The Practice of Creativity

Jump-start Your June Series: Why Navigating a ‘No’ Might Lead to Your Best ‘Yes’-Guest Post

Posted on: June 25, 2013

A standard refrain that creative folk hear all the time is-‘A creative person has to get comfortable hearing ‘no’ often.’ OK, that’s fine, but how do we do that? How do we learn from hearing no? Entertainer Andrea Canny shares some helpful advice.


Know Your ‘No’

I have been told ‘no’ many different ways in my life: ‘no’ to an extra treat as a kid, ‘no’ to a role I wanted to play, and surely plenty of ‘nos’ to a relationship I wanted desperately to keep. But, if there is one thing I have learned in respect to a ‘no’ is that it is only temporary. As a kid, I could swipe a cookie when Mom wasn’t looking. A role not gotten in high school, could be mine in college. When a boyfriend dumped me, I could find another one even better! (or worse…but let’s move on, shall we? )

Being in the entertainment business for 28 years, I have learned a lot about the word ‘no’. Not just in all the roles I did not land, but in all the years of interactive role play and improv comedy with guests up close and onstage. It is an ART in itself to know when or when not to approach a guest, continue to play with a guest or just walk away. Now, when I hear a ‘no’, I respect it and the intuitive evaluation begins!! In this evaluation, I ask my instincts numerous questions like~

~ Is this ‘no’ definitive or can I turn it into a ‘yes’?

~ Are they saying ‘no’ because they were caught off guard and they need more explanation of what I can provide?

~ Do I think they could be swayed with charm or more quality time?

~ Can today’s ‘no’ become tomorrow’s ‘yes’?

These are just basic thoughts that fly through my mind in a hot second! Most importantly, of course, depending on the context of the ‘no’, is to take care of yourself & the client (the ‘no giver’). In my case, when I don’t get a callback audition, I certainly accept the ‘no’ & don’t cry begging for the job! That would make for a very short career indeed! But, if you are in sales, pitching an idea or proposal, you may want to go through those questions above & start making your evaluations. Being honest in this evaluation is your best tool to moving toward an even bigger and better ‘YES!’.

My personal philosophy is it is either “my” gig or “not my” gig. Use whatever philosophy works for you-religion, spiritual, universal or pragmatic. Use your creative juices to find YOUR path on that journey to accepting that not everyone, #1. thinks like we do. #2. not everyone wants or needs what we are offering. #3. we are here to BE ourselves, so we better be as prepared as possible to provide for our audience.

Embrace the ‘no’, people!!! It is not as scary as you think! After a ‘no’ or 10 or 20, there could be the best YES yet!! After all, I ‘know’ that in my past relationships, sometimes the ‘no’ was the BEST thing to ever happen to me!!!

Andrea Canny is a professional entertainer branching out into the world of writing with her dog blog coming soon!

Come play with her on Twitter: @andreacanny & go and like her Facebook Fanpage: Andrea Canny


1 Response to "Jump-start Your June Series: Why Navigating a ‘No’ Might Lead to Your Best ‘Yes’-Guest Post"

Some people DO have a knee-jerk reaction of “No!” which, in their cases, means, “I need to think about it.” But “no” really can be helpful in our lives, often as much or even more so than “yes.” Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

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Michele Tracy Berger

Michele Tracy Berger

Author, Academic, Creativity Expert I'm an award winning writer.

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