By Kimberly Faye Greenberg, Oct 12 2015 05:52PM
I monitored a crazy crowded audition this past week. And I was absolutely completely and utterly shocked, did I say shocked? by how many unprepared actors there are. Well over 50% of those wanting to be seriously considered for this project were eliminated from the running by just being unprepared with the easiest things that an actor has control over.
What were those things you may ask? Well, inappropriate headshots (blown up selfie?) , resumes (on loose leaf paper?!) , and then so many turning in ones not stapled together or cut to size.
Folks, if you are seriously pursuing theatre, in any market, take the time to get your actor essential business stuff together, because, if you don’t, you will almost always be eliminated, despite your waiting to seen for hours on end at open calls and/or your emailing/mailing materials when you see that you are perfect for a role, due to your unprofessional headshot/resume and/or lack there of. If you can’t take the time to take care of your business essentials why would any professional be interested in working with you?! Their impression possibly being, if they can’t get their professional self together, how are they going to be able to learn my show and conduct themselves and present the show/role in a professional manner.
Let's get down to business in these basic actor essentials right now:
EVERY audition you go to, unless other requested, you MUST have a professional formatted headshot AND resume and they MUST be STAPLED together and cut to size.
Do’s and Don’ts of HEADSHOTS:
1) A headshot is NOT:
-A blown up Selfie;
-A photo of you from 10 years ago;
-A glammed up photo that looks nothing like you;
-A blown up yearbook photo;
-A photo that is any other size than 8 by 10;
-Never in black and white (sorry that's a thing of the past);
-A “Glamour Shot” photo;
-A photo taken by your mom in your backyard;
-A photo where you cropped out and/or photoshopped out your friends, your fabulous pet etc. and just left you!
2) A headshot IS:
In its simpliest form…
An 8 x 10 COLOR headshot of you taken by a professional and/or aspiring photographer understanding the basics of what a professional headshot should look like. A headshot can be just shoulders and head or a 3/4 body shot. But, with that being said, there is a reason it's called a headshot because its main focus is on your face.
The headshot should look like the best version of you (that you can create yourself) on a daily basis before you head to an audition. Here is a great link to check out tons of headshots for examples of what they should look like and headshot photographers (in New York) who can help you achieve your top notch shot. If you live anywhere outside of New York just do a google search of appropriate photographers in your area.
Do’s and Don’ts of RESUMES:
1) A resume is NOT:
-Your credits hand written on a loose leaf paper;
-On paper larger then 8 x 10 (yes that means sized and cut to match your headshot);
-A list of roles you hope to play and/or are studying to play;
-Not more then one page;
-Anything that is none other then the TRUTH!!**
Another note: Your resume does not need your home address.
2) A resume IS:
In its simpliest form…
A one page columnized typed listing of your stage credits, education, training and special skills. PLUS your name, contact info (telephone number, website, email) and stats (height, dress size or weight, voice type/range and union status if applicable).
Your resume should be clear, concise, readable, professionally formated and, again, cut to 8 x 10 and STAPLED on back of your headshot at each corner. So that when you turn you headshot over you see your resume nicely laid out.
Here are a few examples of stellar resumes to follow:
Paul Thomas Ryan
FINAL WORDS about your headshot/resume:
Again, they must be stapled together back to back!!!! Why do you do this? Because, papers get misplaced and separated and because some headshots don't have a name on them. Imagine a casting person misplacing your resume because it wasn't stapled and the photo has no name…well, Into the trash they go. So much for your waiting in line for 5 hours at an open call!!!
I realize that for many of you all this is common knowledge but considering that over 50% of the people attending this NY open call either didn't know the above or thought the above was unimportant to them I thought this particular subject matter well worth the discussion.
Want to be taken seriously as a proactive actor. Get on it! Until next time.