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Starting at Zero: Resumes

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 Vital Statistics

At the top of your resume, you should include your vital statistics, as they apply to performing, of course.

  • Name. Include your name, as it usually appears (or as you'd like to see it) in publicity or in a program.

  • Address. In the olden days, it used to be O.K. to include an address on your resume. But this is the 21st century, and there are harsh 21st century realities like stalkers. So it's a good idea not to include your address because you never know where your resume is going to end up.

  • Phone Number. You should include a contact phone number on your resume. It can be the number for your voice mail or beeper, the phone number of your agent, if you have one, or - if you're really old-fashioned - your answering service. For the reasons mentioned above, it's probably not a good idea to include your home phone number, unless you have absolutely no other alternatives.

  • Height/Weight. Your height and weight are sometimes of interest to casting people for a number of reasons. They may have an actor that they would like to pair you with and they need to find an appropriate match. Sometimes it's as mundane as trying to find someone to fit an existing costume. (It happens more than you might think.) In any event, try to be honest. If your weight fluctuates, include the middle of the range. Don't succumb to vanity and lie downward because you may rule yourself out of jobs once they see you.

  • Hair Color/Eye Color. This is pretty much self-explanatory. Just remember that if you change your hair color from time to time, be sure to update your resume to reflect it.

  • Union Affiliations. Include the initials of the unions to which you belong: AEA, SAG, AFTRA, AGMA, etc. If you're not in a union, you probably shouldn't say "Unions: None." Your lack of union status will be indicated by the absence of any mention of it.

  • Age. Don't include it. Don't even include age range. It's only limiting. We'd even go so far as to say that you shouldn't even tell your age when asked. It's up to the casting person to decide if you're right or wrong for something and your age is one consideration. But let the casting person decide whether you look the appropriate age for the job, based on your headshot and the way you look in person.

  • Thumbnail Photo. As printing technology has progressed, some performers have begun to include a "thumbnail" photograph of their headshot right on the resume itself. If you choose to do this, you should use either the same headshot that the resume is attached to or a slight variation on that headshot. Remember the reason that you would put the thumbnail on the resume: so that a casting person doesn't have to keep flipping the headshot and resume over to switch between seeing what you look like and seeing what your experience is. If you include an entirely different look on the thumbnail, you only stand to confuse the casting person. You should also make sure that the thumbnail is no larger than about 1" x 1"; you don't want it to overpower the text.

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