Axel Webber the guy who went viral on Tik Tok for his tiny apartment, just went viral for a completely different reason, documenting his audition for Julliard and subsequently his rejection, and the public response and Axel’s has changed the tone on rejection in the entertainment industry.
“I am that merry wanderer of the night. I jest to Oberon and make him smile…”
Axel Webber originally from Atlanta Georgia moved to the big city with a big dream in his heart, the big dream like most twenty-somethings with a big personality and a creative mind is to pursue the world of acting.
And not only pursue it. But make it his career. Leaving in behind his entire family in his home state he invested everything into his passion. Living in a studio envelope of an apartment in New York City Axel started documenting his new life on Tik Tok and quickly embedded himself into the hearts of his followers with his quirky and optimistic personality.
“The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale, sometimes for three-food stool mistaketh me…”
In early January a very excited Axel with his brown spikey hair, and optimistic tone that his now 2.5 million followers have come to know and love had learned that he had earned a virtual audition from the prestigious The Julliard School, which has been in existence since 1905.
Axel was sent with sides from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream set to memorize his monologue being strictly advised to not use an accent in his audition. In one of his Tik Tok videos regarding his audition prep, Axel admits that it just sounds better using an accent, and admittedly it did.
“An the whole quire hold their hips and laugh and waxen in their mirth and neeze and swear a merrier hour was never wasted there.”
The day had come, Axel post a video the day of his audition, bleary eyed, exhausted, only a few minutes before logging into his audition space, and he said in the video that saw 5.3 million views for everyone to wish him luck to “Break a leg, or an arm, or an elbow.”
As he said that seemed luckier not more than a few mere moments passed it seemed for Axel’s viewers until he posted another video, one of his sarcastically saying “Here’s how you absolutely botch an audition with Julliard!” in this particular video that’s still up on Axel’s Tik Tok page he goes on to say the one thing he was asked not to do was to use an accent, and the one thing he did do indeed used an accent because it “sounded better.”
Axel was politely sent off to a breakout room and told that if he got a call back he would be informed, the next day, he received an email from Julliard that informed him of their formal rejection of him from the consideration of his involvement from their program, and Axel again brought his audience in for the journey this video specifically has over 8.9 million views and has caused a wave of after effects with such artists like Charlie Puth responding in duets to encourage Axel that he too has been on the receiving end of Rejection.
The army of viewers who disagree with Julliard’s decision to reject Axel has taken to Julliards social media specifically their Instagram to demand them to reconsider, telling this prestigious institution that they’re “Done.”
All while Axel, has said in recent articles to The New York Post, that he only sees this as another opportunity to spur him on in his career, and just signed onto a modeling agent after his rejection from Julliard.
But regardless of what’s happening now, the events that happened on January 9th stirred up the much-needed discussion around rejection in the entertainment industry and what to do with it.
“But, room, fairy! Here comes Oberon.”
For fourteen years I sat in a studio preparing kids, teens, and adults for what would be outside of our comfortable nest of a creative space.
The one thing that I always told each and every one of them was “You’re going to hear way too many no’s than yes’s” and the sad statistic is still yes, more schools, agencies, and directors are going to tell you that you’re not what they’re looking for, or not communicate at all and you’re going to be left wondering what you could have done better, differently or not at all to have changed the outcome.
But sometimes, it’s just not about you. Sometimes it’s about quotas, sometimes it’s about demographics, sometimes it’s just not the right timing for them.
But regardless it doesn’t negate the sting of the initial response and the rejection, and there’s no textbook example or instruction on how to feel, but here are some tried and true methods of how to navigate the initial response.
1) Don’t initially respond to the rejection.
Give yourself time to feel what you need to feel, you’re valid in your emotions, especially if you had your hopes invested in the matiral and project feel everything you need, then send them a quick but yet professional ‘Thank you for your time, can you please send me some feed back on what I could be doing to improv my craft.’
2) be open to learn, take notes of what did an ddidn’t work, what felt comfortable, and what didn’t and discard those negative things keeping the things that worked.
Taking in notes you might recieve from your work, and if you work with a coach (which i highly recomend) take thos enotes to your coach and nacigate through the notes together.
3) Let it go, in this fast-paced industry we don’t have time to hold onto the no’s and we need to start hunting for the ones who will say yes, so we have to let it go and shift our perception on the no being a closed-door for an opportunity but more of constant pursuit of the ‘Right Fit’
“Lord what fools these mortals be.”
Axel Webber along with many young actors who are pursuing the validity of their craft in this competitive industry is learning the vital lesson that all actors will learn.
In the end. No’s don’t necessarily mean the end of the road. Just choose to take a different path to get to your dreams. So like Axel. Don’t let rejection define you.