Dealing with Rejection in Theatre

Dealing with Rejection in Theatre

Rejection Will Always Be a Part of Your Career

Rejection is the most challenging aspect of becoming involved in theatre. Actors feel it whenever someone else gets the part. Playwrights and directors also have to deal with many "Thanks but no thanks” letters.  How you handle this nemesis will have a tremendous impact on your stage career. So what the best way to deal with rejection?

Take a deep breath. People often receive rejection on a physical level. You may feel it as a punch to the gut. Some people hyperventilate or collapse within themselves. Even if it simply makes you pause, you should take a moment to feel the feeling.

By the way, it’s perfectly fine to cry. You may even feel angry or disappointed. Whatever emotions are coming up, figure out a way to process it. Take a walk or a nap. Listen to your favorite music. Write in a journal.

You should also know rejection in theatre is rarely personal. It may feel like it has something to do with your ability or appearance. It is this line of thinking that causes people to quit. After all, what’s the point if you aren’t good enough?

Many successful actors are stung by rejection. Despite having played Arwen in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, producers didn’t invite Liv Tyler back to perform the same role in “The Hobbit.” In interviews, she expressed her disappointment. The rejection didn’t have to do with her ability. Instead, the character just didn’t fit into the movie.

Rejection is outside of your control. You can’t force someone to accept you or your work. Understanding this concept will help you have a long career in theater.

Next, we’ll take a look at how you can empower yourself and propel your theatre career forward through rejection.