How to Deal with Audition Rejection
Every audition is a job interview. It's a chance to get one step further in your career, to get another contract, another paycheck, and another business relationship.
It's a chance to practice your skills and to prove to yourself what you can do.
It's also another opportunity for rejection. And it can sting. But it doesn't have to sting as badly as it might--here are 3 rules of thumb to keep in mind to prepare yourself well and, if need be, to take the sting out of the rejection.
1. You can only control what you can control.
You audition to have a chance at something--in actuality, an audition is no more than this. You cannot make them give you a gig. But you can control how you present yourself, you can have your pieces so well-known that you could sing them backwards with candy in your mouth and still be understood. You can control how well you respond when the pianist loses his place or the pages stick and you keep going like the prepared, professional you are.
At some point in some audition somewhere, things will go wrong, strange notes will come out, you'll feel pressured to take that earlier time slot that's open because someone else didn't show up, you'll realize your right shoe is pinching in a spot it has never pinched before.
So what. Notice it, let the thought pass through, and move on.
2. Realize that an audition is exactly what you've always wanted: a performance!
That's all you really want to do, right? PERFORM! There's a captive audience, a pianist, and you looking fantastic, with beautiful material prepared. If you think it's anything other than a performance, think again.
Plus, a director once told me that when she was casting one particular show, she sat there, watching auditions for two days, praying that someone would walk in the door who would fit the parts they were casting. She wanted someone to really show what they could do, to really perform for them. (Someone did it finally 3/4 of the way through day 2 and she was happy.) Show what you can do. Directors are waiting to see you present what they are looking for.
Hopefully you will have your own goals for this performance, perhaps it's to add two gestures you haven't done before, to try moving around the stage more, or simply to make sure you nail those 2 difficult measures at the top of page 87. If you achieve those things, then you've achieved your goals for this performance and you'll walk out the door, knowing what you have done.
3. Either you'll get it or you won't.
If you don't get it, take time to lick your wounds if you need to. And then get up and go do it again. For whatever reason, you didn't get this part, this gig, this opportunity. Leave it at that one--it's just this audition. So put yourself in line for another opportunity.
If you do get it, great! Have a little celebration and feel that excitement. For whatever reason, you got this part, this opportunity. Leave it at this one--this audition. And put yourself in line for another opportunity.
How do you deal with rejection?
How do you measure your own successes and goals--the things you can control?