Okay, okay!!! I’ve heard you LOUD and clear. You guys need help on your theatre resumés. Resumés are tricky, because its part information, part visual art and EVERYONE has an opinion on the do’s and don’ts. Here is how I was taught. I hope you’re taking notes, or pin this somewhere. Cause this is gonna be a lot of info comin’ at you fast! But to start?? Just get all your information typed up and on there, then start to polish it up. Copy and paste, adjust the spacing, refine the font, edit things off-etc. And maybe if you’re nice I’ll post mine at the bottom for a reference :)
First and Foremost, it needs to be easy to read. There is nothing worse than an over crowded, fancy font, wordy resume. It is a bullet point list-never sentences. It should never exceed 1 page (unless you have a separate page for references-see below) So! Use a simple font, use italics and bullet points to simplify where your eye goes. Make sure your lines aren’t confusing as they connect to something on the far right. It should look relaxed and well organized. You should be able to hand this to a total stranger and have them know what you’re about in a glance. I would be willing to bet that any average resume gets less than 10 seconds of viewing time from casting, and that they almost never get down to the bottom of any one section, unless they’re looking for a specific skill. This should be a eye scan document.
Top priority is your name. Top and center and in a larger font. Followed directly underneath by how to contact you. This should be a phone number and email address. This should be a smaller font, but still centered. NEVER a physical address. There are creepers out there who go through garbage cans. And after an audition, all those resume’s-attached to pics of your beautiful face are in the trash. Please don’t let them know where you live. You should only have to give this out to an HR representative for paycheck purposes.
AKA your physical specifications. This should include:
hair color (the color it is when you audition)
vocal type (if auditioning for a musical) Ex. soprano, alto, tenor
List your biggest and best first. And as closely related to the show you’re auditioning for first-that could mean a couple things. A show/part that is similar to the one you’re auditioning for OR a director on your resume who you know has worked with the one you’re auditioning for.
For example, I knew that a certain director that I was auditioning knew a director I had worked with one on my resume. I stuck his name on top, and sure enough in my audition, I was asked about how the was doing. She even said something along the lines of, “well, it looks like you’ve worked with all the right people!” It’s a point of conversation and adds an element of trust.
My list usually goes across the page in this order:
A few tips!
Don’t ever lie. It’s a small, small world.
If you’ve got lots on there and need to edit it down, rename this section Relative Experience.
If you can fit a music director on as well, do!
I don’t feel like a year that you did the show is very helpful for anyone to know-and may actually date your experience and make it look irrelevant.
If you have lots of the same theatre company listed on there, you can also switch it up by listing the actual performance halls’ name. (ex. Centerpoint Legacy Theatre has: Leishman Performance Hall or Barlow Main Stage)
Put the show title in Italics, not quotes. It’s less messy.
If you are having a hard time fitting all this info on one line-don’t separate into two lines. Abbreviate theatre names (ex. theatre=THTR) or adjust the margins (white boarders) on the sides of the document.
Check and double check that you spelled venues and directors’ names correctly.
This list does not have to be long.
Edit this list often. Try and get older school things off as quickly as possible.
Education or Training
This is where you list where and when you studied and who you studied with. This is a great place to name drop. I usually split this into 3 sections for a musical audition: Acting, Music, Dance.
Acting: Any degrees, workshops, summer camps, etc.
Music: Private voice, (list types of music you’ve studies-if applicable) choir, bands, degrees, etc.
Dance: degrees, dance companies, private dance, make sure to list the types of dance you’re proficient in, (ex. ballet, tap, jazz, modern, ballroom, etc.)
Honors and Awards
Don’t include this section if you don’t have any! No one will ever know it’s missing :)
Try to think about things they could possibly use in the show! Musical instruments, tricks, accents, juggling, unicycling, roller skating, gymnastics, impressions, etc. Make sure you’re able to demonstrate these things upon demand. They may ask! These can also be great conversation starters.
**References Available Upon Request
This is an asterisk at the bottom of the page. Have a separate page available with 3 or 4 references. These are professors, directors, dance instructors, vocal coaches, leaders, or producers who you have previously talked to and asked that you be able to use them. Make sure that these are people who will have nothing but good things to say about you. Make sure you ask them first! And make sure you ask what method of contact they would like listed.
Again, this is a theatre resume’ breakdown! Film will be totally different and the layout will be specified by your agent :) Here’s my own resume’ to give you a better idea. It’s not perfect! But it’s start!—Bre