So tell me if this is you: you’ve probably been to countless auditions, hundreds (even thousands) and are finding it hard to find a good theater or acting job. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Thousands of actors, even Broadway performers get rejected at auditions every day. Take it from Broadway’s sweetheart Laura Osnes herself. It may seem like her Broadway resume would guarantee her work, but that’s not always true. Below are 5 pieces of valuable advice from “Grease” and “Cinderella’s” Laura Osnes herself on dealing with constant rejection and how to pick yourself right back up and keep going…and end up booking that Broadway gig:
1. Understand That it Just Wasn’t Meant to Be
I personally have gone into auditions, felt like I nailed them and ended up not booking the job. Realize that most of the time, it’s not because of your talent, it’s most likely something completely beyond your control, like age, height or even down to how well the costume fits. For example, many actresses that have reached the final rounds of auditions for Christine in “Phantom of the Opera” say it always came down to which actress fit the dress of who was just about to leave the role that got the job, due to the fact that it would cost hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to create a new dress. So as you see, it doesn’t always come down to who can sing the role better or who was more talented…it came down to who could literally fit the dress.
2. It Was Not Only Not Meant to Be, But You Were Meant For Something Else Just Around The Corner
Look at every piece of rejection and understand that every experience in life is meant to teach you something, prepare you for something in the future, or prevent you from doing something you were actually meant to do. Laura Osnes talks about how her audition rejection gave her insight into how to better prepare for the next audition…and be available and prepared for when that next (and sometimes better) opportunity arises. For example, let’s say you really want this leading role in a show at a prominent regional out-of-town playhouse. You end up getting to the last round and losing the role to another colleague. Darn. The next week, since you’re still auditioning and aren’t prepping to leave town, you stumble into an audition for a new, upcoming show called “Hamilton” and end up booking that instead…and the rest is history. If you would have gotten the out-of-town job, you would have never gone to the “Hamilton” audition in the first place. This is what we like to call “Silver Lining Audition Mining,” or SLAM!
3. It Makes You Appreciate The Jobs You Get and the Journey it Took to Get There
The creative process manifests its sources of inspiration and direction in many different ways. Laura Osnes (and most professional actors) credits a good amount of her success to the influence of life experience and the appreciation of the hard work and time it took to get there. In Anthony Rapp’s Broadway Masters masterclass, he speaks about the same notion that if you focus on the prize you are doomed to fail, but if you focus on the process you are destined for greatness. Appreciate the process and you’ll feel far more fulfilled once you achieve the victory.
4. The Director May Cast You In Another Show You’re Actually Right For Down The Road
When you show your best talents and attributes to any creative professional, you leave an impression. Regardless of what is being cast that day, the impression you leave on those casting and creative professionals lasts far past that specific audition. Laura Osnes speaks about how going into an audition and nailing it no matter if you’re right for it or not, can leave an impression that may cast you in a show the same creative team may be casting down the road. This is true across the audition spectrum and if you have the attitude of showing your best talents instead of showing your talents within the role you’re auditioning for that day, can ensure you turning a rejection into a job down the road.
5. Say Yes to Every Audition
We can’t stress this enough, but say yes to every audition. This is one of the key points mentioned in not only Laura Osnes’ Masterclass, but also Charlotte D’Amboise’s as well. As we said in a blog post on Broadway Live, the audition rule still applies:
80 auditions gets your first callback
100 auditions gets your first job.
It’s really a numbers game. Sure enough, people will get snatched up as audition season rolls on and if you keep this in mind, you are GUARANTEED to book work if you just say YES to every audition that comes your way, even if you’re not right for the part. Remember what we said in point #4 above…you never know when the same director will cast you in something else down the line. So just go.
Watch Laura Osnes’ short segment below and tune in Friday, November 25th at 6p/9e for our special 1-hour broadcast of Laura Osnes’ master class on Broadway Masters: