Whatís a Theatrical Resume Supposed to Look Like?


Laura Giannarelli

(reprinted by permission The Actors' Center, Washington, DC)

Every profession has its forms and rituals, its little ways of doing things that separate those in the know from the neophytes. Show Biz is no different. One of the fastest ways to get pegged as being new to the Business and not very savvy is to present a producer or director with a resume that is not formatted properly. And itís such an easy mistake to avoid! You should make it your business to find out how an actorís resume should look and then set yours up accordingly. Even if you donít have many Ė or any! -- professional credits, even if all your experience was in college or community theatre, if you lay out your resume clearly and correctly, youíll be a step ahead. Believe me, the auditors at the League of Washington Theatres (LOWT) Auditions, stage and film/video directors or casting assistants in the various talent agencies notice resumes that donít conform to the basic professional format. While a good audition may still get you the job, youíre making it harder for yourself if your resume looks like it belongs to Mr. Clueless!

So, what should it look like?

Theatre XYZÖÖÖÖÖÖLady Number ThreeÖÖÖÖÖÖ.The Best Play Ever Others choose to list the play first, theatre second and role third. It doesnít really matter, as long as you list things simply and clearly. That goes for stage, film or any other kind of acting work. If you have been directed by a particularly prestigious director and thereís room, itís OK to list that, but make sure itís someone who really is well known. (Director: Michael Kahn, for example, not Director: Laura Giannarelli!) "What to list---fighting ability, (don't lie) driving--truck and cars (good for movies) , what I call leisure dancing (ballroom, etc.) juggling, languages (if you are really fluent I'd put that at the top--again--don't lie) (also if you are Certified in fighting I'd put that at the top.)" If all of the above sounds familiar, your resume probably looks just fine. However, if any of it surprised you, Iíd suggest a trip to the AC office. Drop by sometime during office hours and browse among the resume file kept there. Or volunteer next time the AC or League of Washington Theatres needs people to sort resumes for a big audition. Look at how other actors lay their resumes out. Notice what you think works and steal the ideas you like. Also notice what doesnít work, what looks cluttered, unclear or confusing and remember that next time you redo your resume.

See you at the next audition!