Though my first love is acting, I find myself directing and producing a lot more often these days. Often (not only because acting is my first love but also because I know I won’t flake), I cast myself in my projects. I won a Telly Award recently, so I’m assuming I’m not destroying my projects by doing so. However, I always find myself wondering if I should really be including these performances on my resume because they don’t feel like “real” work to me. I also wonder if CDs, directors, and producers shy away from actors who direct and produce for fear of the “too many cooks” syndrome (though I’ve found that since I started directing and producing, I’m probably even more deferential to the director’s and producer’s wishes because I’ve had to fight that battle from the other side) and as a result I don’t include director/producer information on my resume. What do you think?

I think it’s great that you are creating your own projects in which to act! You’ve hit on something valid about the perception people have about “hyphenates” sometimes. Being a “hyphenate” myself (author-casting director-consultant), I sometimes hear, “Hey! Pick a career!” Of course, we all know about the major success stories in the industry: people who work as actors, recording artists, writers, producers, directors, comedians, dancers, and so forth. Why not?! I’m a big fan of doing it all. If pursuing your dream leads you to pursue other jobs that may or may not be as important to you along the way (but that happen to assist your primary goals), so be it.

What’s important is that you know how to market yourself based on the job you’re trying to get at that moment. Do you highlight your directing and producing on an acting resume? No. Does that mean you leave off the acting work you did in those projects? Heck, no! You did the work as an actor, you have tape to show for it, and you certainly got great on-set experience from it, so it’s a credit as much as anything else.

Use the credit. Use the tape. Use the life lessons. But mentioning that you are also a director and producer on your acting resume is doing your actor-self a disservice. Just as it wouldn’t impress someone looking for a director to see acting credits on a director’s resume, it’s not necessarily impressive to see director credits on an acting resume.

A dear friend of mine said just the other day that, while her acting credits have given her the opportunity to produce and sell TV shows to several networks, she’d give up all of the producing work for a series regular gig on someone else’s show. Until that happens, she’ll produce like crazy! And she’ll cast herself every time she’s right for it. The ultimate act of nepotism? No way. It’s going with who you know can do the job. Sometime, yes, that person is you.

Do good 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 Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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