Theatre Resume Guidebook


Your résumé is a one-page list of your significant theatrical experience—stage roles, training, education—plus your physical
description and contact information. Its goal is to help directors know more about you to help them decide if you should be cast.
It is recommended that you attach your résumé to the back of your headshot so you can easily make changes. Staple the résumé
to the headshot at the center top and bottom, being careful not to staple over any of your text. If you staple just a single corner,
it is easy for the résumé to detach from your headshot.
Your headshot is part of the résumé package. Your attitude should be open and friendly, and warmth should radiate from your
eyes. One very good photo is all you really need. Headshots should always be 8 x10 and résumés must be cut to fit. Black and
white headshots are no longer used; all headshots need to be in color. You can have several headshots: theatrical (more serious),
commercial (more smiley) or character (for specific types you can play-optional). Matte is the best finish for headshots, not semi-
gloss. Go to a good photography reproduction place or ask your photographer for recommendations.
Just as your headshot should be as professional as you can make it, so should your résumé. Your goal is to make it look
attractive, clean, clear and complete. Think of your résumé as an audition, albeit an audition on paper, so be sure it is your best
work. This is your professional introduction and is crucially important. Get your mentor or a friend to look at it and make
suggestions. Avoid listing on your résumé any roles that you have played which you could not conceivably perform in a
professional theater. Stick to roles that represent your age range. That way people will know how to cast you. Revise, re-
format and improve. When you have made it as neat and professional as possible, get it printed at a quality duplication
service. Save the original on your computer so you can revise and print off fresh copies as needed.
There is a standard format for résumés that, while not a hard-and-fast rule, is typically followed. You use only one 8‖ x 10‖
page, so arrange your space carefully. The format will cover the following categories and typically are in this order.
Contact Information
Start with, logically enough, your name in boldface. Consider adding ―actor‖ or comparable descriptive terms such as "actor-
singer-dancer." It is not essential to put your home address or home phone number on your résumé. Instead, create a website and
use the URL as your contact information. The best contact information is your agent’s-once you land one. If you do get an agent,
reproduce your résumé on their letterhead.
Professional Affiliations
Beneath your name list your professional affiliations such as SAG, AFTRA, Equity.
Physical Description
Give your physical description—height, weight, hair and eye color, and vocal range. If you’re a singer, specify the notes. Non-
singers will use a generic term like ―baritone‖ or ―alto.‖ Some actors include clothing sizes although it might not always be
This is the meat and potatoes of your résumé. It also is the most difficult to organize because space is limited. Subdivide it into
―film,‖ ―television,‖ ―stage,‖ ―voice-overs,‖ ―commercials,‖ and ―other‖ such as trade shows, theme parks, or cruise ships. You’ll
want to create columns to organize the categories.
Column One: Name of play or movie.
Column Two: Role you played.
Column Three: Name and location of the theatre, the director’s name. It is common to save space by abbreviating "director" to
"Dir." If you appeared with a ―name‖ actor, that can be included here.
Usually the order is theatre-credits, film-credits, television-credits.
If you do commercials, state only whether you have been an on-camera and/or voice-over performer and whether you have a
commercial reel or tape, do not list the products. Consider, writing ―list available on request‖ or ―reel available on request.‖ If
you do have a reel, consider putting it on YouTube.


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