Creating a talent resume can seem very difficult and overwhelming for actors just getting their start in the business. What is the MOST important when writing your talent resume is the format and being truthful. It is OK if you are just starting in this wonderful world of entertainment and your resume DOES NOT HAVE TO include a fancy list of episodic and feature film credits right away.
Having a talent resume is one, of three, CRUCIAL steps for any talent to get started in the business. You will staple your resume directly to the back of your 8x10 head shot when attending castings, auditions and/or mailing submissions to agencies and managers.
A resume is broken down in to three parts:
- contact information
- work experience
- training experience
It is very important to always make sure that your contact information is correct on your resume. If you are represented by a talent agent and/or manager you will list their direct contact information instead of your own. If the contact information is not correct then there is no way anyone can contact you.
Your name should be listed at the top, in a slightly larger font and in bold letters. On the side of your name is where you would put any union affiliations, only if it applies. It is important to never put your exact age or birth date on your resume but your age range, (i.e. age range 15-21).
Next is your work experience and is also broken down in to three sections: theater, film and television. You will order the three sections by what you are most interested in, vertically from top down. For each section you will break down into three parts: production title, role, and production company, horizontally from left to right. Each section and part should be lined up evenly across each row and column.
After your work experience will then come your training experience. Having a history of training experience is SO IMPORTANT and is the most important for newer talent, because it allows casting directors and agents to know what techniques of acting you have studied specifically. It also shows that you take this seriously and have committed yourself fully to your development and study of the craft.
The last part of a talent resume is special skills. I want you to REALLY THINK of skills you posses that are truly special. Hanging out with friends, shopping and watching movies are NOT special skills. Baton twirling, fire catching, tumbling, speed racing, MMA fighting and things that not most EVERYONE can do, and are unique, is what goes in this section. If the director sees something unique under your special skills, it is possible that you may get the role just BECAUSE of a certain special skill. Do NOT put any special skills on your resume that you can not really do. That is one sure way to upset your agent, a casting director, a producer and director.
A few final tips*
First: This first tip is not one that I have seen or heard often, but will be SO HELPFUL and save you some frustration in the end! BEFORE you stroke one key on your keyboard, set your document margins to 8x10. Remember, this resume is going to be stapled to the back of your 8x10 head shot. You don't want to hand an agent or casting director your head shot and resume with bent edges and you certainly do not want any information cut off, when you trim down the 8.5x11 page, to 8x10.
Second: Do not use fancy and/or hard to read fonts. Do not add shapes, colors, backgrounds. Keep is clean, simple, minimal, and easy to read.
Third: Your resume should always be ONE page.
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