Living the dream: cold calling

November 30, 2016 § Leave a comment


Many years ago a voice coach of mine told me of a man who had spent ten years working as an actor, or trying to work as an actor. An actor prepares for an audition, tries for a part, and is rejected. He may face a total rejection. He doesn’t have the right face for the part. And his acting is not to the director’s taste.

We, unpublished writers, can empathise. We too have experienced rather more rejection than we would wish. But only our work is rejected. Our humiliation is private. From the comfort of our own home, we see the bulky return envelope. Of course, we hoped someone wanted what we sent. But really we should know better than to think anyone would want it. We feel like Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. What did he have to do to get an acting part? Dress up as a woman. What do we have to do to get published?

We may console ourselves with this thought: the publisher/literary agent who rejected out work has made a life-defining mistake. However, we don’t really believe that. It is hard to believe in yourself when no one else is showing a glimmer of interest in your work.

We read of writers who paste rejection slips on their walls. Perhaps they do this when they have become successful. But one failure after another does rather deflate our sense of humour. And we certainly do not want to have to confront rejection slips every time we walk into a room

Back to the actor: he was getting married. His new father-in-law owned an entity that sold pensions. He offered his son-in-law a job: cold calling people to sell them a pension. After acting, it was the dream job.


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