Today I had a unique experience. It was the experience of rejection. Now you’re gonna say, “Rejection is the norm for us!” And yes, you’re correct. A small form of this experience happens all the time as a “professional auditioner”. We all deal with it daily as voice actors, but todays version was a lot more painful. I was released from a long time client after 15 years. To be fair, the company itself did not release me, it was another company who acquired them that decided I wasn’t needed on their existing talent roster. So there’s the double ouch.
Now you may be thinking, “Wow! You had consistent work from the same client for 15 years?”. And yes, you’d be so right. And yes, I am very grateful. But I also have to go through the experience of disappointment as well. Can’t ignore it! If I do, it may come out in some way like me yelling at someone at the grocery store for picking up a banana I wanted, a few weeks down the road.
Since I’ve been at this for over 25 years, rejection in various forms is normal to me. I resolve it by reminding myself that I just wasn’t the right voice for their project, that there are other jobs and I usually don’t take it personally. Years ago, I stopped even thinking about any auditions I sent off because any type of anticipation would end in disappointment when I heard the spot being voiced by someone else. Best not to form any attachments to auditions. Let it go and trust that there is another job around the corner, because there always is.
But this was one of my longest running clients. A relationship naturally formed because of our almost daily interaction. My voice was used by this company for 1000’s of clients, so for this new company to not want me to continue to service those clients is what hurts the most. So it’s like the end of an era for me.
But alas, the reality of this business is such. The selection of talent is so subjective, just like choosing how you like your hamburger, there are no explanations at times as to why someone was picked over someone else. And dealing with rejection must be learned early on in this career because if you skip that part, you won’t last.
For me, building a thick skin was done over years of some pain mixed in with victories. Allowing myself the time to grieve a loss like this no matter how long I’ve been at it, keeps me going. Tonight, I’ll pour myself my favorite tequila, sit on my back deck, chat with my partner and start to appreciate the time I had with that client. As long as you keep your perspective clear on your goal and have faith in yourself and talents, you’ll continue on this road, no matter how many rejections you face.