Rejection is one of the hardest things we face as humans. Our nature is to want to feel accepted; and even beyond that to feel appreciated, valuable, and respected. When those needs and desires aren't meant, we are left with a choice. How do we respond to rejection?
This week's posts are in the words of other working actors. Glean what you can from their perspectives and try each philosophy until you find one that works well for you. As unique as you are, your needs are unique as well. What works well for another talent may not work well for you . . . but you'll only find what does work for you by practicing suggested philosophies until you find that what you are practicing is more comfortable than your current response.
How do you respond to rejection?
Terri J. Freedman
Los Angeles; credits include Confessions, The Journey
Most of the rejection I deal with, thanks to high school, is second nature, and I just move on. But when I don't get called in for a role or get called back or book a role I would have given up my car for, I rely on the belief that there is a reason I didn't get it. I try to see the situation as a gain. Did I meet a new casting director? Did I learn a little more about my most, or least, marketable type? Did I figure out why [that big agency or client] hasn't called?
Self-delusion aside, when I consider that my career isn't limited to a single pilot and episodic season [but] rather, decades of seasons -- and people say L.A. has no seasons -- I feel ridiculous having gotten so upset at one single loss. The beauty of Hollywood is that stories are always regurgitated, and you will get many, many more chances to play the role of your dreams. Sure, there will be plenty of rejections coming my way -- bigger and better ones. It's a sign of greatness, really. But, lest we forget the most important thing, [casting director] Donna Cassell and [acting coach-author-director] Judy Kerr remind me, "You will work again in this business."