While creating a musical theater resume can often seem like an extravagant gesture, it’s really no different than creating a resume for an office job. Sure, the format and styling is different, but the concept is the same: you wouldn’t go to an interview without your resume.
If you’ve never seen a musical theater resume before, it’s a two-sided, one page resume: one side being your headshot, and the other being the text portion of your resume. We’re going to walk you through each portion of the resume so when you go to your next audition, you’re able to present a polished and professional product!
Most likely, the first thing anyone is going to see on your resume is your headshot. It will be pretty hard to miss, considering your headshot will occupy an entire side of your resume! That being said, your headshot is very important, and it’s crucial that it provides an accurate representation of yourself. So, in order to get that perfect shot, here are some headshot do’s and don’ts:
- Find a photographer who understands lightning, portraits, and can really capture your personality on camera.
- Trust your photographer’s instincts (outdoor vs. indoor shoots, smiling vs. serious, etc.).
- Wear a color that complements your skin and brings out your eye color.
- Think about the role(s) you are auditioning for. If you naturally audition for fun and playful characters, your headshot should reflect that!
- Have 3 or 4 looks to choose from so you can decide which look you want to use based on your audition.
- Print your headshot on an 8 x 10 piece of photo paper to ensure your resume will fit nicely on the other side.
- Use an old headshot. Most headshots are good for 2 or 3 years, but if you’ve had any significant changes (hair cut, weight loss, etc.) then your photo should be updated.
- Wear distracting clothing or jewelry. The focus should be on your face.
- Go overboard with makeup and hair styling. You want to look like your everyday self!
- Over-edit your photos (smoothing wrinkles, lightening skin, etc.).
- Print your headshot on flimsy paper. Make sure you are using quality, sturdy photo paper.
Pro Tip: Print your headshot on matte photo paper to avoid fingerprints on the image.
The Written Resume
The written portion of your resume will be attached to the back of your headshot and will contain your:
- Physical attributes (the most common attributes listed are: eye color, hair color, height, and weight)
- Voice type and/or range
- Previous roles and shows
- Relevant experience
- Special skills
Because everyone has a different background of experience, there isn’t one specific way to format your resume. This might seem like added pressure, but we promise that your resume will look fantastic as long as you follow these resume do’s and don’ts:
- Print or attach your resume to the back of your headshot (both should be 8 x 10).
- Include valid and professional contact information (email address and/or phone number).
- Make your resume well-organized and easy to read.
- Include training and education backgrounds, including where you’ve studied or who you’ve studied under.
- Be prepared to demonstrate any skills you’ve listed.
- Tell the truth!
- Create a resume that exceeds one page.
- Attach reviews or clippings to your resume. It will only make your resume look cluttered and confusing.
- Make the font type smaller than 10 point.
- Make up or exaggerate any skills, roles, or accomplishments.
- Include your age. You can include your age range if you’d like, but age is usually irrelevant in casting.
Pro Tip: When possible, it’s a good idea to cater your resume to the role or role type you are auditioning for.
Examples of Resumes
To help you out even further, here are a few example resumes. The format of your resume will reflect your experience. However, you should make it your goal to fill up one page completely, so:
- If you feel you’re lacking in experience, beef up your education, training, relevant experience, and special skills.
- If you have too much experience, narrow it down to your most impressive shows and roles.
The following examples represent a two-sided resume: the headshot (left) being one side, and the written portion (right) being the other.
Now that you’ve read all of the do’s and don’ts and seen a few examples, it’s time to get started on your own resume! For further help in your auditions, make sure to check out: Vocal Audition Etiquette: 6 Things to Keep in Mind and 7 Ways NOT to Choose Your Vocal Audition Piece. We hope that these tips and tricks will help prepare you for some pretty awesome auditions. We know you’re going to crush it!