The Art of Rejection

April 2021 | By Tatiana Baccari

The Art of Rejection

 

Playing Edward opposite Giles Davies in Cloud 9 by Caryl Churchill at Jobsite Theater

I want to start this week’s post by saying I am feeling infinite, like I have long tentacles that are reaching out and coming back full with abundance. What once felt disparate (how can I be an actor and writer and producer and director and and. . .) is starting to take root in a deeper way than ever before. 
I moved away from performing as an actor in 2019 and quite honestly, I haven’t looked back. Sometimes, when I see a really good actor on stage, I get a pang of “Ooo I want to do that again!” or when I read a really good play I think “Damn, that would be fun!”
But really, I don’t miss it all that much. I’ve embraced this fire in me to create and direct and produce. It gives me agency and autonomy in a way I struggled to experience with acting. I am excited about the possibilities of where these intersecting passions will continue to take me.
I used to be self-conscious about the multidisciplinary nature of the work I do. I am realizing that actually, that is where my power lies. I am excited about my path and resolved to pursue creating, directing and producing.

Given the complexity of pursuing these, I wanted to talk a little bit about rejection. 
I was reflecting recently on the art of managing rejection. When I am pitching or writing an application, I get behind the work 100%. That’s the only way I know how to do it. Conveying passion, immediacy and connection to a particular play, performance, company etc. is no easy feat, especially when doing it through writing or on Zoom.
But there’s also a letting go that must happen if that opportunity, for whatever reason, was not meant for me. As a theater artist, I have had to cultivate a thick skin around my work. In a given month, I’m usually applying to at least one residency and grant, and other freelance arts gigs.
Most of the time, I don’t get them. Once in a while, I do and it’s those yes’s that make all the difference. 
In an effort of transparency and to give you a taste of what this actually looks like, here is an example of applications from 2020-21 (not including freelance work):

Residency – denied

Residency – denied

Residency – denied

Grant – denied

Grant – accepted!

Fellowship – denied

Fellowship – accepted!

Grant – denied

Residency – denied

Residency – denied

Residency – pending

Residency – pending

Fellowship – denied

Grant – pending

. . .

Total applied: 14

Total denied: 9

Total accepted: 2

Total pending: 3
. . .

You can explore Tatiana Baccari’s work at tatianabaccari.com

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