05 Sep Audition Disappointment: A Parent’s Guide
Your child has auditioned for their dream role, spending 24/7 talking about, preparing for, and dreaming of this role for the last several weeks. Then the cast list came out…
“It’s not fair!” “I’m better than her. Why didn’t they pick me?” “It must have been rigged.” “I didn’t get the part I wanted, so I’m quitting.”
Not every child reacts this way, but it’s natural to experience disappointment of some kind when not receiving the part they wanted.
Your heart hurts for your child and you want to make it better, but what’s the best way for a parent to respond?
Life is about going for things. And when we do, rejection is always a possibility. It hurts, but it’s impossible to avoid it completely. In fact, you don’t want to–people who become too afraid of rejection stop going after things they want. Yes, they avoid rejection, but they’re also 100% guaranteed to miss out on what they want.
So how can you help your child build their ability to cope?
- Be the example for your child that you want them to emulate. A child learns best by watching their parent’s actions. Respond in a way that builds character.
- Process the disappointment with your child. Honor their feelings, but don’t dwell on them endlessly. Lead them to focus on the things they can control—Were you prepared? Did you feel like you tried your best? What would have helped you feel more confident?
- Encourage your child to give themselves credit for trying, “You took a risk—good for you. Even though you were turned down now, there will be another opportunity, another time.”
- Create a plan with your child to help them improve for the next audition (encourage your child to try again; rejection is a lifelong challenge and giving up isn’t a healthy solution). Your plan might include some special training, an audition prep workshop, etc.
Being rejected (and we all will be at times) doesn’t mean someone isn’t liked, valued, or important. It just means that in one situation things didn’t work out. If you approach it right, it could help nudge your child in a direction that turns out to be the stepping stone that leads them to grow and shine on and off the stage.