"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

Sunday, October 24, 2010

How to Create an Actor's Resume Part 1

Let me preface this with a simple Always Follow Your Representation's Resume Guidelines!
But if you don't have a resume, or do and want to see if you might be able to improve it or if you are completely lost, then great! Start here!

First things first: Never put your address on your acting resume. You don't need to, and if it got into the wrong hands suddenly, some perv knows what you look like, knows where you live, and when he comes over to find you, probably isn't going to talk about how awesome you were in Hamlet. Get my drift?

And another thing. As much as I want to tell you THIS IS HOW IT IS DONE, consider the source. I'm a struggling actress for a reason, ya'll. So take this for what it is. (I have, however, been to about.com and saw their actor resume tips and I WOULD suggest doing it my way instead of theirs, as I have been doing this for a couple of years and have actually gleaned a few things.)

How did I first figure out how to do my acting resume? Simply. When I signed with my first agent, she asked me if I knew how to do one. I didn't. She gave me one of her client's headshots and resumes and said, "Do it like this." I've learned and grown along the way.

Ready, let's go!

For starters, let's consider this header:

Jane Doe
website: janedoe.com /cell: 555 555 2010

Not bad, right? Right. But let's streamline it a bit:

Jane Doe
cell: 555-555-2010
reel: janedoe.com/reel.html

I like this better.
We took off the bolding cause I think it looks better that way (my blog, my opinions!)

I took off the hair and eyes thing because it's no longer necessary to include it. An actor used to need that on their resume back when headshots were still black and white, but since they're in color now, casting and agents can just turn over your headshot and see for themselves what you look like. Height and weight is gone too because that's info that will go on your size card for commercials, and theatrically, no one cares how much you weigh or how tall you are. Okay...well, they DO, but don't worry about it here. you can leave it off.

Having your website on your resume is fantastic! Having the direct link to your reel is a THOUSAND times better. Don't make prospective agents have to hunt for it. If they're waffling about you and decide to go to your website to get a better idea of who you are, they won't spend a long time trying to find your reel if your website is hard to navigate. Better to just give them the direct link there and if they like what they see, then they'll go looking at the rest of your site.

Still don't like the above? Well, you can always streamline it more! We probably don't need the word "cell" up there because it's assumed now that everybody has one.  And since the reel link has the word "reel" in the backslash, we could probably nix it in the front. How's this?

Jane Doe

To me, this just looks neater, better, and more professional; more savvy. Do you agree?

Tomorrow, part 2.


  1. Love this. You're awesome.

    Thanks again for everything you do...for everyone. :)

  2. Nice so far. Resumes can be so annoying to do. I recently revamped mine and looked around a bit..about.com being a source. And you're right, did not like what they had to say at all. Advice to actors from actors is so much better.

  3. Very nice blog post. I am looking for format for acting resume
    . Please share sample for model and acting resume if possible.

  4. Since SAG-AFTRA merged, I don't think a person can just join AFTRA now, I think the same guidelines for SAG follow for AFTRA now. Or am I wrong?


Play nice.