As we are heading into another lockdown, plan your time to improve productivity by writing your acting curriulum vitae or CV.
While most people have written a CV before, an actor’s CV should be different from a normal CV as casting directors will be looking for different information, including the way you look. Your CV may be a casting director’s first encounter with you so it must be clear, easy to read and tells the director your skills and experience. You must make sure your CV is professional and shows casting directors that you’re serious about your career. Once you’ve followed our tips and created your CV, always carry a clean, non-dog-eared copy of your CV with you as you never know when you may have the opportunity to hand it over to someone you meet.
Headshot: Make sure you have a high-quality, full size coloured headshot attached securely to your CV and include your contact details on the back in case they get separated. You should also include a smaller headshot on the page of your CV so casting directors can see if you’re suitable for the role or not.
Contact details: The first thing on your CV (underneath your name) should be your own or your agent’s contact details so it’s clear to the casting director how to contact you and if you’re represented by an agent or not. Make sure you update these every time something changes with the way you should be contacted.
Qualifications: List your qualifications and where you gained them, beginning with the most recent. You only have 1 page to get your information across so avoid putting all qualifications and only those relevant to the industry/audition.
Appearance: List the details of your appearance including those that may not be clear in your headshot, such as height or build. List details of the way your voice sounds and the accent you have, getting advice from others about the way you sound. You should also include your playing age so you’re cast for appropriate roles.
Skills: Anything that may help you to stand out from other candidates should be included on your CV from accents you can do, any special talents you’ve got and whether you have a valid driving licence or not. You never know what casting directors could be looking for so include all of your skills but be honest about them. Include your singing range and dancing expertise.
Work experience: Start with your most recent and list all relevant details (name of the show, the character you played, the company you worked for) in an easy to read chart. If you have a large amount of work experience, pick the most recent or biggest roles you’ve played. If you don’t have any relevant experience, include any school plays or projects you’ve worked on.
Keep it updated: Your CV must always be up to date so when anything new changes make sure you change your CV. As you start to progress in your career and take on bigger roles, feel free to start removing any smaller acting jobs on your CV. You should also update and tailor your CV for each audition you apply for, highlighting anything they’ve specified they need.
Length: Keep your CV roughly 1page long (2 pages maximum) as casting directors will not read through long CV’s – this does not mean you should make your font smaller to fit more on the page. Keep it simple, to the point and be honest throughout the whole thing.
Font: Start your CV with your name using a large clear font so anyone looking at it immediately knows who you are. For the bulk of the text, use a reasonable sized font (11/12) and leave a small space between each section of your CV to make it more readable. The font on your CV should be coloured black and printed on white paper.
Spelling: You want your CV to look professional and spelling mistakes or grammatical errors should be avoided. Proofread it several time and get someone else to look at it as they may notice something different. Double-check the spellings of any companies or people you’re mentioning on your CV to ensure these are correct.
Age: Unless you’re under the age of 18, don’t include your date of birth or age on your CV. The age you look is important when acting, not your real age as this could restrict opportunities offered to you; leave it up to the director to decide if you’re suitable for the age of the character they’re casting or not.