Hello,

My question is: I am returning to acting after a long break, marriage, daughter, husband’s job changed a few times to different parts of the countries, etc. My status is honorary withdrawal from SAG.

Now any suggestion on how to restructure my resumé so it looks relevant? My credits include mostly commercials, film, and theatre. I did Spanish voiceovers and hope to return to that market also.

I kept my voiceover reel digital and a new headshot is my first order of business.

Thank you in advance for your answer.
Jacqueline Turner

Hiya Jacqueline and welcome back to it all! One of my favorite things about working with actors who return after a break is that they generally have realistic expectations about what the industry is like, and enough real-life experience to know better than to think the business has been awaiting their return with bated breath. 😉

You may wish to (re)visit my column about The Queue Line, from earlier this year. It’s about the momentum that does, invariably, suffer when we take a step away from the industry for any amount of time. You know that’s the case, though. So, that’s good.

As for restructuring your resumé, the number one piece of advice I have is that you don’t attempt to pump it up to make up for having been away from acting for a while. Be honest in listing your credits, even if that shows a gap in activity. You can fix that by hitting open calls, doing student films, submitting on copy-credit-meals projects that are quick, career-starter experiences. No, you’re not at the start of your career, but you do need to quickly show buyers that you have come BACK and the best way to do that is to add some new credits (even from a tier below where you last worked) to your existing resumé.

This will also help update your reel and get you building new relationships with folks who will be producing content for decades to come, in some cases, and these will be good people to have in your world.

Since you’re on honorable withdrawal with the union (this the same status I have, by the way, as I left my pursuit of acting behind more than 14 years ago), you will need to reactivate your status before pursuing acting. While the honorable withdrawal status is a great one, it’s specifically for the period of time when you are NOT pursuing acting of any kind. So, even if your first gigs back are copy-credit-meals ones, you’ll need to be current with the union and of course be sure that the first indie projects you pursue are being shot under union contracts.

See if you can get involved in some writers groups or cold read collectives (you didn’t mention where you live, but in LA and New York, there’s the Naked Angels’ Tuesdays @9 series and many other groups all over that meet regularly to jam through works-in-progress). This is a great way to build your muscle back up to full strength for being out there and working, along with building relationships and getting you connected with folks who may be producing content in which you could participate.

Get your profile updated on Actors Access and spruce up your IMDb page with your updated reel and headshot once those are ready to share. You’ll mention your gap in work when you write a cover letter to pursue representation, but everyone understands the hiatus, whether it’s taken for professional or personal reasons, in this business.

Welcome back and good luck getting back to work!


Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!


Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001897.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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