It’s no secret that Actors face rejection more than the average human. We hear “No” far more times than we hear “Yes.” Sometimes we face rejection every single day. Not just from a job, but from a variety of other things like our bank accounts being over drawn due to giving up that shift for an audition, an upset partner or spouse who doesn’t feel we’ve given them enough of their attention because we’re distracted by our careers, and often we are rejected from the countless submissions we put in that get no response. Hello? Did I just email an abyss? Crickets.
For me, rejection was something I got on board with pretty quickly. It was hammered into us at school and I understood that if I wanted to be in this business I’d have to get used to it. So I did. I went to auditions and mastered the ability to not think about the outcome. Honestly, it’s worked for me for a long time. Not any more. Now? Now it feels like it stares me right in the face the second I wake up. Sitting at the end of bed. Judging me. No, it wasn’t a ghost. I checked.
I’ve been acting out in the “real world” (whatever that means) for five years now. Like literally everyone- I am not where I thought I would be by now and it’s making it easier to fall into the rut of comparing myself to others and doubting myself relentlessly. Aka death for an actor. Left to ask myself the most heartbreaking question- what’s the point? I fell into a depression and by the time I realized it, I knew I’d been in it for a long time. I started thinking about rejection a lot. What it does to us. What it means. I asked myself the tough questions. Are you sure this is what you want to do? Could you see yourself being happy doing anything else? Why do you love this? What is your mission as an artist? Some I was able to answer quickly and some took a little time but when it comes down to it I cannot imagine leading my life any other way. I love what I do even if it means I face rejection every single day. Shit. Isn’t that crazy? That’s LOVE. And love is crazy.
This discovery led me to the most important question of all; What do I need?
If I’m going to stay in this crazy dysfunctional relationship of a career path, I need to practice self love every single day. That’s right. Self love. The thing we hear so much about but ignore it because we don’t have time because of all the actor busy work that takes up our lives and blah blah blah. It’s okay. I ignored it too. Actually I straight up acted like it didn’t exist in my world. Kind of like the nerdy guy who wants the girl but the girl is too distracted by the cool guy and- OMG did I just make a Sixteen Candles connection?! Amazing.
Friends, we need to let the nerdy guy in. He’s desperate to make our lives better. If he’s anything like Michael C. Hall he’s just gonna give us the nudge we need (but like without showing our panties to his friends.) This advice isn’t just for artists. It’s for anyone out there who feels they are constantly being set aside. We all feel the pain and fear that tells us “I’m not enough.” We are enough and the first person who needs to start acting like it is us.
So, I’m on a path to self disc-love-ery. <—like what I did there? Nailed it. What does that mean? It means I wake up every day and ask myself “What do I need?” Usually I need the things that bring me instant bliss: journaling, meditation, working out, writing my gratitudes, reading, eating a bunch of frozen yogurt, working out, watching my favorite movies, buying myself something random but joyful, taking in personal development resources, skimming my favorite bookstore, grabbing a latte, the possibilities are endless. Carving out time to do this every day can make a world of difference because you’re telling mr. cool guy rejection “Hey, that’s cool. I’m hanging out with nerdy self love today so I’m busy anyways.” It’s liberating. It’s powerful. It will put you back in control of your life. I promise you.
Rejection will come every which way. So if you’re already facing it from the outside why would you reject yourself? Don’t. Give your nerdy self a loving chance.