Rejection (and why it's not as bad as you think) May 21, 2019 1:20:53 GMT -8 James, Rikka, and 6 more like this
Post by Lady Stardust ★ on May 21, 2019 1:20:53 GMT -8
If you're an actor or entertainer of any kind, chances are you're already well aware that rejection is a big part of the business. No one is immune from rejection, even well-known and highly successful people. That being said, being aware that rejection is common doesn't necessarily mean dealing with it is any easier.
The first thing you need to do is reframe how you think about "rejection".
In the majority of cases, rejection isn't actually rejection. It's about selection.
Let's say a casting director receives 100 auditions for a single role (and by the way, it's actually quite common to receive even more than that!) Obviously only one actor can be chosen to play this role...meaning the other 99 actors are "rejected". Does that mean they're all bad actors? Of course not! It simply means that the casting director had to choose one out of those 100 people to play the part, and they chose the one that best fit their or the client's vision. Not getting picked doesn't mean anyone is "rejecting" you; it simply means that someone else was picked instead.
Most of the time, rejection isn't personal.
If you're feeling insecure about not booking, you might worry that a studio or client or casting director "hates you" or clearly has something against you because they're not bringing you in. Unless you did something really egregious that caused you to actually burn a bridge with them (and chances are you'd know about it in that case), the reason you're not booking with them is simply because among the auditions you sent, other people happened to suit those particular roles better. Now it is entirely possible that your auditions aren't competitive enough, but we'll get to that later.
Chances are that what you consider a "bad" booking ratio is actually pretty normal.
Occasionally I've seen people complain that they "only" book about one in every ten auditions they read for and my response is...if you're booking one in every ten auditions, that's actually a really good booking ratio and you should congratulate yourself. There's a reason people describe the daily auditioning grind as "throwing spaghetti at the wall"---you're constantly throwing things out there and seeing what sticks. Most actors do not actually book the majority of the things they audition for. They simply keep auditioning, do their best to forget about the audition afterwards, and then it's a nice surprise to receive a booking email or even better, an auto-cast email. It might seem like an actor you know is booking a ton of stuff, but you're also not seeing all the things they don't book.
Not booking a role doesn't mean auditioning was a waste of time.
It can be tempting to look at all the auditions you didn't book as time wasted that you didn't get paid for, but think of it this way: auditioning is one of the biggest parts of the job. In order to book the jobs that will make you money, you've got to put in the time and work to audition for them in the first place. Auditioning is also great practice, and if you learn a new skill, accent or archetype for an audition you don't book, you never know when it may come in handy in the future.
In addition, even if you're not right for this particular role, there may be incidentals or extras that aren't being auditioned and will simply be cast based on the auditions received for the main roles. And even if you don't end up getting into the project at all, the casting director may keep you in mind for future opportunities if they're impressed by what they hear. There are countless instances where an actor doesn't get booked on a particular project but the client or casting director reaches out to them down the line later to read for something else.
If you're auditioning constantly and yet barely working at all, it may be time to evaluate your current skill level.
Let's be real here and admit that sometimes the reason people almost never book anything they read for is because their acting skills aren't up to par yet. It's important to be able to be honest with oneself about areas where improvement might be needed. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some constructive things you can do:
- Post your recordings for feedback on our Discord server (under #feedback-wanted) or a similar online community.
- Ask a trusted peer or mentor for an honest evaluation of an audition (if they have the time, of course!)
- Get back in class. Look for an acting workshop online or in your area that targets things you need to work on. Getting feedback from an instructor can be a good source of guidance for areas that need improvement.
- Consider working with a voice coach if you can afford one. Even if you can't financially commit to long-term coaching sessions, just working a couple of times with a coach whose style meshes with yours can give you a lot of good feedback to take away. There are many coaches that offer remote sessions if you don't live in a major market.
- Consider factors that go beyond just your acting. For example, if you are submitting for jobs that require you to record from home, how is the quality of your home studio? Even a great actor probably won't get cast for many remote recording parts if they have a low-quality microphone in a big echoey space or they don't know how to properly edit their audition files. Also, are you being unreasonably picky about the types of roles or jobs you want to a point where it's disproportionate to your current skill level?
Don't let the fear of rejection negatively affect your performance.
If you're lacking self-confidence due to not having been booked in a while or you're anxious about what will happen if you don't get cast, this insecurity can come through in your auditions and make you not fully committed to the read. Tell yourself as often as you need to that not getting selected does not mean failure.
Remember that being "rejected" from an opportunity is better than not having an opportunity at all.
Even if you don't book an audition, there is always a silver lining...and that silver lining is that you actually had an opportunity to read for the project. If the audition was through an agent or a closed talent pool, it means you're considered good enough to be on that roster in the first place and receive audition opportunities that not everyone gets. Chances are there are people out there who would have loved the chance to even read for the part, so consider yourself lucky that you got a chance to be heard.
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