Voiceover Knowledge: Six Do’s and Dont’s of Handling Rejection
After a day spent pressing ‘RECORD’ and ‘DELETE’ on an audio device, countless warm-ups, stretching their voice to its limits, and too many cups of tea, the last thing a voice over actor wants to hear is that they didn’t get the role they were auditioning for. While discouraging, rejection is a large part of any performance-based career and something to become accustomed to. Every script read carries some level of uncertainty in its results, and overcoming the sting of rejection is a learning process in itself. With time, an actor can develop a skillset of humility for when casting reception isn’t in their favor, and in doing so realize the power of their own professionalism—and what appears like wasted time could be, in reality, just the opposite.
- Do Practice Graciousness
Regardless of the outcome of your audition, expressing gratitude for the opportunity is essential to maintaining professionalism. While a casting director may not be able to recall the content of your reading at a moment’s notice, there’s a better chance they will remember if your coping mechanisms for rejection were not up to par. Sometimes a negative impression can become the only impression, and word of an actor’s bad attitude can have major consequences on their reputation and ability to land a role. Be smart and thank casting directors for the opportunity, even when you’re disheartened by the result.
- Don’t Request a second Audition
When an audition doesn’t go your way, you can be inclined to think, “If I had just one more chance, I could blow that director away…” While everyone could benefit from another try, it’s not your place to ask for one. Although making a big speech about why you should be given just one more chance may sound heroic, it can be construed as disrespectful and questioning the director’s decision-making proficiency. A ‘no’—while stinging—is final. There are dozens of actors reading for one role—the choice is final.
- Do Maintain Relations with People and Companies You’ve Auditioned For. In other words, network.
There are various factors that determine why an actor isn’t hired for a role, and few of them are summed up as not being good enough. Keeping an account of the individuals and organizations who have heard your work is a strategic move, as it allows you to expand your professional circle and remain prevalent in your field. While you may not be the ideal fit for one role, a casting director can come across an open slot and refer you, just because you’ve proven yourself to be an approachable voice over professional. Maintaining positive relations within the industry not only builds your reputation as a well-natured, dependable actor, but can get your foot in the door of a lot of places you never thought possible.
- Don’t Write the Experience Off
The audition didn’t go your way—so what? It was a professional development experience all the same, and something you can refer to as a ‘do’ and ‘don’t’ guide to the auditions of your future. The best lessons arise from our discomfort with adverse results; given the chance, there could be more to learn from your misses than your hits. Take stock in your technical approaches—enunciation, inflection, tone, and clarity—and consider how your delivery could have been different than what was presented, and ways to incorporate newer elements of craft into your next read through. Get in the habit of saving your rehearsal recordings for future use to aid in your continued development as a voice over specialist.
- Do Remember Your Strengths
When you’re good at something, you should become even better at it. In the midst of rejection chaos, don’t forget to acknowledge the talent that led you to the audition in the first place. Every new opportunity comes with a learning curve and no instruction manual—remember the things you’re best at and allow that feeling of self-confidence to be present as you fine-tune your vocal skills.
- Don’t Take This Rejection as the Ultimate Rejection
One thing to keep in mind following every rejection call is that your worth as a performer does not diminish simply because an individual doesn’t hire you for a role. Your talent can’t be determined by the dozens of voice over execs you meet throughout the audition practice; ultimately, you’re the one with the power of your voice and the ability to use it. Remain confident in your skills and keep steadfast in honing that talent, because the key to success is not just dedication, but the willingness to be brave in the face of rejection and come out more focused, better prepared, and ready to raise your voice.
By: Steph Wirkus
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