So you booked a great role on stage or in a film and, soon enough, reviews of the work are beginning to pop up on different websites and in the paper.
That’s great, right?
Most actors dream of being glowingly reviewed for their work. But sometimes, the reviews aren’t great, and it can be a challenge not to take things personally.
Here are a few tips to help you deal with the reviews that you wouldn’t want to share with your target list.
Change Your Mindset
First of all, welcome to being in the public eye. When you signed up to be an actor, you told the world that you are open to being watched and critiqued for the quality of your work, and now you’re getting just that.
Remember that just because someone had an experience that wasn’t as good as you had hoped, it doesn’t mean that your work doesn’t have value. It’s just one person’s perspective, and it doesn’t need to affect the way you view yourself as an artist.
Watch out for thoughts that might label the critics as “haters” or the “bad guys.” It’s their job to observe and report. When you can think of them as just critics doing their job, you will find it easier to move on and continue doing your work.
Have A No-Read Policy
It’s important that you don’t use reviews to determine how you value yourself. A lot of actors, especially stage actors, have a policy of never reading reviews. This way, the negative things someone might write won’t affect them, and they also won’t be influenced by a great review that crops up.
However, if you want to collect positive quotes for marketing purposes, you can assign the task of reading reviews to a friend or family member who knows how you feel. If a review is no good, they can quietly place it in the recycle bin, but if the review is great, they can pull a few sentences out that really highlight your work so that you can include it on your One Sheet.
If Everyone Likes You, You’re Not Trying Hard Enough
When it comes to theater and film, your job as a creative artist is to entertain but it’s also to get people thinking. If everyone just agrees and raves about what a joy it was to watch your show, maybe you’re not doing your job yet.
When people feel challenged or have the opportunity to see something in a new light, they will often feel resistant. It doesn’t mean the work was bad; in fact, it means that you are pushing the public to think in a new way.
The opportunity here is to see constructive criticism objectively. Can you put on the eyeglasses of a student and take a look at what you can learn from these reviews in order to improve your craft? You might even thank those reviewers for encouraging you to take your next project to the next level.
In a lot of ways, a negative review helps you hone your competitive edge. To me that seems like an even better gift than getting fantastic reviews all the time.
What do you think? How do you deal with reviews? Leave a comments below to join the conversation.