The side effect of success: critics, trolls, and you

Like it or not, as you become more successful, your critics will become more vocal. It’s just a yucky side-effect of success.

But maybe criticism and negativity doesn’t have to take you off your game. Maybe you can even use it as a resource to make you better.

Watch this week’s Acting Business Bite for my tips on how to avoid letting negative feedback, criticism, and even plain old ugly gossip distract you from doing what you do best.

How do you respond to trolls? What do you do to stay on your game even in the face of criticism? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.


17 Responses to “The side effect of success: critics, trolls, and you”

  1. Cilegna kelly says:

    I agree with you Dallas. Instead of feeding trolls and giving your negative energy my way of dealing with critics .. Is 1/ don’t read reviews – good or bad . I won’t give someone the authority to change how I feel about myself unless its my trusted unconditional love community . If i do encounter something negative 2/ My mantra is – flow in the opposite spirit towards that person. But I really like what you said about not replying or repeating the negative comment – by not reading the trolls . They starve attention and disappear . Nice one Dallas . Thankyou so much for the encouragement

  2. Brandi says:

    Great Advice Dallas, Thanks! Even at my level, I deal with this issue. I look at as I must be doing something right!
    I also equivalent those trolls to bullies. For example I had an issue with my dance recital and the group didn’t want me to dance on recital day, they tried everything to get me to back out.
    My mom, my encouragement, showed me this is exactly the time to use my defiant nature in a positive way. These girls even changed the routine, so they thought I would I never get it. I stuck at it and learned the new routine, ON RECITAL DAY, in the Hallway, in 20 minutes! I got to do the dance, and mom said you couldn’t tell any difference.
    These girls were also the same group of girls that posted some horrible things on one of my demos, saying I would never make it, I was horrible, blah, blah, blah, purely, jealous, bullies who have no idea what exactly it takes to do what we do. Nor would be able to do it.
    And suffice it to say, I was in LA for my nomination for a Young Artist Award, so how ‘horrible’ am I really? :-P

    My youthful advice? Consider it a compliment when your trolls come out to play. Have a good support person, like my mom, a person who is there to hold you accountable and help you decide what if anything, you can do, to clear your name, like stand up for yourself. Consider the source, like these girls. Who cares, really? Like their opinions matter in my career? Please. Now, if it was an actual critic, I think I would ask my support people if there were something to it, otherwise, don’t worry about, or change it, if you can.
    Thanks, Dallas! It was Great to see you when I was in LA!
    Brandi Alyssa

  3. Amanda says:

    As always great advice Dallas. I wish I had a mini-clone of you to carry around with me.
    I know this will come in handy in the future. Luckily for me I tend to stay away from persons of negativity and by way of distance I avoid a lot of negativity.
    Thanks again.

  4. Laura Ann says:

    Thank you so much for this video Dallas! What an important topic. I am a voice over actress and have experienced this kind of “troll-like” behavior you had mentioned in your video. I have experienced getting bookings, a terrific agent, or being on hold for a project; and have had a couple of “trolls” try to knock me down before I even started or right before a terrific callback. What’s sad is that they are often people who are already successful, in my experience. I know from experience that people who knock others down are suffering from a deep insecurity that they often don’t even know they have. This is usually a characteristic found in narcissism. They feed off of people’s potential insecurities and “bully” it out of them until they find a weakness. The good news, I have the choice to engage with them and give them power; or not. This video is so important and points out an often experienced darkness in our industry. For me, I rise above it, let them fester in their own negativity, and then I pray and release them to their higher good…..anywhere they choose as long as it’s away from me.

  5. This is great advice, Dallas. Opinions are tainted by a person’s own experiences, issues, whether or not they had a bad sandwich right before they watched a performance, whether or not you remind them of an ex they hate, etc. Ha! Opinions are not facts.

    Thank you Dallas!

  6. This is great Dallas. After being on “The Voice” this year I was surprised to learn that many of the contestants on the show actually do read and respond to their negative posts. I don’t read or listen to the negative comments from the ‘computer cowards’ or in person trolls. I move away and block out what they try and serve. Nine times out of ten, the negative naysayers feel as if they have no power to help themselves, so they attack you. I also do not tolerate celebrity gossip and bashing in my conversations with others. Ever since the death of Michael Jackson, these types of conversations have impacted me in a different way. I won’t have it. I just keep thinking, “That could be me one day.” The main hate-mongers who bash Britney Spears or Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan would not even have a fourth of the courage it takes to live a difficult life in the public eye, much less the discipline it requires to have even a small amount of success in this business in the first place. Let them try and rehearse for weeks for a music video or learn lines for a film and be a natural in front of the camera, and they would fall apart the first day. Kudos to all the artists who posted here and congratulations! Onward and upward! Xoxo

  7. Thank you Dallas for your always inspiring and brilliant insight.

    Whenever I incur something that unsettles me including “not my people” and critics in general, I refocus entirely back to what I am committed to creating and what actions I am taking to be that possibility.

    Thanks again!!

  8. Nicely timed… Been hit by a barrage of criticism and negativity lately, so this helped. And it’s nice to know I’m apparently doing something right!

  9. Last summer I performed in a play I had written, “A Field of Glory” about a Southern mother and her Confederate soldier son. It was based on my great-great-grandmother and my great-great uncle who lived through the Civil War. The play was a smash here in NY in the showcase I produced and was picked up by the Kennedy, Raleigh, a small regional theatre. To my dismay, a couple of local critics in Raleigh were less than complimentary with me and my writing, despite the fact that audiences were blown away every night. The director wisely said “If you’re going to put it out there, you have be ready to let this roll off your back. The fact that they are critical says that you got to them.” Our solution was to take the best quotes and create a shining press packet for the next production. Although I’m still uneasy, your advice comes at a good time. If I’m going on the front lines and be doubly visible as an actor/playwright, I have to be ready for a rocky road from time to time. Thanks for the reassurance. You are the best.

  10. Yes, and like Kim Yarborough, I say congratulations to all of you who are not afraid to reveal your vulnerability. This is strength.

  11. Bret Shuford says:

    This is such great advice. I definitely have found myself engaging in low-grade unity on Facebook. Especially around politics and beliefs. It’s difficult not to want to sway people’s opinions. I think it’s better to just own mine, and not need the validation of others. When I see others expressing their negativity, I simply step away, or offer them a positive spin on their outlook. Usually, they get the picture, and that’s that!

  12. Great timing for this post, Dallas. I don’t what I could add to the responses on this blog. I told a fellow actor the other day who was down in the dumps that I would have missed out on sooo much had I listened to a fellow student in my acting class in Va. Beach 1989 when I was 25. She said in front of the whole class: “Joe…You’re a nice guy…but I just don’t see you as an Actor. You just might want to move on with your life”. I took her advice…I moved….THE HECK OUT OF THAT CLASS and got another teacher. And the rest is history. As Mariah Carey once said…”You gotta love the Haters”.

  13. Angella Sweatt says:

    I was told when I was young (many years ago)
    High Class people talk about ideas
    Middle Class people talk about current events etc.
    Low Class people talk about other people

  14. Dallas says:

    Angella, thank you. I love that quote.

  15. Anoush NeVart says:

    Dallas, what a GREAT message! Thank you so much for the reality check on this issue which has happened to me for sure. I had a gossipy casting director who was a frustrated actress write a blog about me without using my name, complaining about the number of postcards she received about a project I had just booked. She basically said that I would probably never work again, that I was insecure, yada yada yada…

    At first I was furious. Then I decided that success was the best revenge and started booking work again, bigger roles, much more pay, much bigger exposure…but it was really hard and very
    heartbreaking to have someone with “power” be so catty and mean. Today, she casts indie stuff, non-union stuff – all of which are worthy endeavors to be sure…but not big budget, Oscar-worthy, studio films. It really made me see that meanness, cattiness and being a gossip (character assassination I’ve heard it called!) don’t get you anywhere, however tempting it may be to engage in that kind of behavior.

    The cream rises to the top. The…poop falls to the bottom…

    Love you, Dallas; you’re my spiritual shot of B12!!!! xoxxoxoxo

  16. Patrizia Milano says:

    What an great and important message Dallas! I also love all the comments. So many interesting and heartfelt solutions for this issue we all encounter at some point or another when we work in an industry in which we are the ‘product’ or the focus. I have to stay I don’t engage in negative comments or talk, however there has been a time when I was connected to someone very close to me ho was trying to ‘knock me down a notch’ for my own good. That’s a very insidious situation in which someone you love and trust tries to suppress or re-direct you under the guise of helping you out and thinking about what’s best for you… It took me a long time to unearth those negative suggestions and stifling comments but I did! And the more I free myself from those limiting beliefs the more inner support I find, and that’s what keeps me centered and strong on my journey

  17. Makenzie says:

    Hi Dallas, I’m always motivated and enlightened by your posts and videos – thanks for sharing! We are all sensitive creatures so I don’t think there’s any way to protect ourselves from feeling the effects of negative criticism. But my mama always says, “Kill ‘em with kindness.” Most of the time I ignore the negativity and once in a great while I’ll do just what my mom taught me and give them some love. ;) I know it sounds silly, but it usually dissolves the negativity on the spot. On another note, “all press is good press!” As you said, if they’re talking, it means you’re building an audience and that’s a good mark of growth and success. Have a great weekend Dallas!

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