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Dealing with industry rejection...


It's hard but rejection doesn't mean it ends there.

Image: @hermusicofficial

Everyone experiences rejection at some point in life, but what about rejection when it comes to your hopes and dreams? It can almost feel depressing and you begin to question if you're good enough. Well, you are good enough and here's why...

#1: Belief in your vision

Almost every cliché form of encouragement starts with yourself, being your biggest cheerleader. Not everyone will see your vision or understand how great your idea actually is. The industry is faced with many prejudiced views and struggles to separate from the already done and find something new. Just because they don't see it or get it, keep going towards another open door. Then when that door is open, everyone will suddenly get it. Be your biggest hype man.

#2: Don't wait for the opportunity. Create one.

There comes a point that in the waiting, you also get doing. Sometimes we can be sitting and waiting around for the right moment to come, but why not try to create it? As a filmmaker and director, it is so hard, especially sending off a script to companies, producers and execs. Then having that dreaded waiting period to see if it's a yes or a no, sucks. So I decided that in my waiting, I will also create. Brownstone Studios was birthed after I graduated from university.

I put on my first live theatre show with £200 to pay for the venue and another £150 for my friend's travel down to Bristol and free cupcakes I wanted to provide at my event. £350 for my first show. We rehearsed in my mother's living at the time, because I couldn't afford to hire a rehearsal space. I had some of my talented artist friends be warm-up acts for my show and did the research I needed to put on an event. It was hard but I did it all by myself. So can you. It completely sold out and I was baffled that 22-year-old Shantí at the time did that. Through passion and determination. I wanted to create and open my own doors and did the same when I created my first Film Festival in late 2021, with it returning again this year in 2023. You can be your own open door also.

#3: Listen to the right people

Every creative will experience rejection at some point, but be mindful of whose shoulder you will use as a boost of encouragement. It is always good to have a supportive circle or friend to lean on. Rejection can hurt, but it doesn't mean your work is bad. Timing is always key and the right moment may not have happened for you yet. So keep your head up and surround yourself with friends that will cheer you on, not discourage you or seem uninterested. Even when getting feedback from your craft can feel negative, that's honestly their own opinion and are opinions aren't facts.

#4: Don't give up

Sometimes age insecurity can play a big part in success. "I'm too old now" or passing 25 or 30 and not in your desired career can make you feel insecure. That doesn't matter, ageing shouldn't intimidate you, it's a part of life. Don't get fixated on things, society scrutinises people for, that are not in our control and are NATURAL. Focus on what you need to do, to get where you want to be. Don't quit now. Don't fall into the pits of comparison it's mentally draining and unnecessary. Keep going and stay focused.

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