"The label you give yourself cannot impact external forces that are not motivated by your own psychology or influenced by a third party's pre-existing consciousness of you. We are all presented with reasons to struggle which come from completely external forces; to pretend that one is not struggling is either arrogance or an admission of defeat. To admit that one is struggling is a sign and a source of strength." - Evan A. Baker

Saturday, October 30, 2010

How to Create an Actor's Resume Part 2

(In case you missed it, here's Part 1)

I can't tell you how to write an Acting Resume. I have to show you.

I can tell you, though, that underneath your name, union status, representation's phone number (or yours if you don't have one) there goes your credits.

It's usually categorized by genre: Film, Television, Theater. Then Training, Then Special Skills. You can add New Media, since that's all over the place now, and I've seen some people put "Commercials - list upon request" to pretty much add space on a small resume. No hating! I did that, and it's fine, but once you can get rid of it (or are submitting to theatrical representation) take it off.

Film and television have they size of the role listed (TV: co-star, guest star, recurring, series regular, and film: Lead, supporting, etc.) BEWARE! If you have "featured" on your resume, it's glorified extra work. We know that, casting knows that, and you can't put extra work on your resume. Sorry.

Theater has the name of the character you played. I've seen some people add parentheses to the character's name with the size of the role, like this: Sheila (Lead). I think it muddies up your resume, but that's just my opinion. If they haven't heard of the play, they might ask you about it. Probably not if you're in LA, though.

If you have any awards or special honors, put them on your resume!

Then Training with what it was, who it was with, and where or what school it was at.

Special Skills. We mean real skills. If you live in LA and list "driver's license" under special skills, you look silly. In NYC, it might be a great skill to have. If you can drive stick, though, notate it.
And if it's a thing that maybe you did once at summer camp, like kayaking, you shouldn't put it on your special skills. If you rode horses for 5 years, on there it goes. Bilingual? Put it on there! Took four years of French 20 years ago? I doubt you're fluent. Take it off.

And take classes that interest you so you can always build your skills. It just makes more fun.

But okay, okay, you want to see a good resume, and some tweaking, right? [update: I had issues with the original google doc so I just made a new template. Here you go! ]

If you have any other questions, you know I'm just a comment away from answering it!

12 comments:

  1. This is brilliant! Thank you so much Lira. X

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  2. Would you make a distinction between short and feature film on your resume?

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  3. You don't need to make a distinction. A film, be it short or feature length, is still a film.

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  4. Oh, hey! I thought your writer self might find this article interesting (Finding the Woman's Voice). The woman who wrote it, Helen Stacy is a screenwriter and also published a screen-writing book called The Woman in the Story: Writing Memorable Female Characters.

    Here's the link to the article

    http://www.writersstore.com/finding-the-womans-voice-helen-jacey

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  5. I love you so damn much. The names you came up with are also hilarious, by the way.

    So...stunt doubling?

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  6. Maybe Jane should see what it entails....

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  7. So does this mean we should put commercial/voiceover work on a completely separate resume then??

    Thanks!

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    1. You don't list commercials on your resume. There's a belief that if you worked for a spot for Pepsi four years ago, and the ad execs are at callbacks for Coke and they then see that you worked for their competitor, they won't hire you. So everyone leaves commercials off their resume.

      Voiceovers are left off also, but for a bit of a different reason; your voiceover reel is considered your resume. No one cares what you did if you have the voice they love listening to. I read somewhere that people have stopped asking for voiceover resumes since the late 90s - which, incidentally, is when uploading and downloading mp3s started happening to the masses. The voiceover resume is obsolete when someone can just go to a website and stream and hear your voice.

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  8. What about industrials? I read they should be listed under films, would you agree?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I'd agree with that. You can even title it "Films/Industrials" if you want. But like student films, those will be one of the first things you take off when your credits get bigger and better.

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Play nice.