You didn’t get in the show. Now What?
You prepare for the audition, you complete the nerve-wracking audition, you apprehensively wait until the results come out. You excitedly check the list…and your name isn’t there! You’ve missed out (or been cast in the ensemble when you auditioned for a lead role).
I do not enjoy auditions at all – I find them much worse than opening night – at least with opening night you’re already in the show. I’ve been involved with many auditions and had limited success in the process. Sometimes I have reacted appropriately…and to be honest…sometimes I haven’t.
It hurts. I get it. I completely understand.
How do you deal with the rejection and what positives can you take out of an unsuccessful audition?
The feeling around rejection can be stemmed from many sources. The positivite vibes prior to the audition with people telling you unequivocally that you are perfect for the role. The required self-confidence to audition is pumping through you, the feedback received was great and you were complimented for the job you did, maybe you even got a call back. There are so many moments during the process where you are convinced that you are in with a massive shot at getting the part you want. But then you don’t! It’s heartbreaking.
So, what do you do?
The first and most important thing to is to congratulate yourself on having the guts to put yourself out there in the first place. You are much braver than many, many others who would never consider auditioning…ever! “That’s just crazy…I could never do that!”
The next thing to consider is that you don’t know what is being discussed behind the closed doors. It’s out of your hands. If you’ve done the best you can then you cannot ask anymore of yourself. You can over analyse where you went wrong – but this is much easier from the comfort of your safe home environment as opposed to the scary audition room.
Consider the many reasons that you didn’t get the role after a great audition that are beyond your control. Maybe there is a performer who is perfect for another role that ‘your’ role needed to complement. Maybe the only determining factor was height or hair colour.
Look at the quality of the performer who got the role. This is easier said than done – I know this from personal experience. In hindsight, when I missed out on Sir Robin in Spamalot – I was gutted – but the actor who got the role was absolute phenomenal in the role. When I missed out on Leo in The Producers – I was incredibly disappointed – but the successful actor was perfect for the role and the right choice was made. When I auditioned for Corny in Hairspray… anyway, you get the idea. This does not mean that I would not have done the role well – it’s just that out of all the candidates someone else was chosen this time around… That’s how it is. Being talented and doing well at an audition does not always guarantee you will get cast.
What positives can you take out of an unsuccessful audition? “There aren’t any!” you cry as you sit on the lounge in your trackies eating ice cream whilst dejectedly thinking that absolutely everyone else is at rehearsal EXCEPT you. Well. Yes. There are. Put the spoon down and remember, there will always be another opportunity. The more auditions you do the better you will get at them. Just like anything, practice makes perfect and auditioning is not easy. Every audition will make you better at auditioning.
As an aside – the casting panel has a tough job and they haven’t gone out of their way to disappoint you. Their job is to select the best candidates for the production. If you have done your best audition, then who they pick is up to them.
After your audition initially focus on the things you did well. Think of three things. Celebrate them. You were awesome. Congratulations!
After that, focus on the things that you could have improved and work on them. You may have an opportunity to get constructive feedback from the casting panel. I always ask for feedback and most are happy to oblige. Please be respectful in the way you accept the feedback. Take the rejection as an opportunity for self-development. This will put you in a better position to have success next time around.
If you got cast in the ensemble and you wanted a lead role, you have one question to answer. Do you want to be in the show? It’s a simple yes or no. However, if your answer is yes – you need to leave the audition result behind and embrace the production with positivity. Being bitter and resentful at a rehearsal will not endear you to anyone…and potentially do your future audition chances a disservice. As a perennial ensemble member, I can assure you that in the right show the ensemble is the best place to be. It’s a chance show off your singing, dancing and acting – keeping all your skills warm for that next lead role.
Rejection sucks but it is not the end of the world. I’m not telling you to not be upset or annoyed – that’s all part of the process. However, If I’ve learnt anything over my decades of auditioning, my best piece of advice is that you need to praise yourself for the good things you have achieved in this world of theatre. It may not have landed you this role, but it will hold you in good stead when you audition for the next one. You can download 10 Fantastix Audition Tips below for free.
The only way to guarantee you won’t get a part is to not turn up to the audition.
Until next time…and there will be a next time.