How To Have A BALLER Performance Resume!
Okay, so I'm super passionate about this topic because before participating in WTF's Apprentice Program, I had what I didn't realize was a terribly formatted resume. At this point in my life, I was 21 and attending Berklee College of Music, and I'd only done one entry level professional acting job in my entire life. I kept getting rejected from a lot of the professional theater work I was applying for, and I didn't know why. In retrospect, I suspect that part of it was because I didn't understand basic business elements of the industry such as how resume's should be formatted. Since then, I've actually peer mentored with Berklee students to help them with their resumes because I'm so passionate about this topic. So, there's a lot to cover, but here are the basics:
1) Staple or glue headshots and resumes together. Resumes should be on a standard 8X10 piece of paper. Use Times New Roman font. Make the font bigger for headings (for example, some of my headings include "Theme Park," "Tour," etc.)
2) They should include your name, union affiliation, email address, but NOT phone number or any personal info. You can put a line below the name. I personally have my name in bold and underlined. The bottom line is that you want some space between your name/union status and the rest of your resume.
3) Use separate categories for theater, film and TV. Shows are in all caps, roles have lower case. If you've worked with high profile directors you can include the name of the producer. If you're more interested in theatre, put that first. If you're more interested in film, the opposite would be true.
4) Include training. Where you've trained and who you've trained with. However, you don't need to include every teacher you've ever worked with and every type of training you've ever had.
5) With special skills, be careful about making sure you can actually execute all of them at a high level. For example, I have "Conversational Spanish" on my resume, so I constantly find time to practice this skills so that it's sharp.
6) If you're early on in your career, it's okay if your resume is light. You can have "concerts" category if you've performed in prestigious venues like "54 Below."
7) Unless it's on an extremely high profile feature film on TV show, generally it's not wise to include "Extra" roles on your resume
8) If you've graduated college with honors, you can include that and/or your GPA.The first thing people look for is connections. Do they recognize what school you went to, what roles you've played, etc.?
9) When editing your resume, take the little things off first. For example, one time acting gigs are usually the first to go from my resume. If marketing yourself as a singer, put your range.
10) You want there to be space between different categories of the resume. For those miscellaneous things that don't quite easily fit into "film," "theatre", etc. you can have a "Related Experience" category. DON'T BE AFRAID OF BLANK SPACE, especially if you're just starting out.
11) Your resume should include your physical description, minus your weight, since this is a personal thing that can change frequently (unlike, say, your height or eye color). I personally only have my height and eye color on my resume because I change my hair color from time time.
12) Can have multiple resumes for different things. For example, many actors I know have separate resumes for acting, directing, etc.