Sooooo, you had a bad audition. Now what?

Bad auditions. We all have them. How do you pick yourself back up?

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I used to really suck at auditioning. I’ll say it. I was the only person in my class the second year in college who had never been cast in a production. I finally got the courage to talk to a professor about it and he was brutally honest with me (a story for a different day) Something clicked that day about how I came off in auditions that I worked my butt off to fix and fixed it. Also, I’m no stranger to rejection and I know how to pick myself up after.

  1. First and foremost, CHOOSE to pick yourself back up. No matter what. My daughter Poppy just learned how to walk. And that first night of walking back and forth in between the safety of mom and dad, I was almost grateful for the times that she fell. I was quickly able to pick her back up and show her that it wasn’t a big deal. We’d even cheer! If that first night, she had fallen and I had let her stop trying right then and there—(like she wanted to), it would have confirmed in her mind that she shouldn’t try again because the falling was not worth the walking. She would have developed a fear of it by not trying it again. When we have a bad audition, every day that we do not go to our voice lesson or choose a new audition, we confirm to our mind that we are not good enough. You have to jump back in there in order to create new habits of auditioning and change your brainwaves. You have to prove to your brain that not every audition is going to go that way. Auditioning needs to be practiced. Get out there ASAP! Also, here’s a video of Poppy walking for the first time just because I really love you guys.

  2. Have a day. Give yourself a timeline. Mine is usually 24 hours. Mourn it. You put your heart and soul into this thing, as well you should have. Process it. Be mad, be sad. Eat some cheesecake. Then be done. Let it go. Find a way to be happy for your friends who got cast and then pull your bootstraps up and find something else to look forward to.

  3. You’re gonna hate me for this one. Get some lessons. Listen. We all have something to work on. Casting is not personal. Sometimes it’s about things we can’t control: your height, your hair color, your body type. But sometimes it’s about things we can control. You are a product. Sometimes the product needs some improvement. Get feedback on your auditions, if possible. You will be surprised at how many directors are happy to talk to you about what you can improve. Send an email, make a phone call. Sometimes you might already know what it is you can improve on. Take some voice lessons, get some audition coaching (from people who are not your friends-professionals), take some dance classes, take some acting classes. I promise you, we all need to keep up on our craft. An old dog can learn new tricks. Education can be uncomfortable—I get it. But performing is vulnerable. Rejection and feeling foolish is part of the process. If you came to performing hoping you would always feel like a rockstar, you are sorely mistaken. If you want this badly enough, pull up your sleeves and get to work.

I wanna hear from you! How do you cope with a bad audition?

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