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Not landing the audition is NOT a failure. Yeah, right.

Edge Studio

People who know the power of positive thinking realize that failing to land an audition is not really a failure. Nor is it rejection. The positive way to look at it is this: You just weren’t the one person they selected.

Easy to say. Not so easy to feel. So here’s some help …

Although not landing an audition is disappointing, even frustrating, it’s part of the acting business. Another part of the acting business is knowing which auditions to try out for, and understanding what you can learn when you don’t get the role.

Nobody ever wins everything. Just as not even the best batter in baseball will hit perfectly over an entire season (in fact, a 30% average is considered good), no actor ever won every role they were up for in the course of their career. The key is to know which roles to try for, and when you don’t get the part, learn how to learn from the experience, or (eventually this will be the usual case) simply slough it off and move on.

Is that easier said than done? Probably. But putting missed opportunities into perspective is easier when you look at them as variable situations, filled with gray areas, and not absolutes.

  • It’s not a matter of having been right or wrong. Assuming you’re a competent voice-over professional, you made various creative decisions before delivering your read. You may or may not have executed them perfectly, but even if you did, someone else may have made exactly the same decisions, or made a decision that the casting team liked better.
  • It’s a value judgment, a personal opinion. Not the judgment of G*d. The reasons for not choosing you might not even have to do with the quality of your performance. Maybe it was the inherent nature of your voice (we purposely have not said “voice quality“). Maybe it was you sounded older or younger than they wanted. Maybe they wanted a totally different attitude or interpretation (even though yours may have been just as valid). Maybe they had no idea what they wanted and essentially flipped a coin?
  • It’s not a public performance. The only people who know you didn’t make the cut are you and the client. You have not been publicly humiliated, so don’t feel as if you have. You haven’t even been privately humiliated. You simply didn’t get the call.
  • Only one person could make the cut. It’s not as if you’re not good enough to enlist in the Marines. In this case, the “Marines” needed only one person. Plenty of other smart, hunky, gung-ho voices didn’t get chosen. That doesn’t make any of you “failures.”
  • They didn’t select your audition. It’s not that they rejected you. The casting team didn’t mean it personally, and you shouldn’t take it that way.

Still, not landing a role feels like a downer to some extent. The key to handling that feeling is to avoid considering it a setback. It’s a one-time thing. Unless it becomes a long-term pattern, let it pass and move on.

Even learn from it, if you can. Maybe there’s a trend, or maybe you pushed the envelope too much, or too little.

If you’re at an impasse, or just can’t land any auditions (or have lost more than you think is appropriate), that’s your cue to get feedback and recommendations from an experienced expert. You might even consider a review consult with our Chief Edge Officer, David Goldberg.

Do you have a comment or suggestion? Please send to [email protected].