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Coping With Rejection – A Guide For Actors

If you’re an actor, you might have asked yourself once or twice “What is wrong with me for choosing to be an actor?”. Because let’s face it, the world of acting is a rollercoaster of emotions, filled with highs and lows. While the highs are exhilarating and fulfilling, the lows can be incredibly challenging to navigate. We can easily become trapped in our own heads and it can be hard to get out! We start to bring ourselves down this bog of eternal stench that consumes our minds with negative thoughts like: “I’m not good enough”, “I suck”, “I will never book that”, “I’m not talented”, and the list goes on…

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One of the toughest aspects of being an actor is dealing with rejection. It’s an inevitable part of the industry though. Rejection is just something we have to look at in another way, because no matter how much it hurts… it really doesn’t have to be a soul-crushing experience. We love to act, but we don’t need to be so dramatic about not getting the part all the time. I promise there will be more (as long as you don’t give up), and you ARE GOOD ENOUGH. That role was just better suited for someone else this time.
So that’s all fine and dandy, but how do we start changing our mindset and coping with this rejection so we can rise like a phoenix from the ashes of negativity? Let’s check it out!


Start By Realizing That Rejection Is Inevitable

First and foremost, it’s crucial to recognize that rejection is an integral part of an actor’s journey. Even the most successful actors have faced rejection countless times in their careers. It’s not a reflection of your talent or worth as a person; rather, it’s often a subjective decision made by casting directors, producers, or other decision-makers. Understanding this fundamental truth can help you depersonalize rejection and reduce its emotional impact. Let me say that one more time… It’s not a reflection of your talent or worth as a person; rather, it’s often a subjective decision made by casting directors, producers, or other decision-makers.

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Easier said than done, right? But learning not to take rejection personally is a vital skill for actors. It’s our skill for survival! Remember that casting decisions are often based on factors beyond your control, such as age, appearance, chemistry with other cast members, and the director’s vision. Instead of dwelling on why you were rejected, focus on what you can control: your craft and your dedication to improvement.

Seek Constructive Feedback. It Helps!

Sometimes, rejection can provide valuable insights into areas you can work on to improve your craft. If possible, reach out to casting directors or audition panels for constructive feedback. Be open to criticism and use it as an opportunity for growth. Remember that feedback is meant to help you become a better actor, not to tear you down. Yes, it can still hurt, but just know that this is to help you grow and book more. Not to make you feel worse at the end of the day.


Develop Resilience

Rejection can be tough, we know this… But, it’s also an opportunity to build resilience. Embrace rejection as a chance to prove your determination and commitment to your craft. Remember the famous quote from Thomas Edison: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Each rejection is one step closer to your next success! Keep growing, Keep learning.

Stay Persistent

Success in the acting industry often comes to those who persevere. Keep auditioning, attending workshops, and honing your skills. The more auditions you attend, the better your chances of landing a role. Remember that many actors faced numerous rejections before achieving their breakthroughs. It also helps you build confidence which is so important!


Build a Support System

Surround yourself with a strong support system that includes friends, family, and fellow actors who understand the challenges you face. Sharing your experiences and feelings with others can provide emotional relief and remind you that you’re not alone in your struggles. Try avoiding people who bring you down and only want to add to your bog of eternal stench seeping in your mind. You don’t need them adding to that nasty stink!

Diversify Your Skills

While waiting for that dream role, consider diversifying your skills. Take on smaller acting gigs, explore different acting styles, or even consider branching into related fields like directing or writing. Expanding your skill set can open up new opportunities and help you stay engaged and motivated. You can also meet new people this way and create relationships that can help further your career as an actor. So don’t shut down the possibility of learning new things.


Stay Positive and Self-Care

Maintaining a positive mindset is essential in dealing with rejection. Practice self-care by exercising, meditating, or pursuing hobbies outside of acting. A positive outlook can help you stay motivated and resilient throughout your acting journey. In fact, this is one of the BIGGEST overlooked problems in our industry.

All in all, dealing with rejection is an inherent part of an actor’s life, but it doesn’t have to define your journey! By understanding that rejection is common, not taking it personally, seeking constructive feedback, developing resilience, staying persistent, building a support system, diversifying your skills, and practicing self-care, you can navigate rejection more effectively and continue pursuing your passion with determination and grace. Remember, every “no” brings you one step closer to your next “yes.”

YOU ARE IMPORTANT AND YOU HAVE A DESTINY TO FILL. No you might not have booked that last job, but just think about the role that waits for you! Don’t forget: You are always perfectly cast at just the right moment. So go my friend, smile big, shine bright and never give up on yourself or your dreams!

Picture of By: Shannon Scott

By: Shannon Scott

Hi, I'm Shannon! A performer and motivator who has always loved to make others smile through the art of entertainment. Thanks for taking the time to read my posts, listen to my podcast and following me for motivation! Best wishes my friend. Keep smiling and NEVER give up!

Want More? Check out my podcast!

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