The Partner Program...and how to feel if you don't get in. (I wrote something on dealing with rejection)

I like this community a lot, and this forum is small enough to through out some…I dunno…just emotional support. And tiny dumb little skills we can share that help us not get tripped up on elements that can make other communities toxic. Like, establish a language that we can use for each other in support.

Basically, when the names of who’s in the Partner Programs are revealed a bunch of people are going to be happy, but a WHOLE LOT more people are going to be disappointed and I thought I would give tips on how to handle that disappointment. (honestly, this came from me thinking about my high likelihood of being rejected)

I’m a stand-up comedian. Been doing it for about 7 years now. I have been rejected a lot (clubs/festivals/packets) even in instances where I thought I was a shoo-in, or that I deserved it, or that the other people weren’t as talented as me. One time within an hour, I was rejected from a club I put a lot of stakes into, had a short story rejected from a literary journal, and then learned that I was rejected from a comedy festival that I had started. (lol)

I think I’m pretty good at handling rejection these days. Of course, it always hurts. It just doesn’t sting, it stings a lot. But I think over the years, I’ve built for myself a few “safeguards” and little self-tests and reminders to help me stomach rejection. They don’t make the hurt go away, they just make the recovery time a little bit faster. These include;


If you are not picked, that doesn’t mean that the people who are doing the picking don’t think you are good. Sometimes, they actually love you and think you’re awesome, but you just didn’t fit into the “slot” they were looking for at the moment. Sometimes they’ll think you’re good, but not quite ready yet and you need some time to mature artistically. That last point means that there’s a benefit to entering into something and being rejected, because it means that the next time you enter they’ll remember you and possibly seen how much you’ve grown. Instead of looking at a festival or club rejecting me as “no forever” I see it as "no for now."

I’ve been on the other end and was on a selection committee of a comedy festival. Booker’s jobs are very, very hard and most of the time they aren’t making easy decisions. Sometimes decisions are decided by a coin flip. Or we use the fact that you filled out the form wrong as an excuse to exclude you. (after all, the other ones followed the rules) Most of the times choices aren’t made based on who’s “the best” but on how all the candidates gel together as a whole; like, if you got three really loud comedians, it make things a little hard to add a fourth really loud comedian, no matter how talented they are.

The point is - challenge and question what you think you’re being told when you find out you’re rejected. What are ways that rejection letters are a positive thing? How is it validating? What is exciting about it?


Being rejected is not a reflection of your value as an artist or the value of your art. Of course, that’s so easy to say but the reality is that, if we’re artists, we’re insecure people and a big part of doing this is for validation. Being rejected is, uh, the opposite of validation.

So much of how we talk about art and success is bullcrap about meritocracy and “just be good, and success will come to you.” There is some truth to that, but also that idea masks a couple of other truths. One of those is that there is no universal audience. You can never be so talented or great that you’ll appeal to everyone. Sometimes you’re just not somebody’s tastes. You’ll never win them over. And it becomes this maddening, unanswerable riddle trying to figure out how to change that reality.

It’s really, really, really hard to seperate yourself from that line of thinking. I can’t stop it in myself anymore than I can stop a train coming at me - but one thing that helps bring me back down is going through my head and counting all of the blessings that my art has given me; attaboys I’ve gotten from people I respect, times I did win contests or got booked, or when I made a great video/set/story, even if it didn’t get the audience I wanted it to. I try to visualize a little box and put all of those “wins” inside of it, and I get to pull that box out whenever I feel blue. Because we’re artists, it’s hard to understand the proportion of what you’ve got, but odds are you are underestimating yourself. Like, let’s say you are sitting there and are upset that “just” have 30 followers. (or “just” 100 or “just” 1000) …Uh, 30 followers is AWESOME! That’s great. Imagine a room full of 30 people telling you that they like you enough that they want to hear from you every day. You’d be lucky to have such a thing. Or, say, you made a video that bombed but that makes you laugh. …That’s incredible! You - first of all, had the privilege of taking a risk! And you did it! You know how many other people out there are too scared to even make a video? And then you had the maturity and taste and foresight to make something you’re proud of? You better put that accomplishment in your g-ddamn box.

Let’s say you entered into the Byte Partner program and find out that you’ve been rejected - you didn’t even get a notice, you just started to see everyone else making announcements they got in and you realize you did not. That is an awesome thing. You took a risk on yourself, you lost and you find out that on the other side you’re still alive. Not only that, but that you’re a brave person who believed that YOU are worthy to be the face of Byte. That means you are an awesome person.


The other people - the ones who were picked - don’t suck. Well, maybe some of them do. Some of them are untalented, got their success through means other than merit, some of them are mean, horrible people who do horrible things like kill puppies. But a lot of others are people who are just not your tastes. Most of them are just people going through their own journey just like you, and are in their own head and - after they got over the short-term thrill of winning a contest - have gone back to being insecure and self-conscious and focusing on the next goal/brass ring in their life. The point is, they’re not the enemy.

Something to keep in mind is that, if you’re in a contest like one of these, you have a lot of stakes in results and such a thing can skew how you view people you consider competition. If you’re rejected, it’s easy and comforting to paint a picture where you’re the unappreciated genius who’s passed over by all these other goons. Which is to say that in this little arena, you probably don’t have the most objective point of view.

Everytime I go through comedy and I have a negative thought about an artist, I second guess that thought. Sometimes I’m right about my first assumption and that person is a jerk/untalented/garbage pile. But, after I second guess - no matter what the answer is - my next question is how much intellectual space I want them to occupy. Usually the answer is none, or very little; instead of fretting about them in the shower, I could think of my new stand-up bit, or Byte or how I can hide the fact from my girlfriend that I broke her favorite coffee cup.


Here’s a question I ask myself a lot; how would I behave if I knew that I would never be successful in what I do? A wizard came in and cast a spell that made it so that everything I want for a career could never happen How would that make me feel? After I get over the hurt, would I still do comedy/youtube/make Bytes? This question is important to me, because it reminds me about what’s important about doing art. Sure, successes are awesome and the sugar on top of the ice cream, but it’s important not to lose site that making art is inherently good.

Art lets you know yourself. Art is therapeutic. It lets you know others. It gives you political power and makes your voice louder than society wants it to be. Art is fun in it’s own. Beyond material rewards, making art brings you a shower of rewards.

Honestly, when you let go of material focuses like that, you open yourself up a little and a small, small stream of material success starts coming in. I can’t promise the world, but when you relax a little it comes off on the art and audiences respond to that.

Comedians are often combative, insecure monsters and I’ve had instances in my life where very, very condescending comics have tried to cut me down by throwing in my face “what are your successes?” I always throw back into their faces that I’m successful because I have a strong network of friends and a community where I get to express myself and grow every night and seven years of incredible memories…and I’m in the position where I could throw in their faces career material successes but flexing on those aren’t as important as the spiritual successes. If you’re reading this, you’re already successful. You’re on Byte, making awesome videos around awesome people who like you. You’re already successful.


Now, as I write this - I’m not some sort of self-esteem superhero. I still get caught up in just as much dumb insecure crap as the first day I did comedy. Last week I was at a funeral for a close friend, and a person who was more successful than me (that I spend a lot of time building up as an antagonist. She is my Lex Luthor, by a mile. No. Actually, that doesn’t accurately describe my hate, because Superman doesn’t hate Luthor. You know how much Lex Luthor hates Superman? That’s how much I hate her.) was also there and I spent emotional energy fretting over them while someone I loved was 5 feet away in a casket.

This stuff happens because emotions are emotions and you can’t control what you do with them, you can only control how you react to them. In terms of the funeral, I could grind my teeth and text my group chat about how Diane is here and how much I hate her…but what I did do was sigh, walk up to her, hug her and talked about how much we’ll miss Steve.

If you let your art help you grow, help you explore yourself emotionally, you can achieve incredible things and are always impressing yourself.

Last thing I’ll post is this great article written by the stand-up comedian Andy Sandford on handling bitterness in stand-up. I think a lot of it can apply here too.

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Love this a lot.

So many people will begin to compare to the ones who are excepted into the creators program. We really are all starting off with the same journey and hoping negativity doesnt start being aimed at ones who make the program at first. No one wants a hostage environment since it will be roughly 100 when the program starts off.

I tell people on the app literally everyday dont care. Zen mode has helped a lot with comparing stats but still i hope the partner program doesnt cause too much of an effect too.

People also need to remember that not being picked for the first round doesnt mean their journey is over, its hard to get accepted at first im sure and can learn to improve from the content that they make or keep doing what they are doing and eventually they could be accepted into it.

Couldn’t put that any better myself. So many people will see it as they are not good enough but that could play a huge factor for a lot if people.

This was written well by the way. So hats of to you John :clap:

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Thank you so much for this. Full of real, down to earth, practical wisdom. There are a lot of folks on here (myself included) running literally every scenario through their head of what’s going to happen in the coming days. We needed this, man. Really badly. Again - thank you.

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Zen mode and the absolute absence of vanity numbers is one of the reasons I have a lot of faith in Byte. Of course, those numbers have those values but Byte seems to be departing from what has always been the default of social media which is creepy skinnerbox social engineering.

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This was a really good topic as we go into the new week. Gonna definitely read this a few more times when emails are going to be sent out :metal: thank you for this :raised_hands:

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Thank you for this post this was amazing of you!

Partner program or not i’m going to keep uploading and making friends on the platform because there are so many talented creators and wonderful people.
I mean like i’ll be bitter for about two seconds but then I’ll be back :stuck_out_tongue:

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Mmm! Good clean advice!

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Amazing post man, thank you for sharing that very personal and emotional story. It definitely makes me open my eyes to a perspective of not letting emotions negatively get in the way of a bigger picture moment.

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Thank you so much for taking time to write this. This is all amazing advice and I definitely deal with feelings of rejection, envy, bitterness, etc. in my life too even though I do my best to stay positive. I’ll definitely keep this post saved. Hope everyone takes the time to read this(:

P.S. I’m sorry about the loss of your friend<3

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Good post. Lots of great tips that I hope will help the community out when the decisions inevitably come.

Remember that there are only 100 spots (if that). This is a pilot. You might not get in this time, but you might in the future.

And if anything helps you feel better, remember that you US people at least had a shot :wink: I personally don’t care, I was never in it for the money, but am mainly in it for spreading my shit content. I’d take 1 million active followers over $100k USD. Money is secondary for me here, despite me wanting to do this sustainably for the rest of my life.

For me, if I ever got “partner”, it means that Byte has recognised me as a decent creator, which is kinda like an award for “hey you’re alright”. Even if it means making $0.

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I’m already mentally prepared not to be picked :joy:

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Good post, and very motivational. It’s so many great creators and if I don’t get picked I’ll continue to grind. I post for fun and long as I’m making people smile, cringe, laugh or any type of impact is what matters the most.

You just gained a follower, FYI. LOOKING forward to your content!

cc. @PlasticRice this is some new level piece.

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Preach it! I know I’ve mentally set myself up to focus on engagement, not money.

I can kind of see the partner program like a steep hill. None of us can get up the hill while we’re at the bottom. We need those at the top, which to start would be the byte developers, to hoist us up first. Then, those at the top can help those still at the bottom. And then they help those at the bottom, and so on and so forth.

Going into this, I believe we should have a mentality of “Help others help others,” if you catch my drift. :blush:

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i already follow you @AmericasComic so im not sure how to physically like your content more than i currently do! Keep up being amazing.

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I don’t make bytes in the typical Byte fashion and I 100% don’t expect to be chosen but, even knowing that the chances are slim to none (much closer to none), I still threw my name out there. I’d probably feel worse if I didn’t do it at all and the program filled up than putting my name in the hat and not being chosen.

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Love this post dude thank you for this, honestly i’ll be happy as long as I continue to entertain people and people truly enjoy my content. But still, GOOD LUCK EVERYONE there’s a lot of you who truly should be on the program :fire::dizzy: yall are amazing

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Honestly I felt like I needed to hear that. Because tbh I grew a small little family with byte and for that be liked by a lot is crazy in its own. I would be happy just to see if people kept watching me. I doubt I’ll be picked but it’s the fact that they said it’s not the only way. And it’s the pilot like lace said so it still has a long way to go. So that’s amazing.

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This post will really help people. Myself included. I think that any content is good like you said. It is just based on where you fit in the puzzle.

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If I don’t get in, the app sucks eggs.

End of story.

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Truly a good read, I didn’t know you were so well-spoken (or, written, that is). Very inspirational – at the end of the day, we’re just random people scattered across the U.S., chilling, and wanting to have some fun making 6-second videos. Getting rewarded for it is awesome on another level, but the lack thereof shouldn’t be the end of the world. It’s been previously stated that this will not be the only way creators can make money on Byte. Byte as a business model as well as an app in general is completely bonkers, I love it to death. I’ll probably make a post on the sheer genius of Byte.

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