How to Make a Professional Acting Resume

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If you are pursuing acting professionally, you absolutely need a resume. You can use the same professional acting resume for any audition, whether it is a commercial, theatrical, film or television audition. Your professional acting resume should be attached to the back of your 8x10 headshot.

Things You'll Need

  • Word processing program
  • List of prior acting experience and training
  • Open Word or a similar program on your computer and create a new document.

  • Type your name in large, bold letters at the top of the page. Your name should be either centered in the middle of the page or on the left.

  • List any union affiliations, such as SAG (Screen Actors Guild), AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) and AEA (Actors' Equity Association), underneath your name.

  • Place your agency's contact information to the right or left of your name and unions. Most agencies will have a sticker or template you can use that includes their name, logo, address, phone and fax numbers and email address. If you do not have an agent, you should list your personal contact information. Put your phone number and email address, not your residence address.

  • Write your personal description information. This includes your height, weight, hair color and eye color. You may also wish to list your vocal range here if you are a singer. These items should be listed at the top of the resume, beneath your name, unions and contact information.

  • Separate your resume credits into three categories--television, film and theater. If you are in New York, you should list your film credits first, followed by your film and television credits. In the Los Angeles market, you should always list your television and film credits first. Use a sub-heading to separate these sections so the reader clearly knows the medium of each credit.

  • Write the details of each acting credit. For television, you should write the name of the show, then the type of role you had (SAG television roles are classified as Co-star, Guest-star, Recurring and Series Regular. AFTRA television roles are classified as Under 5, Day Player, Recurring and Principal), and finally the network the show is on as well as the director of the episode(s) you were in. For film, you should list the type of role (Starring, Supporting or Featured), then the studio or production company that made the film and finally, the director of the film. For theater, you should list the name of the play, the name of the role you played, the theater where it was performed as well as the director.

  • Create a commercials sub-heading but don't list your commercial experience here. It is customary to simply state, "Conflicts available upon request."

  • Make a training sub-heading and list your applicable acting training here. You should list the name of the school or teacher as well as the type of training you received there. For example, "Bob's Acting School--Scene study."

  • Put any acting awards you have received in a section on your resume. This can include awards or recognition in any acting medium.

  • List any special skills you have. Get creative in this section. You should include any languages you speak and any dialects you can perform well. Include any musical instruments you play, sports you perform well, singing ability and just about anything else that is pertinent.

  • Proofread your entire resume to ensure it is free of errors.

Tips & Warnings

  • Your resume should fit on the back of your head shot so you need to cut the paper down to an 8x10 size. Use staples, tape or glue to affix a resume to the back of each photo. You can also print directly on the back of your head shot if the paper and your printer allows for it.
  • Update your resume every time you book a new job. The same is true for your training, special skills and awards. You want to highlight your latest and best work.
  • Never lie on your resume. You should always be honest about your experience, training and skills. Casting directors get very frustrated when they discover an actor has lied on his resume.
  • Never put your home address on your resume. If you don't have an agent or manager, your phone number and email address are sufficient contact information.

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