Should I Put My Ethnicity on My Acting Resume?
(By AM Staff)
(Photo: Shvets Production | Pexels)
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 interesting thing about casting is that it doesn’t necessarily matter what you are, in real life. What matters is what you can be perceived to be by the average person on the street – the audience.
You should never box yourself into a certain category, voluntarily. That’s for casting directors to figure out.
It doesn’t matter what ethnicity you list on your acting resume. The categories you are perceived to fit into are the categories where you’ll find the most work.
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For instance, many Afro-Latino actors find it difficult to land Latin roles in Hollywood because of perception. Actors like Laz Alonso, Christina Milian, Zoe Saldana, Tatyana Ali and Gina Torres often have more success landing African American roles than Latin roles.
The other problem with listing an ethnicity on your acting resume is that you are placing yourself in a box unnecessarily. Hollywood has a long history of playing around with ethnicity, putting actors in certain roles despite the fact that those roles are different from their true ethnicity.
The categories you are perceived to fit into are the categories where you’ll find the most work.
Al Pacino, an actor of Italian descent, famously portrayed a Cuban drug lord in Scarface (1983), mastering the character’s cultural styles and accent. That he wasn’t Cuban did not matter, in the end. What mattered was that he could be perceived by the audience to be Cuban.
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