Dealing with rejection. Sometimes it is just not your role

Its either your role or its not, and sometimes you cant do anything to change fate's mind
One of the hardest things to get used to in our profession is the rejection. The sense of disappointment and dejection one can feel when not getting the role can be overwhelming. This is made all the worse when it’s a job you just know you would be brilliant at, it’s one of your dream roles, or it’s a company or production you have been longing to be a part of for ages. It doesn’t get any easier.
I recently lost out to another guy for a wonderful role in a musical at Chichester. After a string of auditions and meetings with the production company the other actor got it. I felt absolutely devasted. I had been sure the role was mine.
What does make this easier is when you are able to open your eyes to the bigger picture and realise that not getting the role has nothing to do with you or your talent, but it just wasn’t the role for you and wasn’t where your road was leading you to right now.
I recently heard a casting directors offer some great advice when it comes to actors and getting cast.
“If the role is yours, there is nothing you can do that will keep you from getting it. If the role is not yours, there is nothing you can do that will help you get it.”
This made so much sense to me, but also came as such a shock. It does seem pretty tough at first to appreciate when we often go to so much hard work to get the role.
Actors work and slave and it is the color of your hair that can determine your fate in the end
Helen Hayes Actor
If casting directors, acknowledge this to be the truth, then how come us actors have so much difficulty considering it?
Possibly you’ve already witnessed this happening but simply didn’t realize it.
Here’s an illustration of a ‘meant to be’ job which is a true story from one of those reality TV shows following young actors and their pushy parents.
One girl was really resentful of her ‘pushy mum’ and had a bad attitude to auditions on the whole. She wouldn’t rehearse before auditions and would often ‘wing it’ on the day. On this one episode she woke up with a headache and had an audition for a supporting role in a movie. Her Mum gave her some heavy duty painkillers which pretty much knocked her out and made her really groggy and irritable.
It makes me believe in fate. In most cases, the readings where I’ve been really bad have usually been the ones where I got the part
Robin Wright Penn Actor
On the way to the casting they got lost, and when they signed in for the casting really late, the ‘mini diva’ didn’t hang around for her name to be called but chose to go and make a call to her agent. She lost her place in the casting queue and had a huge row with her Mum. Needless to say the girl was in no fit state to be auditioned and went in with a streaked face from crying and proceeded to tell the casting director and director why her life was so sh*t. She was unfocussed, depressed, and wanted to be anywhere but in the casting room. After the audition, the documentary crew asked the director what they had thought and the director simply said ‘I really like her voice’
The sucker punch was that the girl got the job, she was cast in the film, and ended up shooting for several days on the movie. And this actress did pretty much everything in her power not to get the job.
“If the role is yours, there is nothing you can do that will keep you from getting it. If the role is not yours, there is nothing you can do that will help you get it.”
There are two futures, the future of desire and the future of fate, and man’s reason has never learned to separate them
John Desmond Bernal Socialist and Scientist
So, remember, the next time you give the best audition it might just be ‘not to be’!
You might have behaved impeccably: you arrived early, you were well-prepared, you had your extra headshots and CVs. You acted brilliantly: in the casting room you did amazing work, you took on the direction easily, you got everyone laughing at the correct bit of the script, and you even got that ‘special nod’ from the casting director on your way out. You left filled with the belief that you had nailed the audition. Then you waited and waited for the phone to ring, for the call that never came.
At times like this please remember that the job was not yours. There’s nothing you could have done differently to get the role. You might have left the audtion and the director could have said, “She looked just like my ex-wife! I can’t go through that relationship again!” And that was that, you were instantly brushed aside, even if you were ideal for the part. You will in all likelihood never know why you didn’t get the gig. But then again it is also very unlikely that you will ever find out why it is you were succesful on the auditions where you do get the role.
It’s not important why. That part of the process has nothing to do with you, so please don’t waste minutes and hours dwelling on it. Life takes us where it takes us and its up to us to enjoy the whole ride.
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