Hearing a No after an Audition – Cinnamon or Nutmeg?

So, your child got a “No” -OR- they never heard back on a “Callback” they auditioned for?

How common is this? Hearing a no after an audition is very common. In fact, you probably are either used to this by now OR if your child is just getting into acting please be prepared that there will be a lot of Nos. That is not coming at all from a negative place, it’s just a reality. We wish all of our children could land every role. I know, I do.

sad actressYour child will hear No more than they will Yes, and this is completely normal and just part of the process. They may also hear nothing, that is normal too. They should be growing from each experience.

So….Hearing a No after an audition is not always what you think. Your child may internalize it and think it’s them or something they did or did not do in the audition room, and it could be that. But, once they get to a certain professional level, it may or may not even be their acting skills or confident choices. 



Take this scenario: Best of the Best Child A up against the Best of the Best Child B. They may be equal in experience, talent and performance. They may both be great options for the role. They both might be as great as the Cinnamon and Nutmeg we add to our foods. But, on June 5th, maybe casting director A likes Nutmeg more than Cinnamon.

It literally may just come down to a piece of hair tucked behind the ear, the slight difference in the eye color, or the way the child stands. It can be ever so slight.

I personally know actors this has happened to many times, where it did come down to their eye color or their height or their coloring. Yep. Due to these little nuances, a child eventually gets cut and the other chosen.

The casting director just said Pass the cinnamon, instead of Pass the nutmeg.

Nothing you or your child could do, so just be thankful for the opportunity, do not harness any hard feelings, and release it into the air. Move on. For more on how to release, go to this post >



It is what it is. Auditions are a great experience and your child just got on the radars of those casting directors for another role. Maybe casting director A didn’t want Nutmeg now, but next month he or she suddenly needs Nutmeg. They will be calling. So, think of the positives here.

It’s important you explain the above analogy to your child. It will help them to feel less disappointed for those times they hear no. It will keep their hopes up for the next ones. It will not get rid of all of their feelings, but it will help them to feel a bit more positive and once the initial bite wears off, they should bounce back.

With young kids, consider using apples and oranges or any other analogy you like. Keep it simple, but explain to them the above. Nos are normal and it’s just part of the ride.

billie cole

Vocal Coach, Billie Cole and John Legend

TY to Billie Cole of Deblanc Music, an amazing child vocal coach in the Las Vegas area, for the full discussion and inspiration for this post. I know you see this daily, monthly and yearly with your kids. And I also know that not one day goes by that you don’t believe in each one of their dreams. Billie, you are a great educator of children and of their parents on this journey.

Any tips or comments on this post? Scroll down to the comments area and post. We would love to hear from you!