My entire life all I’ve wanted to be is a successful working actor. I couldn’t care less about being a celebrity or A Lister, I just want to work and work full time. Make a living out of nothing but acting and producing movies (mainly) and television. I knew full well this was a brutal road, nothing has ever come easy to successful actors, unless their Mommy or Daddy were big shots or they were the one person a year that had a rose pulled out of their butt. Otherwise, it’s a ridiculously torturous road. And those over night successes as many call them, that one night lasted 87,600 hours or the equivalent of ten years, at the minimum.
So why do I preface this blog with that up lifting paragraph? Well, because I wanted to drive home how hard the entertainment business is in the real world. So many only see the glitz and glamour, they don’t see the hours and hours of non-stop work that goes into becoming successful. And sadly, maybe only 5-10% of us who work our asses off can ever call ourselves working actors. I’ve been playing in the trenches for eighteen years and I certainly can’t… as most of you know, I make my living as a Live Event Emcee, and it’s an awesome life, but it’s not the one I dream/ed of.
But alas, rejection. Anyone who wants to be an actor, and really, any type of artist knows rejection is going to be an everyday occurrence… and if you don’t you ain’t going last. But yes, rejection happens all the time and it takes years to get used to it, well at least for me it did. One, most of us have been told our entire lives how awesome we are (and we are freaking awesome) but just not in the ways we need to be to be great actors! Shoot, I thought I was a bad man coming to L.A. from Chicago and holy hell learning the truth was hard y’all. But if you can muster up the strength to tolerate rejection and know that there are 5 million (ok maybe not that many but at least 10) reasons why you didn’t get the job over the other actors you’ll last.
But not all rejection is the same. At the level I am these days as an actor I can audition from anything from a local union commercial or music video to a great role on a big budget movie. I’ve had my co-star roles on big shows, some indy movies and am now things have opened up for me. But with more success comes tougher competition. For example, at the end of 2017 I auditioned for the biggest role of my life. An incredible supporting character in a big movie. I was fired up to get the audition and was going to do everything I could to land the role… hell I locked myself in my bedroom for two days preparing, but knowing the business I knew this type of role 99% of the time was going to go to an A or B Lister. BUT, this was my chance to show casting, Producers and the Director what I was made of. I crushed it!!! My agent was super excited about my read, buuuuuuut the role went to a B plus lister.
Was that rejection tough? Of course it was, landing that film changes my life! But I leveled my expectations. And nowadays any time I get an audition for something amazing I understand the competition is tougher and there are so many variables. So yes, I’m bummed when I don’t get the job but I understand. It’s the smaller roles (no role is small but you know what I mean) that absolutely kill me! If I go out for something local, like a music video, indy film, etc. and I don’t get it, it eats me up inside!!! Why? Because I know the competition isn’t as fierce and I know this sounds bad, but I’m probably losing the role to a weaker actor. Sorry, I know that’s harsh. But again, there are so many reasons that happens! Color of my hair, height, build, ethnicity, etc. And to a finer point, if there’s a bigger role and I’m the son, the brother, the boyfriend or husband, I have to be the best fit for the actor playing the bigger role.
And damn, when you’re in a long drought, every rejection gets tougher and tougher, it’s the worst! That’s when you need a great support network, TRUST ME!
So yes, rejection sucks big time! And there are so many levels of rejection. So if you’re deciding to go after a career in the entertainment business just be prepared… and try not to get as upset as I do if you lose a smaller job 🙂
And live by the words my close friends in Hollywood lived by, “You’re not auditioning to win the job, you’re auditioning to win the room.” Meaning, do the best F’ing job you can but understand everything but your performance if out of your hands, so it’s not about landing the job, it’s about impressing the casting office so you’ll get called for more auditions.
Best of luck freaks!!!