When an actor goes to audition with a casting director or talent agent, he or she is usually asked to bring with them a headshot and a resume. The actor’s headshot is a photo representation of the actor, usually 8 x 10. Usually stapled or glued or printed on the back of the actor’s headshot is the actor’s resume.
The actor’s resume is a document that lists an actor’s career accomplishments and abilities, such as the actor’s background, training, and acting work history. Casting directors, after evaluating the actor’s appearance, will study the actor’s resume to determine if the actor has enough experience and the right kind of experiences to perform an acting role.
The most important aspect of the résumé is experience. Actors should list any plays, commercials, films or television programs they have performed in. Experienced actors should limit the experience portion of their résumé to the experiences that are most notable, career-defining and eye-catching. Meanwhile, inexperienced actors who may have very little experience, should list all the relevant experience they have, including church skits and high-school performances.
Actors can list any relevant performing arts training in their ‘training’ section. For instance, if an actor has taken acting classes at a local, community theater, the actor can choose to make note of that training in this section.
Actors should list any special skills they possess. For example, if you know how to speak Spanish, you should put that on your acting résumé in a ‘special skill’ section. That way, if there is a casting director seeking an actor who is fluent in Spanish, they will be more likely to choose you.
In order to keep their résumés concise, actors should leave irrelevant experiences off of their résumés. This would include non-acting or non-performance-related experiences such as which courses the actor took in college; unless of course the actor took theater or acting courses in college.
To pad their résumés, some unscrupulous actors attempt to add experiences they don’t actually have, such as claiming to have been in a movie they were never in. Lying on a résumé is a big no-no. Actors who get caught have their careers damaged. And, the actors who don’t get caught cheat themselves out of actually gaining the true experience needed to become a better performer.
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