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Rejection; Your Child’s Audition & How To Deal With It

Irene's Children
Exec Prod Irene Dreayer & her Dray Kids

Why didn’t they pick me?  Why didn’t they like me?  Was I not good enough?  Should I never do this again?

We have all heard this little voice in our heads after REJECTION.  As adults we encounter rejection all the time…applying for jobs, losing promotions, liking a guy or gal and they not liking you, the list goes on.  Rejection starts young…not getting into a club, not selected for the team, not being part of the popular crowd, not getting asked to the dance, not being chosen as Prom King or Queen.  Painful!  Rejection is a part of life.

What happens to a child, teen or tween that gets rejected when auditioning for a role on a TV series or movie?  Disappointment obviously, self-doubt, fear, loss of confidence and the feeling of not being “good enough.”

I always strive to remove the idea of rejection when a kid doesn’t get the role they worked so hard preparing for.  I tell parents to make sure that “you didn’t get the job” does not become ‘you were rejected’ in a kid’s mind.  Parents need to learn and choose their words carefully after their child comes out of the audition room knowing they didn’t get the role.  The process of casting a role is complicated and many factors play into casting a character. “They wanted someone taller as the lead of the show is very tall. They decided to go with a kid much older. They now need an ethnic kid. The boy character is now a girl.” If parents understand that rejection of a child for a role, many times had nothing to do with their child’s abilities as an actor, they can convey a more positive experience to their child.

Remember, every audition should be a learning and fun experience.  If your child gets a NO, you can turn that NO into a YES when talking to your child.  Tell your child, “Yes you were very good and they want to see you again.  It’s just this time, the show needs the character to be completely different, that’s all.”

When I take kids into a network or studio or production company with the intent of trying to sell them as “the next big star,” I talk to the kids and parents right before we go into the meeting.  Once we get out of the elevator this is what I say to them.  “How great and fabulous is it that you are here, just you, no one else, meeting the people that make the shows you love.  How incredible is it to be here and have this opportunity…just to get the chance.  Whatever happens, look how special you are to get this far, if you get the job great.”

The excitement should be in the process.  Let your child know that not every person is given this special opportunity.


This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. Thank you so much for this piece on “rejection”. I loved the last bit about reminding them “how special they are for getting this far” and that they are fabulous whether they get the role or not!

    My daughter seems to cope with rejection fairly well at this point but finding ways to boost her self-esteem after a rejection can be challenging.

    I am so glad I came across your website.

    1. Cari-you must be a fabulous parent! I’m thrilled to hear that your daughter copes with rejection well. Use my suggestions in the Self-Esteem blog entry as well as the how to handle Rejection tips. You are on the right course. I’m thrilled you found The Dray Way! Keep coming back!

  2. In order to boost my son’s self esteem after an audition, I tell him “Kenny, I don’t know whether you are going to make it in music or acting first, but there is no doubt in my mind that you will be successful in both of these fields – you just need to get in front of the right people. You’ve got a big agent now and they would not have signed you if they did not think you had what it takes. I believe in your gifts and you have worked hard. It will happen for you and I am not worried about it. Don’t you worry about it either. (Kenny is 8 years old). Then I take him for ice cream at the grove.

  3. My very young eight year old handles the rejection so well. He recently made it down to one of 4 kids for a lead role on a show. When I let him know they cast one of the other kids, he said he was so excited for that kid and he can’t wait to see the show. Then he said, “I know I did my best, this one wasn’t for me. On to the next one mom!” I am so proud of that kid.

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