From Hollywood veteran Meryl Streep, who was told she was too ugly for a part in King Kong, to Lady Gaga, who was dropped by Def Jam records after just three months, it’s safe to say knockbacks come to everyone!

Auditions can be challenging and frustrating. However, the experience of rejection often allows us to improve, develop and refine our skills ahead of the next opportunity.  As Fame’s Coco Hernandez memorably declared: “I’m a professional. A few unkind words aren’t going to bother me. I know it’s not going to be all standing ovations”.

So, with that in mind here are our five top tips for overcoming rejection:

Don’t assume it’s just you (it’s probably them) …

An unsuccessful audition and a break-up have a lot in common – you may never get the  closure you’d like from it! When faced with rejection, you may forget to consider elements outside of your performance that meant you didn’t get the role.

Factors such as height, voice, appearance, previous experience or cast dynamics may have affected your success. These things are completely out of your control and don’t reflect your capability, so don’t be too hard on yourself!

Be brave and break the mould

After spending years of covering his ballet shoes in dark make up, Royal Ballet dancer Eric Underwood reached out to several ballet shoemakers on Instagram, to be continually rejected and ignored. Eventually, leading manufacturer Bloch co-designed a line of darker toned shoes which are now available across their ranges.

When faced with rejection, it can be tempting to try and typecast yourself; however, your individual differences may be the thing that sets you apart in your next audition!

No role too big or too small

 Getting rejected from an audition for a high budget or well-known production may feel like more of a sting than getting rejected from a small, independent production. But, attributing your success to your own performance, rather than the popularity of the show is key. Independent productions often take you out of your comfort zone and gives you the chance to push yourself, leaving you feeling better equipped and confident for your next venture.

Learn from your mistakes

After giving yourself some time to get over the initial rejection, it’s important to reflect on the reasons why things didn’t quite go to plan. Reading through feedback and old audition slips is a great way of identifying where your weaker areas may be, especially if you notice any similarities across different sets of feedback.

Never give up

To continue with our fame theme, Lydia Grant famously said: “Fame costs. And right here’s where you start payin!” The industry is notoriously difficult to get into­ — if it wasn’t then everyone would be doing it! An audition is merely a snapshot of your ability and can often be clouded by variables outside of your control. A bad audition or rejection definitely doesn’t define you or your aptitude as a performer. You should always remain confident in yourself and be resilient – your big break may be just around the corner!


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