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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bad Morning: Bobby Keniston Talks More About Rejection


Greetings, and welcome to Theater is a Sport.  I am your host, Bobby Keniston, and I keep this little part of the internet to write about theater.  As always, feel free to comment below if you agree with me, or think I'm full of poo.

Today's post is a bit more personal than usual--- I tend to like to act like an instructor of sorts, give out tips and advice, but, today, well, I've had the wind knocked out of my sails for a little bit.  I'll be fine, of course, I'm used to it, but, for the moment, I'd rather just write and see what happens.

I've talked about rejection before, but it bears repeating for anyone who is interested in pursuing theater, acting, and writing as a livelihood, or even just as a hobby.  You are going to face a great deal of rejection, and you have to learn to deal with that and not let it knock you all over the place.  At least, don't let it knock you all over the place for too long.

So this morning, I check my email, and, lo and behold, there is a nice rejection note from a nice company for a play I recently submitted.  It is a company I have other plays published with, and a good relationship with--- I like them a whole lot, love how they handle my plays, and am grateful for the work they do getting my plays productions all around the country.  I like the company so much, I gave them an exclusive first look at this new play, when, usually, I submit to a few companies at the same time.

Okay, so I should be used to rejection by now, shouldn't I?  I've been in the business long enough, and have certainly been rejected plenty of times.  Yet this rejection has hit me harder than many others, and I am trying to figure out why.

You see, usually, the second I get a rejection notice, the first thing I do is submit the play to another company.  It's good for the soul.  So I did that very thing this morning.  I went to another company I love, who have an online submission form.  I uploaded the play, filled in all the information, revised my synopsis to make sure it was as good as could be, spent a good half hour making sure everything was as it should be, and when I pressed the button to submit, and error occurred, telling me to try again later.  So, I don't really have that feeling of satisfaction yet, the feeling of moving on and trying again after my rejection.  I'm not going to let a computer error keep me from submitting to this second company, of course, but I just can't fill it all out again at this moment.  I don't have the energy.

So here I am, thinking about my rejection.

It's natural, and, indeed okay to feel bad about being rejected.  In fact, it's not easy to feel good about it.  It's all right to think, but not to wallow, and so, hopefully, this blog post will help me move things in the right direction.

So why is this one bothering me so much?  Here are some thoughts:

1.  I haven't had a play rejected in a while.  My submission numbers have been down this year, and every play I have submitted has been accepted.

2.  I really thought this company was going to accept this play.  Which, I guess goes to show, you shouldn't be overconfident about such things.  I just thought this particular company would think itself a good home for this particular script.  Alas, that is not my decision to make, and, nor should it be.  This is a fine company that knows what it is doing, and, if they don't think they can sell this particular script, then they made the right decision.  Again, their rejection letter was kind, and very mindful of the fact that I am currently one of their writers.  I shouldn't have assumed they would like this one as much as some of the others I have with them already.  (Of course, it's not necessarily a matter of "liking" the script, but whether they feel its right for their catalog--- two very different things)

3.  Many of the plays I write are accepted without a prior production, so I've never really seen them on their feet.  This show, however, I produced with my hometown theater as part of an evening of one acts.  I directed the play, had a great cast, and I saw fist hand how well audiences responded to the play.  So much laughter and cheering!  People loved it!  I've never had such positive feedback for a play I've written and directed!  And my hometown doesn't necessarily get excited about theater all that often.  I know the script is easy to produce, has witty dialogue, but is also poignant--- I've heard the laughs and seen the other emotional impacts of it--- so, I guess, what I'm saying is, I know that the play PLAYS and PLAYS WELL.

4.  Because it was so successful in production, perhaps I was riding high on the script as a surefire win.  It's easy to do so when you see how much an audience loves it.  It's like you've got proof that it should be a "hit", because your individual production was a hit.  But the page and the stage are two different things.

So, yeah, I'll get over this, and fairly quickly, but I am going to allow myself to feel upset about it for a while.

Perhaps that will make it all the more sweeter when the script does find a home.


To Learn More about my published plays, CLICK HERE, OR HERE, OR HERE, OR HERE!

I've started a new blog where I am writing a short story every day for a whole year!  Each story will be between 100-250 words.  Please check it out!  (I've had too much rejection for one day).  
CLICK HERE to read my new blog!

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