Sunday, September 25, 2011

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 938: How do I get over feeling deflated when I reach out to people who don't respond?

There are many things you can reach out to others for in our industry; help, a job, services, mentorship, "Friend"ship, advice, referrals, an audition, an interview, and on and on...

And there are multiple responses you can receive; yes, no, I can't but I know someone who can, "accept," a counter offer, and ignore...

Obviously, no is always hard to hear, and the counter offers aren't always what you had in mind, but being ignored seems to be one of the hardest to handle. A lack of response is worse than a "no" because at least a "no" is clear.

But a lack of response, that just makes the little voices in your head scream, doesn't it? I bet you can come up with anywhere between 3 and 25 reasons WHY they aren't responding, all of which you are the villain or the fool. You rethink your strategy, you rethink your actions, and you rethink what you just thought. This is called 'spinning' and it's a terrible state to be in.

It's particularly bad because, like a spinning top, it can keep spinning and spinning and you never know when it will slow down and finally stop.

A by product of spinning is self doubt. You question the words you used in your request, you question the person you made the request of, and you question if you'll ever put yourself out there again. Is it worth it to feel this discouraged?

Let's leave our industry for a moment and look at a situation that is happening to many families right now. This particular family consists of a father/husband, mother/wife, and 3 children under the age of 10. They have a mortgage on a house. They have a lot of credit card debt. The husband/breadwinner lost his job over two years ago and has not been able to gain employment since. The wife has been taking care of the children and unable to work. They tried to sell their house. Can you imagine every job application that has been ignored in the past two years? How many times they've sat in a bank and been told no? How many times they've tried to lower their interest rates and been told no? How many people have looked at their house and said no? How many times lack of money has forced them to look at their children and say no? They stand to lose everything. For a family with no health insurance and a sick child who needs expensive medicine it can literally be life or death.

I've worked in our industry a long time. I've been told no by agents, casting directors, production companies, network and studio executives, mentors, friends. IT'S NEVER EASY and IT'S NEVER FUN.

But it does get easier when you put it in perspective. A no, from a potential mentor isn't life or death. A no on a job isn't life or death... although if you're in entertainment and expect your only income to come from your talent, you could find yourself in the same position as the family above.

So do you need thicker skin? It's not a matter of how thick your skin is. It's a matter of understanding the nature of our industry. For every yes there can be 100 'no's. Are you willing to be okay with that? There are easier industries to make a living in. Would you be able to give up your dream? If you don't want to give up your dream you have to be okay with the rejection ratio.

Do you have to keep pounding on doors? I don't know about pounding, but yes, you have to keep knocking, because you never know which one will open. The beauty is, when the right one does open, it feels so good, it far outweighs the deflation of the 'no's.

Patience and perseverance are two of the most important mindsets you can master in entertainment. You must believe in yourself and your dream more than the the spinning thoughts that your mind creates when you're ignored or rejected.

For that family, the husband and wife wake up every day with a clear motivation: SURVIVAL.

What is your motivation that will get you up every day, ready to face the good the bad and the deflating? Because if your motivation isn't stronger than your fear of rejection, your will to succeed will be chipped away until it is no more.

So, to end this on a positive note, focus ALL of your attention on what motivates you to succeed? How will you feel when you do? What will you be able to do when you have reached the level of success you desire? Who can you help? Whose lives will you affect? How will your life change?

Stay focused on these questions until you have a POWERFUL motivation statement, that you can read every time you feel deflated and you will bounce back faster and faster until the 'no's become the driving fuel for you to strive even harder. Not only will it build your confidence, it will build your character. Because those who succeed have this in common, they:


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