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One important lesson I have come to learn other than how to deal with and handle rejection as my acting career progresses is learning the Art of saying no to offers. I am not only talking about money but also the roles you get.

As a starter actor, you will probably accept any role and money offered to you and why not? You are looking for your big break. You are looking for a way to put yourself out there and any work is good enough. A time will come however say 3-5 years later when you have relatively established yourself, you are probably on demand and you need to advance in your career. When you get to that point, you are going to have to learn to say NO and start looking for bigger fish to say yes to. Sometimes it's wiser to stop what you're doing, re-evaluate your goals and say NO. You have to move on in your acting career.

You will say to no to roles and opportunities that don’t add anything of value to your career. Why? Because if you are stuck being comfortable at your current state and taking up projects that you know very well you want to say no to, you could lose out on another bigger opportunity that could present itself. Missing out on opportunities for growth and professional recognition and better pay by not being available for the higher level jobs!

Student films, low budget films without a good script or a good role that never see the light of day and yes, even theatre/stage work in as much as you really really love being on stage.

We accept these roles because its work and we are afraid of being out of work. They will give you credits no doubt but not credit of value. Truth is, there will always be other roles and jobs out there. You just need to be available for them and think bigger. It would be a shame for that call to come for another bigger role but you won’t be available because you are doing something else. Remember, you can’t expect a difference if you keep on doing the same old things. If it’s not working it is not working and sticking to something you are not happy with doesn’t make it better.

On the flip side, it takes a lot of courage to say No and taking that big risk of not knowing what you will get in the future. More courage to realize you can accept this for now. It takes lots of courage. However, just believing that you can succeed and that your career will go forward can make a huge difference. We've all heard of the power of positive  thinking and visualizing what you want in life to manifest it.

Get advice from your mentor/friend/manager/agent on whether you should take up a project or not. Discussing with someone who has been there will reduce your chances of making bad decisions. Brainstorm.

By having the courage to say NO you've opened the door to the possibility of something NEW, something better, maybe something you've wanted all along. Try it!

At the end of the day, you make the choices and decisions in your life. Hope you make the right choice that will propel you up.

By Gerald Langiri

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