How To Write Your Acting Bio
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Any successful acting resume needs to have a strong acting bio. An acting bio is a short 4 paragraph summary of your roles, credentials, and personality. Good acting bios will tell casting directors right away your ideal roles. It’s important to have a clear, concise acting bio that highlights the best aspects of you and your career. To create the best possible acting bio here is the basic structure (with examples) plus some tips on the most effective writing habits.
Structure Of An Acting Bio
The first paragraph of your acting bio focuses on your biggest acting roles and acclaims. All your best experiences will be showcased at the start, whether they are professional roles or projects from school. You want the biggest and most impressive roles to begin the paragraph, and use the next 2-3 sentences to elaborate on other accomplishments.
When writing your bio, remember that your writing should be in the third person, as if you’re an outsider viewing yourself. You also want to make sure your explanations are as detailed as possible; include names and well-known roles to draw interest. Your sentences should look something like this:
Deborah Walters is a classically trained actor who starred as Lady Macbeth in Starlight Theatre’s production of Macbeth.
The second paragraph of your acting bio is all about training. This is the section you include your schooling, awards, and how long you’ve been working on them. This experience is especially important if you’re just starting out and don’t have many past jobs to talk about.
Just like before you’ll want to be specific here because directors want to know you’re credible. A good example might go like this:
Walters earned her B.A. in Acting from Columbia College Chicago. She has studied under Frank Smith for an additional two years.
The third paragraph of your acting bio is similar to the first, but instead of your most impressive gig, here is for your most recent gig. This section lets directors see the kind of work you are currently doing, and your most recent skillset. You can also include the types of roles you feel suited for in this section.
Like before, you must be sure to highlight your most important recent works, not just any background or ensemble character. Directors want to see you in a notable role, so add in your main focus on the last few years. An example would go like this:
Walters recently performed the role of Joanne in the Wickerton’s PlayHouse production of RENT. She is known for her roles as lawyers, mothers, and energetic young woman in local theatre productions.
The final paragraph of your acting bio is where directors get to know more about you as a person. This is the spot to include your skills, traits, and goals for the future. You’ll want to use the first 1-2 sentences to focus on skills and traits, and the last sentence will focus on your main goals.
Be careful not to put down your skills in a list form. You want to explain your skills in proper sentences and only choose a small handful to discuss. Keep it simple and focus on your strongest skills. Your last paragraph may look like this:
Walters is an accomplished soprano and proficient in playing the violin. She has learned sign langage during her many performances for the hearing-impaired. Walter hopes to take her enthusiasm and talents to new heights from the stage to the screen.
General Writing Tips
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Now that you know the best ways to set up each paragraph, here are some tips to make your writing professional.
Avoid the first person - As a bio, you are writing this section of your resume as if from an outside perspective. Write your bio the same way you would write one for another person.
Focus on ‘how’ not ‘why’ - Directors don’t want to see your motivations, they want to see the solid proof of your experience. Outside of the final ‘goals’ section of paragraph four, you should avoid discussing WHY you act and focus on HOW you act.
Keep it simple - Most acting bios are less than 200 words long. Each of your paragraphs should only be 3-4 sentences max. Choose the most important information for each section and give it a brief but detailed explanation.
Stay honest - The last thing you want when making your acting bio is to lie. Don’t try to make any of your roles or skills sound more impressive than they are. Directors can easily tell when your skills aren’t as advertised, so don’t be afraid to explain things truthfully.
Now you have everything you need to create a strong acting bio. Your bio is a reflection of everything that makes you a qualified actor, but don’t stress out too much. Keep it simple and honest and your bio will reflect well on your abilities.