotto. If I can’t make your child sit on Santa’s lap, smile on say “jingle bells” for the camera – no bugger can.

As you can see, a wide range of festive settings have befallen me. However, no matter what circumstance you find yourself spending the holidays in, here are several helpful tips that I have written for surviving the actors Christmas.

 

Do

Eat all the free food. All of it. The gym will still be there in January.

See all your friends from home. Go to the family thing. Realise they all like you no matter how many organs you are going to have to sell to pay your tax bill in January.

Have a lay mans answer for “in anything at the minute?” – it’s going to come at you like Cliff Richard on Crack. Aunty Geraldine isn’t going to understand or care that your taking a break to look further into yourself as an actor within the Meisner technique, but she may still appreciate the episode of doctors you did in 2010.

Write down absolutely every funny thing anyone¬†in your family says. You may very well have a live and undiscovered Pinter play in front of your very eyes. And he got massively rich from it didn’t he?

Take all of the food home with you. Put it in the freezer. When’s the last time you had the time/inclination to make yourself actual swede from scratch? Exactly. I cannot possibly hammer¬†this home hard enough. Play it¬†right and that shit will see you through to spring.

 

Don’t

Worry about your career. It’s Christmas Day. Your agents pissed and in their pyjamas. They don’t give a shit today and neither should you. Give yourself a break.

Spoil all the Christmas specials your family have been looking forward to since November by loudly exclaiming “Done him”, “He was in Sophie’s year at RADA” “OH MY GOD HASN’T SOMEONE DONE WELL SINCE THAT LITTLE COFFEE WITH *insert Casting directors name*. BROWN NOSE.”

Spend all your seasonal work money in the local pub. Yes I know you can get a whole round for ¬£20 but if you by 6 of them you’re still going to be poor. And you don’t have ¬£20 anyway.

Compare your London life with your friends lives back home. You’re all doing things differently. That’s as cool as a snowman’s nut sack (Yeah I’m really pushing it with the Christmas puns here aren’t I?! Wrap it up Salty.)

 

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I hope you’re lucky enough to be spending it with people who love/like/think you’re a total mental but fun – and if you’re not I hope you’ve got a lush day of justifiably doing sod all planned. A whole year has happened and if you’re still reading this I’m guessing you’re still here. Still plugging away. Well done. Next year we are all going to be incredibly rich and famous.

Now get off your phone and on to the cheese and biscuits. And don’t you even think about checking your IMDb rating while you’re here. Santa sees you.

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Katie Elin-Salt

Katie is an actor, singer and musician from Bridgend in South Wales now living in London. She has done some nice bits of work in all these things over the last few years that she’s chuffed with.

Aside from this – most commonly known Princess Elsa on weekends, she has also starred as Peppa Pig and Supergirl in various children’s parties across the UK. You may also recognise Katie from working in the returns section of Ann Summers Cardiff at Christmas 2010. Series Regular of Judge Judy (Playing person watching it on the sofa whilst once again not in the gym)