25 June, 2023

As actors, we are no strangers to rejection. In fact, rejection is so common within our industry that we have come to expect it before we even say our first line. 

While rejection and our anticipation of it are valid and understandable feelings, I would argue that not only is rejection necessary for honing our craft as actors, but it can actually give us a kind of freedom. 

There are three ways that rejection can actually be used as a tool to experience this freedom in our creative practice: IntrospectionMaking Choices, and Abandoning Outcome. 


It is no surprise that introspection is crucial to our development as actors. Wading through our inner lives, finding where our emotional histories, our tendencies, our behaviors, may intersect or diverge with the character we are attempting to play, is where we spend a lot of time as actors. 

At times, though, rejection can cause us to take a long, hard look in the mirror and question whether or not we are “good enough,” whether or not we are “worth it.” While these questions are introspective in a way, they are not exactly productive or inspiring. 

Instead of questioning ourselves about our talent or ability, we should be asking ourselves: “Why am I acting in the first place?” “What is it I am attempting to achieve by playing these characters?” “What does the character want in this situation?”

Why Am I Acting in the First Place? 

This is a question that every actor should ask themselves, and they are the only ones who can answer it. 

Examine your intentions for engaging in this creative practice. Evaluate what acting means to you personally and what it might mean to the world around you. Is acting valuable in and of itself, or is it valuable because it can get you something?

Without casting directors giving us the “thanks, but no thanks” treatment, we may never find ourselves digging further into our relationship to acting. That is not to say that casting directors and the casting process are perfect (in fact, they can be quite flawed), but given the fact that rejection is a mainstay of our industry, it must be used like any other tool at our disposal.

Rejection, then, becomes an invitation to encounter a deeper understanding of our art form and ultimately deliver stronger performances that are informed by connection and honesty, rather than surface-level line readings. 

Interrogate your relationship with acting and make choices about what that relationship can look and feel like. Turn that rejection into questions that can unlock your potential, instead of treating it like some invisible barrier between you and “success.”

Making Choices

We often hear our acting coaches, other actors, directors etc. boil down acting to simply: “making choices.”

Indeed there is truth here, however simplistic this notion may appear. In every scene, in every story, our character wants something and has to make a series of choices, consciously or unconsciously, to get what they want. 

By focusing on the choices our character can or might make, we are strengthening our bond with the text and providing the story with a compelling and motivated character that advances the narrative. 

However, there are other, more personal choices that we can make as actors and as human beings that can transform rejection into a tool for creative freedom. 

Choose the Experience You Want to Have 

Walking into an audition can feel like walking into a warzone. We are often nervous, unsure of ourselves and are not granted the gift of costumes, lighting, make-up, props and other handy tools that can help enliven and convince us that we are the characters that we are attempting to play. 

These feelings are natural and to be expected. We cannot choose what we feel, but I do believe we can choose what we think

Every one of us has within or possession an imagination. It is our imagination that probably got us involved in this line of work to begin with. Like a muscle, our imagination needs to be exercised in order to get stronger and more versatile. 

So, when you walk into that audition, instead of thinking: “I am in an audition room and I now have to convince these casting directors that I am a good actor,” why not use your imagination to think the thoughts of the character, to create a world that you can invite your audience to inhabit. 

After all, isn’t creating a world more fun than doing an audition? 

You have the freedom to choose how you inhabit a space, what you want to think, and what experience you want to have.

Abandoning Outcome

Introspection and choosing to create a world instead of an audition will inevitably lead us to consider the outcome of our work i.e. “if I do x then I will receive y.”

There is a transactional quality to this way of thinking that I believe can have a negative impact on our relationship to rejection and becoming a stronger actor. By looking at our performances as actors as a form of currency that can purchase us a job or status or success, we are actually belittling our craft and selling our own talent short. 

Yes, strong acting should be compensated fairly, but it is not our job as actors to decide whether or not we are right for the job. Our job as actors is to offer casting an option for where they can take their project. 

Your Performance is a “Gift”

Brian Cranston does a really good job of breaking down his relationship to outcome and his perspective on the role of the actor in this video

A main point that you should come away with, is looking at your performance as a gift that you are giving to casting. Now, this may come off as a bit self-righteous at first, but it is more related to your intention as a performing actor. 

Looking at your audition as an offering, one that you have built and executed, takes away the pressure for you to convince or persuade anyone. When I give someone a gift, they can take it or leave it. I do not try to convince them that the gift is worthwhile or leave the room thinking that the gift should lead to some kind of return later on. 

Again, it is not our job to determine what happens to the gift after we give it, all we can do is give casting an option that is informed by our intentions, our ability to introspect and make choices. 

Outcome is Not Your Job 

Abandoning outcome really means shifting your attention to what is actually required of you: doing the work to prepare for your role and allowing yourself to be flexible in the room. 

This abandonment gives you the freedom to stop obsessing over what the aftermath of your work is going to be, to start really focusing on the work itself. In this way, rejection or acceptance really becomes irrelevant to your process, because it is not your job to focus on outcome. Your job is to be present in the moment. 

So, when we offer strong work and are “rejected,” that rejection belongs to the casting, not to us. 


The current auditioning/casting system is obviously a flawed one and not geared toward ensuring the comfort and prosperity of every actor. 

Regardless, rejection is a foundational element of every actor’s experience. To allow that rejection to determine your ability or your relationship to your talent, is missing the point of what rejection can do for you as an actor. 

Rejection can lead you to consider more deeply why you want to act in the first place through introspection. Rejection can teach you that you have a litany of choices to make when you are auditioning, choices that can make acting a fun and meaningful experience that will ultimately increase your chances of booking the job you want. 

Those chances though, really are not relevant to your job as an actor. Rejection can teach you to abandon the outcome of your work, and free yourself to explore what you are truly capable of as an actor. 

Next time you’re in front of casting, look at that potential rejection as just another tool in your toolbox, or even forget about it completely! It’s their job to worry about whether or not you are right for the part. 

Your job is to show them life. 


Contact Carmelo

Click Here

Most popular posts

25 June, 2023

Why I Demand More for Your Wedding Videography

Step into the realm of imagination, where your dream wedding day unfolds flawlessly. Close your …


25 June, 2023

Familiarity with Venues and Creative Assurance

Familiarity with Venues and Creative Assurance: Enhancing Your Wedding Photography and Videography Experience Choosing the …


25 June, 2023

Appreciation for the craft of wedding filmmaking

Introducing the Clang Rose Film Festival, the brainchild of a pioneering individual with a deep …