“Actors are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime.” -David Ackert
I hate making excuses. But as I mentioned in my last post, there’s a difference between having an obstacle and having a “lazy day where I’m going to drink and not do work”…which turns into a lazy month. (Please don’t get me wrong. We’re allowed a lazy day every now and then. Just not everyday. Not in this industry). That being said, there are times when you are allowed to take a step back and acknowledge that this business is really freaking hard. How can it not be when you’re constantly facing rejection and supposed to keep trucking along like nothing happened?
What I like to do is take some time to acknowledge what happened. Depending on the rejection depends on how hard I take it. Let’s take yesterday for example. I had an audition for a talent agency downtown. This particular agency has several offices across the country and from what I understand are very new to Chicago. Because of this, I didn’t know what to expect. But there’s nothing to loose, so why not apply? I had a meeting with them just yesterday, and…..it didn’t go well. I spent an hour and a half waiting in line, listening to a talk on what their company was about, and then got called into a room with someone only to learn that I didn’t have the availability they wanted.
I was upset to say the least. While I wasn’t able to learn more about them, this seemed like a great opportunity for me. When will I get another chance like this?
If you had asked me last night, I would have said, “Never!” and then continued to listen to my Pandora station while being grumpy the entire train ride home. After waking up this morning however, I felt different. I felt recharged and ready to work. Granted, I was going to work as a waiter…not quite the work I was ready to do. But I felt good nonetheless. I had several thoughts running through my mind that I wish to share with you all now.
Be patient. Last night I was convinced I’d never have a chance of getting an agent again. SO not true. More opportunities will show up as you continue to work and put in the effort to find them. Yes it will take time. But that happens. It’s not always fun, and no one likes waiting. But it’s part of the game.
Be positive. Not sure if other actors will agree with me on this part. Earlier I mentioned how if I’m upset, I’m going to take time to be upset. I started doing it after watching an episode of “Cheers” (Woo Boston pride!). There’s a moment where Sam Malone, former Red Sox pitcher, was given a chance to appear in a big television interview. Mid interview, a new story broke out about a newer athlete. The interview immediately ceased so that they could focus on said athlete. Sam was crushed. One of his coworkers later tried to cheer him up, Sam told her “I will put the past behind me and tomorrow I’m going to feel better, but tonight I’m gonna feel bad.”
So maybe that’s not being positive.
What I do is give myself SOME time to be upset. But then be ready to bounce back tomorrow.
Also, I don’t want to give the impression that I get upset after EVERY rejection. Some are harder than others. But if you do find yourself getting frustrated from auditions frequently, check out Zachary Durand’s blog post about auditioning. And then follow him on twitter if you really wanna get inspired.
And with that, I’ll end with the David Ackert quote I started with. This entire quote does not necessarily relate to this post. But I wanna share it regardless.
“Every day, actors face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they’ll never work again. Every day, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream. With every role, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgment. With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life – the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why? Because actors are willing to give their entire lives to a moment – to that line, that laugh, that gesture, or that interpretation that will stir the audience’s soul. Actors are beings who have tasted life’s nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another’s heart. In that instant, they were as close to magic, God, and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes.”