It’s not only the rejection that actors need to deal with; it’s the ‘I was so damn close’ situation one must somehow learn to brush off!
Two recent stories…
I went to my first TV audition at the BBC a couple of weeks ago. It was for Doctors and I had to play the role of a Colombian woman. Man, it was literally SO much fun preparing for it. Thankfully I have friends who have much more experience in the showbiz than me and I was luckily able to chat to them about the Do’s and Don’ts before I showed up at the audition.
When I got there I met with both the Casting Director and Director of the show. They opened the door and said: ‘Hi, take a seat. Welcome to Doctors’ (big smiles). I was immediately put at ease to be honest. They guys were really chilled. I got into the room already speaking with my well rehearsed Colombian accent but then the first thing they asked me was ‘where do you come from?’. I said Mexico and thankfully they immediately started talking about my beautiful country. I was wondering whether or not to say that I was ‘of course speaking with Colombian accent’ but that just didn’t feel right. Going with the flow did.
They asked me to read about 5 scenes. I had prepared well so I knew what was going on in the script and I had fun with it. The worst part of it all was the 4 hr drive back home. That was poo!
Anyway, I left and after 3-4 days of not having heard back, I knew I had probably not been cast. Regardless, my ace agent chased them up for some feedback and all they said was that my recording had been sent to the producers.
Rejected? No. For me this is an achievement – well of course I wanted the actual job dammit – but the fact that the guys thought my work was ‘producers material’ meant I was probably competing with strong contenders. That puts a little smile on my face.
Now this week. Went to casting. It went well. I was pencilled, now I’m not. That’s it. It sucks. I’m sure loads of actors know the feeling. Yeah, it will pass. The world keeps on moving. I have another life.
But still; I think I’m going to invent a coping mechanism for the next time I’m told I’ve been pencilled. Being pencilled is like having your tongue 1 mm away from the tastiest chocolate ice-cream; so when you don’t get it, man it makes me wanna kick something. Lol.
The reality is that despite these unpleasant feelings, when I think about the fun I had auditioning I wouldn’t change it for anything. I once heard someone say that the audition is the work. I believe that. The audition is when you get to be totally creative and show what you’ve got, what you’ve made of. It is a gift really. Some people will like it and will nod with a pencil or a job, some people will not. It’s business after all. I need to remember that it’s business and I need to remember that I’m not in it because it is business but because it is life.
PS. For those actors out there who believe in God, this might be of interest. For the past few months I have prayed to do a good audition (whenever I’ve had one). God has so vividly answered. I haven’t prayed to get the job not because I don’t believe God will give it to me but because I sense it’s the wrong prayer. On the other hand, praying to do a good job at the audition feels right. In terms of the outcome of the audition…well, I leave it to Him and I trust (sometimes impatiently, frustratingly, sadly or irritatingly…hardly ever happily lol, still working on that). I trust.