Here are some tips for dealing with the wait, what not to do during the wait, and dealing with rejection:
1. Don't sit around waiting for a response. It will come when it comes. You don't want to allow your life to focus on this response. Send it off, go to your audition, go to your tryouts, and when they are done, do something to unwind. Go out with your friends, go see a movie, have a drink, visit with your relatives. Do something to get your mind off the matter. Trust me, it helps. After you've sent your manuscript off, you may not even notice the tension you feel or the nervousness, but it's there and it will keep you from sleeping and distract your attention from anything you might attempt. So don't do anything important. Just get your mind off it.
2. Remember that you can't control the response. While nobody ever truly believes they can control what someone says to them, it is an unspoken feeling within. You pray that they will accept your work, that you will make the team, that you will get the part, as if your prayers have any affect. They don't. There is no need to waste time on praying, hoping, wishing that you will get a positive response. If your performance was great, if you put forth your best possible work, and if they like it, they will accept it.
3. It is a subjective business. One coach may feel that someone else can play the part better than you, while another may want you on their team. One director may not like you in the part, because they have envisioned the part one way, while another director may believe you are perfect. One editor may not like the concept for your novel, while another may fall in love with it. So even if a rejection does eventually come, remember that you still have options.
4. Keep moving. You're still waiting. You've given up on writing, acting, or playing sports while you wait. Do not do this. Keep going, keep practicing. If you get a rejection, maybe it's because you need more practice. Make sure that you have that practice. Make sure that next time, you will be better. If nothing else, continuing forward with more auditions, more submissions, more acting, writing, playing sports, will help get your mind off the most important thing that you are waiting for.
5. Find yourself some support. It doesn't have to be a whole group, but even to have one person with whom you can share your feelings, your fears and hopes, and wishes with. One person who can help you discuss it through. I said above that you shouldn't dwell on it, or wait specifically for a response, but there is no getting away from it entirely. You're still going to think about it, so to help you get through this most difficult and long wait, you should discuss it with someone who is going through a similar difficulty, or who has gone through this difficulty in the past.
6. Don't overanalyze. Thinking about whether or not the director, publisher, or coach liked you and your work is going to result in overanalyzing. Then you'll start analyzing every little nuance. What did I say? Was I rude? Maybe I should have spent three more years editing my manuscript. Maybe I should have practiced that monologue more. I totally screwed up that play the coach asked me to do, didn't I? Thinking about all of this is just going to get you more worried, anxious, and nervous. You don't want this.
7. Don't give up. The rejection comes in the mail. You didn't get the part. You're not on the team. I know you guys must have heard this a million times, but having been through it myself, I want to especially emphasize the importance of this. After a particularly painful rejection, you might be tempted to just set your work aside, or never act again, never audition or try out again. For the love of everything that is beautiful about this world, do NOT do this, people. Force yourself to keep writing. Take a couple weeks if you need to, but get right back to it as soon as you can. This will help. I promise. Once you get back to it, you'll remember your passion for it. Trust me.
8. Accept feedback with a critical eye. Okay, so in many of these businesses, you very rarely get feedback with a negative response. But when you do, treasure it. Examine it carefully. Get others to examine it for you. Decide if you think it is a possible problem you can fix. If the main feedback your director can give you is that you didn't look the part, obviously you can't fix that. But if the editor sends an email to you and explains that your characters are not developed well enough, that is something you can fix. But don't just accept this criticism with open arms. Does what the editor tells you fit with your story? Is it part of your style that they want you to change? Did the coach tell you that he will only put you on the team if you play a position that you aren't comfortable with? As mentioned above, everything is subjective. You cannot always rely on the feedback of the rejector, because theirs is only one opinion.
9. Distract yourself by educating yourself further on your chosen business. Perhaps the reason for your rejection is that you don't understand the business fully. Perhaps you did something in your audition or tryouts, or said something in your query, that is out of line in the business. So do some more research. Even if you've researched it a million times, do it again. You never know if you'll find something new. Rewrite your query letter. Come up with what you will say and do at your next audition. Search techniques for moves that you had difficulty with in the tryout, and practice those moves with those techniques.
10. Don't take anything personally. This is probably also one of those things you've heard over and over again, but it's worth reiterating. Negativity, whether it be criticism, reviews, or just rejection, sticks with us longer than positivity. You are in a business where negativity, bad reviews, and media play a large part. If you can't let the rejection slide off your shoulders, what are you going to do when you do make it and when you read a negative review on your performance or work? Rejection is a good time to learn to let the negativity go quickly and easily. None of what the person has says reflects on you personally. They are being critical of what you can do and your ability to do so effectively. But that does not, in any way, focus on you.