From Charlie's Desk > Charlie on Resumes

Approved CSA/ATA Resume Form

One of the questions I'm most often asked is how should my resume look, so....

Several years ago, the Casting Society of American went to the Association of Talent Agents and said, “We gotta standardize these resumes.  We get four page resumes that have all this stuff that we don’t care about, but are missing things we need to know.  We don’t have time to hunt all over the page to find what we need to know.  This is the way we’d like to have it done.  We want all of this on it, in this order, and nothing else.  It’s an acting resume!”  With that in mind, here’s what was agreed upon.            


(This is the current resume form approved by the C.S.A. & ATA)

(YOUR NAME IN NICE BIG LETTERS)

 
UNION AFFILIATIONS OR ELIGIBILITY (after your name or on a separate line is okay)

AGENT'S contact information                    Or   Contact phone number; your                    You can place contact info on
Address of Agency                                            service number. (Home numbers                 either side or in the middle.
Name of Agency and agent,                                aren't a very good Idea, ladies)
Agency phone number

Personal information:
  Height, weight, hair, and eye color only.

FILM:
  NAME OF FILM                                  Role (Supporting, co-star, featured?)                           Director and/or Producer
Here list all the films you have done.  List most recent or most important work first.  Until you build credits, list student films, industrial films, etc.  If you haven’t done any film work, still put the category on your resume and just leave it blank.

TELEVISION:
  NAME OF THE SHOW                     Role (Guest Star, co-star, featured?)                           Director and/or Producer
Same as for film, list most recent or most important roles first.  Just the category title if you haven’t done any TV yet.

INTERNET/WEBISODES:
 NAME OF THE SHOW                     Role (Guest Star, co-star, featured?)                           Director and/or Producer
If you have internet and/or new media credits this is the place to add them.  If you have none, no need to list the category.

THEATER:
 TITLE OF THE PLAY                          Role   (The character you played)                                    Name of Theater
This a  good place to “fill up the page” until you build movie and television credits.  Good casting directors love to see theater credits on your resume... it shows that you’ve done some acting.  If you have tons of theater credits, just use representative roles.  Most recent or important first, of course.  High School and College plays are fine.

COMMERCIALS:
 Conflicts On Request
 It doesn’t matter whether you’ve done 100 commercials or none, all you put is “Conflicts on Request.”  Having done a bunch of commercials  doesn’t help you get the next one; if anything it will work against you because they want “fresh faces” or “real people.” 
Your  commercial credits are something your agents need to know so that you don’t break exclusivity for a product category.

SPECIAL SKILLS:
These are job getters!  Here is where you list all the things you can do very well...  Singing (what’s your voice range?), musical instruments that you play, dancing, swimming, skiing, bike riding, equipment you operate or use, sports you play, foreign languages you speak fluently, dialects, and all the other skills you have developed and are very good at.  (Just because you rode a horse a few times and didn’t fall off doesn’t mean you should list riding as a skill.)

TRAINING:
Here’s where you get to list all those singing, dancing, and acting lessons and workshops that you’ve been spending your hard-earned bucks for.  With whom have you studied and for how long?

All of the above should be on your resume, and nothing else.  It’s an acting resume.  After you get them printed, cut them to 8 X 10 (that’s the size your picture should be, not 8 ½ X 11) and staple them in all four corners to the back of your picture, then start sending them out.

NEVER, NEVER LIE ON YOUR RESUME; IT WILL COME BACK TO HAUNT YOU!

 


STANDARD CSA/ATA RESUME FORM
Whether we like it or not, In order to be competitive with Los Angeles area actors, and to be perceived as equally professional, we need to conform to the “L.A.” way of doing things. If we want to be perceived as equally professional to out of town producers, we need to do things “their way,” and that includes the arrangement of information on our resumes.
The resume form depicted is the current format approved by the Casting Society of America and the Association of Talent Agents, and is the form generally used by actors in Southern California. It is the standardized form which is familiar to producers, directors and casting directors, and is therefore easily scanned for information. It contains all the information that is needed; nothing needs to be added or deleted.
You may make minor variation in order to highlight particular credits.  If you've done lots of movies or TV, you might for example add a line that says “Complete list on request”, or if you've done tons of commercials you might say “(dozens of on-camera and radio commercials - list on request)” after “conflicts on request.”  However, it is important to stick to the basic order of the form, to use easy-to-read columns, and for film and TV roles to list the size of the role rather than the Character's name.
Standardized categories for roles are: (Don't use "Principal."  It says nothing except you weren't an extra.  The Star is a principal, so is someone with one line.)

         Featured: Any principal role, one line on up.  Appears in the crawl at the end of the picture or TV program.

         Co-Star: A substantial role, usually consisting of one or more meaty scenes, and usually accompanied by “Co-Star” billing negotiated by your agent.  Usually a stand-alone or shared card at the end of the program.  For film use “Supporting.”

         Guest Star: TV only, always with “Guest Star” billing negotiated by your agent.  Usually appears at the beginning of the show.  For film a major role, but not above the title - use “Lead” or “Supporting.”

         Starring: Often above the title, at the beginning of the picture.

        There are some additional credits which may appear in television:
        Recurring Featured
        Recurring Co-Star
        Recurring Guest Star
        Guest Lead

Here's hoping for bigger and better credits for us all!

Charlie Holliday - Mosaic Acting Academy/Media Casting Group

Charlie Holliday