Win some, lose some – Dealing with “Rejection”

January 6th, 2014 by Sit up a Tree
Actor - dealing with rejection

Tips for actors – dealing with rejection

Today, I lost out on a role in a play I tried for. It was only a small unpaid thing, nothing of much concern and I don’t feel disappointed by it, but it made me think that a piece on rejection would be a good idea.

Rejection happens. It’s a normal part of life that we are all guaranteed to face at some point or another.

A good place to start is to look and try to re-evaluate rejection.

While it may be inconvenient and get in the way of things you wanted, rejection is not always a bad thing. It is a change of plan, but it can sometimes lead to better than you were hoping for in the first place.

I remember auditioning for a project and not getting the role, which disappointed me, but soon after I auditioned for another project which I got a part in. The later project turned out be a much better opportunity and was a really good experience. It was a different route to the one I was expecting, but it was still going in the right direction, and I am so glad things went as they did.

If you always try to use your rejections as advantages, you will make it a lot farther than you would have gotten if things had gone right in the start.


Fear of rejection

Many people fear rejection tremendously. Some to the point that it prevents them from doing things they may have enjoyed if they didn’t carry that fear so strongly in their heart. Some refuse to speak publicly, avoid asking that special someone out or even go along with things that they do not want to do for fear of the rejection they risk.

Fear of rejection is a normal part of human life, it’s and inbuilt part of us, but it is not something we should let control us.

We are encouraged to fear rejection as it something that protects us from hurt, but often the fear, and the opportunities it forces us to miss out on, is the most painful part.

I used to fear rejection a lot more when I was younger and I would work to avoid it, but that meant I often ended us excluded for it. I would even go so far as to reject myself by hanging back away from people and not talking- because how could they reject me if I wasn’t there to reject?!

I regret my fear more than any rejection I have faced before, because acting on fear is a choice, while rejection is something others do to you- I would rather try than do nothing.


When rejection happens

When you are faced with rejection, your next moves are very important.

I believe there are only two very ways to go:

Destructive : Taking the rejection as a nasty blow to you. This often includes sadness and/or anger at the loss and sometimes the admittance of defeat. Even dwelling on it is destructive, as you are allowing the one lost battle to lose you the entire war, for at least that time.


Constructive : Using the rejection to teach you something (I.e. How you could have acted differently; what you could do next time; how to approach something, etc.) and take it as a positive life lesson. It is okay to feel a little bummed by the loss, but always look at how you can make it into an advantage. If you lost this, then you need to win something better through that loss.


Here’s a good example:

Almost all writers out there will receive rejection letters/emails at times in their career. Some use them as a token of defeat and others choose to do great things with them. I even heard about one writer – I’m sorry, I don’t remember their name – who saved a whole giant box of rejection letters and used them as the paper to print off the finished first draft of a book they went on to get published later.


I see examples of destructive and constructive response every day on Twitter and Facebook, as well as in real life. Following a lot of actors, I see all of the post-audition tweets they share and the reactions vary from person to person.

Some express annoyance, disappointment in themselves, sadness and anger, which always interests me. Not every role fits someone and the casting director(s) decided that you just didn’t fit this one. It’s disappointing if you lose out on a great role, but there are thousands others.

However, there are other actors out there who take a ‘failed’ audition as a positive thing and decide to learn from it and use it as fuel to do even better.

You can do this yourself by just finding the ways around the loss so you can turn it into a brand new opportunity – which could end up bringing you more joy and success!


My best piece of advice:

Loss of something or rejection is not the end of the world, it’s an opportunity to do a quick shift around and it helps to keep you on the ball so you can react fast and move onto the next thing with more strength and punch than you did the last time.

If things always went to plan, our ambitions would be pointless and we would take no joy in achievement- there would be no such thing as winning if there were no such thing as loss. It’s about being the person to fight for it and refuse to give up regardless of the difficulties, and that includes rejection.

It takes work, but after a while you will get good at figuring out alternative routes to take when you are faced with rejection.

Just remember that it doesn’t define or reflect you, it’s just something that happens and you can choose how you take it.

The way I see it – rejection is something you jump into, but you have the choice of deciding whether it’s a big hole or a trampoline. Choose wisely and don’t give in.


I hope this piece helps you. If you have any comments, suggestions or questions, please leave them in the comments bellow and I’ll get back to you. X

Book - Don't Take it Personally

Book – Don’t Take it Personally – The art of dealing with rejection

Don’t Take It Personally!: The Art of Dealing with Rejection

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