Did you ever think that it’s our job to audition and the vacation is when you get the job?
I never thought of it that way either, until Nik Walker from Hamilton came to speak to my theater class. He had to audition 8 times before he received that special “yes” from Hamilton, and now his vacation has begun.
It doesn’t mean the work is over, but it means the hustle of auditioning and going back time after time again after not getting the role or contract is over…for now.
As dancers we receive criticism and a few no’s and we immediately internalize it as rejection. This can happen anywhere from an audition to the rehearsal process or even in the paper from a dance critic. No matter what package the “rejection” comes in, it sucks and we have to learn how to handle it.
Professionals are often better at handling rejection than emerging artists or students because they have established a certain level of confidence in their craft. They know someone else’s opinion does not define who they are as an artist or diminish their talent.
For example, they understand that if they get cut from an audition or they don’t get the job, it does not mean they’re not a good dancer. They just were not what the artistic director was looking for at the moment.
I am focusing on dancers for the sake of my new series, but this can relate to any field of work.
As emerging artists attending auditions and finding ourselves throughout all of it, “rejections” are hard. And they are even more difficult when money is tight and you desperately need to make a living.
The financial stress artists often find themselves in deserves it’s own discussion. Ahem.. future post topic. Until then, read my posts on how to save money and invest it!
Have you signed up for my email course to help you with your finances: The Ultimate Guide to Managing Your Finances in 2017! Don’t miss out on my proven tips to help you spend more wisely and eliminate debt.
I am currently reading, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin, and she said the second thing mentally strong people don’t do is give away their power.
Retaining your power is about evaluating feedback to determine if it has any validity.
How often have you taken someone’s criticism or feedback as fact and used it to deter your self esteem?
The person auditioning you or choreographing in the front of the room is going to have an opinion. All you can do is your absolute best, but you can’t change how that person perceives you.
Nonetheless, you want to work for someone who values what you bring to the table, and if they don’t, then working with that person is going to be far from joyous.
Despite how they feel, you know their opinion doesn’t devalue your talent.
It’s easy to lose your power and yourself when you allow rejections to question if you are good enough. Don’t allow those detrimental thoughts to slip into your mind because they won’t help you get to the vacation at the end of the tunnel.
3 Ways to Retain Your Power and Overcome Rejection:
You have to trust and own that you are special.
You didn’t train for x amount of years to not be amazing, so you owe it to yourself to remind yourself everyday that you are great. This doesn’t mean their isn’t always more work to do, but walk into the studio with that confidence everyday.
The moment you start to doubt yourself and your abilities is when you lose your power and you allow others to define your future.
2. Don’t do it to simply please others
How many people spend their entire lives working to please someone else? First it was your parents, then your teachers, and now your bosses. It’s exhausting and unfulfilling to work solely for the approval of other people.
Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner. -Lao Tzu
Don’t hand over your power and the key to your happiness to someone else to use and abuse. Because when you give away your power, it makes rejection 10x more devastating and stressful.
Change that by working hard for yourself. We dance or enter any career field because we genuinely love to do it, or ideally that’s the goal, so keep being great because you love it and someone else cannot take that away from you.
3. Avoid comparisons
You know that evil person that sits on your shoulder and starts comparing you to other people? Yea.. shut that person up, lock her up, and throw away the key.
I have found one the of the most deterring things you can do is compare yourself to other people.
Everyone’s path is different, and I believe there is a space for us all to excel.
So, don’t let someone take your power on your path to your vacation. You worked too hard all of these years to allow someone that much authority.
This post is the third installment in my series How to Get A Job as a Dancer. The First post was Building Relationships/ Networking and the second post was How To Build Relationships from Professionals!