Rejection hits hard, particularly for artists submitting creative works - because every creative work you endeavor to create (be it a screenplay, a poem, a song, a book, an article, etc.) requires some level of passion and for you to insert a part of yourself into it, so it's like you've exposed yourself and allowed yourself to be vulnerable, only to be slapped away. It's (probably) even worse for actors and actresses, because THEY THEMSELVES are the 'things' being rejected - oftentimes for physical features they can't change or things like "just not being a big enough name yet" (cue the old joke about intern positions requiring 2 years of experience - HOW ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO GET EXPERIENCE IF THE STARTING POSITIONS REQUIRE EXPERIENCE?!).
In short, rejection sucks....but there's hope. Every great artist, actor, or really anyone in any field who's found some measure of success started out their careers facing rejection after rejection. The people you look up to the most were once at the bottom of the totem pole, just like you - they were brushed aside and dismissed just as readily as anyone. But it made them harder and stronger, it made their work better, and now they can look back on those rejections as just a small bump in the road. It shows that there's hope for everyone, no matter how bleak things may seem. That's why the recent trending hashtag #ShareYourRejections was so cool to read through - a nice reminder that there's a light on the other side.
(of course, not everyone "makes it" in their desired fields, and sometimes rejections only give way to MORE rejections. But hopefully you're finding ways to make things that are meaningful to you along the way, even if other organizations don't want to pay you for them. The internet's nice like that - if your stuff gets rejected, you can just make your own blog or start up a Youtube channel or something - there's always a way to get your stuff out there)
I was rejected from the Warner Brothers TV writers' workshop three years in a row. The next year, I got staffed on Orange is the New Black. #ShareYourRejections-- Lauren Morelli (@lomorelli) August 15, 2018
I didn't get into theatre school (twice), the ratio of booked auditions to failed ones is around 1:100 and have recently entered the whole new realm of film festival rejections (yay!), but man when you put yourself out there and get a win, it's all worth it. #ShareYourRejections-- Anna Hopkins (@AnnaBananaHops) August 17, 2018
My yr 12 music teacher told me I'd never make it in music. Two days ago I played to 10k viewers on Twitch. I've performed at huge international events, I have a YouTube Silver Play button and a community who likes video game music as much as I do. #ShareYourRejections-- lara6683 (@Larawithabird) August 17, 2018
I was rejected from the Warner Bros. TV writers' workshop after four years of not selling a single thing. 2 months later I sold THE POST. #ShareYourRejections-- Liz Hannah (@itslizhannah) August 16, 2018
My fourth book was rejected by the publisher of my previous two books and I cried for a week straight and then I sold it to someone else and it became a NYT Bestseller 🕶 #ShareYourRejections-- jami attenberg (@jamiattenberg) August 15, 2018
I auditioned to play Pam. I didn't get the part. Two months later they called me in for the role of the bitch in accounting. #ShareYourRejection-- Angela Kinsey (@AngelaKinsey) August 17, 2018
#ShareYourRejections I was cast in a role in a sitcom pilot. On Sunday I got a script, I had been written out of the show?! But no one called me to tell me! Drove to work Mon, asked "Am I still in this?" Phone call, AD comes back, "No. You need to leave." I cried in the car.-- Felicia Day (@feliciaday) August 16, 2018
Literally hours before I graduated from college, I auditioned for two theater managers that told me I wasn't ready for show business. Then, I went back to my dorm, put on my cap and gown and graduated. #ShareYourRejection-- Rachel Bloom (@Racheldoesstuff) August 17, 2018
Years back, when the Resident Evil films introduced Leon, they put out an audition to ADR the live action actor (who apparently had an accent) with a voice match to Leon from the game. The reference audio was me.-- Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) August 16, 2018
I did not book it.
I still laugh.#ShareYourRejections
Rejected from Rada, lamda, BOV, Drama Centre, countless short play nights (acting & writing), never once been accepted into Vault Festival after applying every year, Old Vic 12 the same. KEEP GOING. I've learnt that it can't all be for ya but cherish what is. #ShareYourRejections-- Milly Thomas🌈 (@missmillythomas) August 17, 2018
#ShareYourRejections I received emails from agents saying they wouldn't see my show because they 'couldn't consider anyone of the female persuasion' & were 'a bit saturated girl-wise right now'. Not long after I began TheGuiltyFeminist podcast which now has 50 million downloads.-- DeborahFrances-White (@DeborahFW) August 17, 2018
I saved most of my pre-first novel rejection letters (we got letters back then!) and laminated them together. I unroll them to show kids at school visits. #ShareYourRejections pic.twitter.com/Wtk4UynvuE-- Shannon Hale (@haleshannon) August 16, 2018
#ShareYourRejections listen, my book was rejected, like, 28 times until it won the Yale. The poems were constantly rejected. Name a journal; they rejected them. Anyway, this is Gertrude Stein's epic rejection in 1912. We're in good company. Long game. pic.twitter.com/c8gETGf5b7-- Airea D. Matthews (@aireadee) August 16, 2018
Take it from our own Sam Reich (now the Head of Production at CollegeHumor, a producer on multiple TV shows, and a creative tour de force)...
One time, a casting director called me to ask if they could submit me for Law & Order. "Why even ask?" I said. "Well," they said, "You'll be dead and naked and hanging in a meat shop window."-- Sam Reich (@samreich) August 17, 2018
"Of course!" I said. "Submit me!"
I didn't get it. #ShareYourRejection