How do you deal with audition rejection?
I've had many opportunities to play wonderful characters over the years but, like any actor, I've missed out on roles, dealing with the perceived rejection in varying ways, good, bad and just plain ugly.
It doesn't matter how well prepared we think we are for a 'no', it's always painful. We relive each moment of our audition in detail, going over and over the things we wish we had done differently.
A 'no feels like a punch in the chest.
There's the intense disappointment.
You were so sure.
You did everything right.
And then we begin to seek ways to sooth our damaged egos. The most destructive way we do this is blame and criticism.
The casting panel don't know what they're doing.
I was better than her but she's a favourite.
The process was flawed.
I was always at the back of the group and they couldn't see me.
And then it gets worse...
I was crap.
I didn't sing well.
I forgot my lines.
I'm not good enough.
You cannot keep doing this. If you're going to put yourself through this every time you do an audition, you will end up hating what you love.
EVERYONE has to deal with audition no's - EVERYONE!
Please, for the love of gaff tape, understand that one audition is not the measure of your self worth or value as a performer. It's life in the theatre.
Take the 'no' and acknowledge your disappointment. You're allowed to be sad. But then shift your focus to the next audition. Each time your self talk shifts back to the shoulda, coulda, woulda's, tell yourself, 'NO', and refocus on what's ahead of you.
You may have to do this many times a day for a while. You must feed your mind a positive forward thinking message because if all you feed it is negative and critical, you will stay in your funk for far too long, taking it with you into future auditions.
You're not ignoring the pain. You're acknowledging it and then taking control of it. Let your no's strengthen you.
Sherryl-Lee Secomb is the creator of An Idiot On Stage.
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