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resume

Investing in Yourself – Acting Class

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Insanity is defined as “doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.”
Practice is defined as “performing an activity or exercising a skill repeatedly in order to improve or maintain proficiency”
I find acting to be a fine balance of both! Learning and growing are crucial to your career. You will never improve without consistently honing your skills. Whether you are a fledgling actor not even knowing where to start or a seasoned and well resumed actor, small carburetor adjustments (if you will) could be the tipping point to help you stand out from the crowd.
There are many avenues to explore within the industry; workshops, weekly classes, webinars, and private coaches just to name a few!
The first step is identifying your weaknesses. Do you know them? Don’t allow ego to get in the way! ​If you are attending auditions and not landing them you must find out why, or start off with the basics! Auditioning 101.
​It could be your actual initial impression to casting or lack there of that is the issue. It could be your skills at improv, it could be your skills at delivering a script. There are many things that could need tweaking and sadly, casting directors are way too busy to tell Agents why an actor isn’t being booked.
Casting Directors see hundreds of actors in a week, they cannot be expected to give feedback anymore then an employer can tell unsuccessful interviews why they didn’t get hired.

If you are not getting hired then you must take matters into your own hands.​

The ​first​ step is to find a class or course that works for you. ​Does it focus on what you need to learn? Is it run by a seasoned and reputable industry leader? Speak to your agent before you invest in anything as it could be a waste of time and money.
Some classes offer auditing. This is a great way to get a feel for what is being offered. Remember, not every coach will work for every actor. Sometimes its about finding a connection more than the information. Anyone can deliver a message, its going to take a certain personality to be able to deliver the message to you in a way that helps you grow.​Don’t forget to add the course/class/workshop to your resume! Just as with a corporate resume, furthering your range and skill set shows not only your dedication but that you are willing to be taught.​
We will not list workshops as there are many that our actors have gained benefit from…it depends on the actor and their experience. Our message to you is to make sure that you invest in yourself and find out any issues right away. Don’t wait until your audition skills become habit as you could be doing the wrong thing over and over again.

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.​

Self Submission

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Remember my post on An Agent’s Purpose? Check it out here if you haven’t! Your Agent works tirelessly to land you auditions. They spend their ‘off hours’ submitting you and fellow actors on their roster to any and all projects you are a fit for. 
 
There are SO MANY factors to add in; location of filming, whether travel is required/compensated, age range, pay scale, your experience and of course your dedication level. Are you available full time, part time, or are you simply treating this as a hobby? (Another post on that another day!) 
 
For as diligent as you may be to respond to your emails and punctuality for auditions, we all know, being an actor means that you are self employed. You get to take charge of your own career as well. Did you know that you can self submit yourself to projects?! It is a tedious task that requires a certain level of time management and communication. 
 
New, inexperienced actors often make the mistake of self submitting to paid projects posted on social media sites. DO NOT DO THIS! Agents are given all breakdowns for all paid projects at least a week before they hit social media. If you are a fit for the project then you have already been submitted. Trumping your agent’s submission by double submitting will put you in a pile of self represented actors by casting. This will ensure that you are the LAST to get pulled in for the project. 
 
Actors also make the mistake of self submitting to Principal roles in union television series. This makes you look very very silly and unprofessional to the director. A certain resume, certain union credits and experience are needed to be submitted to union shows. If you do not have these specifications on your resume you are wasting the directors time by submitting yourself as you are NOT a fit for their specs. This is why you have an Agent, and Agent makes sure that you are submitted to projects that you will get called in for and that your reputation stays professional in the industry.
 
There are ground rules to self submission though. Hardened and fast rules that MUST be heeded when doing so
 
1. It must be a non-paying role. 
    That means you can submit for student projects, and Indie films. You are
under contract with your agent, any monetary compensation is subject to
fees.
2. Check ALL details before doing so. 
    You wouldn’t want to submit for a project in another country without having
the proper documentation, nor would you want to make a poor choice that
may affect your reputation within the acting community.
3. Tell your Agent! 
    Communication is key. Make sure you are letting them know you have
upcoming auditions/bookings. It could affect the auditions you are able to
attend through your agent.
4. Scheduling
​    Don’t over book yourself. Organization and time management is absolutely
    CRUCIAL! Adding to your resume and experience is important, but not at
the cost of losing out on paying jobs.
 
Grow your experience and your dedication to your career, just remember that you have an Agent doing the same! Working on the same goals will only help to propel you further and faster.

The 10 minute fix!

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Thats all it takes, just 10 minutes! AS SOON AS YOU SHOOT anything; print ad, photo campaign, commercial etc. Hop on to Casting Workbook and Actors Access and update your resume. All the details that you need are right in your booking email.

Don’t make the mistake of getting so excited about booking a project (I mean, you’re awesome, of course you booked a project!) that you forget to update your CV. Star everything that is linked to the project so that is is easier to find. We all know how it goes, the email gets pushed down, the project name changes from a generic ‘Project Cookie’ to a more meaningful title, and you forget the original details.

Going back through mountains of correspondence to search for the production house name can be a nightmare. The more traction you make in the industry and the busier you get, the more this small step is crucial.

Adding to your online resume only helps you. The more resumed of an actor, the more casting directors and producers look upon you with respect. It shows your ability to take direction and produce quality work.

Just as with a corporate resume, your acting resume is just as important, if not more so. How often do you apply for a ‘job’? My guess is not half as often as your agent submits your headshot and resume for consideration. This is why updating is crucially important, it helps both you and your agent make the best impression you can.

Don’t forget the format!

  • Television/Film
  • Commercial
  • Print
  • Training

Project name-Actor Type-Production Company:
Children’s Aid Society – Principal – Phanta Media