Rejection is just the Next Challenge

It’s Official: The National Film and Television School don’t want this Guy

Not this year, anyway.

So, I know what some people might think; it’s the death of hope! That’s screenwriting off the table for him, back to normality with the rest of us, he’ll stop living the pipe-dream.

Despite starting on the best foot with the rejection letter (I scanned the email, shrugged, laughed it off, and went down the pub) if I’m honest, it’s all crossed my mind. The standard negative thoughts you’ll find bouncing around any artistic’s brain – I touched on it in a previous Blog post: that we are our own worst enemies – but with some positive thinking and forcing myself to look on the sunny side, I’ve rallied back to the notion that this is not the end. One of the most documented facts about the entertainment industry (in that I include literature, art and all associated divisions thereof) is that rejection is simply a universal truth. We will all come across it in some form or another – the monster leering up from the lagoon – and the absence thereof is not an indicator of success. Quite the opposite, it is how we overcome and handle rejection which really sets folks apart.

In the past, I’ve heard so many lecturers, professionals and peers discuss their own experiences of rejection, but it always seemed so distant – like that was something that was their experience, so far away from my own. In recent days, it’s become a much more stark reality of my life. I send job applications out often for feature films and tv and hear nary a squeak back almost 9 in 10 times. Probably more. In romance I am forever hitting brick walls – as that angsty passive-aggressive post may have thrown into ugly light – but it doesn’t stop me from keeping my eye out for that one golden moment when I might strike gold when I’m least expecting it. I’m currently trying to convince the landlord of a beautiful flat in my area that he needs to make the flat multiple occupancy so that some friends and I can move in, but he seems immovable on the matter. More and more I come across situations where it seems as if the world is stacked against me.

But a defeatist attitude will take me nowhere. Someone once said (before it was co-opted by the film ‘Van Wilder: Party Liason‘) that “worrying is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but gets you nowhere.” I find those words truer and truer every day. Why worry about the things you can’t change? Why not do your damnedest to change them, in spite of everyone telling you it’s not possible?

So that’s what I’m resolved to do. Rejection from the NFTS? Fuck them, I’m going to keep practicing, honing my skill, and apply again next year, if I’m not able to submit a script elsewhere before then. Rejection from prospective lovers? Fuck them, I’ve got bigger things to focus my mind on. Rejection from estate agents? Fuck them,  plenty more flats in the sea.

Moral of this story? If someone tells you no, then fuck them, and do it anyway.

[Notable exclusions to this rule being those reactions that verge on the illegal/immoral/insane. You probably can’t fly unaided from a building top, or suddenly become Scarface. And if she tells you no, then NO MEANS FUCKING NO.]

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