Naomie Christensen: Acting Resume

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Acting Resume

Acting resumes are direct. Requiring facts, the objective is assumed when applying for an acting, modeling or entertainment role. There are five main parts to an acting resume: contact information, personal stats, experience, training, and special skills. The only challenge is recognizing how to place the information on the resume.

Contact information is extremely important. It is how casting directors and talent scouts get in touch with you. This information is contained in the header. Use the agent or managers contact information, if you have one, with your name on the first line.

An amount of discretion is required when giving out personal information. The idea is to give enough information to get hired and not enough to let everyone know where you live. An actor or actress sends resumes to everyone. Businesses have their own security. I don't want everyone knowing where I live. If I don't have an agent only e-mail and phone number are listed on the resume.

Personal stats are important. There are differing needs. Some say you should only have your height, weight, eye color and hair color. This is fine; however, the more information provided assists in painting an accurate picture for the director. Models list all physical measurements: hat size, coat size, dress size, shoe size, hip, waist and chest measurements.

Experience is important. Some people think they do not have any experience; however, if you think hard enough, you have something to put on a resume. The main categories for experience are: film, television, commercial, theater, and extra work. They are listed: title, character and production company. If you were in a high school play this would be list as:

The Glass Menagerie Laura Wherever High School

This denotes your experience, without lying. Since the location is a high school people understand it is a high school play. Musical recitals can be noted on a resume. This needs a new category, "performing arts," or "music" though theater is also inclusive:

Beethoven Opus in G Minor Pianist My School

The only thing to avoid on an acting resume is bringing too much attention to extra work. This means you want more work as an extra. Extras are the people make a movie set more personable by walking, talking and breathing. As soon as you get an acting role the word "extra" spontaneously disappears from the resume.

When providing information about film or television appearances are identified as: lead-role, supporting-cast or day-player. They are listed: title, character and appearance. Everyone is familiar with lead-role. They have a lot of lines and play a main character. Support casting has fewer lines and works off of the main character. A day-player is on set for a day. Commercials are shot in a day, so use discretion. These are also listed in order of importance, not by your last role. Regardless of whether you got a lead role two years ago or last month, it goes on top. Supporting roles are next, with day-player as least important. Directors want to know your experience quickly without having to decipher everything.

I have a unique experience. When auditioning for "So You Think You Can Dance" there was a segment dedicated to me. It wasn't appealing, but I can place it on my resume. Whenever this happens, simply identify yourself as "contestant." Auditions are not paid performances. They just wanted to add you to their show. A lot of film is never aired so make sure you were on the show before adding it to your resume. It is only important to network casting directors. It has to be on the application, to ensure there are no conflicts.

Training and skills amplifying chances of getting a role, because having a unique training can be the main reason for getting a part. If you already know how to sing, this saves production time. Training a more experienced actor to sing is costly. Not to mention some skills cannot be trained effectively. Playing instruments or singing often relies on talent. Trying to train someone to snowboard is also complicated.

Resumes sum up an entertainer in one page. If you have a lot of experience, keep it to one page. Do not use less than an eleven point font. Remove the least impressive experience or training. Open casting calls are not frequent and even then, a resume defines you as an individual. It can also be the dividing line between whether or not someone else was seen as more qualified. Trying to get by on having a "look" is short-term at best.

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