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Nov
07

What Information Goes on a Child Actor Resume?

Child Actor Resume -

If your child is an actor, something you have to think about is what to put on the actor resume for that child. It may seem strange to think about creating a resume for a child, especially for a young child. But when a child is trying to get a job in show business, that child needs an actor resume just as anyone else needs a resume specific to what they want to do when trying to get a job.

Shortly before we came to L.A., I created a very simple resume for my daughter, but I just put her name, her talent agent information (one for her Charleston agency and one for her Atlanta agency), and a few activities on it.  Since she did not have much experience to put on it, I didn’t worry much about it.

My daughter’s first real actor resume was created by her talent manager (see “What Do Talent Managers Do?” for more on talent managers) when we came to L.A. I didn’t have to worry about what to include on it or how to format it.

Her talent manager asked me for information, and we typed it up together and printed it. He put things on it that I would not have thought to include and excluded some of the things I had put on the one I made!

All I had to do was take it to get copies made, attach the copies of her resume to her headshots, and then give some of them to her talent agent and some to her talent manager. We kept the rest to take with us to auditions.

There are all sorts of things to think about when creating an actor resume.  Of course, the first thing you need to think about is what information to include on the resume.

Some questions you may have are:

  • What sort of personal information about your child goes on the resume?
  • What credits do you include? Do you include experience from your child’s school or from church? Do you include community activities or just professional jobs?
  • What sort of training should be included?  Just training related to acting?
  • Does anything else go on the resume?

You also have to think about how to format the child actor resume. You need to know things such as what headings to use, what to include in each listing, and how to organize the information. You also have to decide on a font type and size. You may even be wondering about what kind of paper to print it on.

Obviously, if your child is just starting out, you don’t have any professional experience to list on the resume. So, if you only list professional experience on an actor resume, and your child has none, then do you even need to create a resume for your child?

These are probably only  a few of the questions you have about creating a resume for your child actor. Continue reading to find out “What Information Goes on a Child Actor Resume?” and to access some child actor resume templates that you can use.

If your child is going to an audition, it is essential to have a resume attached to your child’s headshot to give to the casting director.

An actor resume is generally expected to contain a specific set of headings and content within those headings.  These specific categories are included on an actor resume, whether it is for a child or for an adult. There may be slight variations on exactly what is included and possibly the order of the items based on your geographic location.

Centered at the top of an actor resume is always the actor’s name in a big, bold font. You want that to be larger than anything else so it stands out. If your child has talent representation, the contact information (address and phone numbers) for them can go in the upper right and/or upper left corners of the resume just above your child’s name.

Just following the child’s name is typically contact information for you if your child does not have talent representation. Include an address and phone number, but it is best to use a P.O. box and cell phone number for safety reasons rather than your actual physical address and home phone number.

On the actor resume, you may list other personal information such as age, height, hair color, eye color, and weight. These are optional, and there are varying opinions as to whether these should be included.  If your headshot is up-to-date, some of this will be obvious from the photo. If you have talent representation, ask them their preferences. Absolutely do NOT include your child’s social security number.

Even if you do not have much else to include on your child’s resume, you still want a resume attached to the headshot with the items named above on it to make sure that you can be contacted if someone is interested! This is true if you are mailing to agents to try to get representation for your child or if you are taking your child to an audition.

Your child’s union status, if applicable (not for a beginner), such as SAG, AFTRA, etc., should appear in smaller letters and can be just below your child’s name or with the other personal information.

The categories generally included on an actor resume are:

  1. FILM – may include short films, feature films, and student films
  2. TELEVISION
  3. COMMERCIALS (These are typically not listed unless you have no other credits. In L.A., it is common to put simply the phrase: “Conflicts available on request”)
  4. THEATRE
  5. TRAINING
  6. SPECIAL SKILLS

In Los Angeles, the categories should appear in this exact order. The casting director and others involved in casting expect it to be in this format and it helps them to scan through many resumes more quickly.

In New York City area, THEATRE is typically listed first on the resume since theatre is more important in that area than FILM and TV.

Music videos are typically not listed on a resume and not viewed as an acting credit, though for a beginning actor, they can be listed under training (or possibly in an “OTHER” category at the bottom of the resume).

Extra work is also not listed on a resume unless the actor is upgraded to principal. But for a beginning actor, it can be listed under “Training” just to show that the child actor has had some on-set experience. If your child has had 10 extra jobs, though, don’t list them all out individually, just make a blanket statement about the extra work.

Commercials are not typically listed on actor resumes in the Los Angeles area. For a beginning actor, a commercial may be listed if the actor does not have any other experience to list. This, once again, indicates that the child has had some work experience. PSAs fall under the commercial category.

In some parts of the US, commercials may be listed on resumes. If you have questions about this and have representation, seek their guidance on this topic.

Voiceover work will be listed with the category for the type of media it is. For example, if it is voiceover for a film, it will be in the FILM section.

If you have no credits to list in a particular category, that heading should not be included on the resume.

If you do not have any or have very little professional experience to list, it is acceptable to list school plays and productions. Avoid connecting them with your hometown if possible (for safety reasons).

On an actor resume, you generally only want to list things that are related to acting (or modeling if the resume is for that). The sections that do not stick strictly to acting are the “Training” and “Special Skills” sections.

In the training section of a child actor resume, acting training is primarily what is listed. However, this can include other professional training the child has had. In particular, professional training in dance, music, and sports can be listed if kept to a minimum. Don’t get carried away with this, though, and start listing participation in every kind of sports team in city or county recreation programs.

For a child just starting out, the “Special Skills” section will be your best chance to highlight what your child can do. You’ll want to list anything interesting and unusual that your child does.

If your child is reading early, be sure to list that as it can be very helpful in acting. You can include sports that your child excels in and any musical skills and accomplishments. If your child can do funny little things such as impressions of characters from tv or movies, you can also list that here.

If your child can speak with certain accents, knows a foreign language, or can juggle, be sure to include those items under Special Skills. Awards can also be listed in this section.

Don’t forget to update the special skills section regularly to keep up with your child as he or she grows and matures. And remember, if it appears on the resume, a casting director may just ask your child to demonstrate, so make sure your child can demonstrate if asked.

As with all resumes, you want to make sure the resume looks good. Make sure it is neatly typed and formatted. Use an easy to read font such as Arial or Times New Roman with a font size of 12 (or perhaps 10 if you need the space). Use a spelling checker and carefully proof the resume to avoid any errors.

The resume should be formatted in three columns under each category (except maybe “Training” and “Special Skills”). For FILM/TV, list the name of the show or movie in the first column, either lead, supporting, or  featured (or principal) in the second column, and the name of the director in the third column.

For TV, the second column will include either series regular, recurring, guest star, co-star, or featured (or principal).

For theatre, it is common to put the name of the role being played, particularly if it is a recognizable role (such as Belle in Beauty and the Beast).

Also, make sure the credits are listed most important first rather than chronologically with the most recent at the top as is typically done on resumes. Also, do not include any dates on the resume.

The resume should not be printed on fancy resume paper! Don’t go out and buy special paper for this. Just print it on plain, good quality white paper.

Check out some additional suggestions and sample resumes supplied by casting director Bonnie Gillespie in her column on Showfax.

One more point to remember is that when you attach the resume to the 8 x 10 headshots, make sure the resume is trimmed to fit the headshot. Don’t attach an 8 1/2 x 11 copy of your child’s resume to the headshot. It could easily become detached so your child’s information is lost, but even if it doesn’t, it looks messy and may annoy a casting director or associate.

To your success,

Debbie Sikkema

 

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37 comments

  1. Emily Downs says:

    :mrgreen: Hi my name is Emily and I would like to be on Disney channel because I watch it every day and I love the new movie prank stars i watch it every day .
    It would be an life changing if I am on Disney channel .

    thank you for reading this bye xx

  2. ellie brandon says:

    i would love to be on Disney channel it would be the best time of my life ;-) :)

  3. seneca foy says:

    I have been dreaming of being on disney channel since i was 5 (by the way i am 12) :grin:

  4. Misty says:

    I want to be on Disney Channel because i always wanted to be Famous and have Fans but i cant find a way and I am 9 and by birthday is December 19,2001 and I just want to have Fans and have fun Meet diffrent Famous people. :smile: plz let me on a New show :mrgreen:

  5. Misty says:

    i mean my birthday

  6. Joanna says:

    Yes, I have a few questions to ask. They’re quite complicated and a bit personal so I do not feel comfortable posting them publicly. You have my e-mail and I can’t seem to find yours. If you could please e-mail me and I’ll only take a bit of your time asking a few questions. Thank You for reading.

  7. Debbie Sikkema says:

    Hi Joanna,
    You can contact me at debbie@youryoungactor.com. If you subscribe to get my mini-course and newsletter, I have my email in there. I have added my email to my About page as well — did not realize it was not there. I read my blog more often than my email, but will try to watch out for an email from you. Thanks for commenting, and just let me know what I can do to help. If you ever send an email and don’t get a prompt answer, post a comment and let me know you’ve sent an email so I’ll go look for it right away. Thanks.
    Warm regards,
    Debbie

  8. Joanna says:

    Hey Debbie. Thank you for responding! I have sent an e-mail. Please read it and thank you for the reply.

  9. Sofie says:

    Hi Debbie,
    Could you list a page of good, reliable and successful talent agencies for children? around 9-12 years old?
    Thank you
    Sofie

  10. Jalina says:

    Wow, this is a fantastic article about resume building for kids in entertainment industry.

  11. Sandra says:

    Hi,
    Thanks so much for this valuable information. My son wants to be an actor. I just signed him with an agency that promises to get him exposure. There is an upfront fee and a monthly maintance fee. Does this sound like something that’s legitimate.

  12. Rachel and Kathryn says:

    Hi we are two sisters that have the same dream. We wanted to know some names and #s of some great agents and managers. You see, when we were 1 we sung together and we have been singin duets since as far as we can remember! We have been hoping,praying,and dreaming that we get acting and or singing careers. If you any info or open oprotunities please let us know … thank you.

    Sincerily,
    Kathryn Miles
    and Rachel Hogan

  13. Agnija says:

    Hi.My name is Agnija Fridberga.And I’m 13 years old.
    My dream be a actress.I go to the theater club at school and everyone says that I have a good talent.I participated in the playlet Red and the Seven Dwarfs.I am a good dancer and acter.I went to the school dance club”Fractus”. So I really wanna be a Disney Channel star.It seems to me when I cant sing.And I from Latvia.

  14. Sandra says:

    Thanks for responding. I found out a little more about the talent company I wrote to you about. It is a model and talent comapny that promises to get my son exposure to the tv and film industry. I have to pay for a photo shoot ($395, and use their people. ok, I guess), upload the photos and a resume onto their web site, to be seen by the industry people that may be looking for new faces and new talent. They post all of the projects, movies and tv shows that they are working on there. if I see something that interest me I can apply for an audition. (I have to do most of the work.) Up front ,one time fee is $149. and monthly maintenance fee of $40, to maintain access to their website,I guess. What do you think? :|

  15. Debbie Sikkema says:

    Hi Sandra,
    You should have gotten responses from me by email, but I just wanted to say here on my site that I don’t recommend signing with anyone where you are required to pay an upfront fee nor a monthly maintenance fee. Also, you should be able to choose your own photographer and not be required to use their photographer. Even if the photographer is a good one, you should be able to choose a photographer. In the entertainment industry here in L.A., we always tell people to run the other way if you have required fees to sign with a talent agency. Talent agents (should) make their money by taking a percentage of what the talent makes when the talent works a job. Good luck with everything. Keep me posted on this.
    To your success,
    Debbie

  16. admin@modelingagenciesinnewyork says:

    It’s a hard decision to make – should you help a child actor with her/his career or will it compromise their upbringing and education – is it worth it ?

  17. Sandra says:

    I really apreciate your feedback and advice. Unfortunately for me I already signed up and paid money to this talent agency.. In fact, I did so before I found out about your website. so far, i’ve applied for one job and has not has a response from the company as of yet. but in the meantime I am going to continue to look elsewhere for legitimate representation. Thanks so much for you helpful advise.

  18. Tynisha says:

    Hi my name is Tynisha and i am 13 years old. I am in the 7th Grade. You send me those little newsletters and by the way that is some really good information for me.
    Well i have been looking for auditions to be on disney channel and i dont know what to put on my resume so can you give me a few tips on how to fill out a resume.
    Thank You, Tynisha :grin:

  19. shawn mentor says:

    I think post will certainly guide many children aspiring to become a good actor. This article will surely keep them abreast of the knowledge regarding profile of an child actor.

  20. Marlo@Kids Dentist says:

    It’s great tips for creating a resume for aspiring star. I think the talents the the young actor are supposed to be highlighted in the resume. As well as the training, seminar and workshops he has been though is a plus. A gorgeous look and smile are factors that could help them be notice out of everyone.

  21. rose says:

    hi!debbie my name is rose, i just wanna say thank you for the massage that you always send. i sent you a massage i think last it was about the movie that i wrote,please can you read my massage, and tell me what do you think about it will be a pleasur if you reply.
    from rose.m

  22. teylor thomas says:

    :smile: hi my name is teylor thomas i am 11years old i live mississippi mcCall creek i would love to become an actor i have been dreaming to become an actor since i was 5 and i would never make a comment because i have never met you but i would love to i’m sure we will get along just fine please give me this oppertunity the way disney chanel shows are looking it looks like you are a smart interesting , smart ,funny,and very nice person.call any time 601-754-7430 and 601-754-8600
    you are the best debbie.i’m 11 teylor and leandria is 10 years old.

    your young actor ,
    teylor thomas
    and leandria elam

  23. Sheldon@10 survival tips says:

    It is in reality a nice and useful piece of information.

    I’m satisfied that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  24. Kelly says:

    Hi Debbie:

    I have sent you a email in regards to some help I desperately need. When you get a chance if you could check your email, that would be wonderful.

    Thanks so much Debbie.

    Kelly :grin:

  25. steven says:

    hi my name is steven i am nice and i am very fit and i would like to be a actor
    so much seens i was a baby i wanted to be a actor i am very smart i am 8 years old
    i like disney channel and so random

  26. steven says:

    hi my name is steven i am nice and i am very fit and i would like to be a actor
    so much seens i was a baby i wanted to be a actor i am very smart i am 9 years old
    i like disney channel and so random you can call me here is my number 0876329958

  27. pauline says:

    :oops: hi my name is Pauline,
    and i will love to be a child actor i’m a12 year old girl that all ways wonted to be in the tv show Austin & Alley :mrgreen: because well i love to be weird like Austin moon well and :roll: i love to be an actor i,v acted every wear but Debbie i don’t have enough money to go to L.A. :cry:

  28. ellen allen says:

    hi debbby plzzzz alll my entire life ive trained myself to be an actresss but i havnt had a chance plzz am not in d usa but am in afica plz help because ild love to mmake my family richer plz plz i want to become an actress

  29. Effie@article says:

    My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find many of
    your post’s to be what precisely I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content in your case? I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome web log!

  30. Arani Chelvan says:

    Hi my name is Arani and Ive wanted to become an actor all my life.Im sixteen, and Ive been trying to look for acting agents, opportunities like auditions but I live in toronto,and theres nothing really I can find here.Im also trying to get involved in community activities.I have won the drama award in gr 8 and have done numerous plays in my religious community classes,I wont to know the steps it takes to get a role in a hollywood movie.

  31. carmen says:

    I always watch disney channel it would change my life if i could be on there.My sister is a really good singer she should really be on tv she is so good.but how do i become famous if my mom won’t help me out

  32. Alizaye says:

    Hello, I’m Alizaye. My birthday is Oct. 30, 2001. I am especially interested in romance and drama movies. I do have a hard time with monologues, though. Thank you for the info! Even though I can’t make it to fame here in Okinawa(or rather, I don’t want to, since I am bilingual), I do want to be prepared. We can print a resume and get a headshot here, though. So, thanks!

  33. Kaliyah Wilder says:

    My dream has been to be on disney channel but if they say no then I guess I’ll be sad so if my dream doesn’t live it’s ok. Anyways I’m 9years old but I’m very smart.

  34. Kaycee says:

    I have a few questions about auditions, but I don’t feel comfterble with just posting my questions publicly. If you could e-mail me so that I could have your address, that would be perfect. SO send me an e-mail, and I’ll send you my questions! Thanks Much!

    ~Kaycee

  35. Kaycee says:

    by the way, I’m 12

  36. Drayden says:

    HI my name is Drayden I have dreamt of becoming famous because iI would like to bring laughter, joy, and sadness to the world so that they have something to relate to

  37. Drayden says:

    HI my name is Drayden I have dreamt of becoming famous because iI would like to bring laughter, joy, and sadness to the world so that they have something to relate to. im 12 years old and you can call me at (580)-402-1808

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