Hi Bonnie!

I’ve been a follower of the column for about two years, and I’ve always greatly appreciated your advice, and I thought it was time to finally write in with my question.

This latest article about what agents want hit home for me, not so much because I am on the hunt for an agent (just left one actually and striking out on my own for a bit… well, with a manager), but because of your advice regarding resumés.

Mine feels like it is too chockfull of credits that might not be necessary to have, but I don’t know which ones are worth taking off. I do feel like I’m telling a story with my resumé, that I’m showing my type well, but maybe I’m wrong.

The reason I write is to ask that you might be willing to take a look at my resumé and give some thoughts on where I might be steering wrong? (Attaching my headshot as well in case it helps.) I know this is a big question, and I am grateful for any small amount of direction you are willing to offer. Here are some details on what I am struggling with:

I have lived in New York for a year now, but I also have crossover into the Washington DC market where I got my start and I’m hesitant to remove the directors and theatres that I have worked with there as I am continuously submitting to both markets, and the names on my resumé have gotten me in doors in DC which I otherwise wouldn’t have been invited to.

I also feel a bit of impostor syndrome when I go into auditions here in the city, as my experience has been mostly in working professionally and doing university theatre, but I never received a conservatory BFA or even a liberal university’s theatre arts BA. I feel like that is a disadvantage, and so I post the credits to show that I do have the training, even though I don’t have a degree that shows it.

Anyway, all that said, thank you for doing what you do. Without a doubt, you have hugely influenced the way I look at the business of the business.

Sincerely,
Sarah Lasko

Hello Sarah and thank you so much for reading and for writing in! 🙂 Great to hear from you.

First piece of advice: Consider creating separate resumés for separate buyers. Think about it. You would use a different headshot for a wacky comedy and for a gritty drama, right? Well, what’s wrong with having different resumés, based on their destination? Nothing. Since you’re pursuing a career in multiple markets, have tools that do their best at teaching the specific buyers exactly what you have done, knowing what they value most. Awesome!

Next, think about joining our community over at the SMFA Facebook group. You can post your tools there and get feedback from me and from a few hundred really fabulous people (yes, I vet the membership to be sure everyone is awesome) and that’ll be helpful for your specific market(s). There’s no one person who should say, “This is your best resumé,” because every recipient will have a different set of values. What you’re looking for are patterns of what your buyers, in general, appreciate. Getting feedback from the ninja community will help with that.

As for the “impostor syndrome” and the degree issue, please keep in mind that MANY top actors haven’t even graduated high school, much less gotten conservatory training. Sure, it’s a boost to have that education in your toolbox, but it’s not a live-or-die thing for the buyers. We’re looking at your WORK and deciding whether or not you fit our needs, right now. Absolutely, a shared connection from a league school or some fancy MFA can help you, but if you’re spot-on for a role, no one cares about your degree(s).

Keep the credits that FEEL great to you. Lose the ones that don’t serve where you’re going. Go in with confidence that if the role is yours, you’ve got it and no one can take it from you. Disengage from this actor mind taffy and celebrate your every booking, your every audition, your every meeting with someone in this delicious industry.

How ’bout that? Good stuff, right? 🙂 So glad you wrote in. Let’s jam!


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/001807.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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