This article is a step-by-step guide on how to create a screen acting resume. This is useful way for actors and actresses to showcase their talent and experiences to potential casting agents to aid in securing roles for theatre, commercials, television or feature films.
Things You'll Need
- Word-Processing Program
Add your name. It is helpful if this information is bolded, or is in all caps, to ensure that it stands out. It is also advisable that it is centered across the top of the page.
Below your name, enter your contact information, including your email address and cell and home phone numbers, as you would on any resume. IIf you have an agent, be sure that the agency's logo and/or name is also on the top of the page, and that your talent agent's name and contact information is there instead of your own. This will help give you authority to potential casting agents. Additionally, if you do have representation, you do not want casting agents to contact you directly to negotiate your deal, as your representation is more equipped in most situations to handle that for you.
List as much personal information as you feel comfortable with. Information that is normally required is printed with initial capital letters: Hair Color, Eye Color, Height, Weight, Age, and putting your "SAG" or "AFTRA" or other guild affiliation. Put a colon after each phrase and then the color or number. Instead of making a long list, layout your statistics out across the page in two lines, meaning put hair at the left margin with eye underneath it, then height in the middle with weight underneath it and age on the right margin with SAG or whatever affiliation you have underneath it.
Break down your acting experience into relevant category groupings. These categories could include: Hosting/Presenting; Reality Television; Episodic Television; Feature Films; Theatre Productions; Commercials; and New Media/Webisodes.
Format your categories. Each category should be underlined, bolded, or italicized to ensure it stands out from your production lists.
Under the relevant category, you will start listing your experience in three separate columns, which are as follows:
Column 1: Production Name (Example: When Harry Met Sally)
Column 2: Role that you Played / Followed by its Relevance (Example: Sally / Lead)
Column 3: Director / Followed by Production Company (Example: Rob Reiner / Castle Rock Entertainment)
After you've listed your relevant acting experience, it is imperative to add information about where and with whom you've trained. Create a new heading entitled "Additional Training," which will also be bolded, italicized, or underlined, maintaining consistency with your other category headline formatting. This section will also be broken into three columns, as follows:
Column 1: Class Name (Example: Scene Study)
Column 2: Teacher / Instructor (Example: Jim Foote)
Column 3: Location and/or Studio (Example: Los Angeles or Actor's Co-Op)
Create a new heading for "Special Skills." This heading should also be formatted consistently with your previous section headings. This area lists anything that is a unique, special skill that you possess. This could include:
- Vocal Skills (Alto, Tenor, Bass, Soprano, etc.)
- Sports (Basketball, Tennis, Yoga, Volleyball, etc.)
- Languages (Spanish, French, English, etc.)
- Unique Traits
List any additional contact information for managers, agents, or relevant parties. This could be with additional headings, or merely with logos and contact information provided to you from your agents or manager. Usually your agent information is saved for the top of the resume, while your management information is reserved for the bottom of your resume.
Now it is time to affix your newly created resume to your headshot. A headshot is a professional medium close-up photograph. After you've completed your resume, print it out yourself, or have it printed professionally. Once it's printed, affix it to the back of your headshot with two single staples: one at the top, and one at the bottom. Alternatively, you can staple all four corners. You now have a completed acting resume.
Before you start, it's imperative that you set your page margins to fit within an 8x10 scale. This is important because when you've finished your resume, you will be attaching it to the back of your headshot. Your headshot will be 8x10, and thus your resume must be the same size.
Formatting the resume for ease of use and ease of reading is important. It is also important to showcase as much of your experience as possible. When auditioning for potential roles, it is imperative that you bring a professional headshot with your resume affixed to the back.
Writing or formatting your resume is in no way, shape, or form, a guarantee of employment. These are industry suggestions seen from many casting sessions throughout many years of experience in the industry. There are no official acting resume rules, rather just industry standards that have been created over the years.
Tori Kyes is a Los Angeles-based writer/producer and entrepreneur. She specializes in social media, technology, and entertainment. She's also an advocate for social change, a marathon runner, Ph. D student (Media Psychology), gratitude giver, and lover of life.