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:
- FILM – may include short films, feature films, and student films
- 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”)
- 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,