Sunday
Jun032012

Resume Feng Shui

(All this is credited to the wonderful and magical Bonnie Gillespie, who you can and probably should follow, read, love, etc.) 

Bonnie covered a really wonderful topic forever ago, and she called it 'Resume Feng Shui.' She wrote it years ago, but I find it's an essential lesson with virtually every actor I know--especially those preparing for their 'tier jump,' 'quantum leap,' or otherwise GIANT STEP UP. :)

So what is resume feng shui? Go on and read the article--but here's the essence of it: Your resume needs to show who you are RIGHT NOW and WHERE YOU'RE GOING. Sure, the actual timeline of the resume is where you WERE, but how the heck does that serve the people who are casting you NOW? This is especially true for older actors (whose treasured credits were in an entirely different 'type'), as well as young actors fresh out of college (who are holding onto fun credits that were WAY too old for them).

Hey, I'm a character actress--I get it! I was playing adults while I was in high school! Or if you killed as Juliet years ago, I bet you totally nailed it--but the person reading your resume isn't going to know how to cast you, since even YOU don't showcase the roles that are appropriate for you. The goal is to sweep out the credits that are there for sentimental value--those are special to YOU, and nothing can make them go away. But they don't belong on your resume. <3 

Also, don't be afraid of white space. I know it looks like you haven't done anything--but the real principle (and something that's been a lesson everywhere)--make room in your life for bigger, better things. Literally! Make ROOM! The good stuff has to displace something else, it has to replace the lesser stuff--so REMOVE the lesser stuff to invite that goodness and abundance into your life, your career, and your resume. 

Let me show you how I feng-shui'd the crap out of my old resume (circa Sept. '10). Here's the original resume:

There's a lot there, right? That's a heavy-handed resume, hard to digest. This is also VERY theatre-heavy, and I want to focus on TV and film (and now have substantially more on-camera credits to fill this up). Here's how I tear it apart:

And the final product? A VERY clear resume that shows where I'm going and what I'm currently excelling in. 

 

So what are you waiting for? Get some spring cleaning done, feng shui your resume and allow the good energy to flow into your career! 

Ahoy, Mateys!

Jen

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Reader Comments (5)

Nice job, Jen! Love your Feng Shui'd resumé. It makes such a difference, doesn't it? As I said in the SMFA Essentials module last month on this topic, "ALL of your credits tell us where you've been. Only SOME of your credits tell us where you're going." :)

As long as you see your resumé as a recipe for "how to cast me next," this whole thing gets so much easier. :) Gotta trust it, though.

Much love!

June 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBon

Bon, you are the GREATEST EVER. :D Thanks for being the raddest, ass-kicking-est ninja I know! <3

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Hey Jen, hats off to your efforts. The resume tips you have mentioned for actor resume can surely catch eye of potential recruiter. You can also refer actor resume tips from http://www.aroj.com/sample-Arts/Actor-Or-Actress-Resume.html

July 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAroj

This is fab! I need some ninja work asap! :-)

December 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Hey Jen! What a FABULOUS post! I love the thought of Feng Shui resumes :)

I actually have a question for you though - in your post, you mentioned those 'young actors fresh out of college' hanging on to credits. As a young actor almost fresh out, I'm trying to get my resume looking rad and ready to go and now I'm wondering if I should add a few of my high school credits back on. The ones I was thinking about really emphasized my type and showcased my experience in musicals that I really didn't touch upon while I was in college. I took them off initially because I didn't want to hold on to 'sentimental value' and also, because I AM performing and doing new shows that could fill the space - but these shows were new and "experimental" and don't give a great sense of who I am on the page.
- I don't know. I guess I'm stumped between featuring the kooky theatre no one has ever seen before that I like doing and the roles I have done that people would recognize. Help?

A second (and shorter question!): I have been involved in an annual production of The Vagina Monologues for a couple of years now and have had a different part every year. Would I list every part individually or could I write (multiple) down? But then, what would I put in the 'role' section?

Well, that's a lot! But thank you, for this :)

January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShelby

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