As many can perceive, the performer’s life goes well past the tip of the iceberg, that is the time spent on stage. The fact that we, as performers are on that stage in the first place, is an achievement. The amount of auditions and rejection one must go through before landing a role is substantial. For every successful audition, there are at least two failed ones.
Rejection is a big part of the theatrical industry, and it is something that everyone in the business must deal with. However, instead of dwelling on the pain of getting rejected, let’s focus on the ways you can overcome the feeling of dejection, and how to turn it into something constructive.
The first step (and this might be cheesy, but it holds true) is acceptance. You will have to grow a thick skin and accept that you were not considered perfect for the role, no matter how well you think you did. Rejecting someone could be for several reasons; your style, your appearance, or your material. As a performer, one of the major lessons that you must learn to accept is that there will always be someone better. But do not let that discourage you. Choose to observe those people, learn from them, and let that motivate you to grow into a better performer.
Leading from that, some productions allow you to ask for feedback after receiving a rejection. I would advise you to take this opportunity because it will enable you to evaluate your audition performance and your chosen material. Through a recent audition, I realized that I did not have the right monologue to show off my strengths. This really helped me look over my choices, search for new material, and open myself to different styles.
Lastly, do not shy away from asking tutors or coaches for advice and help to prepare yourself properly for an audition.
The positive you can take from these rejections is that they allow you to evaluate yourself, your perspective, and your work ethic. After receiving at least four rejection emails in one week, I have learned to turn that disappointment into motivation. Managing to control that energy into something productive is one of the best ways to handle rejection in the theatre industry.
My parting advice would be; do not be discouraged. Take a few minutes to digest and accept it and move on to the next one.