Dealing with rejection

27 10 2009

It’s lucky that I decided to dedicate this blog to singing, because I almost wrote you a rant about tomato skins. I mean, they’re SO gross and annoying! Curling up like inedible cellophane in your meal! Argh!


Instead I thought I would look at how I deal with rejection.

Not to worry – I haven’t been rejected for music school! I was just thinking about the topic, because it’s something that happens to all of us at some point or another. And if you are working in the creative industries, then it seems even harder to take – mostly because you put so much of yourself into your art. Of course it would be similar if you were invested in any other aspect of your life, I’m sure some people feel just as connected to their day jobs, it’s just not something I’m personally able to write about!

So how do I deal with getting turned down after an audition?
First: Allow myself a wallow. I get down and dirty in the sad, depressing mire of rejection-town. I cry; I make generic sweeping statements such as ‘Nothing good ever happens to me!’ ‘Everything I do is awful!’ ‘What a fool I was to try anything in my whole life ever!’

Hm, I should probably have said, allow myself a time limited wallow. The time varies. Can be up to a day, can be as short as an hour. Either way I must wallow alone.

Sometimes while in rejection town, I make a short stop at anger-ville depending on the situation. ‘Those judges are idiots!’ ‘Hah hope the stupid production collapses without my brilliance!’ I don’t always need to visit anger-ville, but if I do it’s a pretty good sign that I’m heading out of the other side of the wallow.

Step two: Put myself in the judges’ shoes. When I’m wallowing, it’s all too easy to imagine that the judges spent the whole time I was auditioning secretly throwing up behind their hands or writing scathing comments like ‘Regan is the worst auditionee I’ve ever seen for anything ever. She fails not only at this audition but at LIFE ITSELF. I HOPE SHE DIES SOON.’ I blame American Idol for letting me even briefly think that anyone could be that horrible! But in reality, I am unlikely to audition for something that I don’t think I could actually do. You won’t see me trying out for a role that I’m not at least partially suited for. So I let myself honestly think about what the judges might have had to go through in the decision making process. They are more likely to have thought reasonable things like ‘I’m not sure she’s ready for this role yet.’ ‘If we cast X as this person, then Regan is not going to match up very well playing opposite them.’ ‘Nice performance, but this other person is more suited to the role/sang better today’.

Once I’ve done that I’m ready for step 3: Tell the rest of the world in an honest yet hopefully not angry, not wallowing, not seeking compliments or flattery kind of way. Yeah –  I’m still working on this one!

Sometimes there’s a step 3a: Tell a close friend and have a glass of wine with them, to get the residual anger and tension out. I try to choose a friend who will be like ‘What? The fools! You’re amazing! Have another glass of wine!’ After that I can do step 3b: tell the world.  🙂

So there you go, my 3 steps to dealing with rejection. Has anyone else got any good tips? And OMG do you hate tomato skins!?




8 responses

27 10 2009

Awww sounds like you have a good plan. Am sure you have plenty of other offers but I’m always happy to be your 3a ;o)

Not that I audition for things but when I do apply for jobs or something I do the whole negative thing to not get my hopes up so that I’m not too disappointed if I don’t get it. That then makes it super awesome when the good thing does happen! Also means that I don’t tend to get quite so down if the good thing doesn’t work out…

27 10 2009


27 10 2009

Totally impressed by your coping steps. I shall keep keeping my fingers crossed for you.

27 10 2009

Excellent post. I think I follow a similar process – wallow (often with exaggerated angst and woe) first, then come to accept the fact that often rejection isn’t actually ‘WE HATE YOU AND YOU SUCK’ so much as ‘not this time’ or ‘close but not quite what we’re looking for’. Sometimes I have an additional intermediate step of venting where I moan and wail and bitterly lament the judges’ lack of taste to someone else before I move on.

Part of the problem is that you desperately want to know why you were rejected but often this is left a mystery. Feedback is fantastic but seldom given so it’s frequently left to our imaginations to guess why we didn’t make the cut.

27 10 2009

Reggles, don’t scare me like that! I didn’t want to hear that the people running music schools were CRAZY and had turned you away, unless it was because you were too awesome and they couldn’t let you make the other students feel stink about themselves when they inevitably compared their relative mediocrity to your brilliance;p

I’m quite glad I have a niche dance hobby – it means I can inveigle my way into shows, not because I am AMAZING but because I can adequately do something not many people try:) ps. December 10, keep it free to see me either do a chair routine or pole in the next burlesque show:)

27 10 2009

Chelle: I have tried that way in the past, but in the end (for me) I feel like I am setting myself up to fail 😉 Guess I’m just superstitious: Can’t think bad thoughts until after judges decision is irreversible!
Morgue and Chelle: YAY WINE!
Margie: Thankyou! 🙂 I love knowing my friends are out there thinking good thoughts for me!
Debbie: Good point about the feedback thing! I think that’s why I really have to force myself to try and come up with *something* sensible the judges may have been thinking, otherwise my imagination is all too likely to run wild.
Sassa: You remind me of my other step which runs kind of concurrent with 2 and 3 where I’m awesomely over the top about my own fantabulousness and that is the true reason I wasn’t picked as I would shine everyone down 😉
Everyone: but seriously. Tomato skins. EW.

28 10 2009

aw poo! well atleast there’s one bright side you could always move to melbourne? *wink wink nudge* I’m sure it’ll all work out something else way more rad will come along :]

29 10 2009

Tomato skins are completely awful.

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