Sample Acting Resume
Just like any other job, your acting resume should reflect your talents and highlight your skills. When putting together your acting resume, only include truthful information. People tend to feel that this industry is big, it isn't that big. People talk and network, so there’s a very good chance that someone with whom you have an audition knows someone who knows someone who knows all of your previous work. No one expects a young actor to have a stellar resume. In the end, it is your audition that will land you that job. A small, credible resume is much more effective than a large one padded with lies. It’s better to earn your credits the hard way. In the end it will pay off.
The Resume Rules
Want to land an acting job? Follow these basic resume rules:
1. Your resume should never be more than one page long.
2. Never make the font on your resume smaller than 10pt. It is difficult to read in any situation, whether it's in a well-lit office or a darkened theater.
3. Staple and trim your resume to fit the headshot, or even better, print it directly to the back of your headshot.
4. Don't staple clippings or reviews to your resume; they will just get in the way.
5. You should have an email address created specifically for your acting resume. It should be your first and last name, whenever possible (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org)
Selecting a Headshot Photographer
When selecting a photographer, use one who specializes in headshots. Portrait artists may make you look great, but without insight into the industry, the photos may be overlooked. Research several different photographers, and ask your contacts in the industry for recommendations. Ask to see a portfolio of the photographer's previous work. Use a photographer with a permanent studio; mobile studios are less trustworthy. Negotiate rates beforehand and get an agreement in writing before shooting begins.
Also find out if a make-up artist will be available to you. If so, pay the extra money and hire him/her. Its well worth the cost to have someone making sure you look your best you during the entire shoot.
The Headshot and Resume Combination
Since you'll be handing your resume over with your headshot – the two are rarely, if ever, separated – you need to have the resume attached to the back of your photo. Many photo printing companies offer the service of printing your resume directly to the back of your photo. If this option is in your budget, take it; it is the preferred method of casting directors. If not, neatly glue your resume to your photo. If gluing is too messy, staple your resume to the back of the photo. Be sure to staple each corner to the photo. Never use paper clips, as they snag on other photos and resumes in a casting director's pile. The last thing you want is for your photo and resume to be separated; one without the other is useless!
Types of Headshots
There are two basic types of headshots: commercial and theatrical.
Commercial: These should be attractive, warm, and open. Always smile for these shots, with teeth showing, if possible.
Theatrical: These can be more “natural,” and should try to represent your characteristics as a person.
The format for headshots varies throughout the country –- from close-ups to 3/4 shots, from bordered to borderless. Make sure you use the preferred format for your area of application. It’s not a bad idea to have one of each taken so that you can submit to all types of jobs.
The general rule is that television and commercial work receives the commercial shot, theater and film receive the theatrical shot. If you're in a showcase, you can present either, depending on the industry professionals who may be present at the event.
You and Your Headshot
Casting directors use headshots to get a feel for an actor's type. The headshot should embrace your best qualities. Don’t dress or use make-up that covers your true nature; let the shot be true to you. And by all means, get new headshots if your look changes drastically and/or after a few years have passed. Misrepresenting yourself will only lead to trouble later in auditions. Remember, headshots aren't glamour shots. The look should be natural, open, and compelling. Many times, you will be judged by your headshot even before you are called in to have an audition. Let your photo speak for you and your abilities by being professional yet accessible.
Good Luck & never give up on your dreams! ~