Get an Actor Resume

How do you get an actor resume when you want to become an actor but don't have any experience?

Read on for tips on writing acting resumes, how to find experience you didn't know you had and how to get more acting experience to fill the blanks.

It's the story of the chicken and the egg. You need an actor resume to start your acting career but how can you get an acting resume when you're just starting your acting career?

RELAX... Look through this page and brainstorm. Most likely, by the time you're done reading, you will have come up with a few things to put on your actor resume and a few more ways to gain experience.

actor resume

If you already have acting experience and want to know how to write acting resumes, click here or check out an acting resume sample.

1) You may have more acting experience then you think.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did you go to acting school? As a beginning actor, you can list all school productions and showcases you acted in. Just write down the name of the school theater as the place you performed at. You can also list student films you worked on under "film and television" credits.
  • Were you ever in a school play? Be it college or high school, any role you did on stage for an invited audience can go on your beginning actor resume. Unlike resumes for other careers, there are no dates on actors' resumes, which means you can list experience as far back as you can remember.
  • Did you ever speak, sing or play an instrument in public? As a beginning actor, you can include general performing experience on your resume. Just list it as "related experience". Even if it's not acting experience, it shows that you know what it's like to be in front of a live audience. This includes concerts you participated in, a choir you were a part of, even public speaking.

acting resumes

2) Actor resumes don't just list credits.

As you can see on these acting resume samples, acting resumes include much more then just experience. Acting training and special skills are an important part of your actor resume.

  • Since you are just starting your acting career, you can go more into detail about your training than you would if you were a seasoned actor. List the name of the school you went to or the class you took and the location. You can also add a brief description of what you studied.
  • You can list the teachers you studied with in acting school, especially if they have a recognizable name as a well-respected acting teacher or working professional. You can also include the name of any acting coach you worked with.
  • Don't just list your acting training. If you took classes in singing, dance, Shakespeare, voice-over, auditioning, or any other area related to acting, you can write it down in the training section of your resume.
  • Make sure you list any special skills you have. This is especially important when starting your acting career. Even if you have very little acting experience, you may get called in for an audition if you have an unusual or unique skill required for a role.

Can't think of any special skills? Ask yourself the questions below:

  • Can you speak a foreign language? That's a special skill!
  • Can you do an Irish accent like no one else? Another special skill…
  • What sports are you good at? Can you horseback ride?
  • Do you play a musical instrument?
  • What about imitation and improvisation skills?
  • Do you have any hobbies like juggling or ballroom dancing?
  • Do you have any special permits or licenses? (for example, you're a certified scuba diver or you're licensed to drive a truck).
  • Do you have technical skills like stunt acting, fencing or voice dubbing?
acting resume special skills

Don't list special skills you don't have or don't excel at. For example, don't list French as a foreign language if you can only say a few words. You will often be asked to demonstrate your skill at the audition. It's better to write down 2-3 strong skills than to have a long list of meaningless skills like "jogging".

3) A few ways to gain experience...

Still facing a blank page?

If there's not enough on your resume to get you called in for an acting audition, here are a few ideas on how to gain acting experience to list on your actor resume:

Attend open calls.

Although you will need to have a picture and resume to be considered, you don't need a long list of credits to start auditioning. Open calls allow you to be seen by casting directors, producers and directors in charge of hiring actors.

Join a membership company.

Membership companies are theater companies where members pay a fee to perform in a set number of productions or to have auditioning privileges for company shows. There will usually be a note next to the casting call if the auditions are for a membership company. Of course, make sure it is a reputable company before joining.

Contact local community theaters.

Find out about community theaters in your area by checking out AACT - a great resource to build your actor resume. Most community theaters hold open calls regularly for their upcoming shows.

Act in student films.

Contact film schools in your area and ask if you can drop off a picture and resume. Most film schools keep pictures of actors and actor resumes on file for student directors to look at when casting their short films.

Sign up for a class.

Take an acting class or workshop that offers performance opportunities and ends with a showcase production for agents and casting directors.

Be an extra.

Although you shouldn't list extra work on your resume, you could get upgraded to a small speaking part by working on a film or commercial set, and you usually don't need a resume to sign up for extra work.

Become an intern.

Call up theaters, film companies and casting directors' offices to find out if they are in need of an intern. This is not only a great way to make contacts, you may very well have the opportunity to audition for small parts once you've "paid your dues".

get acting resume

OK... Now that you've built your resume, it's time to write it. Click here to learn how to put together a professional-looking actor resume that will get you that audition.

Still feel stuck?

Don't sit at home waiting for the phone to ring. Check the box "get acting resume" and move on to get more acting experience. Create opportunities for yourself to build your actor resume. Whether it's producing a one-act play with other actors or acting in your own short film, you can give yourself that first role to become an actor!

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