“Thank you so much for auditioning, but we’ve decided to go another route.” Or, “We appreciate you so much for coming out to audition, and while we didn’t cast you…..” Or, “…………………….” nothing. Which, by the way, hearing nothing can be the worst. You check your email 20 times. Every minute. You write an email to your agent asking if they’ve heard anything. You hold out hope till the last second, literally until you know they’ve started shooting that part. Then it sinks in. They didn’t want you.
If you’re an actor, you’ve experienced this. Possibly hundreds of times. The sting of rejection. There isn’t another profession on earth that gets rejected more than an actor. And being the vulnerable, aching artists we are, it freaking sucks. It hurts us to our sensitive artist core. All of the old grade school torment comes back: Not getting picked for the dodge ball team. Never getting tapped in Heads up 7-Up. Opening the Valentine’s envelope to only find one Valentine in there. From your teacher.
It’s almost impossible to brush it off. And even though about 90% of the time it comes down to something we can’t control like our look (which btw still sucks balls), it’s incredibly hard not to take personally.
So why do I bring this up? I do have a point. Land the plane Lisa!
About 3 weeks ago, after wrapping an incredible feature called Ghostlight, I finally was ready to start auditioning again. My creative juices were on fire. I was a lit firecracker and needed a direction to blow up. I auditioned for three projects: a feature, a web series, and a television show.
*Let me preface by talking about auditioning for the television show. I love Portland. The casting office is rad and the CD’s are fantastic. And, they call me down to audition. I’ve been auditioned about 16 times for two major TV shows. Called back too. But I just couldn’t seem to book it. It was incredibly disheartening!
So when I got to audition again, and the part was so good and meaty, I wasn’t gonna mess around. I super duper prepared. I monologued in character out loud, my dear friend Wonder interviewed me in character, I made a music playlist, and I journaled in character. Even in the casting office. And while I was about 10 years younger than the age they were looking for, I didn’t care. I wanted this part.
The next week I received not one, not two, but three rejections. All within an hour of each other. Each one on its own, I could have been ok with. But all three was like a roundhouse kick to my heart. It was impossible to brush it off. And I had my little pity party. I may have cried a bit. Dammit.
After thoroughly trying to figure out another profession and swearing off acting forever, I received an audition for a feature called Different Drummers. And miraculously, I booked it! (Funny how 1 yes can wipe out 100 no’s). As I was sitting in my trailer last week (heyo), it dawned on me: this film is non-union. If I had booked one of those 16 auditions down in Portland I would have had to join the union. And wouldn’t have been able to audition for this film. Holy Crap! And I happy danced in my polyester pants and lime green headband.
Like a diamond in the rough, a needle in a haystack, the center of a Tootsie Pop: there was something great buried under all the poop.
How do you handle rejection?