April Matson gives sage advice about handling rejection, auditioning, and more!
I have probably been on 50 auditions and have only booked one job. How do you handle the rejection? It’s starting to get to me. – Jan Q., Valencia, CA
Most of us have accepted that we’re probably going to hear “no” a lot more than we hear “yes”. I auditioned for a solid year before I even got a call back! At times it seems like our job as actors is auditioning, and when we finally get a job it’s a break from the real work. So how do we stay motivated, hopeful, driven,and inspired in spite of so much rejection? When I was a student at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, George S. Kaufman (playwright, The Man Who Came To Dinner), came to speak about acting as a business. Something he said stayed with me all of these years. He told me that if acting is our business, that means we are the product. When you’re auditioning, it’s just like going door-to-door selling any other product. His example was vacuums. You can go around trying to sell a vacuum and a lot of people are going to say “no” because they don’t need a vacuum that day, or they need a smaller vacuum, or a quieter one, or one that comes with different attachments than yours does. It doesn’t mean that you’re awful and no one is going to want your vacuum, it just means that they don’t have a need for what you are selling that day.
April, I know that you are producing now as well as acting. Has it given you a different perspective on the casting process? -Brett G., Miami, FL
Being on the other side of the casting desk has helped me understand the casting process a lot more. As a producer, I’ve read actors for roles and have ended up casting people not necessarily any more talented than their competition, but simply because they just happened to be exactly what I was looking for at the time.
You are so cute – what kind of feedback have you gotten on your auditions? – Michael K., Austin, TX
I’ve heard feedback that could have stolen hours of sleep from me (and sometimes did): too young, too old, not pretty enough, too pretty, too thin, too chubby, not edgy enough, too edgy…blah blah blah. A lot of too this and not enough that. And yet, when I was “right” for something, I was just “it.” I just was the role. I was exactly what they were looking for, even if they didn’t know what it was they were looking for before I walked into the room.
April Matson is an actress best known for her role as Lori Trager in the ABC Family (now Freeform) cable television network series, Kyle XY. Prior to that she appeared as Penny Chase on the Fox Network television series, Quintuplets, alongside Andy Richter. In addition, April has guest starred in several television shows and appeared in independent films as well as theatre productions that include performances at the Zephyr Theatre and Second City in Los Angeles. In 2015, April founded Platform, an acting studio and theatre & film production company based in Boise, Idaho, where she teaches acting classes as well as coaches and mentors actors of all experience levels.
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Last modified: August 13, 2017