When choosing a career in the arts one often hears the phrase "Get used to disappointment" or some similar sentiment. I used to think, well that's kind of mean, but now I take it for what it is, sage words of advice.
-By Leah Bonnema (Stand Up Comic)
The meaning of this phrase has changed for me over the years. In the past, when someone suggested 'I develop a thick skin' or 'Learn to deal with rejection' I assumed that it was a judgement call on my chosen profession or someone just being negative (which maybe they were) BUT it is actually a quite good suggestion. Oh you are planning on working in the Arts? Might I suggest you learn to deal with rejection. It will make things a lot smoother.
In fact, this is not a mean thought at all, just the truth. Because everyone gets rejected. And being in the performing arts we get rejected regularly: gigs, auditions, audience members openly vocalizing their negative opinions of the performance, social media comments, etc. And the faster one can learn to let it go and move on the better off one will be.
It's hard for me not to take perceived rejections as personal. It's hard not to wallow in the what's wrong with me's, not to eat cookie dough without ever baking it into actual cookies, hard not to question all of my choices and, if I let myself get worked up enough or am feeling hormonal, my entire reason of existence.
Last week I had so many things 'not go the way I had hoped' that it felt like punches to my gut as I crawled into the fetal. I eventually just had to give myself a forty eight hour mourning period to act a fool and get over myself. In that time I called a good friend. I walked it off listening to power ballads. I watched my favorite motivational scenes, clips from Rocky, LOTR, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (The original Swedish series which is just more angry than motivational but it works for me), The Karate Kid finale (you ARE the best around), the last 49 seconds of Super Bowl XLIII and the last 15 minutes of Secretariat.
I looked myself in the mirror and said: A day may come, when the courage of Leah Bonnema fails, BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY. An hour of shattered dreams when ConEd bills, insurance premiums, rent hikes & self doubt come crashing down, but it is not this day!
So, I guess, in conclusion, do not get used to disappointment, just know that it happens. It would be more appropriate to say: Don't let disappointment phase you. Because how bad do you want it (I ask myself)?! Cut Me Mick.