If you are looking to get cast on one of the many, many film and TV productions shooting around metro Atlanta, it's best to come armed with the perfect acting resume.
How? Here are some key tips, according to industry insiders LaQuanda Plantt, CEO and casting director of ElleQ Casting, and Laina Burgess, casting associate of Stilwell Casting.
1. Keep it short
Whether you're a novice or a seasoned actor, keeping your resume to one page is the better way to go. And a one-page resume is more convenient for casting directors, Burgess said: "If your resume is longer than one page, you should be able to take some things off. For example, when you start doing major motion pictures, the student films should come off."
Also please: No special fonts or colors, Plantt said.
2. Keep it relevant
Only include information that pertains exclusively to acting, Plantt said. "Name, contact (representation), stats, credits, training and skills. Do not include non-related experience, like customer service representative," she said.
And only include contact info for your agent, Burgess said. "Do not include your personal contact information (unless you do not have an agent) or extra work," she said.
Both said that putting your more recent work first is more effective.
3. Format your resume appropriately
Make sure that your resume is organized in such a way that casting directors can quickly find the information they need.
"Typically resumes are grouped in categories of film/television experience, theatre experience, training and special skills," Burgess said. "If you've done a lot of commercial work, you can list on your resume that your commercial experience is available upon request."
Plantt said the best way to arrange information on each project is in columns: "First column: name of the project; second column: your role; third column: production company (network if applicable) and/or director's name."
4. Attach a headshot
It's a huge mistake to separate your headshot and resume, Plantt said. "The main reason is the two could get separated. Now the casting director does not know who the actor may be because all of his or her information was on the resume," she said.
Burgess agreed: Attaching your resume to the back of your headshot is the best way. "You won't be disqualified if you dare to paper-clip your resume to your headshot, but it's just easier for us to have your resume on the back," she said.
But a perfect resume is still only a piece of paper: In addition, both experts mentioned that acquiring training will help propel your acting career.
"Enroll in a great reputable acting school, take some classes, workshops, get involved in the film community, audition for community theater, student or independent films to build your resume and experience," Plantt said.
"And while I would never suggest putting extra work on a resume," Burgess said, "I will say that there is nothing wrong with being an extra when you're getting started."
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