Songs for the Struggling Artist


Rejection Season Has Begun
May 5, 2017, 11:28 pm
Filed under: Rejections | Tags: , , , , ,

It’s that time of year when rejections pop up like pansies.

Four rejections* to follow..

 

Residency Rejection

On the application, it said something like, “This residency is for emerging artists. What is your definition of emerging and why do you identify as such.” (I’m paraphrasing. I don’t remember the exact wording) Now…I’ve written about Emerging Artist stuff before. And if you’ve read that, you know that I’m not so keen on being called an Emerging Artist.
However, this seemed like a great writer’s residency through the auspices of a writer’s advocacy group so I had to fill out the application.

I struggled with how to answer this dumb question. Because why are you asking me, Writer’s Organization? It doesn’t matter how I define it, since in order to qualify for your little prize, I have to fit YOUR definition, not mine. Why don’t you tell ME how YOU define Emerging Artist and THEN I can tell you if I qualify? If I don’t, I can save my time filling out your silly form.

I knew I was being asked to do some sort of explanation of my own emerging-ness. I felt like I was being asked to first define my lowliness and then sink into it, to somehow ingratiate myself to a panel. I’ve done this before. I have bent to the sense of the question. Tried to frame my answers to the likings of artistic committees. I do it all the time, in fact.

But because they so directly asked this question that I have answered truthfully and honestly for myself of how I define an emerging artist and whether I identify as such, I couldn’t resist just putting in an edit of that blog. The one in which I stated how definitely I do not like to be identified as an emerging artist and what I think it means. I just – laid it out. Because fuck it. I wasn’t going to get that residency anyway – and rather than just stop my application half way through, I thought – “Ah, what the hell. Maybe a little cold water truth telling in an application will feel good.”
And it did.

The rejection notice came a couple of months later. And maybe it was just my perception but that rejection letter was one of the most ingratiating I have ever seen. The two things are probably unrelated. But it somehow pleases me to think they are.

 

Nancy Quinn Fund Rejection 2017

 

The very first grant my theatre company ever applied for was this one for $500 and we got it. The restrictions of this grant now are such that you can only get a small percentage of your budget with it…so 16 years later, if we’d gotten this grant, it would have been less than the very first grant we ever got. It’s also one of the most extensive applications.

 

Why do I keep applying for these? Well I often don’t. But – it’s the sort of grant people ask you if you’ve applied for when they’re trying to be helpful. In a way, it seemed easier to go through the reams of paperwork than to explain to people how not worth it it was going to be. I figure, if we got it, it would be a good seed grant for others. We didn’t get it.

 

 

Edward Albee Residency 2017

 

I’ve been doing this rejection project long enough now that I have several annual rejections. It would be funny to mark time by rejections. Like – this isn’t April, it’s Edward Albee Residency Rejection month.

 

Another Residency Rejection

 

The rejection notice seemed to beg us to understand that they received 200 applications so we’re supposed to feel bad for the people who had to make this decision because they had so many things to read, I guess?

 

Anytime I read a rejection notice that tells me how many applications they received and how hard it was to make the decision, I just laugh and laugh.

 

Really? I’m supposed to feel better because 190 other people get rejected too? I’m supposed to feel less rejected because it was hard for you to do the rejecting? Please.

 

Imagine this were dating. And a person you asked out said no. And then they said, “I had 199 other people ask me out so you can understand that I had a hard time when there were so many other more attractive people than you.”

 

Um. Thanks?

 

This is not news, I’m sure, but almost every rejection letter I’ve ever seen is designed to make the person doing the rejecting feel better, not the rejectee. It’s logical. But it still sucks.

 

*Wondering why I’m telling you about all these rejections? Read my initial post about this here and my patron’s idea about that here.

 

You can support me through the season by becoming my patron on Patreon.

 kaGh5_patreon_name_and_message

Click HERE  to Check out my Patreon Page

*

Writing on the internet is a little bit like busking on the street. This is the part where I pass the hat. If you liked the blog and would like to give a dollar (or more!) put it in the PayPal digital hat. https://www.paypal.me/strugglingartist

Advertisements


Rejection for a Residency and Academic Jobz
September 6, 2016, 10:07 pm
Filed under: Rejections | Tags: , , , ,

Three rejections in one… for details about why I’m detailing my rejections, see my note at the end of the post.*

Rejection 1

There must be more people applying for the Albee residency as their rejection letters are getting less and less personal. Or maybe they’re hating my work more and more. This is my third rejection there and the first one was one of the nicest rejection letters I’d seen. The second was still nice – but not QUITE so nice. This one was pretty perfunctory.

*

Rejection 2

(First of two academic jobz. I’m calling them jobz because it makes me take them less seriously. At first it was a typo but now I love it. )

I applied for a job in Colorado. I really didn’t want to move to Colorado but I was so bizarrely and uniquely qualified for it – and it was very specific and I figured they maybe needed me. And I figured I needed some practice interviewing for an academic professorship. But they probably just had someone else in mind who was even more bizarrely and uniquely qualified for it than me. Academic job descriptions are often written to fit the person they want to hire and I’m guessing that this is one of those. I mean, one of my recommendations came from someone friendly with the people doing the hiring. I feel like that alone should have gotten me an interview. But I got a rejection notice.

*

Rejection 3

Oh Academic Jobs! You are such a pain in the ass to apply for. You take so much time and effort. You make my colleagues, friends and mentors write new letters in support of me. You sometimes even make me re-type my CV into your format. I’m also not sure I want you. I mean – it seems like it would help my artistic life to have a steady academic gig – but your environments tend to be toxic and the ones that are available are not convenient to my life.

 But I keep applying. The latest rejection was for the Devising position at SUNY Purchase. A job I could do….in a place that would be inconvenient.

*

Rejection Declaration

I’m pretty sure I’m done applying for academic jobs. So unless I get some rejections for positions I don’t remember applying for, these should be the last academic rejection posts.

*

*Wondering why I’m telling you about all these rejections? Read my initial post about this here and my patron’s idea about that here.

still-life-1205288_640

You can help me weather the storms of rejection by becoming my patron on Patreon.

 kaGh5_patreon_name_and_message

Click HERE  to Check out my Patreon Page

*

Writing on the internet is a little bit like busking on the street. This is the part where I pass the hat. If you liked the blog and would like to give a dollar (or more!) put it in the PayPal digital hat. https://www.paypal.me/strugglingartist



Two for One Rejection
November 13, 2015, 1:39 am
Filed under: Rejections | Tags: , , , ,

Rejection #1

That grant was a long shot but I figured I should take the shot anyway. Because my organization is so small, we aren’t actually eligible for a lot of funding. Most foundations are much more interested in more institutional theatre – more institutional arts. This makes sense – foundations and institutions being more like each other than not. But neither thing is particularly creative at its heart.

I apply for these things, though I doubt we’ll receive them, just in case. Because an extra grand could make the difference in our survival. Or, on a good year, could make a difference that would allow us to thrive.

Rejection # 2

I can feel the human behind the rejection letters from the Edward Albee foundation. Last year’s letter was somehow encouraging – as if they’d actually read the play – and almost – for a moment – like, they could have given me the residency but went another way at the last minute.

This year’s letter had a different tenor – but it was clearly a different letter than last year’s.

It feels like, perhaps, actual writers write these rejection letters. Humans, not apology machines.

They’re among the best of all the rejection letters I receive – not overly apologetic or defensive. Just the facts but in a compassionate way.

Of course, I’d rather receive an acceptance! But – these rejections aren’t so bad.

 

1-happy-hour1

*Wondering why I’m telling you about all these rejections? Read my initial post about this here and my patron’s idea about that here.

You can help me weather the storms of rejection by becoming my patron on Patreon.

 kaGh5_patreon_name_and_message

Click HERE  to Check out my Patreon Page

 




%d bloggers like this: