As an actor all we want to do is be paid for doing what we love – creating, expressing, playing and enjoying the freedom that comes with acting. You know what it feels like when you land a role that you really connect to; you fall in love with it – the character becomes part of you and you become part of it. The following weeks and months of rehearsals and the shoot/production are a dream because we are in our element; we feel alive, buzzing and on top of the world.
Acting is one of the most fulfilling jobs there is – WHEN WE LAND THE ROLES. Which leads me to my next point – landing roles. There’s the whole casting process and then waiting to hear whether you’ve been successful. If you haven’t it can crush your spirits if you let it.
WHAT CAN I DO TO STOP THIS?
- Firstly you need to know it is ok to feel disappointment when you don’t land a role, it shows the passion you have for this amazing art form and that passion is going to keep driving you forward in your career.
- Secondly you need to know you are NEVER going to land everything you apply for; whether that be a place in an agency or that TV role you’ve had your heart set on, and that is ok too.
- Thirdly I would recommend looking up your acting role model; mine is Daniel Day-Lewis. Those who train at StandBy know that (because I bang on about him so much) Believe it or not he got slated by the critics in his early days. Look where he is now.
Rejection, negativity and criticism are all part and parcel of being an actor. We live in a world where freedom of expression is encouraged so we have to accept that we are going to get it and that’s ok too. If perceived positively by yourself negativity, rejection and criticism can keep you grounded and focused on your goals.
I myself was told many times by people who thought they knew best that I wouldn’t get into drama school; I wasn’t a very good actor, I was also told I would never work professionally. I’ve heard every negative comment there is to hear and you know what – I keep them in mind – nobody tells me I can’t do something because I absolutely can – I did get into drama school, I have worked professionally, many times and with BAFTA nominated actors and I am a good actress. I know because people tell me, but most importantly I believe in myself (I think the Irish feist plays a part too!) and so should you.
Lastly I always aim to learn and improve, do you?
WHAT CAN I LEARN FROM NEGATIVITY?
You may think negativity is something that holds you back and it can be if you let it.
“Lion’s don’t lose sleep
over the opinions of sheep”
FOLLOW MY TIPS TO LEARN HOW TO DEAL WITH NEGATIVITY IN A POSITIVE WAY
1. Get your goals clear in mind – this is super important for being able to handle any negativity thrown at you, it gets you clear on where you are heading. Don’t let them out of sight – remind yourself of them every single day.
2. Ask yourself did you do your best? Reflection is what makes people successful. You know in yourself when you have and haven’t done your best. If not, is there something else you need to learn? Do you need to go back to your craft to refine it? Do you need to learn more about the process of castings? It’s not a weakness to continue learning and refining!
3. Listen to the negativity from an OBJECTIVE point of view. Letting emotions seep in can cloud our judgement. Ask yourself what you can learn from this experience.
4. This is so important and was a gem of advice I was given by a director a few years ago, when a cast member was telling me what I was doing wasn’t right. As an actor you ALWAYS have a choice. Listen to the rejection, negativity or criticism then decide whether you are going to take it on board or whether you are going to throw it away. THE CHOICE IS ALWAYS YOURS.
If you use these tips you will eventually find negativity, rejection and criticism won’t bring you into emotional turmoil and you will begin to use it to your advantage.
If you liked this advise, please share it with someone you know will benefit from it. I am so bloody passionate about actors making their careers happen.