3 Minor Violations to Avoid on Your Acting Résumé

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  • 3 Minor Violations to Avoid on Your Acting Résumé

    When it comes to an actor’s résumé, there are differing levels of crime that an actor can commit. Here are 3 Minor Violations.

    (by Carmichael Phillips)

    When it comes to an actor’s résumé, there are differing levels of crime that an actor can commit. Some are minor violations, others are misdemeanors. And some are so egregious that they are downright felonies.

    Let’s breakdown the different levels of crime when it comes to an actor’s résumé. First, the violations:

    Violations

    In the real world, violations are things that offenders usually get away with. They are no biggie. Police officers hardly ever write tickets for them. At worst, you might get a “slap on the wrist” for them. These are things like jaywalking or driving 5mph over the speed limit.

    Here are 3 minor violations that actors should try to avoid:

  • #1: Misspelled Words

    Are misspelled words a big deal? Especially when it’s only one or two?

    Not usually. They don’t usually make the difference between an actor getting work and an actor not working. Nor will they likely make the difference between an actor obtaining quality representation and not finding representation at all.

    But they are violations, nonetheless.

    Misspelled words speak to an actor’s professionalism, just as they would if you were applying for a six-figure-salary job with a Fortune 500 company.

    That’s why it’s important to vigorously proofread your résumé. It speaks for your acting career when you are not there to do so in-person.

  • #2: Improper Formatting

    The standard format that most industry professionals expect on an acting résumé is:

    *A 3-Column format

    *Sections for Film, Television and Theater

    *A Training Section

    *A Special Skills section

    Different acting markets, and different people within the industry, may have different variations and expectations when it comes to formatting. For example, when you’re going out for a theater role, some industry professionals might expect your résumé to lead with your theater credits. Some might expect additional categories to be included, such as including a “Commercials” or a “New Media” section.

    But these are the generally expected formatting guidelines.

    Violating these generally accepted formatting practices will not likely cost an actor an opportunity. But, again, it speaks to an actor’s experience in the industry, or lack thereof.

  • #3: Not Knowing the Proper Lingo

    Not knowing the proper lingo to use on an acting résumé is another minor violation.

    For example, the lingo used to describe a role varies between television, film, commercial and theater.

    *In television, actors use words like “Co-star”, “Guest-star” and “Recurring” to describe the size of their roles.

    *In film, actors use words like “Lead” or “Supporting”.

    *In commercials, if listed on a résumé, actors use words like “Principal” to describe their roles.

    *In theater, actors are usually expected to list the actual name of the role they played.

    Again, these are minor violations. They won’t necessarily keep an actor from finding work or representation. Nevertheless, these are violations that every professional actor should seek to avoid.


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