The Milwaukee Generals have come and gone for yet another year.  It’s a truly educating experience, mostly on what can go wrong in an audition.  Here’s some advice on one of the most basic things which is in your controll: your resume.

Your resume is your first impression.  Oftentimes it precedes you into the room…and it can make us hate you before we even see your face.  Here are the hateful things you can avoid.  Please note that I say all of this with a little love in my heart because these mistakes are almost always made by people who are just getting into the business.  How would they know?  Well they should have asked someone, but in case they couldn’t find someone or received bad advice, here goes.

The Bigger than the Headshot Resume

You’ve got an 8×10 headshot and you’ve printed your resume on an 8 1/2x 11 piece of paper and stuck it on the back.  Why did you not trim it down to size?  It’s now awkward and hard to file.  Take the time and make sure it’s neatly trimmed.  I know it’s a pain in the ass and I curse the fact that our headshots aren’t just 8 1/2×11, but that’s just the way it is.  Not trimming your resume just makes me think that you’re unprofessional, or were rushed, or are a slob, or are all of these things.  None of these things help you.

The Paper Clip Resume

You’ve used a paperclip to attach your resume to your headshot.  Invest in a stapler.  Your paper clip gets caught up in all sorts of things and has the opportunity to become dislodged ensuring that I’ll never see it or you again.

The “I’m Saving the World One Staple at a Time” Resume

You’ve stapled your resume to your headshot (congrats on graduating from the paper clip), but you’ve only used one.  Your resume is now flapping in the wind which is quite annoying.  Secure the damn thing!  And not with two staples either; break the bank and put a staple in all four corners.

The Bigger than the Headshot Resume which is Paper Clipped or One Stapled to your Resume AND is also Backwards

You’re a special kind of hateful.  You’ve made it nearly impossible to read your resume, thus defeating your audition.  I want to turn your headshot over and read your resume…quickly!  I don’t want to take extra steps to do so.  Special bonus if it’s also upside down.

The “I’m so Talented that I couldn’t Fit All of My Credits onto One Piece of Paper” Resume

Are you really that talented?  Is everything on your resume so important that you can’t possibly get it on one piece of paper, therefore you extend your resume to two or even three pieces of paper?  I’ve got two words for you: snip, snip.  There are actors in this town that have done hundreds of shows.  The idea isn’t to share every one of them, it’s to share representative roles.  Give me a wide variety of roles from the best theatre companies and/or the best directors.  Show me that you can sing and move and play Shakespeare.  If you’ve got that many roles get rid of your academic credits or the credits from the store-front theatre in Nebraska that only lasted a season that no one ever heard of.  And I’ve got nothing against Nebraska.  It could have been Arkansas.

The Proper Size Resume with the Wrong Size Head Shot Resume

Look, I get it.  Headshots are expensive and every few years the industry is telling us they want something different.  Matte, glossy, borders, no borders, black and white, color… Yup, it sucks, but that’s what you’ve signed on for.  I just received a resume with a headshot the size of a high school year book photo.  You know, the kind you get in the Gold package so that you have enough to mail out to all of your friends and family.  It’s the size of a business card AND it wasn’t attached.  We had to ask the monitor to give us a little extra time so that we could pass them around separately from the resume.  What are we going to do with that?

And this is just attaching your resume to your headshot.  There are all sorts of other land mines to overcome in your audition, don’t let your resume be the thing that sinks you before you even open your mouth.