Opening Up! Websites and Resumes, What You Need To Put Yourself Out There

Apr 15, 2024

We've said it once, and we'll say it again: showing up online as an actor is a non-negotiable!

Having an updated website and a current resume is crucial in today's audition landscape, and that's why we want to share with you our best advice for what you need on both and why.

Not sure what types of media to put on your website? We've got you covered. Can't decide which special skills to list on your resume? We've been there.

We want to help you build an online presence that you can be proud of, so consider this post your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about how to put your best foot forward online as an actor! Let’s get started!

There are usually two types of people when it comes to creating an online presence…

Those who don't want to be online: We hear you—and yet, we encourage you to do yourself the favor and create an online presence you're proud of, as opposed to being completely undiscoverable. There will be people out there who want to cast you, and they need to be able to find you. Having even just a one-page website for yourself as an actor is truly all you need.

Those who feel they don’t have enough to get started: You may say you don't want to have an online presence unless you have multiple headshots, lifestyle shots, a dance reel, a singing reel, and a longer resume. But our advice has always been that done is better than perfect. The reality is that it doesn't need to be fancy; we just need to know who you are, how to get in touch with you, and have a couple of videos where we can see you doing the thing that you do.

Regardless of which category you fall under, there are three easy things you need on your website to get started:

  1. An email address that will reach you personally: If you have an agent, you’re welcome to list their contact information, but it’s important to also include an email that will reach you personally. Make sure it’s easily visible on both your website and your resume. If people need to get in touch with you about performance opportunities or have questions that could be beyond the scope of your agent, they’ll be glad they can email you directly.
  2. A downloadable headshot and resume: Having your headshot and resume on your website is a no-brainer, but please make sure we can also download them. This is crucial because it makes it easy to send them along to whoever is looking for them—especially if someone wants to recommend you for a job and is forwarding them to the director 😉
  3. Media, AKA images and video: Video is definitely the more important of the two, but whatever you include, make sure that it’s current. If you’ve ever made a self-tape, this would be a great place to put it, so people can get a sense of who you are and what you do. But don’t feel like you have to put up a full song if you don’t love it! If there’s even just a 20- or 30-second clip that you like, that's enough. As you continue to record more material, you can always trade it out.

If you want to dive deeper into the topic of website content and how to show up online, take a listen to episode 16 of our podcast (or read the blog post here). We do a deep dive into everything you need to know about your online presence as an actor, and it’s full of great information! 

So, now that you have a website—what do you put on your resume? Here are some things to include…

  1. The basics: This should include your contact information, name, height, and a color headshot (often a small thumbnail placed in the upper corner). You don’t have to include hair color and eye color, since we can see those in your headshot, and weight is also no longer needed as the industry moves toward more body inclusivity.
  2. Voice type: There is no real consensus on this one, because industry experts have differing opinions on the best terminology to use. Some people will list their range in notes, such as “A3 to G5.” Some will say “baritenor” or “soprano/belter.” These all seem to work, so use the language that feels most comfortable for you and your voice. If you don’t know your written range, your voice teacher can help you figure it out, or you can use a piano to find it yourself.
  3. A list of your past shows and roles: If you don’t feel comfortable putting a label on your voice, this section will really come in handy. Based on the roles you’ve played, someone can pretty easily determine your range and vocal styles. If you were Frank in Catch Me If You Can, you probably have high tenor notes, whereas if you were Glinda in Wicked, you likely have soprano/belt capabilities.
  4. The names of people you've worked with: This can be a good thing to list if you've done a show with a prominent director, music director, or choreographer, or if any of your teachers have been in the business for a while. You never know who might know them, and if someone you audition for reaches out to them, they could recommend you and share more about your talent.

The fifth thing to include is a big one: special skills. Let's break down what that actually means…

Special skills should always be included on your resume, especially when they could be applicable for a show—things like being a tumbler, doing aerial work, having circus or stunt training, or being able to sword fight. Playing an instrument is also good to include, but make sure to be accurate about your skill level. A simple label such as “beginner,” “intermediate,” or “advanced” will help gauge your abilities.

There isn’t really a limit on what you can include in your special skills, but do remember to take it seriously. They don’t need to know if you can burp the alphabet—and you’d be surprised how many resumes Cynthia has seen with that listed. We encourage you to think creatively about the unique talents you have to offer, like maybe you do an impression of a famous celebrity or you’re trained in stand up comedy. Sharing your special skills can be a fun way to highlight something interesting about yourself that we would never know otherwise, in addition to practical skills that could be utilized in a show, like instruments or acrobatics.

Whatever skills you include, make sure you're ready to demonstrate them and can do so at a very high level. It’s okay to not have a super long list of special skills, so include what’s important to you, and represent yourself the way you want to be seen.

You may be wondering if there’s a difference between a student resume and a professional resume—and the answer is yes!

When high school students are auditioning for colleges, their resumes will often include everything they’ve ever done, from middle school productions to shows they did as kids in children's theater. They might even include choral experience from school and church, or master classes and theatre camps they attended.

After you graduate college, we tend to let a lot of that go. As you’re entering the industry in New York, it’s okay to have a light resume. You may feel like you need a resume packed full of accomplishments, but we’ve talked to several agents and casting folks over the years who find a lot of appeal in discovering new talent. They see a resume that isn't very padded and realize that they have the chance to give this performer their first big professional break, and that’s exciting!

The reality is, when you're young and starting out in the business, you're not expected to have an extensive resume. Even if you’re older and just entering (or re-entering) the industry, people understand you've taken time to live your life, and padding your resume with things that aren’t true will always come back to bite you.

Above all, with both resumes and websites, make sure that it’s clean, clear, and easy to read. You don’t want someone to have to go on a word search just to find what roles you’ve played or accomplishments you’ve earned. Keep it simple, so they can glance over your resume or website and gather all the important information both quickly and easily.

And please, we implore you to proofread for your life! Make that resume pristine—make sure all of your margins line up and your spelling is correct. Have a friend, family member, or mentor read through it, too; it can be easy to miss some simple mistakes when you’ve been staring at it alone for hours.

We hope that we were able to offer some inspiration and direction for your website and resume! If you're interested in diving deeper into any of these topics, check out the Broadway Vocal Coach Podcast. You can also find us on Instagram and get involved in the conversation—we’d love to know what you think.

And if you’re a musical theatre performer, but you’re not sure what your next step should be, you’ve come to the right place. Take our Quiz—we can’t wait to hear your story and help you take the next step in your career!

Wondering what your next step should be?

Take the Quiz

Let's Keep in Touch!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from BVC.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.