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Starting at Zero: Resumes

Intro
Vital Statistics: p.1
Experience: p.2
Training: p.3
Skills: p.4
The Truth: p.5
Getting Started: p.6
About Layout: p.7


Your Experience

The largest portion of your resume, logically, should be your experience. While there is a fair amount of latitude as to how you should lay out your experience, there are some things that are pretty standard.

Your ResumeFirst, you should include separate sections or categories, if necessary, for stage, film, television, and commercials. Exactly how you choose to divide it do this is up to you, but it's probably wise to have at least two credits in a category.

Unlike business resumes, you're not expected to account for every waking moment of your entire work history since you started working. So there's no real need to list credits in chronological order. Instead, most performers place their most notable credits closer to the top of the resume.

One other thing to remember about your experience: Try not to be boastful. Just include the facts.

Stage Credits

For stage credits, include the name of the production, the role you played, the producing organization or theatre.

You may also want to include the name of the director or "star," if you believe it's a name that will be recognizable. There's a major caveat here, though. If you have too many famous names on your resume, it starts to look like you're trying to prove how many stars you've rubbed elbows with and it de-emphasizes your own worth.

Also, most performers don't include dates on their resumes. You don't want your resume to look stale, and you may have some impressive credits that can be perceived as less impressive if they're more than a few years old.

If you've done lots of stage work, you may want to break your experience down into categories, such as Tours, Regional Theatres, Summer Stock, etc. Otherwise, you can group all stage credits together in one section.

Film & Television Credits

For film and television credits, you can include the movie or TV show, the character name, and the producing organization or television network. Some television actors also include the episode name when they appear on one or more episodes of a series.

You might also want to indicate whether the role you played is a principal role or a supporting role. For stage work, most casting people would know, for example, that Mary Tyrone is a lead role, so it would be superfluous to state it. But, for an independent film credit on your resume, they might not know that "JoJo the Middle-Aged Pimp" is a principal role.

Commercials

In most cases, if you've done a number of commercials, you should simply list the product or company and, optionally, whether you were a principal or supporting character. Alternatively, some actors include a phrase such as "Commercial credits available on request" instead of attempting to list individual commercials.

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