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 résumé. The same goes for all the other special skills you claim.

    (by James Webb)


    (Photo: rawpixel/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 résumé 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 résumé, 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.


    RELATED
    Beef-up Your Résumé with Training, Not Lies!


    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 résumé 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 résumé 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 résumé. The same goes for all the other special skills you claim.


  • You Might Also Like:
    Never Do This on Your Acting Résumé

    3 Minor Violations to Avoid on Your Acting Résumé


     

    Recommended Posts

  • Ad

  • 7 Good Reasons to Get New Headshots 

    7 Good Reasons to Get New Headshots  There are many reasons why you might consider getting new headshots, despite the costs (by Jim Webb) (Photo: Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels) There are several immutable…

    Katharine Hepburn: “You don’t have to act. Let the camera do the work.” 

    Katharine Hepburn:  “You don’t have to act. Let the camera do the work.”  (by Carmichael Phillips) (Katharine Hepburn) “Don’t act! You don’t have to act. Stop acting. Don’t push! Let the camera do…

    The Self-Tape Checklist 

    The Self-Tape Checklist  Use it to make sure you don’t leave anything out of your self-tape (by Carmichael Phillips) (Photo: Anete Lusina | Pexels) I can guarantee that you’ve missed something. It’s inevitable….

    Actor Stories: How Ed O’Neill Landed His Breakout Role by Making a Bold Choice 

    Actor Stories: How Ed O’Neill Landed His Breakout Role by Making a Bold Choice  O’Neill hit casting directors with something they weren’t expecting (by Carmichael Phillips) (Ed O’Neill in Married…with Children) At an…

    Actor Stories: How Matt Damon Created His Own Opportunity, and Made Himself into a Star 

    Actor Stories: How Matt Damon Created His Own Opportunity, and Made Himself into a Star Damon, along with pal, Ben Affleck, refused to wait for Hollywood’s approval (by Carmichael Phillips) (Matt Damon in…

  • Ad

  • When You Don’t Have an Agent, Your Agent is You! 

    When You Don’t Have an Agent, Your Agent is You!  You’ve got a very demanding client. So, get going! (by Jim Webb) (Photo: Fauxels | Pexels) Set up your office space. Clean off…

    Michael Jai White: “This business does not support talent. It supports heat.” 

    Michael Jai White:  “This business does not support talent. It supports heat.” (arranged by Carmichael Phillips) (Michael Jai White) “This business does not support talent. It supports heat.” Actor and martial artist, Michael…

    4 Things to Remember When Writing Your Cover Letter 

    4 Things to Remember When Writing Your Cover Letter  Keep it short, sweet and to the point. (by Javier Guerra) (Photo: Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels) You probably already know what marketing materials you…

  • Ad

  • Give Me Feedback on My Self-Tape, or Pay Me for It!

    Give Me Feedback on My Self-Tape, or Pay Me for It! Casting directors don’t even give us the courtesy of a little feedback on our self-tapes (The Anonymous Actor) (Photo: Andrea Piacquadio |…

    What is Taft-Hartley? 

    What is Taft-Hartley?  Let’s explore the law, and the report, that gets actors in the door of America’s largest actor union (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels) A Taft-Hartley is the…

    Stella Adler, On the Importance of Confidence 

    Stella Adler, On the Importance of Confidence  “No actor is a success unless he feels inside himself…that he is good.” (arranged by Carmichael Phillips) “No actor is a success unless he feels inside…

    The Acting World Goes Virtual 

    The Acting World Goes Virtual  And that’s a good thing!  (by Carmichael Phillips) (Photo: Beci Harmony | Unsplash) As the old saying goes, “The only constant is change.” But in this new Covid-19…

    Actors Losing Health Insurance at an Alarming Rate 

    Actors Losing Health Insurance at an Alarming Rate  Covid-19 is forcing changes that put new constraints on the accessibility of health insurance (by Javier Guerra) (Photo: Bermix Studio | Unsplash) Covid-19 has dramatically…

  • Ad

  • 10 Actors We Loved and Lost in 2020

    10 Actors We Loved and Lost in 2020 Here’s a partial list of some of the actors we will miss (by Carmichael Phillips) (Photo source: Jamie Street/Unsplash) No doubt, 2020 was a rough…

    What is a SAG-AFTRA Must-Join? 

    What is a SAG-AFTRA Must-Join?  Let’s explore this SAG-AFTRA status… (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: Eunice Lituanas | Unsplash) A “Must-Join” is the label placed on actors who have surpassed the grace period (usually…

    Bill Nighy: “I still don’t have a process” 

    Bill Nighy: “I still don’t have a process”  (arranged by Carmichael Phillips) (Bill Nighy) “I’m old enough to say that I’ve never knowingly been in character in my life.” Bill Nighy, the English…

  • Ad

  • Create Your Own Opportunities!

    Create Your Own Opportunities!  What’s your excuse for not producing your own projects and casting yourself?  (by Jim Webb) (Photo: Gianandrea Villa/Unsplash) The advent of things like social media and the internet allows…

    Viola Davis: “I write a bio of the character.”

    Viola Davis: “I write a bio of the character.” Viola Davis describes her character-building and collaboration process (arranged by Carmichael Phillips) (Viola Davis) “I read the script over and over and over again….

    Do You Have an Acting Mentor? 

    Do You Have an Acting Mentor?  How having a mentor can help you save time, money and your sanity (by Jim Webb) (Photo: neONBRAND/unsplash) You already know that taking acting classes can help…

    Good News & Bad News for Background Actors

    Good News & Bad News for Background Actors  There are lucrative opportunities for those fortunate enough to find them  (arranged by Carmichael Phillips)  (Photo: Sigmund/Unsplash) There has been lots of bad news for…

    The 3 Main Types of Commercials 

    The 3 Main Types of Commercials  Commercial actors can benefit from understanding the distinctions (by Javier Guerra) A commercial is a commercial is a commercial. They’re all the same, right? Except, they are…

  • Ad

  • Ed Harris: “Acting is a lifelong situation.” 

    Ed Harris:  “Acting is a lifelong situation.” (arranged by Carmichael Phillips) (Ed Harris in Westworld) “Acting is a lifelong situation…’til you drop dead.” Ed Harris is one of the most successful character actors…

    The Easiest Way to Improve Your Acting Life? Go to Sleep!

    The Easiest Way to Improve Your Acting Life? Go to Sleep!  The subtle ways that sleep impacts your performance (by Todd Bruce) (Photo: Damir Spanic/Unsplash) Not getting enough sleep at night? Do you…

    The Self-Tape Request from Hell!

    The Self-Tape Request from Hell! Sometimes casting directors ask for far too much! (by The Anonymous Actor) (Photo: Usman Yousaf/Unsplash) Forgive me for saying this, but this self-taping thing has gone too far!…

  • Ad

  • 10 Reasons Why Being a Modern Actor is Bad Ass

    10 Reasons Why Being a Modern Actor is Bad Ass There simply has never been a better time to be an actor (by Carmichael Phillips) (Photo: Roy Alanwar/Unsplash) Aren’t you glad to be…

    How to Sell Yourself in 10 Seconds or Less

    How to Sell Yourself in 10 Seconds or Less Quick! Sell your acting career in 10 seconds or less! (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: August de Richelieu/Unsplash) Quick! Sell your acting career in 10…

    What is a Right-to-Work State?

    What is a Right-to-Work State?  There are currently 27 Right-to-Work states in the United States (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: Joey Csunyo/Unsplash) A right-to-work state is a state that forbids union security agreements. That…

    7 Words That Can Trip an Actor Up

    7 Words That Can Trip an Actor Up  Confusing, isn’t it? (by Tonya Tannenbaum) (Photo: Brett Jordan/Unsplash) As if the acting business was not perplexing enough, there’s always something else to confuse the…

    Edie Falco: “Just make sure you’re always working on something. Representation or not.”

    Edie Falco:  “Just make sure you’re always working on something. Representation or not.” (arranged by Carmichael Phillips) (Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie) “Just make sure you’re always working on something. Representation or not.”…

    The Virtual Audition Waiting Room

    The Virtual Audition Waiting Room “It’s now your turn to audition, please enter Studio B.” (by The Anonymous Actor) (Photo: Vladimir Fedotov/Unsplash) The global pandemic has forced us all to reevaluate the way…

    The Pandemic Ruined My Actor Life!

    The Pandemic Ruined My Actor Life! But here’s to hoping things get back to normal (by The Anonymous Actor)  (Photo: Cristian Newman/Unsplash) My Last Normal Day…  I can’t remember the exact date. To…

    The Actor’s Job Description

    The Actor’s Job Description  Help wanted. Apply now! (by Javier Guerra) (Photo: Yogendra Singh/Unsplash) Help wanted: ACTORS Employer: The Entertainment Industry Salary: $52,000 annually, on average Bonuses: Possibly Millions Benefits: Health and Retirement…

    Load More