"What do I do while I wait to find out if I got it or not?"
I get asked this a lot. Unfortunately, I don't really have a good answer. I'm not sure which is worse: not getting a callback at all, or getting multiple callbacks and Waiting to Hear. The only solution anyone seems ever to have come up with is "stay busy." So this past Friday I found myself potty training my toddler for the second time. (Her training had fallen apart while she stayed with my family during my summer gig.) If you're looking for something to do, see if you have a friend whose toddler needs toilet training. I guarantee it will require all of your energy.
However, as a rule, I give up on a job exactly 24 hours after the final call. My friend Jacob holds out much longer. "Never give up hope!" he texted me when we were both up for the same show. "But my agent says offers went out," I texted back. Jacob got a call a week later. I never heard. (Jacob works a lot more than me.) Proponents of The Secret will tell you that writing the show off puts negative energy into the atmosphere. But my experience has taught me that it doesn't matter what kind of energy I put out the day or even the minute after the audition has ended. The work is done. Decisions will be made off of what happened in the room. Either I'll get the call or I won't.
Some people deal with rejection by saying "everything happens for a reason." Unfortunately, I can't get behind this way of thinking. It just doesn't square with life as I know it. There's no grand reason why I can't do a developmental lab or a summer stock contract. Perhaps I can't accept this concept of destiny because I really do believe in God. And I believe that God really wants us to be nice to each other, to take care of His gorgeous planet, and to maybe leave things a little better than we found them. But I genuinely don't think He cares if I get an eight week contract over Christmas. In fact, if He were to have a say, it'd probably be "Spend the holiday with your loved ones. Don't you know life is precious? Or do I need to teach you that lesson again?"
But let's distinguish from the particulars of that example, which is my current waiting game. God has taken a laissez-faire attitude regarding too many contracts to allow me to think He bothers to interfere. Instead, I believe that when I was born, God was like, "Here are your gifts. Now do something with them." Which is what I've been doing ever since.
So back to the waiting game. The 24-hour policy is total bullshit, by the way. It's the worst advice you've read on this blog. In my actual living, breathing experience-- not the mind game that goes on in my head-- offers go out the next day maybe 30% of the time. Otherwise, it's days or even weeks later. I was once offered a contract a year after I auditioned. So Jacob's right in that regard: never give up hope.
But I can offer a corollary to Jacob's mantra. Say you know 100% that you didn't get it. Like, the show has opened and closed in your absence. And say you were fantastic in that audition. You nailed everything, and you have no idea why they didn't cast you. This I believe as passionately as I DON'T believe everything happens for a reason: it's not you, it's them. Made it all the way to the end? You're fierce. If they still didn't hire you, that's on them. I don't mean this as some appeal to your ego, like that theatre is bereft of your talent. I think it's important to stay humble and gracious. I mean that for some reason the theatre couldn't hire you. Maybe they hired a local. Maybe the owner's best friend decided s/he wanted the role. Maybe you stood out too much to be cast in the ensemble, Cassie. Whatever it was, you keep doing you. The wonderful thing about New York is that the next audition, the next opportunity, is just around the corner. Take yourself out for a drink, congratulate yourself on a job well done, and then move on, no matter what the outcome. Acknowledge your losses, celebrate your wins. It's the only way to stay sane in this business.