The Actor's Resume
The Actor's Resume
Danny Johnson (Broadway Actor) gives expert video advice on: What is a theatrical resume?; What should my theatrical resume include?; What if I am just starting out and don't have many credits on my resume?
What is a theatrical resume?
A resume is a list of your work. It lists who you are. Like I mentioned earlier, if you have an eight by ten, the other part of it is the resume, on the other side. And together they really comprise the actor's calling card. When you look at the resume, it will always say your name--the name of the actor. You might have some specifics about height, size, that sort of thing. Age is a tricky thing. Sometimes, when you're young, it's great to have your age on there. When you get a little older, it may be not so great. But, chiefly it will list your credits in terms of the work that you've done; sort of a CV of your work as an actor. You might start with the theater work that you've done, start with the Broadway, then maybe off-Broadway, then maybe the regional theater that you've done. If you haven't done much theater, but you've done more television, you'll start with the different television series that you've played in, whether you were a guest star, whether you had a recurring character, whether you were the lead of the show. You'll include film work, television work and theatrical work. And you'll also probably have some specifics about your education and training. Myself, for example, I went to a conservatory school, that's listed there. What else could we put on there? Any particular skills that you might have, if you have a British accent, that's great to highlight. If you have any dialect that you can use well while you're working, you'll want to put that there. If you juggle, the sports that you are involved in, whether you play tennis, whether you play football, or if you boxed Golden Gloves for five years or whatever. You want to have people turn over that picture, look at the resume and say wow he's done this show and that was great. Or he's done this show, that was great. Or he's got a South African dialect and he juggles too? That's my guy.
What should my theatrical resume include?
I think it should definitely include your name. You might have some specifics about your height, weight, but the key things it's going to have on there is your work history. If you have worked in film, television, theater, you'll want to list the credits, whether it was for Law and Order, for NBC, or whether it was a play that you did at the theater, then you'll also want to have any particular skills that you have on there. If you're a juggler, if you speak a foreign language, if you speak with a dialect in another language, if you played football, whatever sports you're involved in. You'll also want to have your educational training. If you took workshops with a particular theater group, if you graduated from a college or a conservatory. But certainly one thing that you don't want to put on your resume is any type of personal information. I don't think you want to have your address on the resume. If there's a phone number on there, sometimes you might want to have people contact you by phone, make sure it's a cellphone. Really, probably best they contact your agent as opposed to them contacting you. And certainly, never put your social security number on there.
What if I am just starting out and don't have many credits on my resume?
When writing a Resume highlight the things that you do have. If you don't have theatre, television or whatever else, in your work history don't put it on your resume. Number 1: Do not make things up, because the acting despite seeming huge is down to a small group of people. You will get found out. Do not lie. Do not make things up. Hightlight what you do have, if you say you were in the community theatre production of Oklahoma and played Curly, put it on your rersume. That's what you've done, that's where you've been and that's what people want to know, people don't necessarily what to say I've got the next Brando sitting in front of me. They want to see who that guy is and have the best sense of what you can do- so things like civic theatre, community theatre, productions from high school (although I'd stay away from putting church christmas play on your Resume), if you've been in any pagent, taken any classes- especially now you're interested in becoming an actor, you'll probably want to consider taking some kind of training to try to focus and learn your craft . Those are excellent. Try to put the professional you've worked with.