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An acting resume should never be longer than one page. Since you'll be handing your resume over with your headshot, the idea is to have the resume attached to the back of the photo. Many photo printing companies offer the service of printing your resume directly to the back of your photo. If this option is in your budget, take it; it is the preferred method of casting directors. If not, try to glue your resume to your photo (neatly!). If you opt for stapling the resume, be sure to staple each corner to the photo. Never use paper clips, as they snag on other photos and resumes in a casting director's pile. Besides, the last thing you want is for your photo and resume to be separated; one without the other is useless!
Think of your acting resume as a calling card. You are presenting yourself to complete strangers who know nothing of your talents. With that in mind, be sure your resume is:
When attaching your resume to the back of your headshot, be sure it adheres solidly. There should be no clips or opened staples to snag on other photos in the casting director's pile.
Don't use clever fonts or colors on your resume. Keep the type simple, such as Tahoma, Courier, or Times New Roman. Always use black ink to print your resume, and be sure it doesn't smudge.
A small effort on your acting resume will go a long way toward presenting yourself as a professional.
Want to land an acting job? Follow these basic resume rules: Your resume should never be more than one page long. The resume should be stapled to and trimmed to fit the headshot, or even better, printed directly to the back of your photo. Don't staple clippings or reviews to your resume, they will just get in the way. You should have an email address created just for your acting resume. Never make the font on your resume smaller than 10pt. It is difficult to read in any situation, whether it's in a well-lit office or a darkened theater.
Don't be afraid if your acting resumes seems sparse. A small but powerful resume can be very convincing. Each item in your resume should stand alone and leave no questions as to what your role was, what the production was, and where. Your work should be credible, which will help to develop an image of you as an actor. You won't have a lot of experience to list at first, but your resume will evolve with your career, changing as you develop more experience.
Your acting resume should begin with your physical statistics and contact information. The auditor may already have your headshot, but listing your physical attributes is necessary in case the picture and resume are separated. Be sure to include height, weight, hair color, and eye color. When listing contact information, give the address and number where you can be reached most quickly. If you have an agent, it is the agent's contact information you should list, not your own.
The experience section of your resume should highlight the primary roles that you have played. When considering what to include and what to leave out, here are a few tips: List your lead or featured theater, film and television roles in separate sections. Don't list your roles as an extra. Refrain from listing any non-speaking roles, even if they are primary roles. Only include work that you feel best represents you as an actor.
It is necessary to include your training in your resume. This way, auditors can be sure of the degree of skills that you possess. Be sure to list any training you have with Acting Technique, Scene Study, Voice (not singing), Movement, Improvisation, On-camera Scene Study, and On-camera Commercials. Also, make sure to include the names of the institutions you have attended and the names of the teachers involved in your training.
A well-formed acting resume is important to your acting career. Be discerning when writing your resume. Include only items that highlight and enhance your experience and strengths as an actor. Your resume should allow your auditor to see what kind of roles you have played in the past, and help them to envision the kinds of roles you will play in the future. Your details should be accurate and well-placed. Provide just enough information; a crowded page will only hurt your chances.
Mailings are a great way to get your resume seen by agencies and casting directors. All you need to start mailing is a copy of Ross Reports. Get relevant addresses from there and put your package together. Your package should include a headshot, resume, and (brief!) cover letter. You should have separate resumes for film work and commercial work. Use the cover letter to show your creativity and personality in three short paragraphs: who you are, what want to accomplish, and why you are mailing the agent and/or casting director.
Only include truthful information in your resume for acting. The industry is big, but it isn't that big. Chances are that the person interviewing you knows someone who knows someone who knows all of your previous work. A little lie told early on can become a huge problem later. No one expects a young actor to have a stellar resume. In the end, it is your audition/interview that will land you that job. Remember, a small, credible resume is much more effective than a large one padded with lies.