“You are just too fat for this part.”
This is something I actually was told at an audition earlier this year. It’s the not the first time I’ve heard it and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I don’t think the person who said it to me meant it as anything to hurt me, but it still wasn’t easy to hear. But it wasn’t easy to hear for the reasons you may think.
More often than not, as an actor you aren’t going to book the job. You may be a bad actor, but I’m going to assume you are a great actor but you still aren’t booking the job. It can be for so many reasons and most of them you can’t control. Some of the reasons I’ve heard in the past were that I was too fat, I wasn’t fat enough, I looked too old, I looked too young, I was too tall, I was too short, my hair was too long, my hair color wouldn’t match the other actors cast already, I looked too much like the director’s ex/least favorite sister/enemy, and I was too pretty (that actually went with the fat comment once and I was told I was too pretty to be fat).
Almost every one of these things are things completely out of my control. The weight one is the one I can control, but weight is not an easy thing for me. I’m working on recovery from an eating disorder so I don’t lose weight easily. Fortunately I’m in a place with my journey to recovery that hearing that I was too fat for a part didn’t bother me too much, but it still wasn’t fun to hear because it was a part that I really wanted to book and I had already imagined how awesome it was going to be on set to shoot it. I am a perfectionist in so many aspects of my life (just ask my therapist!) and I want to be perfect for every audition that I get to go to.
A lot of times you don’t hear why you didn’t book the job, but even when you do it doesn’t really help. Most of the reasons are things you cannot control and there is no reason to get stressed out or concerned about them. It is what it is and that part just wasn’t meant to be that time. I still have to tell myself this from time to time, but it still hurts when I don’t book something that I really wanted to get.
It’s not easy to let these comments not get to you. Even when it’s something you can’t control (like your height), you can get into your head about things and start trying to figure out how you can look shorter/taller in your next audition. But since we get so much conflicting information on why we don’t get the job, there’s no point in trying to change.
The best advice I can give is to be the best you possible. One day, the part is going to be perfect and you are going to book it. And that’s going to be such an awesome day! But if you get worried about every comment about your physical appearance you are going to have a breakdown one day trying to please everyone. You will never been everyone’s favorite (even if you become a huge celebrity you will won’t get every part that you dream of getting) and you just have to make sure that you are your own favorite.
It took me many years to get to a place in my life where these comments don’t bother me anymore. If you are still bothered by hearing that you just aren’t physically right for a job, I suggest taking a step back and thinking about it. Look at your favorite show or movie and see how the actors in a family have to look similar. If an actor went in for a part in that show to be a part of the family and was blonde when everyone else cast was brunette, they probably didn’t get the job for being blonde. This happens to all of us. Nobody is perfect for everything and finding what you are perfect for is just a part of the journey we all have to take to get to success.