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Professional Resume

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Writing your résumé is an art form. There are courses taught in schools, seminars, webinars, and even a specific industry of professionals that will  write one for you. The audience to whom you intend to give your résumé will weigh heavily on the style and content you choose to include.

A corporate résumé can include many more attributes and space fillers than that of an acting résumé. Lengthy and wordy paragraphs describing mundane tasks to make you seem like the ‘bee’s knees’ is acceptable and even encouraged in the corporate world.

We all know the acting world is far too fast paced and blunt. Brass tacks, that’s all. No fluff, no filler, just fact.

​When writing your acting résumé, there are three key factors to consider:
 

Layout – it’s pretty universal, stick to a simple template
How current it is – update as soon as you film a project. More on that here.
Your agent‘s requirements​ – does it follow the guidelines they have asked you to adhere to?

When it comes down to writing it all out, make sure you follow the layout:

Film/Television
Commercial ​-more experienced actors won’t list them, they will state “available upon request”​
Training

When writing your projects, fill them in chronologically with your most recent project first. 

Project Name/Role/Production House 

 
​Do not list the title of the role (eg. man on the bus). Instead list the category of role i.e actor role, principle role, co-star role, lead role etc.
 
When it comes to commercials the same is needed (SOC, PP)​
 

Here is an example of a knock out résumé by one of the most accomplished talents here at FilmComm. 

 
 
 
Parents of actors are always eager to include notes on school plays, drama club awards etc. Please do NOT do this. It is not something that any serious director wants to see. Less is more when it comes to an acting résumé. (Check out our blog on children’s résumés!) When you are starting out it seems right to try to pad your résumé with music videos, stock photography shoots, etc. Directors are wise to this and it only shows them that you are a BEGINNER and more so, somewhat unprofessional. It is alright to be a beginner! It is okay not to have a whole lot to put on a résumé, we all have to start somewhere. By not listing ‘Mickey Mouse’ projects, you are at least showing them that you are well trained, well informed, and have an idea of what a professional résumé should look like. Simple, clear, and listing only projects that are relevant to Television and Film.​
 
Never ever list background on a principal résumé. This only shows directors that you are background performer not worthy of a principal role. Actors assume that it shows on-set experience but it works in the reverse. It highlights to casting that you are a background actor.​

Tools of the Trade

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All tradesmen and tradeswomen carry a toolbox. Your trade will determine the type of tools required.  A mechanic, for instance, will require wrenches and sockets; an electrician requires marettes and non-conductive hand tools. While as an Actor, you may use a less physical type of tool, your online tools and presence are just as vital to your career.

Your actors’ toolbox should allow you to have crucial bits of information readily at yours or your agent’s disposal. These are just guidelines! Discuss with your agent what they require of you, or go one step further and dig through your welcome packages and past correspondence to see what they have already requested.

Actors Access Profile – www.actorsaccess.com Some MAJOR key points, make sure to link your representation to your profile, or all your work will be for naught. Choose one of your photos and set it to ‘default’, otherwise it may not show on your profile. Complete all aspects of your Profile, Resume, Slate Shot, Size Card, and any other media if you have it.

Casting Workbook Profile – www.castingworkbook.com follow the same guidelines as Actors Access. The difference with this site, is how you update your resume. Casting Workbook requires a pdf version of your resume whereas Actors Access builds it for you.

Professional Headshots – Your business calling card if you will. Anyone can take a picture, it takes an industry professional to make a 420p thumbnail a work of art. Choosing your photographer and by extension the photos rendered could make or break your attractiveness to casting.

The following are pieces of information that your Agent needs to have on hand. Make sure you have everything updated!

SIN – It allows you to work legally in Canada. Don’t have one?! APPLY ASAP. Children included! Everyone who works in Canada is required to have a Social Insurance Number. Why does your agent need it? They are the one who set up everything between you and Production; make sure they have everything they need so that there are no last minute mistakes. Production waits for no one, you could even be passed over for a project if you do not have one readily available.

Valid Mailing Address- Production will take months to re-issue lost cheques if the mailing addresses are not correct. Your Agent will forward your cheques to you if they are payable to you direct. Your information MUST be up to date.

Passport – For most of the same reasoning you need your SIN, and you wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity because you didn’t have the foresight to apply before you needed it. There are lots of gigs that fly you to other countries to shoot.

CAVCO –  Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office Personnel Number. It is a federal tax credit program the CRA. It is free to apply, click here. This is becoming a requirement for most Canadian Content productions, as it circumnavigates a lot of red tape for production.

It is crucial for parents of actors to update their children’s sizes consistently. Agents do not know your children’s sizes as they change and they cannot have their time wasted with incorrect submissions.The quality of your tools will directly impact your ability to even secure an audition. Make sure all your profiles are complete and up to date. Check them regularly, and add to them just as often!

Seeking New Talent!!

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We are seeking new actors to add to our amazing team!! We are strictly Principal and are looking for the following categories. This is the busy casting season and Filmcomm is a little bit light in the following groups.
 
No experience necessary. Just a flexible schedule to attend auditions in Toronto and a strong desire to be on Television.
 
 
African American boys ages 8-18
 
Asian moms and dads ages 30-85
 
Native actors ages 3-85
 
Attractive but real men and women ages 25-50
 
And of course, all resumed experienced  actors​.
 
 
Please email us your information