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Can I Make an Acting Resume Without Experience?
You may think you can only create an actor’s resume if you’ve already been working in the industry. It may feel a bit like the chicken-or-the-egg debate. How do I get experience without a resume, and how do I get a resume without experience?
Today we’ll walk through the steps to creating a resume without experience, which, yes! You can do it!
Acting resume for those with no experience
It's completely possible to create an actor’s resume with no experience. But first, what is an acting resume?
An acting resume is just as it sounds - a resume, for actors. The main components are the work that you’ve done, personal information, and your skills. You want the casting directors to see what kind of work you’ve done, and when.
But what if I have no experience?
You can share all relevant training instead of experience, if you haven’t worked in film or theater yet.
How do I format an acting resume?
Begin with your personal information and headshot, which should include:
Website (it's fine if you don’t have one!)
Agent/managers information, if you have one
Vocal range and type, if you sing.
Next, instead of experience, you’ll put all relevant information. This can be projects you’ve done, education experience, and anything you feel appropriate. It should include the title of the project, then your role in it, and then the name of the company, director, or teacher. Here is what credits typically look like. But again - just put anything relevant if you have no credits.
Next we have training.
You may want to skip credits altogether if you have no relevant experience, and go straight into the training section.
You can include:
The place in which you studied
Length of time you studied
Type of training
Finally, we have special skills.
This section can really help you, if you have no experience yet and are just starting out. You’d be shocked at how much you’ve done in life that can be relevant to your resume. After all, film and theater is an imitation of life - you never know what the role would be. Have you played soccer? Maybe you’ll end up auditioning for a role as a soccer player. The possibilities are endless, so include any hobbies or talents that you have, no matter how “irrelevant” they feel.
This can include sports, accents, juggling, fitness ability, stage combat training, any instruments you play, singing, dancing, painting, baking, impressions, stilt walking, unique abilities, hobbies, etc.
Tell me the most important part of an actor's resume?
The most important part is honesty. Even if you don’t have experience yet, casting directors understand that everyone has to start somewhere.
If you have no credits for your resume, you can always start to collect them! A great place to start is local theater and student films. Actors are always needed for these roles and projects, and can really build up that resume of yours.
You can also utilize websites like www.actorsaccess.com or www.projectcasting.com to find work and casting calls. Another useful tool is looking up the Facebook pages for local drama departments and film schools, to watch for project opportunities.
Notes on structure.
You’ll want to make sure your resume is clean, clear, and concise, so you’ll want to make sure it includes the following:
ALWAYS in PDF format (do NOT send it via Word)
Use an easy to read font
Make sure each heading is clear, such as a bigger font or bolded
Only use white and black colors
It must be only one page when it's printed, and fit to the back of your headshot (8” by 10”).
- Line it up neatly and staple the four corners together, when submitting resumes physically. (This is irrelevant if the resume is being submitted digitally)
Don’t forget to have fun with it. This resume reflects you as a person, to people who may have never met you before. Unlike your classic business resume, an actor’s resume is telling the story of who you are, what you’ve accomplished so far in your entertainment career, and why you might be the best fit for the role you’re auditioning for.
While it needs to look clean and professional, it still can have that sparkle only you can provide!
While beginning a resume may seem daunting, its just a matter of getting out there and getting credits. You can always make your resume beforehand, and regularly update it as you get more roles. Break a leg!