You may not be thrilled about every opportunity you’re offered in the entertainment world. Or, you may be offered a gig that doesn’t fit with your goals or isn’t a good fit for a number of reasons.  Maybe it just gives you a bad vibe.

You should always trust your intuition, and this means, you may have to be prepared to say ‘no’ every once in a while. This isn’t a bad thing — as long as you keep it positive and don’t burn bridges.  You may just cross the person you’re turning down again at some point down the road.   So, how can you politely decline a producer without permanently severing ties?

As soon as you know you need to decline, let the casting director know.  This way, they can make an offer to someone else without sacrificing the project’s timeline.  You don’t want to string anyone along longer than you have to.  It’s professional to let them know what your intentions are as soon as you’re sure you’re not going to be able to participate.

Keep your response short and sweet.  Don’t try to let them down gently with a bunch of ad lib or anything made up.  The crew probably doesn’t care to hear an elaborate backstory or personal details.  They’re more concerned with filling the role with an appropriate candidate.

Don’t forget to thank everyone you met with for the opportunity even when you choose to decline.   It’s always great to get noticed and know you’ve caught someone’s attention.  Let them know you appreciate the offer.  A little gratitude can go a long way.

If you know you’d like to work with this person or group of people in the future, suggest a way for them to get a hold of you.  The crew may or may not take you up on your offer but throwing it out there won’t hurt.  You can give them your contact information or social media links.  Just make sure to keep things professional.

It’s never easy to turn down a job.  And, it was probably a difficult decision to make.  Booking gigs in entertainment means making it as an independent contractor and being able to fill your schedule on your own.  So, you want to make sure you don’t blacklist yourself.

Treat an acting or modeling gig like any other job you’d pursue.  Follow guidelines for general job etiquette, and always be willing to pursue opportunities that will help you get to where you need to be unless you absolutely have to decline.  You are the author and creator of your own success!

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