Hey Brave Hearts!
One of the biggest things that you have to deal with as an actor (and as a parent of a young actor) is REJECTION.
Which is one of the paradoxes of being an actor - you have to be able to be vulnerable and have a heart that is emotionally accessible and as delicate as a butterflies wings, but yet have skin as tough as a rhino.
They say that when you first start (and begin building credits for your resume) you will have about 40 auditions to an actual booking. When you are more established, they say that 10 auditions to 1 booking is a good ratio. THAT'S more than 90% rejection!!!!!
So we have to be comfortable in the fact that 90% of the time, we won't be what people want/need/picture in their head as a character. AND NOT HAVE IT AFFECT OUR EGOS... which is the hard part.
Honestly, sometimes you can be the best auditioner, but you look too much like the producers ex-girlfriend or in some cases (true story), the director was given notes to coach the actor that they hired (because he had a certain look) to do the performance of one of the runner-ups. This business is CRAZY like that. You have to just be able to do your best (prepare the role to the best of your ability) and LET GO of the results because that part of the equation isn't in your control.
Acting is the only job where we are asked to do the job (prepare the role/character/do you homework/memorize the sides) BEFORE we even know that we have the job. That's why you have to truly love the process of FINDING the character and the art of acting itself if you want to have a sustainable career.
Now knowing all of this, how do you keep your heart in a safe place?
Here are my tips and tricks that I use for myself and teach to my students and the parents of my students:
1) Know WHY you are acting. Without coming back to the love of acting, the business of show-business can be tiring.
2) Understand the business of the industry. Sometimes the decisions are not about you. (See above stories.)
3) Know that auditioning IS the job. Most of your time as an actor will be auditioning (or promoting the project), and only 5% will actually be on set.
4) Have something fun planned for after the auditions. A lot of my students do the Bay Area to LA commute and it can be tiring to drive for 5 hours, have a quick 10 minute audition, and then get back on the road. If you have something fun planned afterwards, then it because a fun family day, or a small treat. It can be an hour at the beach or some ice cream, or a trip to the American Girls store. It doesn't have to be expensive.
5) Think about what you did that was awesome at the audition. How did you grow? Sometimes actors can be their own worst critics and harp on all the things that they did wrong. While I believe in always assessing what could've been done better, it is equally as important to acknowledge the things that we did well.
6) Have a life outside of acting. You can only bring yourself to each role and if you have a full life and other passions outside of acting, you can bring more of yourself to the character.
and this is probably the most important (IMHO):
7) Create your own work. - This is the one that I am leaning into the most these days. With the advent of YouTube and different digital platforms, you can create projects for yourself. Not only does it give you experience on set, but it gives you an understanding of what goes into storytelling, and making films. It also help you solidify your belief in yourself as an actor and puts the power back in your hands. You don't have to ask permission or approval from a committee of strangers anymore.
I really believe in the power of storytelling to change hearts and minds so that we can become a more empathetic society... and now I am advocating for more diverse voices to tell their stories so that we can REALLY see things from someone else's shoes.
Anyways, I hope that helps.
Please feel free to comment and share or ask any questions down below or bug me through my social media. :-)
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