Special Skills Means Special SKILLS

By Webmaster

  • Special Skills Means Special Skills

    If you can’t really swim, then don’t put swimming on your acting resume. The same goes for all the other special skills you claim.

    (by James Webb)

    Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

    There once was an actor – let’s just call him “Bob” – who thought it was a great idea to load up the “special skills” section of his acting resume with as many “skills” as he could possibly claim. His bright idea was that, the more skills he could claim, the more acting work he would get.

    Bob, who could barely keep himself afloat in a pool of water, decided to add “swimming” as a special skill on his resume, because he had recently enjoyed time at a pool party. One day, Bob’s agent called to ask if he was available for an acting job that required a good swimmer. Bob, needing the work, enthusiastically tossed his hat into the ring and, ultimately, booked the job.

    When the filming began, Bob’s lie was revealed in dramatic fashion. His attempts at swimming were laughable. Laughable, that is, until he nearly drowned and had to be rescued by a crew member.

    In Bob’s case, the moral of the story is: SPECIAL SKILLS CAN KILL! But Bob is an extreme case. For everyone else, the moral of the story is: SPECIAL SKILLS MEANS SPECIAL SKILLS.

    It might be tempting to load your acting resume up with lots and lots of “special skills”. Some actors do this in hopes of booking more work. They think, for example, “hey, if I put ‘basketball’ in my special skills section, it might put me in competition for basketball roles.” Or, “hey, I went ice skating and stayed on my feet the whole time, without falling. I could use that as a special skill and get more work.”

  • But remember, the word “skill” means SKILL! That means, you can do that activity better than the average person. Casting directors might even want you to be able to do that activity better than people who do it very well, as if you were a semi-professional. Activities you only do once in a blue moon don’t qualify as a special skill. Activities you only do with your left-over beer money don’t count as a special skill. Activities you’ve only done a few times in life don’t qualify as a special skill.

    By placing it into your special skills section, you are announcing to all who see your resume that you are better than most. Imagine the disappointment a casting director will feel when they get you booked for a basketball role, only to find out that all you know how to do is hit the backboard. Your reputation, much like your jump-shot, will be one giant…brick!

     

  •  

    Bottom line: Don’t be like poor Bob, who, after nearly drowning to death, was unceremoniously kicked off the set of his commercial shoot for lying about his swimming prowess. If you can’t really swim, then don’t put swimming on your acting resume. The same goes for all the other special skills you claim.

    Recommended Posts

  • Ad

  • What are “Notes, Adjustments and Redirects”?

    What are “Notes, Adjustments and Redirects”? Regardless of what one might call them, these changes are usually necessary for a thorough evaluation of the actor’s fitness for the role being cast (By Tonya…

    Never Apologize When You Make a Mistake During an Audition

    Never Apologize When You Make a Mistake During an Audition Don’t apologize during an audition. Ever. If you stumble over your words or make a mistake, simply correct it. Confidently. (by Carmichael Phillips)…

    Never Do This on Your Acting Résumé!

      Never Do This on Your Acting Résumé! This is a brief “NEVER and WTF Were You Thinking!” list (By Carmichael Phillips) Sometimes there are “Should and Shouldn’t” lists. Sometimes there are “Do…

    5 General Rules for Demo Reels

      5 General Rules for Demo Reels Before you get knee-deep into this endeavor, there are a few general rules you should consider. (By Jim Webb) Are you putting your first demo reel…

    Before You Approach an Agent, Get Your S@#t Together!

    Before You Approach an Agent, Get Your S@#t Together! Before you approach an agent, make sure that you are ready to present yourself as an actor who understands the business and understands what…

  • Ad

  • 3 Helpful Suggestions When Slating

    3 Helpful Suggestions When Slating While the slating process may seem insignificant, it represents an additional opportunity for actors to stand-out, when done properly (By Jim Webb) You already know what slating is….

    5 Reasons Why Background Acting is a $h*tty Job

    5 Reasons Why Background Acting is a $h*tty Job Let us count the ways… (By Jim Webb) Recently, I listed five benefits to beginning your acting career as a background actor. To be…

    Look to Acting to Be Your Creative Savior, Not Your Financial Savior

      Look to Acting to Be Your Creative Savior, Not Your Financial Savior Fame and fortune must not be your primary pursuit. They should be the fortuitous byproduct of a larger pursuit (by…

  • Ad

  • 5 Riddles Every Actor Must Solve

    5 Riddles Every Actor Must Solve So many riddles to solve. So little time. And on it goes… (By Carmichael Phillips) In a normal profession, everything is clear and easy to understand. The…

    What is “Slating”?

      What is “Slating”? (By Tonya Tannenbaum) The term, “slating”, for auditions, describes a standard industry practice whereby the actor briefly introduces themselves while facing the camera. This process usually happens right before,…

    5 Basic Facts About Method Acting

      5 Basic Facts about Method Acting Method acting refers to a collection of training techniques meant to aid actors in the understanding and building of their characters (By Jim Webb) Method acting…

    What are “Inner Motives”?

      What are “Inner Motives”? In order to consistently deliver natural, emotionally sincere performances the actor must understand their character’s inner motives (By Tonya Tannenbaum) Inner Motives are the rationales that an actor…

    What are “Animal Exercises”?

    What are “Animal Exercises”? An actor can study how an animal or animals move and, then, use some of those movements when preparing to capture the physicality of their character (By Tonya Tannenbaum)…

  • Ad

  • Actor Stories: How John Krasinski Almost Gave Up on Acting

      Actor Stories: How John Krasinski Almost Gave Up on Acting (By Carmichael Phillips) Check out the story of how actor, John Krasinski, almost gave up on acting, right before his big break….

    Make Sure Your Name is Added to the “Nice” List

      Make Sure Your Name is Added to The “Nice” List You may not get the role you auditioned for, but make sure your name is added to the “nice” list (By Jim…

    Reinvest 50% of Your Cash Back into Your Acting Business

      Reinvest 50% of Your Cash Back into Your Acting Business Of course, each time you repeat this process, your career becomes stronger! Your power becomes stronger. (By Carmichael Phillips) No professional actor…

  • Ad

  • “You have to keep at it!” (Kate Winslet)

    “You have to keep at it (acting)! You do. And if it is the thing you really believe you want to do with your life, you will get there. You just have to…

    5 Benefits of Being a Background Actor

    5 Benefits of Being a Background Actor (By Jim Webb) Who the heck would want to be a background actor? The real question is, why would anyone not want to be a background…

    Actor Stories: How Silvester Stallone Made Himself into a Star

    Actor Stories: How Sylvester Stallone Made Himself Into a Star (By Carmichael Phillips) How bad did Sylvester Stallone have it when he was an aspiring actor? Well, let’s just say that, even doors…

    “You do have to keep working at it. You do have to keep practicing things.” (Kate Winslet)

      “I think what I would honestly say to people starting out [in acting] is that it is difficult. It is definitely a hard job to do. And you do have to keep…

    Will Hollywood ‘Ban’ Georgia?

    Will Hollywood ‘Ban’ Georgia? The ‘Heartbeat Bill’ might end up killing the heartbeat of Georgia’s booming television and movie industry (By Carmichael Phillips) The state of Georgia has become America’s third largest state…

  • Ad

  • “It’s not about losing yourself in the role. It’s about finding yourself in the role.” (Uta Hagen)

    “It’s not about losing yourself in the role. It’s about finding yourself in the role.” (Uta Hagen)     _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Hagen went on to explain: “In 1947, I worked in a play under…

    3 Hidden Advantages of Self-taping

      3 Hidden Advantages of Self-taping This new wave of self-taping also offers actors enormous advantages (By Carmichael Phillips) Self-taped auditions are the wave of the future, in part, because they offer casting…

    3 Reasons Why You Should Never Audition Just to Book the Job

      3 Reasons Why You Should Never Audition Just to Book the Job If you don’t book this particular job, so what? You’ve now made fans of the auditors in the room. (By…

  • Ad

  • 5 Great Ways to Master Your Cold Read Audition

      5 Great Ways to Master Your Cold Read Audition (By Jim Webb) Doing a cold read audition is a lot like getting thrown into a pool when you haven’t yet learned how…

    Actor Stories: Issa Rae Creates a Role…and Casts Herself!

      Actor Stories: Issa Rae Creates a Role…and Casts Herself! Actors today have more power over their careers than ever before. The Issa Rae story is proof of this. (by Carmichael Phillips) There…

    5 Things You Should Never Do After an Audition

      5 Things You Should Never Do After an Audition (By Jim Webb) There are many things you should never do after an audition. You should already know the obvious ones: Don’t make…

    “That’s what it takes when you’re a struggling actor…You will be poor” (Jenna Fischer)

    “That’s what it takes when you’re a struggling actor. Assume there will be no luxuries. Be prepared to get your furniture from one of three places: thrift stores, garage sales, or the side…

    Narrow Your Focus

    Narrow Your Focus One mistake many actors make is having an unfocused strategy. (Jim Webb) If it seems your acting career is all over the place, narrow your focus and concentrate your strategy….

    Don’t Sabotage Yourself

    Don’t Sabotage Yourself It’s difficult enough for an actor to find and secure a paying gig. Why make it even more difficult by sabotaging your own chances? (By Jim Webb) It’s ok if…

    “I jumped over fears, went through emotional glass doors” (Kim Basinger)

    “I jumped over fears, went through emotional glass doors, did everything I could. There wasn’t one thing I was afraid to do. And I think you have to come to that point as…

    Director John Singleton has died

    Director John Singleton has died (By Carmichael Phillips) Pioneering African American director, John Singleton, has died. The director of urban films like Boyz n the Hood, Baby Boy and Poetic Justice, as well…