“Tell Me a Little About Yourself”

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  • “Tell Me a Little About Yourself”

    What you should and shouldn’t tell about yourself 

    (by Jim Webb) 


    (Photo: Sergio de Paula/Unsplash)

    Oftentimes, an actor will be interviewed before an audition or at an agency meeting. So, it’s a good idea to have a brief story about yourself at the ready.

  • During the interview, the actor may be asked about their areas of interest, activities they like to do, things they enjoy. These questions are often summed up with one simple question:

    “Tell me a little about yourself”

    What should an actor say and what shouldn’t they say, when asked this question?

    What You Shouldn’t Say 

    Here are a couple of things you should avoid saying when asked to tell a little about yourself:

    Don’t tell them you’re an actor
    Ironically, one of the worst things you can say in that moment is that you’re an actor or that you enjoy acting.

    That’s right! An actor should not claim “acting” as a primary area of interest.

    Why?


    Tell them about yourself! Keep it fun. Keep it interesting. Keep it positive!


    First, the casting director (or talent agent) already knows that you are an actor. After all, you are at an audition. They see your headshot. They have your résumé in front of them. Heck, they might have even seen you on television or in a film. So, the obvious answer, “I enjoy acting”, doesn’t tell them anything they don’t already know.

    Secondly, the main purpose of the interview is to get to know you as a person, outside of acting. Since they already know that you are an actor, they want to know what else you do that makes you…you.

  • Don’t tell them negative information
    Treat the interview like a first date. On a first date – if you’re smart – you’ll try to avoid negative topics. Do the same when interviewing, as an actor.

    Stay away from negative subjects. Don’t tell them how your dog ran away, how your roommate stiffed you on the rent, how your boyfriend’s a jerk or how much you loathe a particular politician. Don’t tell them how you’ve had an awful week or that you wish people on the highway weren’t such bad drivers.

    That is, of course, unless you’ve got a really funny joke to go along with your negative story. Otherwise, keep your answers friendly, positive and upbeat and always put your best face forward.

    Don’t tell them deeply personal information


    (Photo: Kristina Flour/Unsplash)

    Avoid revealing information that is deeply personal in nature. If you’ve had a death in the family, if you’re going through financial hardship, if you’ve been violently ill; these are topics to avoid.

    It may be tempting to use them to garner sympathy, but it also takes what should be a nice, friendly introduction and turns it into a deep, dark conversation. That is a type of conversation that not everyone will be prepared to have.

  • What You Should Say 

    Here are a couple of subjects you should consider including in your answers:

    Tell them something exciting

    Did you go skydiving recently? Did you climb a tall mountain in Nepal? Do you go on a South African safari?

    Discuss something that is exciting; something that will capture the attention, and the imagination, of the casting director or talent agent you’re trying to impress. Keep it clean and keep it fun!

    Tell them something unique

    Did you graduate law school or medical school at some point? Are you a rocket scientist?

    How many actors can say that! Be sure to include that in your answer. If you’ve got a unique story to tell, tell it.

    Did you meet a past president? Did you have a lengthy conversation with a famous person? Are you related to a well-known historical figure?

    Tell them something unique!


    Prepare a brief, interesting story about yourself. The next time you’re asked, “Tell me a little about yourself” at a meeting or audition, you won’t be caught off guard. You’ll be ready!


    Tell them something that says, “I’m a winner”

    Everyone likes to be around a successful person. Everyone likes to associate with a “winner”.

    Did you win an award for something? Were you drafted into the NFL? Were you featured in the newspaper for something positive that you did? Did you raise a record amount of money for a charity you support?

    Find a successful moment in your life to talk about.

    Tell them about yourself! Keep it fun. Keep it interesting. Keep it positive!


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