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A Guide to Your First Theatre Resume
Landing your first few roles as a stage performer is always a landmark moment. If you want to show off those accomplishments to future casting directors, though, it’s time to update your theatre resume. This specific sort of resume is pretty different from the one you’d submit for a more “traditional” job interview. Follow this guide to building your new actor’s resume and head into your future auditions with confidence.
Personal Info and Headshots
At the top of your headshot should be your name, obviously. However, while being similar to other resumes in this regard, there are many key differences the header to that are absolute necessities in a theatre resume. For starters, you should include your best headshot. Make it a small enough size that you can fit it into the top corner, while still being visible. You’ll still probably have to bring a print of your headshot to auditions, but having it on your resume will help casting directors put a face to your name. Physical and contact information should also be included at the top. This includes your age, height, eye and hair color, and your vocal range if you intend on submitting for musicals. Leave contact info, specifically your email and phone number, right under your name at the top.
Start With Your Credits
Similar to how a work resume would start with your previous work experience, your theatre resume should include your previous performance credits. List them in chronological order starting with the most recent. If you need to save room, consider cutting smaller roles, extra roles, or early community theatre productions. Remember that this should be a reflection of your best work, so you should only list the productions you would want the casting team to know about.
List Your Training and Education
After listing your theatre credits, you will want to include all theatre-related education and training you’ve partaken in. If you have your BFA, list it first and specify what school and program you were a part of. From there, list any outside programs, courses, or workshops worth noting. Under these listings, you are expected to list the teachers under which you have trained. Write “Acting:”, and then list all the acting teachers you’ve had. Repeat the same process for dance and singing, if these are applicable to you. Next to dance and singing you may also want to include specific genres - such as if you’re particularly good at hip hop dancing, or have a good voice for country music. Instructors, like credits, should be listed in chronological order starting with the most recent.
The last section of your resume should contain any skills or talents that set you apart from the crowd. For actors, one important example is any accents that you can do well. If you have any experience with stage combat, you should definitely be sure to say that, too. Gymnastics or martial arts experience could also be a vital skill for some productions. Any musical instruments you can play well should be included here; if there is ever a role that requires playing an instrument, most directors will prefer having someone who actually knows what they’re doing up there. As this is at the bottom of your resume, be smart about the skills you list. Only try to list ones you think a director would be interested in knowing. List your skills in order of most to least relevant to your career as an actor.
When it comes to formatting your resume and generally the way it looks, the theatre world prefers simplicity. Try to stick to a black font over a white background, without many intense graphics or colors. If you want to add a few fun pops of color to reflect your personality, try to do so in a way that isn’t too distracting. Keep the focus on who you are, what your talents are, and what you can offer a director. In addition, be sure all your information is centered, and avoid using bullet points or other indentations.
This template demonstrates standard formatting for an actor's resume.
Trying to make the perfect theatre resume can seem like a confusing task. While being incredibly similar to any other standard resume, there are key differences that you must adhere to in order to have a professional document you can show casting directors. Just remember to keep within the guidelines that have been set for years before you, and spend your energy thinking about what kind of things you’re adding to your resume instead.