While not having a résumé at all is a problem, having a poorly crafted one can be just as detrimental. Résumés are often the very first impression a potential agent or casting director will get from your child, so these should be crafted to showcase their abilities and skills in the best light. A well-put-together child actor résumé can help your child land that first role or open the door to never-ending opportunities, but many parents of child actors who are just about starting a career in show business are wondering how to get acting jobs when the child has little to no experience to display on their acting résumé. Does jumping rope or hula hooping count as special skills?
Little did you know that the format of a standard child actor résumé allows for more freedom than that of the adult actor résumé. Here are tips for crafting the perfect child actor résumé.
Tips for Creating the Perfect Child Actor Résumé
The special skills section is one of the main ways that child actor résumés differ from those of adult résumés. Expand this section by naming it Special Skills and Hobbies. Casting directors and talent agents pay special attention to this section if the child actor does not have professional credits yet as special skills and hobbies give them a hint of the child’s personality.
Begin by listing down performance skills like singing, dancing, playing instruments, modeling, hosting, etc. Specify styles or genres they specialize in. Next, add sports that your child plays like baseball, soccer, tag, acrobatics, skateboarding, or swimming, and then other physical activities like martial arts, hula hooping, jumping rope, bicycling, horseback riding, etc.
Similarly, don’t exaggerate skills. If your kid can ride a horse, or swim at a certain level, that’s great—put it down under skills. But if they can’t, and end up getting cast in a role that requires that skill, you could be actually endangering them, as well as setting them up for massive stress, embarrassment, and a possible loss of the job—and reputation.
If relevant, your child’s résumé should also include headings for any relevant training they have undergone. To expand the child actor résumé, describe performing arts training in more detail. You can list the specific types of classes your child has taken, as well as the elements of each course. For example, if your child has taken a commercial acting class, you can describe specific elements of that course like audition prep, cold reading, improvisation, etc. Be sure to list singing lessons and dance lessons as well, detailing specific styles of dance or singing.
Awards and achievements
If they haven’t attended drama school yet, list down your child’s school(s) and academic achievements such as honor roll, perfect attendance, art awards, and club involvements. The goal is to emphasize strong character and great work ethic. Good academic students are usually diligent and responsible actors, so be sure to share all of your child’s terrific school achievements!
This is normally the bulk of a child actor résumé. Depending on whether or not your child has experience in multiple fields, you will include one or several headings. Possible subheadings for this section include Film, Television, Theater, Voice Over, and Commercials. Some of these sections may be more specialized if your child is active in one specific field.
If your child actor is just starting out, list every play your child has ever acted in, basically any time he or she has been on a stage in front of people. This includes school shows and plays, community plays, church plays, school presentations, dance concerts and recitals, singing performances, etc.
In a child actor résumé, one has actually more room to expand on training, skills, hobbies, achievements, and character traits. Let this be an opportunity for your child actor’s uniqueness shine. It does not have to be intimidating; make it collaborative and fun as you create the child actor résumé with your child.