Hi, Bonnie. I know you will have the perfect answer to this, so I have to write and ask it.

I’m in Atlanta, so bookings can be tough to come by. I have one co-star role from 2009. I was pregnant at the time and therefore shut out of building upon that role for a little while. This year, in 2010, I came very close to booking one co-star role, and then did book another co-star. However, I was unavailable to shoot that one because I was already committed to a commercial on the same day.

So, you can see that I’m anxious to get anything on my resumé. I just booked another job and want to include it somehow, but don’t know if I should. I will be the body double for Nina Dobrev on Vampire Diaries. I know that isn’t considered a role; I’m sure I won’t even get a credit on IMDb. The difference here is that the director asked specifically for a “good actress” and we all auditioned with him for the role. So, I was chosen because I could resemble Nina from behind and because I could give her something to work off of in the scene(s).

Is there any way to use this on a resumé? Or do I just have to be content with the job for what it is: a chance to work with this director and these producers?

Thank you greatly,
Jessica Leigh Smith

Ahh, you’ve set me up for what you probably suspected my response would be as you wrote this email, Jessica. This is definitely a case of relationship over resumé and the fact that you impressed the director with your acting — even in booking a stand-in gig — will not go unrewarded down the line.

Sounds like you’re really building momentum with your bookings recently, which is awesome! And you’re honoring your commitments when you double-book, which means your reputation is probably stellar. Good for you!

Know that the team on this show will remember you fondly and bring you back for a co-star soon. Meanwhile, you can use this awesome (but non-principal) booking as a fun fact, as a talking point at networking events, or even in a cover letter to a new agent, as evidence of your professionalism and focus. The true payoff will be that it’s a foundation for cooler things to come. Until those cool things come (which it seems like will be soon, based on your email), keep focused on the long haul. You’re doing great!


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/001243.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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