What to put on a resume when you’re starting out! – Bug’s Corner

We’ve all faced this question – this is advice that anyone can use! Plus, what if you’re a young aspiring actor and your parents don’t want you to act? Chalese answers your questions!

Do I still need to attach a resume to my daughter’s headshot even if she has never done any acting before? And if so, what do I put? – Shelley R., Salem, OR

You always need a resume with a headshot at every audition. There are four important elements to a resume and three of them have nothing to do with experience. 

The first thing on a resume is her name followed by her agency contact information (or yours if she doesn’t have one yet), then her physical description such as height, weight, hair color, and eye color. 

Next comes experience. Many young or beginning actors get worried if they don’t have much or any experience to put on a resume and I always remind them that everyone starts at square one. Every actor, writer, director, producer, and everyone else in this business at some point had nothing on their resume. List anything that may relate to acting. School plays, church plays, and family performances are all things that count at this early stage. If there is simply nothing you can think of, then arm her with a confident response in the event she is asked about it by a director with something like “as soon as you hire me, your name gets to be first on my list.” 

Third is training, which can include public school drama classes, private film or drama classes, seminars, etc. Also include the instructor’s name, specific titles or subject matter of the class, and the length of time she was involved. 

Finally, she should list her special skills. Dance, gymnastics, soccer, karate, cooking, writing, singing, or sewing. Even fun behaviors such as, “I love to sing opera in the shower” or “I constantly gather up my brothers and convince them to put on plays for the family” are great ways to show their special personality.

Always remember that the casting personnel understand and want to see an actor succeed. The most important thing to them is to see who your daughter is, what she can bring to the creative team in place, and what makes her unique. Experience will come if she behaves professionally, has talent, and sticks with it. One last bit of advice: you should always have two copies of her headshot and resume with you at all times in case you get a last minute audition and you don’t have time to go home to get one! 

I’m 12 and my parents don’t want me to act. How can I show them how much I want this? – Ted L., Mobile, AL

Keep in mind that respecting your parents’ decision is most important. It will give you more freedom to do things that can help you learn and grow. If they are telling you they don’t want you to act professionally but are willing to let you make it a hobby, there are many wonderful things you can do. Write your own sketches. Grab some friends and put on shows, or performances. If you are able to use a computer or video camera, make some fun short films with your friends. All of this gives you experience and allows you to have fun and use your imagination. This is what acting is all about anyway. Doing these kinds of things will also show your parents how creative you are and how much you love to entertain. If you can’t do it professionally right now, it’s okay! Be a kid! Have fun! When the time is right, (even if you have to wait until you are older), you will have already built a great resume and gained valuable experience!  


– Chalese Thill-Stevens

Chalese Thill-Stevens is the founder of the non profit organization, Rainy Days Foundation, which helps individuals heal after loss.  She is a motivational speaker, children’s book author, Liberation Guide, as well as a program director in leadership. Her story comes from a tragic accident in which resulted in the loss of her 4 year old son. She tells about her journey of healing and how she found the strength to carry on. She built her wings and now is helping others to build theirs. She began writing The Adventures of Bug children’s book series in hopes that her son’s thrill of adventure will live on. Chalese is also blessed with two more beautiful children that keep her on her toes and remind her of what is truly important in life. In her free time she enjoys singing in a band, kickboxing, hiking and spending time with her friends. Her infectious laugh, passion for life and ambitious “no fear” attitude build strong and lasting relationships, inspiring those who come into her life. To purchase one of her books, please visit: The Adventures of Bug Books


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Last modified: August 13, 2017

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