Thoughts on Helping Students Deal with Disappointment after Auditions
Your student practiced and practiced, put themselves out there, let it all hang out- and they didn’t get it. What do you do? For many students and parents, middle school is the first time they may have experienced this kind of disappointment. While every child and situation is different, here are some thoughts to get you started:
Remind your child that this is not a judgment about their worthiness as a person or even as a performer.
Remind your child that you love them and YOU are not disappointed in them.
Honor their disappointment. Recognize that they may need a few days to process their feelings. Some children need space. Some need hugs. All of them need ice cream J
Remind them that an audition is a tiny snapshot in time. The director saw you perform from 3:30-3;32 PM on Monday. On a different day, you might have performed differently. Not everything about you could possibly have been captured in those three minutes.
Remind them that there are many factors to consider for this audition that may change for the next audition. Maybe there was no part in the show that was quite right for them. Maybe there were not enough spots for 7th grade girls. Maybe the solo was not in their vocal range.
Encourage your child to speak to the director. Even if we can’t say what your child wants to hear (“It’s all a mistake! You’ve got the part!”), we can be another voice besides yours encouraging your child (and confirming all the positive things you already told them.)
Compare your child to other children, even if- especially if- they themselves try to do so. It’s not productive for your child emotionally, socially, or as a performer.
Blame the director. Tomorrow, your child has to go to school and be with that teacher, and it will be painful for your child if he’s sure the director hates him.
Let your child sulk for more than a few days. If they continue to be upset, help them seek other opportunities to be successful.
Push it. Auditioning is stressful, competitive, and not for everyone. If your student finds that the pressure of the audition is just too overwhelming, there are lots of ways to be involved in music and theatre without auditioning at all.
One last thought: Every student who is successful at one audition has, I promise you, been disappointed at another. The only way to become successful is to keep practicing and keep auditioning.