Voice work takes a good deal of energy, so you need to make sure you can keep your spirits up and your confidence un-dented for the next audition.
This article, "Dealing with rejection: Five Ways to Cope with No" puts forward an interesting theory that acceptance is a natural human craving that comes from humans originally living in much smaller communities, where we relied
on each other for survival. If you got rejected back then, not only did everybody know about it, but it was also risky to your survival.
Whatever the cause, being rejected is not fun, no matter how self-confident and stable you may be in other areas of your life. But rejection is inevitable, so it's good to think about how you're going to deal with it in advance. Just this year a British school ran a 'failure week', where pupils learnt about failing, and most importantly, coming back from it.
Here are some suggestions for dealing with failure and rejection in voice acting from a home studio. As usual there are as many ways to approach this as there are people out there, so this is by no means a definitive list.
It goes without saying that you'll be honing your acting and vocal skills anyway in the ways that work for you. These are just thoughts on dealing with the rest of it.
1. Look at your setup
Before you start, make sure that all the client is going to be judging you on is your vocal performance. You don't want to get rejected on sound quality before the client even listens to you speak. Listen to all your auditions with headphones or ear buds. It's startling how suddenly you can hear all the breaths, puffs, crackles, the clock in the room, the neighbours' dog snoring, etc.
- Use a pop screen.
- Listen to your takes and redo them if necessary.
- Clients and producers all have different rules for how they like their files recorded and labelled. It's worth taking time to reread their exact instructions so you don't get caught out.
2. Don't stop moving
As soon as one audition is in and awaiting response, start on the next one or the next project. Once you've sent it then nothing that you now feel or think about it is going to change it or the outcome. So don't waste time wondering or worrying, just focus on what's next.
By having more than one thing to focus on, rejections won't hit as hard. And if you do get the gig, then that will snap you straight back into that place of enthusiasm and excitement for the project again.
There's an inspiring article in the "We're All Freelance" blog which refers to people doing creative projects as 'Makers of Things...the blacksmiths of the twenty first century' and urges them to keep adding irons to the fire. I'd add that not only is that practical from a job viewpoint, but from an emotional one, too.
3. Learning through doing
Every time you audition you are practising and stretching your skills. Every one may demand something different: from obvious things such as accent, pitch and pacing, to the less obvious like trying to appeal to a new audience, working on specific jargon, tongue-twister scripts, or even practicalities like exporting into .ogg format.
If you look at each audition as valuable experience in itself then rejection does not mean a waste of time.
4. Seeing through a producer's/client's eyes
Some of the most philosophical people with regard to rejection have one thing in common: they've held auditions. They've listened to dozens of actors reading the same lines and, while maybe the choice for that specific role has been very clear, they know that many or all of the others were also good, just not what they had in mind.
It is nigh on impossible to predict a client's ideal voice for the part. If there are multiple parts then it all depends how your voice fits in with other voices around it,
too. All you can do is your best in your interpretation and hope that it fits with their interpretation.
5. Rejection can be a positive thing!
Take a look at this.
Doesn't it make you almost yearn for rejection?
Coping with Acceptance
You do the audition, you wait... and then you get the job!
Once the first flush of excitement has died down, that's when anxiety and self-doubt can creep in. Now you actually have to *do* the job. The client's trusting you to live up to the impression you gave in the audition. There's far more text. You're on a deadline. You have to keep up that same energy and delivery for maybe hours at a time... but no pressure, eh?
Whatever the deadline, it's worth setting to work on it as soon as possible.
Re-read the client's instructions. Re-read the script and if there's time you can always rearrange text to make it easier to read while recording by spacing out paragraphs or phrases, colouring the background to make it easier on the eye, whatever helps you to feel comfortable.
If requests for retakes come, don't take them as a criticism but as part of the process of getting the most suitable delivery. Remember that, while your voice and how you use it is obviously a part of you, the client is focused on the end product. If you do the same then you can work together to get there, rather than feeling that the client is attacking your approach.
While it is a good feeling to succeed, in the same way as with failure, it is best not to measure your own self worth by the jobs you get or do not get. Get that, instead, from other areas of your life so that you come to auditioning with a steady centre and less fear of failure - or anxiety about success.