Dealing with Rejection for Actors

Dealing with Rejection for Actors

Actors are used to rejection, right? Thick skins, it’s no problem for them. Really? Dealing with rejection for actors can be tough.

The life of most actors is built around rejection. Day in and day out. 99% of auditions an actor attends they will be rejected for.

It is, without a doubt, a seriously tough life. The bottom line is, you really need to want to be an actor!

Now, actors themselves know that the rejection can be tough. Who really wants to hear ‘No’ again and again?

How do actors deal with rejection generally? Well, some will bitch and moan and whinge which is not a particularly production solution. Others will hit the booze, or the numbing agent of their choice. Again, probably not the best solution.

So for those that deal with rejection in a positive manner, what does that look like?

Coping positively

The first thing to realise is that 99% of the rejection you will face as an actor should not be taken personally. It’s difficult, but it’s true.

Often a director, a casting director or a producer will have a definite look in mind. They know it when they see it. The bottom line is that there’s nothing you can do about it. When they reject you, they’re not actually rejecting you. It’s nothing personal.

Worth remembering too that the people hiring you have got a huge amount invested in the project, money, time, reputation and so on. It’s essential they get the right people for their project.

Best Strategies

All well and good, but rejection (whatever the motivation of the person rejecting) never feels nice and can be tricky to negotiate. So what are the best strategies in dealing with rejection for actors?

  • Think about what you can control. You can control you. That’s about it. Make sure you are properly prepared, you’ve done the research you need to. The look you’re arriving at the audition in should hint at the character without going over the top. Know your lines, listen to the instructions and do your best.  
  • Try and live a healthy life. Don’t hit the numbing agent of your choice when you don’t get the job. Generally that will just lead to greater anxiety down the road.
  • Chill out. Go with the flow. Learn to relax properly and deeply. Many actors find meditation helpful, not just in day to day actor’s life, but also in performance preparation.

If you’ve done all that and given it your best then you can hold your head up high whether you got the part or not. It won’t become another missed opportunity.

Quite often when actors feel rejection hitting them hard it can be because they don’t feel like they did their best. They missed something, weren’t properly prepared. Don’t be that actor.