Sunday, April 17, 2011

On "Rejection"

A few nights ago, one of my best friends in town surprised me with a sort of apology that I didn't expect. We were in a bar just off of Union Square. It was an event for couchsurfers, raising money for a friend of a friend who'd been the victim of a shark attack. Barry spotted me across the bar and came over that start asking me about an audition I'd had for a show called (I'm not making this up) "Old Jews Telling Jokes," then stopping himself mid-sentence.

"You know, I just feel bad asking you about all these auditions and having you say you didn't get into the show! I'm not sure if I should ask at all."

As I told him, asking about auditions is fine. I know people talk about being "rejected" as if they'd been dumped. But the thing about being an actor in a place like New York, LA, or London, is that there are so many excellent actors that not getting in a show is no insult. Really, it's about as much of a rejection as not winning a raffle. It's not that you failed. Your ticket just wasn't chosen this time, that's all.

It's true that if you're not a good actor, you are probably not going to get any parts, but auditions aren't going to tell you if you're a bad actor. That's the job of acting workshops, forums, and classes. Those are the places where you can get some feedback on your skill (or lack thereof).

The upshot of this being such a big theater town is that sure there are tons of actors, but there are also tons of auditions. This past week alone I had nine auditions and callbacks. Most of them I'm pretty proud of. I even had a couple auditors compliment me on an "excellent audition." Doesn't mean I'll get cast, but that's fine. I'll just keep entering the raffles, and maybe one of these days my ticket will get picked.

So next time you're wondering whether to ask me how an audition went, go ahead and ask.

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