Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Creating Your Résumé



YOUR NAME
AFFILIATIONS (if any) such as SAG / AFTRA

William Morrison Agency
Height: 5' 10"
Bob Smith
Weight: 160 lbs.
Telephone: 213-555-1212
Hair: Black
agentname@wma.com
Eyes: Blue
www.agentwebsite.com
Film


Titanic
Mike
Dir. James Cameron
Over the Hedge
Lou (voice)
Dir. Tim Johnson
Star Wars
Hans Solo
Dir. George Lucas
Hart's War
Lt. Hart
Dir. Gregory Hoblit



Television


CSI New York
Lab Tech - Featured
Dir. Rob Bailey
Lost
Other George
Dir. J.J. Abrams
Grey's Anatomy
Bob the Orderly
Dir. Shonda Rhimes
Alias
Mr. Kahn
Dir. J.J. Abrams
ER
Head Injury Patient
Dir. Christopher Chulack



Theatre


Catch that man
Lou
Theatre of the Arts
Mental case
Bob
Elite Theatre
Lovely Tom
Tom
The Clash Theatre



Commercials


Conflicts available upon request





Training


UCLA, BA Dramatic Arts


Brian Reise
Scene Study & Cold Reading
Los Angeles, CA
Howard Fine
Comprehensive Technique
Los Angeles, CA



Specials Skills


Basketball, African Dancing, Martial Arts, Mime, Extreme Biking, Rock Climbing, Hip Hop, Singing, Stunts, Basketball, Football, Diving, Precision driving, Fluent French, Cry Easily, Current Passport



See also:

From Showbiz Extras

Published by Cheryl Woolsey
First of all let's differentiate between a résumé you would use to get a job in an office environment versus the type of résumé you would use as an actor. A business résumé will contain your name, contact information, work experience and skills relative to the corporate world as well as education. An acting résumé will include your name, your contact or agents contact information, personal details about you, the film, television, theatre projects you've worked in, what role you played, any acting training/education you've completed and any special skills you have to bring to a role. As you can see, the only information they have in common is your name and contact information, unless of course you choose to use a stage name instead of your birth name or you have an agent. Other than that, the two are fairly dissimilar.

Click on Read More (below) to continue or go to Showbiz Extras by clicking here. Additional resume and photo advice can be found in the links listed in the right hand column of this blog/newsletter.

This may be redundant, but to be clear, an acting résumé is a one-page summary of your physical characteristics, performing experience, skills and qualifications. The organization and the design of your résumé should make you stand out to the casting director and make them want to select you above all other submissions. Remember from the article on Headshots, a casting director will look at your picture for about a half of a second, and if you've grabbed their attention enough to turn your headshot over they should see a professional résumé on the other side - one that is clean, clear and a true accounting of your work.
How it should look
There is a general industry standard on how a résumé should look and what information should be included. I think it's easiest to break it up into sections and explain what should should contain so it doesn't get confusing. Since résumés are more for working actors with credits, that is what I will be referring to, however, with a few small changes, you can convert this acting résumé into an "Extra résumé". The format is the same, it's the experience that will change. Don't be discouraged, everyone has to start somewhere!
Also, keep in mind that you need to format your résumé to be printed on the back of your 8x10 headshot and the application you'll use is formatted for 8½x 11. Be sure to adjust your right, left, top and bottom margins to account for the smaller size.
Section 1 - Heading
This is the top of the page and should include your name centered on the page. Below that and centered on the next line you should list all of your union affiliation(s) (SAG, AFTRA, AEA, ACTRA) or if you are Non Union.
Section 2- Contact information and Some Vital Stats
Below the Heading and on the left side, you should list your physical characteristics including, height, weight, hair-color, and eye-color. On the right side list the name of the agency you are represented by if you have one, your agent's name and relevant contact information, including a phone number and email address. If you don't have an agent, substitute your home number, cell phone #, city/state/zip code, your website address, and your acting email address on those lines where you would have agent information. * Note * I strongly suggest you create a free email account with a web based host like Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail so you can access your email from anywhere. This will also help to keep acting emails separate or from getting lost in all your friends, family and spam emails.
Section 3- Experience
In this section you will be adding any experience you have as an actor broken up in to the following categories of film, television, stage, and commercials. Under each category you will have 3 columns of information as follows:
Column One: Name of Play, film or TV show
Column Two: Role (character name) you played. Some people think it should be what kind of role you played such as "Principal", "Co-Star", "Supporting" or "Featured" however I think most people put the character name.
Column Three: Name of the project director for film and television credits. Director can be abbreviated to "Dir." to save space. In the theatre section you should put the name and location of the theatre instead of the name of the director.
If you have a lot of experience, narrow it down to the most prominent and most recent work showing your acting range whenever possible.
A special note under "Commercials": you do not need to put whether you've done Regional or National commercials, what role you played and the name of the production company or director's name. Common practice is to simply put "Conflicts available upon request".
I know this all may be a bit confusing, but hang in there.
Section 4 - Training
If you have any degrees in drama note them first. If you have had any kind of theater training, acting, scene study, commercial, voice, or on camera classes add them next and include who taught the class. Then add any workshops or showcases you might have done and with what instructor.
Section 5 - Special Skills
List all of your special skills in this area. These will include a wide range of talents and anything you feel you are an expert at should be highlighted. For example if you are a black belt in a martial arts discipline you should indicate to what degree and what style. If you can ride a horse and have dressage skills note to what level. If you are an experienced magician, contortionist, juggler, pantomime, or clown put it down. If you speak any foreign languages, have any kind of military/combat, dance or vocal training indicate which skills you have and make sure you can do all of the things you put on your résumé. If you've played soccer one time and did very poorly, then don't put that down as a skill. Only things you are comfortable with portraying on camera should be included in this section.
Section 6 - Awards and Honors
Although this is pretty uncommon, if you have room you can include any awards or honors you received for any of your performance. Be sure they are relative and timely, meaning not from ten plus years ago when you were in junior high.
The finished product for a working actor could look something like this:
YOUR NAME
AFFILIATIONS (if any) such as SAG / AFTRA
William Morrison Agency
Height: 5' 10"Bob Smith
Weight: 160 lbs.Telephone: 213-555-1212
Hair: Blackagentname@wma.com
Eyes: Bluewww.agentwebsite.com
Film
TitanicMikeDir. James Cameron
Over the HedgeLou (voice)Dir. Tim Johnson
Star WarsHans SoloDir. George Lucas
Hart's WarLt. HartDir. Gregory Hoblit
Television
CSI New YorkLab Tech - FeaturedDir. Rob Bailey
LostOther GeorgeDir. J.J. Abrams
Grey's AnatomyBob the OrderlyDir. Shonda Rhimes
AliasMr. KahnDir. J.J. Abrams
ERHead Injury PatientDir. Christopher Chulack
Theatre
Catch that manLouTheatre of the Arts
Mental caseBobElite Theatre
Lovely TomTomThe Clash Theatre
Commercials
Conflicts available upon request
Training
UCLA, BA Dramatic Arts
Brian ReiseScene Study & Cold ReadingLos Angeles, CA
Howard FineComprehensive TechniqueLos Angeles, CA
Specials Skills
Basketball, African Dancing, Martial Arts, Mime, Extreme Biking, Rock Climbing, Hip Hop, Singing, Stunts, Basketball, Football, Diving, Precision driving, Fluent French, Cry Easily, Current Passport

With a few changes, you can change this in to an experienced "Background" or "Extra" résumé which could look something like this:

YOUR NAME
AFFILIATIONS (if any) such as SAG / AFTRA
Los Angeles, CA
Height: 5' 10"Telephone: 213-555-1212
Weight: 160 lbs.Cell: 213-555-1234
Hair: Blackyourname@youremail.com
Eyes: Bluewww.yourwebsite.com
Stand-in/Photo Double
Austin PowersRobert Wagoner - Stand-inDir. Jay Roach
Las VegasJosh Duhamel - Photo DoubleDir. Timothy Busfield
TransformersJosh Duhamel - Photo DoubleDir. George Lucas
Film
Horror Flick 2008Adam/KillerStudent Film
Out of The GateJerryAFI Film Project
The Ugly TruthJogger in the ParkDir. Robert Luketic
WantedFoundry Worker - FeaturedDir. Timur Bekmambetov
Television
CSI New YorkLab Tech - FeaturedDir. Rob Bailey
Prison BreakCarlos - InmateDir. Kevin Hooks
ERHead Injury PatientDir. Christopher Chulack
Theatre
Catch that manLouTheatre of the Arts
Mental caseBobElite Theatre
Commercials
Conflicts available upon request
Training
UCLA, BA Dramatic Arts
Brian ReiseScene Study & Cold ReadingLos Angeles, CA
Howard FineComprehensive TechniqueLos Angeles, CA
Specials Skills
Basketball, African Dancing, Martial Arts, Mime, Extreme Biking, Rock Climbing, Hip Hop, Singing, Stunts, Basketball, Football, Diving, Precision driving, Fluent French, Cry Easily, Current Passport

With a few changes, you can change this in to a beginning "Extra" résumé which would look something like this:

YOUR NAME
Non Union or leave it blank
Home: 213-555-1212
Cell: 213-555-1234
yourname@youremail.com
Age Range: 25-3534B-25-35
Height: 5' 7"Pants: Size Small - 2
Weight: 125 lbs.Shirt Size: Small - 4
Hair: BrownInseam 30"
Eyes: BlueShoe: 8
Ethnicity: CaucasianHat: 7
Wardrobe
Formal Gowns/TuxedoFor Women: List colors and length
For Men: Color and style
Business SuitsFor Women: (3) Skirt/Pant Suits, Black, Navy, Gray
For Men: (4) Black, Charcoal, Navy, Pintstripe
Other WardrobeAthletic wear, swimwear, fatigues, hip hop, scrubs, police
uniforms,western attire, 70's clothes, Karate uniform
Japanese Kimono
Props:Luggage, briefcase, bike, golf clubs, roller blades, surf
board, tennis racquet, backpack
Car:2004 Honda Accord, 4 door, excellent condition
Pets:5yr old miniature Yorkie, Female
TheatreIf you have done any theater include it
Training
UCLA, BA Dramatic Arts
Brian ReiseScene Study & Cold ReadingLos Angeles, CA
Howard FineComprehensive TechniqueLos Angeles, CA
Specials Skills
Basketball, African Dancing, Martial Arts, Mime, Extreme Biking, Rock Climbing, Hip Hop, Singing, Stunts, Basketball, Football, Diving, Precision driving, Fluent French, Cry Easily, Current Passport


* As a footnote, for men you should list your jacket size, shirt size (neck and sleeve length), and pant size (waist and inseam length).
If you have any kind of experience you should add it in and if you are currently enrolled in acting classes, don’t leave them off because you haven’t completed them, just note you are currently enrolled. As you gain experience, delete where necessary and add what’s relevant.
As a final note and this should go without saying, but just in case, never put your birth date or social security number on your resume. I’ve seen hundreds of headshots in the garbage and having any of your personal data on your resume could expose you identity theft.
For tips on how to gain acting experience please go to my Tips on Gaining Acting Experience article.

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