After hours of homework and preparation, you go into an audition and perform your heart out, only to be turned down for the part. You did your best, and that’s all you can do. So why didn’t it work in your favor?
You’ll ask yourself this question for the next few days and find a hundred reasons of varying validity. I didn’t practice enough. I sang horribly. The director didn’t like me. That choreographer has always hated me. I don’t look the part. I’m too ugly. I just embarrassed myself.
Sometimes the problem is all about what you did or didn’t do: Maybe you didn’t prepare quite as well as you should have. The issue might have been natural, human mistakes during performance.
No matter what, there’s nothing you can do now but look ahead.
You can’t change what happened in that audition, and you can’t guarantee the next one will be perfect, either. But you can put in the work to improve your odds: practice, practice, practice.
So let’s say you double your preparation time and do everything you possibly can to nail the next audition… and you still don’t get the part.
You did your very best… but sometimes your best isn’t enough.
When everyone in the room is trying their best, sometimes your best will simply pale in comparison. Even if you’ve worked yourself to the bone for this audition, someone else with a little more experience and a slightly more eye-catching interpretation of the role might just snatch victory from your grasp. Maybe you were on the exact same level as this person, but the director just happened to like their voice or look a little better for this role. Hell, maybe the director just likes them more than you on a personal level.
Then what? Why do we continue to play this game when the rules are always changing? When we have no way of knowing what standard we are to strive for, our efforts are almost always destined to be in vain. If we can’t see the target, there’s almost no point in trying to aim for it at all.
Remember, though: No one else in the audition can see the target, either.
We’re all shooting blind. We’re all hoping that our unique mixtures of personality, experiences, and training will add up to something that suits the director’s vision.
It’s not that the game isn’t in your favor. The game isn’t in anyone’s favor.
As actors’ we’re simply gambling with our most educated guesses. Every now and then, remind yourself that an audition is not a test where you need to get the most correct answers. An audition is a crapshoot where we’ve all got dice loaded in our own unique ways.
Your dice might not have landed in your favor this time. Remember, though, no one can have the odds in their favor every time they roll.
Bide your time. Eventually, even the most unlucky gambler will hit it big.