This is a good place to name drop while getting some pertinent information across.  But use this space wisely.  Some people will list every class they’ve ever taken and when all is said and done, this section covers half their resume.  Keep it short and sweet and relevant.  This section belongs at the bottom of your resume along with Special Skills.

Do you have a BA, BFA or MFA?  That’s relevant.  Did you take a weekend class with Anne Bogart? That’s not relevant.  There are very few things you can learn in a weekend that are going to qualify you to be proficient in anything.  Were you an intern at the Milwaukee Rep?  Put it down.  Studied theatre abroad for a year?  Mark it.  In the Company Class at First Stage?  Bingo.

And do include the teacher’s names.  Theatre is a small world and it’s likely that we’ve worked with some of these people in the past.  Now this is more likely to help you in a more intimate situation than the Milwaukee Generals; a situation where you have time to sit down and talk to the auditor.  And if they are thinking of hiring you they will call some of these people, so don’t lie.  An hour long intro to stage combat is not the same thing as being a Certified Actor/Combatant.  Just be honest here as elsewhere on your resume.

Obviously as you gain more experience you can begin working out your earliest experience.  The big things that matter here are Acting, Voice (and by this I also mean Singing), Dance, and Stage Combat.  Acting for the Camera is great to have, but again, save that for your commercial resume.  It won’t hurt to include your experience with Improv, Clowning and Mime work, and Textual Analysis, but I assume you’ve gotten some or all of that with any extended program.  Just make sure this section doesn’t start becoming the focus of your resume. 

Now here are things that won’t help you, and they are things I’ve come across on actual resumes:

 Acting: High School Drama Classes, College Level Theatre Classes:

What do I make of this?  I don’t know who taught these classes or what they consisted of.

Numerous Drama Courses through school:

See above.

Voice and Speech: Several classes.  My career involves my voice.

Oh really?  Several classes?  How does that help me?  And I certainly hope your career involves your voice, but how does that info make me want to cast you?

Shakespeare & Company Weekend Intensive:

I’ve covered that sort of thing.

Be honest.  No one will hold it against you if you’re just starting out in this business and don’t have much to fill in here, but you’ll end up looking silly if you include a bunch of things just to make it look like you’ve done more.  Keep this part of your resume as clean and clear as the rest and you’ll be just fine.

Fletcher

P.S.  Feel different about this or any other thoughts I’ve had about a theatrical resume?  By all means, chime in.

Advertisements