The Actors Resume

I can’t believe I haven’t written about this yet!


OK. First things first.

Here is an example of my resume.


AngelaDee


NAME and CONTACT INFO

First thing you will probably notice is how HUGE my name is.

That isn’t a narcissistic mistake. That is VERY important when it comes to making your resume. Why? Well, firstly an agent or casting director gets hundreds (perhaps even more) resumes pass over their desks every day. It is vital that you don’t get lost in the shuffle. If your name is the same size as the rest of the print on your resume then its going to get lost which’ll make it hard for the CD/agent to remember you. Your name is your calling card in this industry. You need for it to be remembered. And one way of doing it is to make sure it is the most important element on the page. When that resume flies over the CD/agents desk you will stand out. It might be enough to make them pause for a brief second and read the content. This isn’t something that I happened to pick up or invent on my own. This is the information I have heard time and again from the very people we’re talking about. So don’t take it from me, take it from the industry professionals you’re trying to meet.

Same goes for your contact info. Don’t make it hard to find. If they can’t figure out how to contact you, what’s the point in even having a resume? Make it bold and clear and make your primary contact biggest.


UNIONS

List your unions at the top under your name and contact info and make it bold. And DO NOT LIE! Some people work with the unions others don’t. They will move on immediately if they can’t work with you and you save them time. It’d be really frustrating to call an actor in for a union job only to find out that they weren’t (it’d also pretty much guarantee you NEVER work for that person again) and the same goes for the non-union sector. An employer can get into a lot of trouble hiring a union actor on a non-union job without permission.


EXPERIENCE

What do you list NEXT?

Well, in New York there has always been a bit of a theater stronghold. And when I was first starting out it was recommended that you list your theater experience first. If you live in LA you will probably have heard that you list your film/TV credits first – again, that’s because LA is the stronghold of those mediums. Some of the old-schoolers still believe that this is the way to list your resume. But there is also an alternate way of listing your experience – by you interest/specialty first. This is highly personal and is totally up to you. If you are mainly interested in being in theater/musicals, etc I strongly suggest you list your experience in that field first. If it’s film/TV then list that first. However, if you WANT to be in film/TV but don’t have that many credits (or vice-versa) I would lead with your STRENGTH first. Its better to lead with your best foot forward because its assuming a lot that the agent/CD is going to make it all the way through your resume.


Then, I would list your other experiences. As you can see on my resume, I have put my voiceover experience next. If you also do voiceovers a trick to listing those jobs is to class them as Lead, Principal, Narrator or however you were hired.


Commercials always go last primarily because you’re not required to list them. Generally you’re just asked to list your conflicts – for example: If I was the Verizon Guy (the lead in the “Can you hear me now?” commercials) I would have a conflict with doing any other phone company commercials. There’s probably a clause in the contract I signed with the producers that stipulates I not promote any other communications company. I suppose if you were that big you could list that as a specific conflict. However, most actors do what I’ve done: Commercials (conflicts available upon request) which means that when you’re called in to do a commercial the agent/CD will inquire whether you have a conflict with the product or not. Now this works out for those of you who have NEVER done a commercial – you can still list it this way. It doesn’t imply you have done any commercial work or not. So go ahead and put it on your resume.


EDUCATION

As with any kind of resume, you will need to list your education. Try and keep it short and clear and do mention any relevant names you’ve studied with. From what I understand industry professionals will scan straight to this section and if they see someone they know or something interesting they will ask you about it – ANYTHING to get them interacting with you beyond a piece of paper is in my book a triumph.


SPECIAL SKILLS

This is a total wild-card. There are so many schools of thought about this. Its basically for commercial directors but it can be good for background work and smaller roles where they will look for specially skills like uni-cycling, etc. Overall, I would recommend you list the top skills you have and leave it at that. I am a resident of the US and a citizen of Europe so it seems to have been good for me (and a time-saver for everyone) to list that I am legally allowed to work in both places. This is also a good spot to put something interesting on your resume. I was literally born on TV so I popped that down there and have had a couple really funny conversations in interviews over it. But tread lightly. Its really not that important of a section on the old resume.



Lastly, your resume should be updated frequently. It is important that the format is clear and that you keep it simple. Even my resume is beginning to look a little cluttered – I may have to get in there and change it up soon..


Also, if you are posting your resume online, I would make it a PDF. It’s an easy format to download and has zoom options that can be utilized online.

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About The NYC Actor

Angela Dee is a professional actress working in Film, Theatre, TV, Commercials and Voiceovers. She currently lives in New York. www.angeladee.com

2 Responses to “The Actors Resume”

  1. >You're welcome! Thanks for reading Rachael,

  2. >Just want to say a big thank you for all of the effort you put into your blog! I've been revamping my boyfriend's acting resume and your blog as been a very valuable resource!

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