Guide to Acting Résumés
(By AM Staff)
(Photo: Cottonbro | Pexels)
An actor’s resume is similar to a professional resume. It provides a simple readout of a person’s previous work experience. Yet, an actor’s resume is also different from a professional resume in many ways.
Let’s explore acting resumes for a bit.
What is an Acting Resume?
(Photo: Anna Shvets | Pexels)
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.
There are 6 primary items that should be on an actor’s resume. First, and perhaps most importantly, is your contact info and your basic physical info. You should also include your union affiliations, experience, training and any special skills you may have.
1. Contact information
2. Physical information
3. Union affiliation
6. Special Skills
You should never put your exact age on your acting resume, if you are an adult. The reason has to do primarily with perception.
Casting involves perception. Actors tend to be cast based on what they are perceived to be, not necessarily for what they are in real life. Putting your specific age on your acting resume could negatively affect the perception that casting directors have of you.
The answer, in most cases, you don’t have to! It is not necessary for you to list your exact weight on your acting resume. For most actors, it’s not likely to make a difference at all.
Why is that? Well, because most of the time your general weight can easily be seen or approximated.
Do you identify yourself as being black? White? Latino? Ethnically ambiguous? Should you put that on your acting resume?
The short answer is no. It is not necessary to put your ethnicity on your acting resume. Furthermore, you should never box yourself into a certain category, voluntarily. That’s for casting directors to figure out.
If you’re ever asked your specific ethnicity on, say, an online casting profile, you can simply check all the categories that apply to you.
The special skills section of an actor’s resume can help casting locate actors with specific skills. These skills can be applied to the role, which makes for a more successful project.
Special skills are also an additional way for actors to stand out. You’ve got a better chance of getting a role if you have unique skills that match those needed to play the character.
The most important thing to remember when adding items to your special skills section is to make sure that they are indeed “skills”. They must be things that you are better at doing than the average person; things upon which you excel.
If the Special Skills section on your acting resume simply lists a general activity, you’re not necessarily doing it wrong. You’re just not doing it very right.
For example, if you list a skill like “basketball” or “surfing” on your resume or profile, you’ve done nothing – absolutely nothing! – to stand out from the competition. Lots of actors will list these kinds of skills.
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:
When it comes to an actor’s résumé, there are differing levels of crime that an actor can commit. Some are simple violations, others are misdemeanors. And some are so egregious that they are downright felonies.
We’ve already detailed some of the simple résumé violations an actor can commit. Those are things like misspelled words and using improper lingo to describe the size of your role.
Now, let’s dive into a deeper level of crime you can commit on your acting résumé: the résumé misdemeanor Misdemeanors aren’t felonious; meaning, they’re not opportunity-threatening or career-threatening mistakes. But they can still be problematic.