Stonehenge Actor Tip: Make the Resume a Non-issue

Posted on August 31, 2010 by admin

Ready for some tough love? Welcome to the first in a series of tips for actors attending Stonehenge. You’ll find these blog entries are a bit snarkier than the exhaustive FAQ even though they contain a lot of the same information. Why are we doing this? Well, some of you actors seem to be doing your best to make Stonehenge a horrible experience for yourselves. We don’t condone this. So, if you want to avoid some of these pitfalls, read on.

Since many actors can find Stonehenge–or any mass audition–a stressful experience, actors should avoid anything that would stress them further.

Issues about your resume can be very stressful. Luckily, resume problems should be completely avoidable.

First off, make sure you have enough resumes. For the past few years, we’ve asked that you plan on bringing at least 50 resumes. That’s “at least 50” as in “more than 50,” not “well, maybe I’ll only need 20 or so.”

While the number of filmmakers varies per henge, but 60+ filmmakers is usual–so no, they are not all going to share that one copy of your resume during the event. They’re also going to want their take their own copy of your resume back to their office at the end of the day because they just might want to cast you later!

This may seem obvious, but at least 2 or more actors have to cancel every single Stonehenge because they don’t have enough resumes. Some actors even show up with too few resumes somehow hoping reality will not intervene. If you don’t have enough resumes, YOU DON’T AUDITION.

Oh, and it might also seem obvious, but you need to have the same amount of headshots as resumes, which brings us to our second point:

Make sure the headshots are securely attached to the resumes.

The easiest way to do this is have the resumes professionally printed on the back of your industry standard 8″x10″ headshot. Not surprisingly, these sorts of resumes look very professional. We do still take 8 1/2″ x 11″ headshots that are secure stapled in all four corners to the resume as well as resumes trimmed down and stapled securely in all four corners of 8″ x 10″ resumes. Extra business cards, photos, comp cards or other doo-dads stapled onto this are not allowed.

Please don’t write in to say you’ve used Gorilla Glue or to accuse us of being in the pockets of the staple lobby. We’ve been doing it this way for several years because we’ve found it allows for the fastest collating–which you veterans of Stonehenge know we need to do very fast. Sorry glue partisans, too many actors before you have done a horrible job gluing for henges past. They’ve spoiled what is theoretically an okay resume assembling solution, so that solution is out.

And in case you’re thinking you can be the exception to any of these draconian resume formatting particulars, check the FAQ again. Yes, just like if you don’t have the right number of headshots, if your headshots are not properly formatted, YOU DON’T AUDITION.

We’ll get into the perfect headshot in the next Acting Tip. For right now, let’s stay on the resume side. No matter how many credits you might have, the most important information to list is your contact information. That’s right. Every Stonehenge, we have actors forget to list their phone numbers and email addresses on their resumes. Remember actors, you’re there at Stonehenge because you want the filmmakers to hire you. Don’t make it difficult for them!

While we’re mentioning email addresses, just as it’s good to have a headshot that actually looks like you, having an email address that has more than a passing resemblance to your name saves casting directors no end of headaches. Leave the inscrutable email handles back in the 90s where they belong.

As to format, we’ve had a couple filmmakers opine on how there should be one standard format that all actors use. However, this will happen about the same time that all the filmmakers agree on the best film ever.

We will say that it doesn’t hurt to consider highlighting both your film roles as well as special skills that are applicable to film and video (i.e., that precision-driving course you took probably won’t be needed on stage, but for film…). As with any resume, you want to tailor it to the potential employer.

If you’re a beginning actor, don’t be concerned that you have few credits. You are, after all, a beginning actor and you’re not going after the same part as the 20-year veteran or recent MFA grad. However, you, like any actor, can use the simple steps to make your resume be a non-issue. Again, that is:

a) Make sure you have enough headshot/resumes.

b) Make sure said headshot resumes are formatted correctly.

c) Have your contact information on your resume.

Make sense? Okay see you this Friday for tips on how to have the perfect headshot… and of course, see you at the Henge!