Your site is so great, it makes researching the business sooo much easier having all the info in one place! thankyou thankyou thankyou.
Amada, aspiring actress, Sydney, Australia
Just wanted to say that this site is FANTASTIC! It's helped me quite a bit and it's now my #1 bookmarked item, which means I'm going to be visiting here regularly :) Thanks again,
Rob, aspiring actor, Canada
I absolutely love your site - it's SOOOO helpful and very impressive!
I am a frequent visitor and have signed up for the newsletter, plus I think it's so good I have recommended it to all my acting friends! Thank you for creating such a wonderful website!
Wow Tony! I would just like to comment on how much you have affected my life.
First of all, any questions I have are answered extremely fast, and not only that, you give me a very helpful answer every time. Also, by reading your newsletters, I obtain just the right information that I need to succeed in the acting business. I am so happy I discovered your site, and I hope you know how much we actors appreciate you. Thanks again, and I can't wait to read your next newsletter!
Laura Doukas, Actress
I did what you said and I got two interviews with two agents! Thank you! Sorry but can I ask you how do I prepare to go meet the agent? What do I have to do?
Marsha P., New York, NY, USA
This site has taught me a lot that I needed to know without dragging me all over the place.
Lauren, actress, Atlanta, GA
The list of special skills on your acting resume should not be considered as simply an optional extra or space filler, these are the things that could set you apart (and more importantly ahead) of your competition. Just as much thought should go into this section as all the other sections of your CV. As a general rule you should not list anything as a special skill unless you have had formal training in it. Remember, the this part of your professional acting resume may also be a conversation starter when you are in an audition or interview so make sure that whatever you put down you can actually talk about with ease and enthusiasm. You never know what will happen after you leave the room. Maybe that casting director will say ‘what about that girl that did synchronized swimming for 7 years?’ If that is how you get remembered for a call back then so be it!
Here is a basic guide as to what is considered a special skill and what is not. See what relates to you and think outside the box when it comes time to create this part of your resume.
What NOT to do or to put in your special skills section of your resume:
- Basic manners are not special skills: You cannot write in this section that you are 'punctual'’, 'hard working' or ‘good with people/children/animals . This is something that a casting director or producer will assume that you are.
- 'Great comedic timing' or 'the ability to cry on cue': Those things are expected of you as an actor..
- Your acting training and education: These things should be instead put under the education section of you professional actor resume. This includes things like improvisation, singing, dancing, even gymnastics- list these with your educational credentials and put what level (dance) that you have achieved or where you took classes (improvisation) or what your range is (singing).
- Don’t lie! You may be cast because of your special skill. Everyone knows the story of the actress who said she could drive a manual transmission and then when she arrived on set was asked to drive a manual car. When she couldn’t, she was fired on the spot. This kind of behavior will give you a really bad reputation so save yourself the bother and always tell the truth. Also, word will spread quickly in the industry, that you are not a reliable person and as a consequence no one will want to hire you.
What you SHOULD put in the special skills section of your acting resume:
- The ability to speak another language: This is definitely a special skill but be honest about how fluent you are. Fluency means just that. It means that you can speak fluently and without stopping to think about the words, about anything, just like you speak your mother tongue. Just be aware that speaking fluently and having an accent are two different things. Some people speak foreign languages fluently, but still have a strong accent from their mother country. If your accent is strong, then let them know that too.
- If you are going to write down the different accents and regional dialects you can speak, have something prepared, if you are asked to give a demonstration. Don’t respond with ‘what do you want me to say?’ If you list French for example, then talk about Paris, if you list Texan accent, talk about your ranch etc. If you don-t have a ranch then improvise! Whatever you choose be proactive and use your improvisational skills. The other thing about accents is that we get better at them the more that we practice them so if you haven’t used an accentin a while, that is listed on your resume you can say that with a couple of lessons or more daily practice that you can get it back up to a performance level. Keep in mind that you should only put accents that you have had at a performance level on your resume, do not assume that you will be able to do it. The best thing to do would be to ensure that every special skill you have listed on your professional actor resume, that you can really do, 100%!
Examples of other special skills
Skateboarding, sports (especially where a degree of skill is required like sailing), baton twirling, cooking (if you have mastered a particular style or dish), woodwork, swimming (include what level you are at), drawing, driver's license, driver's license for trucks (specify the type of truck), presentation skills, (singing, hip hop dancing, tango, walz, salsa, break dance, etc. (These things can be listed here, if you have the skills, but have not taken any formal classes and thus cannot be listed in the eduactional section of your resume.), computer and typing skills, yoga instructor, aerobics, weight lifting, horseback riding, dog trainer, barber, gardner, tree pruner archery, shooting a weapon, gun, etc.…the list goes on!
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I want to say you changed my life. I want to be an actress so bad, but i began losing motivation when I couldn't figure out what to do. And then I found you! Thanks to you, I'm taking my first acting classes next month! Yippee!
Sara, Pasadena, CA
Just wanted to thank you for bringing me in to [audition for the video], meet you and chat this Saturday. I was really excited to hear about your working on actingcareerstartup.com and even took a look at it today - it's awesome! You are very well-spoken, knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and it shows through the work that you do! I hope our paths in the industry will cross again and really enjoyed meeting you. Thanks, again and best wishes with your very important work!
Gretchen, NY, NY