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LISTEN UP: Here’s the #1 Actor’s Secret to Enduring Rejection

People like to talk about how much they love acting, and how it’s their ultimate dream. But some of us – those with a lot of self doubt – don’t like to take the leap and actually do something about it, for fear of rejection. The idea of failing is so scary, especially since so many actors are out of work at any given time. I have struggled with this, and as a result I have had a lot of trouble getting myself to attend auditions.  It seems so much easier to be lazy about it and blame the lack of success on not putting yourself out there enough.

But, let’s be real – you’re not doing yourself any favors. You have no control over whether or not you succeed; it is oftentimes based on any number of intangibles, or being in the right place at the right time, or having a really famous daddy. But you know what you do have control over? Believing in yourself and keepin’ on keepin’ on. It can be very difficult to not let rejection dissuade you from trying: getting upset is uncontrollable and par for the course. However, what you can do is tell yourself to get back on that proverbial horse (unless of course you’re a cowboy, in which case it’ll probably be a real horse). The worse thing you can do is feel sorry for yourself.

When I am feeling discouraged, I do something fun and relaxing with people who make me laugh so I can stop sweating the small stuff. It’s all about adjusting the way you see things. You can be the person who is too scared to go out there and get what you want, or you can be the person who says, “Why SHOULDN’T I go after what I want?” When I made that switch in my brain, it was much easier to roll with the punches this crazy industry threw at me. Although you can’t alter your emotional response to rejection, you can tell yourself it doesn’t mean anything about your talent or your capability as an actor. BECAUSE IT DOESN”T. If this doesn’t come easy, try repeating it to yourself. You may start to believe it! Trust me, smart science-y people have done studies on this. Believing in yourself is the only thing that will get you to keep knocking on doors even when they’re being slammed in your face. You know those friends of yours who are always hustling and seem to book a lot of work? It’s because they’ve reached a level of confidence in their work that allows them to really go for it. So ask yourself: are you really going for it? Because you are talented, and I believe in you.

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