No matter what, it can still get to you!

  • Tony Coughlan

    Actor

    Hi everyone,

    I hope you're all well just a general talk really, I've discussed rejection on some of these forums before. But unfortunately I've had a few rejections in a row.

    Now I'm well aware of the good & bad in this industry, & I've heard the 'apply & forget' attitude, & keep positive & don't let it get you down etc.

    However after 3 in a row emails saying 'computer says no' no matter how much positivity comes back no matter how many pep talks etc. You can't avoid the negative thoughts & feelings that creep into your head 'give it up' 'Nobody likes your work' 'Who are you kidding' 'Do something else with your life' please tell me I'm not alone with these thoughts & feelings after 3 negative triple whammy's? Thanks for reading guys.

    • 10th Aug 2020
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  • Andrea Gould

    Actor

    Hi Tony

    Keep going, don't give up! The industry can be very hit and miss sometimes. Good luck :)

    • 3rd Aug 2020
    • 1
  • Melissa Hartzel

    Actor

    Hey Tony, we all have those moments when we question ourselves. The constant rejections are very difficult but you have to dust yourself down and keep going, you’ll get a yes it’s just a matter of time. Good luck

    • 3rd Aug 2020
    • 2
  • Tony Coughlan

    Actor

    Cheers girls,

    The fact I’m not alone gives me solace :)

    • 4th Aug 2020
    • 3
  • Kahmal Sealey

    Actor

    Big T,

    3 in a row, that’s adorable - I failed 7 commercial auditions in a row to a NEW agency signing (+i’m the kind of person who spends the money in their head before they even get it, so in my mind I was down like £40k haha)

    Jokes aside, as I don’t mean to be reductionist, those thoughts and feelings are going to be there and they don’t change, what changes is your approach/mindset to rejection.

    It’s very easy to talk the trigger words/catchphrases automatically and believe them logically (rejection is just a thing that happens) but not truly identify with them emotionally.

    For me at least, I’ve switched my mindset to a ‘I’m being given the opportunity to show my take on the character, i’m giving the opportunity to have fun, thats whats important here!’ This is coming from someone who literally just had a Netflix film audition. I did EVERYTHING right bro, spend one whole day practising via phone with my friend and recorded it, sent those to my agent the next day for review, paid for my boy to come over, ordered him pizza and got more tapes to send over, learnt Italian for the state, I went above and beyond. My manager emailed them and they replied saying they loved it, but the director decided to go another way.

    Honestly, I’m so grateful for the opportunity and I know hand on heart I put my best foot forward, so my mind is clear man, it’s not a reflection of me!

    That sounds very, ‘hippy’ for a lack of better words, but I promise you, depending on the project it’s honestly out of your hands on casting. Yes talent is the constant, but there are exonerating circumstances. Honestly again, it’s easy to understand something logically but not emotionally so I’ll let you know the true moment I realised and was able to change my mindset:

    I was in Poland for a week shooting a commercial in Jan (4 commercials, 2 HEROS in each meaning there were 8 slots up for grabs). Every single ‘HERO slot’ was filled up by an English actor(ess) but one, who they hired out in Poland. I was talking to one of the directors and made a joke about ‘None of the english actors bringing it hard enough for there scene, that’s why they had to go international with it’ and he literally told me that the reason said Polish actor was cast was due to the fact that they wanted to their commercial to ‘appeal to the latin American market and potentially extend the usage territory to include the middle east etc - so they needed someone with a form of racial ambiguity’.

    Bro, how the hell do you prepare for that haha? There’s no way you can go into a room and say ‘I’m going to do my best, the only thing that could stop me though is if they decide to appeal to ‘x market’ or ‘x terroitory’ - bro you’ll be fine, remember why you do this, because you love it. The fact you’re introspective and know that shouldn’t be disheartened tells me you’ll be ok, but if anything don’t feel any way to go to an acting coach and get some tangible feedback - that will further reinforce you’re enough!

    • 4th Aug 2020
    • 4
  • Tony Coughlan

    Actor

    Hi Kahmal,

    Big T love it, to be fair a lot of people either call me that or T-Dog.

    7 wow!!! That’s a body blow! But you’re right your can deal with it logically but not emotionally. Crazy how sometimes it’s clearly for a market! But yeah seriously that’s kind of you to reach out of course I know the risks I know it’s tough. Just sometimes you need to reach out to your fellow thespians for a bit of ‘virtual group therapy’ let’s call it :)

    • 4th Aug 2020
    • 5
  • Matthew Tyrrell

    Actor

    Hi Tony,

    I myself definitely have feelings of self-worth after a rejection. To be honest, the majority of the things I apply for I don’t even get a response, so most of the time I’m just happy to be given the opportunity to audition! But that doesn’t mean the negative feelings aren’t there.

    I think we just have to remember that if we are turned down after an audition, it’s not a reflection on our abilities as actors. It’s because the casting directors always have a specific idea for what and how the character they’re auditioning people for should be. One example is Tom Hiddleston, when he auditioned for the part of Thor. Of course he ended up being casted as Loki instead, but it was explained that while Tom did a fantastic job in his audition for Thor, the casting directors just didn’t see him as the character. It’s all down to your look and the way you carry yourself in a part.

    “Keep buggering on!” is what I always try and say! Best of luck!

    Matthew

    • 4th Aug 2020
    • 6
  • Matthew Tyrrell

    Actor

    I don’t know why I wrote “casted” in my post - apologies for that poor typo!

    • 4th Aug 2020
    • 7
  • Tony Coughlan

    Actor

    Hi Matthew that's very true.

    Well guys I do suffer from quite serious mental health issues which I have been hospitalised for (It's OK I don't want violins) it was a mixture of a bad mental health week & the rejections. Straw that broke the camels back so to speak, usually I'm pretty upbeat about these things just too much emotion in one day.

    But seriously thanks for taking the time out to reach out to me with your own stories.

    As I said a bit of virtual therapy with fellow thespians does you the world of good. :)

    • 4th Aug 2020
    • 8
  • Matthew Tyrrell

    Actor

    Hi Ian,

    Of course, and I think it’s incredibly important to build each other up! We’re all in a pretty hard cut industry and while at auditions we may be competing for parts, we are still all going through the same struggles and so it’s important to have that support network amongst us. :)

    I think this thread has been a very good thing, so thank you for creating it and sharing your experiences!

    Matthew

    • 4th Aug 2020
    • 9
  • Matthew Tyrrell

    Actor

    My apologies Tony - I have no idea why I wrote ‘Ian’! Probably because I was texting a friend of mine alongside. Haha!

    • 4th Aug 2020
    • 10
  • Lorraine Brett

    Actor

    Tony, Try to always think thoughts are not facts .....it's like the weather/life it will change . We have a very hard competitive industry where you can't but think it's personal . I also had 3 short lists then nothing .Yes i was downhearted but the bigger picture is it's a lottery at times and i was grateful of the short list accept it's not just you . Thanks for sharing :)

    • 4th Aug 2020
    • 11
  • Tony Coughlan

    Actor

    Well everyone,

    Thank you so much for all your comments and thoughts. It’s been lovely reading them all, I think because were in our little bubble applying for roles, updating our online presence when things don’t go our way we feel isolated and on our own.

    Reaching out has made me realise I’m not as alone as I thought.

    Thank you :)

    • 5th Aug 2020
    • 12
  • Róisín Monaghan

    Actor

    Hi Tony,

    My advice is to accept rejection as part of your job. Also, it means nothing. Your job is to go into an audition room/zoom and give it your best. After that you have zero control over what happens. But at the end of the day if you did a great audition, people will always remember and they will call you back eventually for another production. 99% of actors are grafting for years before anyone takes notice, commit to the long haul.

    Have something else in your life that makes you feel good about yourself, so that your not taking the rejections to heart.

    Also you might need professional advice from someone whose opinion you respect. I'm looking at your headshot and you look sad and its too close. The most important aspect of any headshot is the performers eyes-the windows of the soul-but you are looking away from the camera, you cant even see your eyes! A mistake like this might make some directors think you don't know what you are doing-even before you have got in the room. If you can't afford new shots get a good friend to take natural shots of you on an iphone, with good lighting(maybe outdoors). You can be inspired by looking at other actors headshots and seeing what makes it a great shot. Then try to replicate. I wish you the best of luck with your career. Do not let rejection define you. The greatest creatives in the world have all had to deal with rejection. The only reason they made it is they kept going and kept getting better at their craft. All the best

    • 10th Aug 2020
    • 13
  • Tony Coughlan

    Actor

    Hi Roisin,

    I don't know what headshots your looking at but I had new ones done 2 weeks ago they are on my Spotlight page as well as a few on here where I'm staring directly into camera. I've been acting for 15 years as a professional as well as doing other jobs. As I said on my original post i'm very well aware of the rejection. But my point was no matter how experienced you are or how much you might accept rejection it can still hit you. we have to respect the minds power over the body thinking unwelcome thoughts that we can't control. I wish we could of course :)

    Cheers

    T.

    • 10th Aug 2020
    • 14