Handling rejection with grace – up close and personal


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I posted this little story on the VO-BB, but I thought I would share it here as well.

Early in October, I auditioned to sing the National Anthem at a Charlotte Bobcats game. Not a money gig, but exposure, fun, something I’m good at, and tickets to an NBA game. Hard to lose in that situation in my opinion.

Well, until I got the email the following week that I didn’t make the cut. I still find it very very difficult to believe they could find 40 or so people better than me at singing the anthem. It sounds very self absorbed, but I know what I can do.

I let it go. Until last week, when I received an all hands email, looking for chorus members to sing at the Bobcats opener on Friday. I was steamed when I saw it. But still….let it go. It was just an audition like any of the ones we do.

Then, Wednesday. The Opera Carolina office calls me and asks me to do the anthem, since they couldn’t pull enough choristers together on such short notice. An email was sent to the Bobcats with my contact information, and I was ready to go. Woot!

I try to contact the team to make sure I can get tickets for the family. No answer. Call again. No response. We get to Friday. 4 calls, no response. I have to assume that no one is going to get back to me, so I get dressed, and head down to the stadium.

After sitting in the season ticket holders’ entrance for 45 minutes. I am finally whisked to court level, and handed off to the person running production. She goes off to speak to someone, and comes back.

“We’re so sorry. There was a mix up. We don’t need you to sing tonight. We can offer you two tickets?”

Anger. Embarrassment. Humiliation.

I love NBA basketball. I have been a supporter of this team since they came to Charlotte in 2004. And I am still livid. I don’t think I have ever been put in such a position as a performer.

And honestly, it took all I had not to blow up at the production lead. But I took a moment to think that it clearly was not her doing. It wasn’t her fault the communication dropped. But I was seething with anger anyway, and I left the building without pausing, and drove home. Not my finest moment.

This is a slightly different kind of “rejection” than that we face on a daily basis as a voice artist, but still, the lesson is the same: maybe not this time, but possibly next time. It isn’t always your call. You have a right to be disappointed and angry. But you can’t live on that.

There is still a little knot of anger and frustration with the situation. But I am striving to find another success, another positive to fill the gap that momentary lapse of reason left me with. It’s coming, don’t you worry.

Thank you to all of the VO-BB.com denizens who offered me kind words and support. You guys are the best. Again, if you are a voice artist or aspire to be one, you should go there right now, sign up, and see what these helpful, insightful people have to say.

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One Response

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by HΓ©lΓ¨ne Janover, George Washington. George Washington said: Handling rejection with grace – up close and personal #vo #voiceover http://wp.me/p17Qnb-16 […]

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