Last week, an actress I will call BOOGIE came to me and started her session by dropping her face in her hands and mumbling something like this:
“Oh, Jo... I can’t take this acting job anymore… It’s too hard. I can’t deal with the rejection. Just all the passion I put into this, to constantly be disrespected and said no to, it’s too hard. I just hate it.”
I think I replied something like, “Hm-hm,” with a smile.
Boogie looks up at me. Stares. Read as: ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME, JO!?
To which I add, “You are so cute and dramatic. There is no such thing as rejection.”
If you want to kill me right now, I swear, so did Boogie. But she finished her session transformed, so keep reading here if you want the good stuff too. ;-)
And if you are still reading this, then I guess you have had enough of feeling:
Not good enough.
Like this acting career is a waste of time.
Like you are wrong, and your family who told you to stop pursuing this crazy career was right.
To sum it up, you are tired of slowly but surely going CRAZY, and you are ready for something else.
But, how can you be feeling all these things if rejection doesn’t exist?
What exactly am I getting at when I say that there is no such thing as rejection?
Well, let’s deconstruct this:
You are an actor. Your responsibility is to show up with an available and open instrument which will defend a character so that this character can get what they are after.
Going even deeper...
What is an available an open instrument?
It is an instrument that is free of blocks and resistance so that it is available, ready, and spacious enough to give itself to its character.
In other words, as an actor, you open your instrument to another soul. You make it available FOR ANOTHER SOUL TO LIVE ITS JOURNEY inside of your instrument.
So when your instrument walks on set or in a casting, it has become another person. And that other person is pursuing his/her own agenda, not yours.
For example, you, A, an actor, are playing B, a character. So when you set foot on set or on stage or in the casting room, there is no A; there is only B interacting with everything as B, pursuing what B wants, dealing with obstacles as B.
THAT IS YOUR JOB AND RESPONSIBILITY.
Your job is not to show up as A and try to do a good job, to be booked or to be validated as a good actor. Because when you do that, you are taking care of your ego, and you will feel rejected when it doesn’t go your way!
Do you get the nuance?
It is a huge difference. And don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that acting is not competitive and challenging (like any other job in my opinion), but I just...
DO NOT WANT YOU TO INDULGE AND IDENTIFY
WITH HOW HARD ACTING IS
AS A PROFESSION.
Because this perpetuates a very “hard and difficult” context in which everyone agrees to complain about how unfair it is, how hard it is, how unfair it is, how hard it is, how unfair it is, how hard it is... You really want to book that job, and the second you start thinking about how "unfair and hard" it is, then you are not doing your job: which is BEING B and GETTING WHAT B WANTS. (DID YOU HEAR I WAS YELLING? Cuz I was, haha! I love getting carried away in my own blog.)
Also, here's another little reality check.
Rejection DOESN’T EXIST in reality. In reality, this is what happens:
You get a call.
You get some sides.
You work on them.
You go to the casting office.
You play the sides.
You go home.
You continue your life.
You didn’t have a job before; you don’t have one after. You didn’t lose anything.
Rejection is a constructed concept invented in language by humans. IT DOES NOT EXIST.
If you still disagree, think of the animal world. Do they look for support groups to deal with rejection? Not quite. ;-) Though, that would be a funny scene. Animals just move on to the next prey or moment.
I know I will make some of you angry with this, but I am game to take this topic further with you in a Facebook LIVE where you will be able to ask me personal questions and even to challenge me as we take this mindset shift all the way.
Be sure to join my private online group here to get all the details.
Now, back to Boogie!
After having had this conversation and exploring those nuances together, Boogie felt relieved. Totally relieved, actually.
We looked at her audition material together by really being interested in her character, NOT in how to do it well.
And Boogie and I have been working together for a while, so she has an open instrument. She understands the level at which she can defend her characters, but for a little while, she had gotten sucked into the social madness of indulging in rejection. And that had taken her off route.
So, be careful. Don’t conform and indulge in the madness out there. I know it gets you some attention and that feels comforting, but there is something so much bigger for you to experience.
Don’t get off track.
Acting is one of the most beautiful jobs out there.
You get to be at the source of life, in its very juice, and that is a very privileged and blissful endeavor.
INDULGE IN THAT.
Please let me know how you feel about rejection - or the absence of it - in the comments. I am really curious to find out how it goes for you!
Until next time,
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