I recently started reading Tina Fey's book and I absolutely fell in love. Tina is not joking around with this book and it's absolutely everything a gay twenty something could want out of the dictation of an ex-SNL cast-member's, current television star's, and golden globe winner's book. I'm thinking the grammar wasn't spot on in that last sentence. Irregardless [not a word], the book is wonderful and there are laugh out loud moments on literally every page. I liked it so much that I bought the audiobook to go along with it. Seriously, y'all [i don't typically use y'all], it made the book 100 times more enjoyable and much, much more personal. I'd absolutely recommend it.
That's pretty much all that's been going on in my life since my last post. Trying to read for at least thirty minutes a day, looking to go on a date with... well, anyone [if you know anyone...]. Other than that I've just been at rehearsals for Charlie Brown and going to school. It's going pretty well considering my recent past, but things can always get better. Or worse, I suppose.
On to the topic of today's blogpost, resumes! About 30% of you [so roughly one of the three people who are actually reading] will find this helpful, but it's a must. If my blog is going to be about a twenty-something's journey through musical theatre and math, it's going to have to start with the facts. And by facts, I mean information. And by information, I mean a resume. So let's get to work!
The first and generally most important thing is your name. Your name should under all circumstances be the largest, boldest thing on your entire resume. With the flurry of information you're about to be throwing at the director's face, it makes sense. They need to know who you are and that you mean business. Some people who have fancy shmancey printers or can afford to pay staples/officmax/fedex/printingcompanyofyourchoice have started putting a small picture of themselves next to their name, or under their name. While I think this is a good idea, it seems pointless and arbitrary, as you've, generally, attached a copy of your head shot to the back of your resume. More on this later.
Following your name, you should have your quick facts section. Generally, this includes all the information they would need to know about you to figure out what you look like. Hair and Eye Color, Height, Weight, Voice Type, ect. [PS I'm going to be pretty vague about everything. I'll attach a copy of my resume to the end and you'll be able to see for yourself... not that my resume is perfect by any stretch of the imagination.] The purpose of this section is to remind the directors of your physical stats. That way, if you've made your way into the "like" pile, they'll be able to easily remember who you were.
After quick facts should come the meat and potatoes of your resume, your past work. Generally, you want to follow this guideline, adding and subtracting from the previous section as you go.
(May be considered the same level in some theatre's eyes)
Keep in mind that this is just a "rough guide" you should follow, but listing your experience in this order will show your director that you understand the importance of theatre and know what level you're currently at. Sure, you may have gotten a scholarship from doing youth theatre. Sure, you have an award for a summer stock show you did. Sure, you originated a role at a community theatre. Unfortunately, none of this matters. Why? Because money talks and the closer you are to being affiliated with a professional company, the better off you are. With each step that you advance, people will begin to take you more and more seriously. As soon as you can remove one of the previous layers, you should. It makes you appear more advanced. On the other hand, be careful that you don't do it too soon, as you may not have enough experience for the role they're looking to fill.
Another important item to consider in your past experience is that of "understudy" opportunities. An understudy or cover in the next bracket is always considered "better" than that of the previous section, especially if it's a professional understudy/cover opportunity.
Once you've tortured yourself over which roles to keep and which ones to remove, you should begin to list your training. This is the real-world equivilant to "name-dropping." I had the opportunity to work with original Avenue Q puppet designer and cast member "Rick Lyon" and you can absolutely guarantee that his name is on my resume. Try to list the most important people you've worked with and know that the theatre world is very small. You never know who might know who.
Finally comes your miscellaneous section. This can include a special talents area, an awards section, a master class/additional training section. a section of theatre production items [direction, choreography, ect.]. The possibilities are endless. I enjoy the "special talents" section because it let's me put some unique facts about myself. See my resume for some funny examples.
Other than that, just be sure to staple a copy of your headshot to the back of your resume and enjoy the roles that are sure to come your way! I'm sorry for the lack-lusterness of this blog post. I'll try to keep 'em short and sweet from this point on. [note: i don't use "'em" in real life...]
p.s. My resume is attached! Feel free to take a look. If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears!