I have read many amazing articles about auditions. Whether how to prepare, what speeches to pick, or even how to have a good presence in the room. One thing they all share in common: they all mention the high rejection rate.
They will all say ‘it’s normal’, ‘another one comes along soon enough’ and, my favourite one… ‘forget about it and move on’.
I myself am a young Actor and I’ve had my fair share of rejections and I’m sorry but I can’t ‘forget about it’ or ‘move on’. I go home and think about it and wonder what I did wrong? What didn’t they like? Wasn’t I funny enough? Serious enough? Wasn’t I… good enough?
Here is some helpful alternatives to taking an audition rejection and making something productive from it:
I don’t think sitting for ages going over every detail of what happened in the audition room is healthy or helpful. But, there isn’t anything wrong in giving what happened a quick analysis and evaluation.
I recently had a Workshop with a successful Casting Director who spoke about auditions. He mentioned about taking the “No’s” and he said just ask yourself the question “Did I enjoy it?”. You’re more likely to get useful information from that than anything else.
So you have done your audition, you walk out and ask yourself the question… you may answer it with “no I didn’t enjoy it.” That’s because you had to run from the bus to get there so you were out of breath. You messed up on your lines and felt like an idiot. You felt like the Auditioners had a negative vibe and didn’t welcome you. Maybe, you just didn’t have much energy.
Well, there are your answers for next time. You had to run to get there? Get there earlier. Scuffed your lines? Learn them well. The people there were negative with you? They’ve probably been there all day seeing the same thing on a constant loop – surprise them. You didn’t have much energy? Well, give it some oomph!
If you leave thinking you did enjoy it? Well, my friend, there is nothing else you could have done, it’s out of your hands.
The Honest No
I’d like to share with you what a friend shared with me some years ago:
“You may be the most amazing shade of blue, but you’re not quite the blue they need.”
Sometimes when facing a rejection it’s easy to think it’s a problem with you. That isn’t always true.
An audition rejection can just be because someone else fitted the part better. Although this can be disheartening, it’s also worth remembering that Casting Directors won’t forget you. You do a good audition and they will remember you for future auditions.
Whenever I audition I like to think that each audition is an investment for the future. I might not get the part, but they will remember me.
The ‘Forget About it and Move on’ Approach
Okay, I’ll admit it doesn’t work for me but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for everyone. I’m very jealous of people who can use this approach.
This works best if you have lots of auditions coming up and your not counting on that job to pay your month’s rent! But, if you have loads of auditions coming up AND you’re already working on a production, I completely see how it must be very easy to use this method.
Being a Lotus Leaf
Meditate. Simple as that. But seriously go to a few yoga lessons. Move your body in a restorative way and give your mind a moment to just… be. I know this starts to go down the pretentious spiritual path but once you start you will see the benefits.
Meditation is a proven method to make new synapses and create ‘pathways in your brain’. This means you deal with problems in a different way than you usually would. You can take a more ‘stand back approach’ and see the situation for what it actually is and not what you think it is.
Well, there you go. A few things I find helpful when facing an audition rejection. If I’m being honest I use it for far more than that, I use it for everyday life and interviews for real jobs… you know what I mean.
I encourage everyone who reads this to just try it out even if it’s once. No matter how dubious you may feel about it all, I quite confidently believe you will feel better regardless.
John is a graduate of the YEP Actors and Writers courses and is currently studying Acting at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He continues to write his own plays in his own time. He is also an avid football fan and is trying to make his debut into the Liverpool first eleven. Acting was always the plan B.