For those of us who have a day job we like and don’t want to make a living acting, but enjoy being on the stage, here is an easy way to organize your resume so that the director and/or casting committee can see what roles you have played quickly and easily.
First, you must have your personal information at the top. That seems simple, but you must make it easy to read and, perhaps most important, make it abundantly clear how to reach you. If you have a lot of numbers and email addresses, you are not doing yourself any favors. My advice, choose the telephone number at which you are most easily reached and stop there. It is also a good idea to include your email address. The telephone number is important so that the director can reach you to offer you a role. And the email address is essential www.haytheatre.com because some directors will just email a list to everyone who was cast, particularly if it is a large cast. Next you must organize your experience. Here is where it can get tricky. My suggestion is to place the shows you have been in reverse order. The reason for this is pretty obvious – if you have been at it for any length of time, your later roles are more likely to be bigger, meatier roles than your first attempts. One of the things I do is divide up my experience by whether it is a straight play or a musical. For example: Community Theater (Musicals)/Community Theater (Plays). If I am auditioning for a straight play, I place the plays first on my resume. If I am auditioning for a musical, I place the musical experience on top. Each section is in a block and can easily be cut and pasted.
Now, as to the arrangement of the information, I do the following in column format: Show/Role/Theater. If you wish, you can add a column for the director. That is up to you. I majored in vocal music in college, so was in a number of shows way back when. I include an Education Theater section and just touch on the highlights. If you have some other, out of the ordinary performance experience, then you can include that also under Other. In my Other section, I have a couple of USO Tours and entertainment for several years at a state level beauty pageant. You get the idea.
Training can be important, particularly if you have some. Any acting classes you have taken, or more importantly who taught them, and perhaps a voice or dance teacher can be listed here.
Finally, Special Skills can let the director know of any particular abilities you possess. You can put musical instruments you play, any dialects you are good at, if you are a sword swallower, and so on.
Of course these are just guidelines. But one more thing: If you don’t have much experience, don’t put a lot of fluff on your acting resume. It will just annoy the director or casting committee. If you have a good audition, that will speak for itself. Just remember that, even in community theatre, dues have to be paid. Volunteer for the chorus if you don’t get a role, or agree to help with costuming to get your foot in the door.
Well, that’s about it. Now get out there and audition, knowing you have a dynamite resume!
Chris writes articles on all kinds of subjects. One of her sites.