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the art of the resumé.

All right folks, let’s get down to business [to defeat the Huns]. With intentions to go to college for a musical theatre education, I have several college auditions coming up. Also, the Lancaster Academy for the Performing Arts is holding auditions for their spring play, Pride & Prejudice, which my little brother and I both plan to be involved in. In preparation for this Jane Austen masterpiece, I am helping Phil (https://killerwink.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/55/) assemble a killer audition. We are required to prepare a monologue, a headshot, and a resumé. Personally, I find the first two easy in comparison to the third. The art of writing a good resumé, especially as a non-professional actor, takes some skill and a wealth of research. Unfortunately, the examples and instructions one finds online for writing a resumé are really only relevant for adults, and they’re quite vague. But fortunately, I have unwittingly picked up a ridiculous amount of knowledge on this subject by now. In dedication to all the other LAPA students who are frantically writing their resumés this weekend, I put together a specific guide for our unique demographic: The teenage thespian. I hope this is helpful to anyone who has questions!

GUIDE TO THE RESUMÉ FOR THE AVOCATIONAL/YOUNG ACTOR

1. Personal Info

  • List your name in a way that can’t be missed – caps, bold, larger point or different but complementary font
  • Your contact info: email address, phone number.
  • Your personal info: Age, vocal range, hair and eye color, height and weight.

2. Experience

  • Depending on how many shows/performances you’ve been in, you may need to be selective in which ones you include on your resumé.
  • If you’ve done a lot of shows, pick your favorite/best (approx.) 6-10 to include. This may be based upon the importance of your role or upon the theater company with which you performed the show. If you’ve performed with several different theater companies, it is good to use shows from various companies on your resumé. Community or even professional theater experience, even as an ensemble member, looks great on a resumé.
  • If you haven’t done any/many shows, that’s fine! If you have a different type of performance experience i.e. solos in choir concerts, film experience, church plays, etc., those are certainly things you can include. With a variety of performance types, it’s recommended to use different section headings for different media. For example, professional actors who work both on screen and on stage will have different sections of their resumé titled “Theatre” or “Film”.
  • Organization is important. You want to call attention to your proudest accomplishments and make everything clearly legible for the director who has already read 45 resumés in the past two hours.
  • To list your credits, make three columns to list the show (and sometimes year), your role, and the theatre/company (and sometimes director). This shouldn’t have lines like a table, but just look like a list. This organization is standard, but can prove difficult to use as some show/theatre names are long and use awkward line spacing. Play with spacing and/or understandable abbreviations to figure out how to make it look neat and professional as a whole.
  • Make sure you list your credits in reverse chronological order with the most recent ones at top. This is one area of the resumé that is flexible, however; if you have a very impressive credit from a while ago, you could put that near the top rather than at the end.

3. Training

  • Your training goes under another heading. This can include vocal, instrumental, dance, acting, or other training specialized for theater-related arts.
  • Vocal/instrumental training can include private lessons, choir/orchestra, seminars/camps, etc.
  • Dance and acting training can include classes, private coaching, seminars, etc.
  • Actors who have had private coaches often simply list the names of their current and previous teachers (i.e. Acting: Stella Adler)

4. Special Skills

…is the final heading on a resumé. This list should not be twelve lines long, but can include a variety of skills in which you are exceptional. It can range from common skills (cockney accent, beginning piano skills) to more unusual skills (conversational German, Urdu, and Swahili; The Office impressions.) Don’t get carried away with this section, especially the unusual skills. It’s nice to have one or two eyebrow-raising skills listed, but keep your dignity. And only list things that you are genuinely great at and could actually do/prove on the spot for the director!

  • Some great ideas of things to include are foreign languages spoken, dialects that you can do very convincingly, specific dance styles, backstage skills like sewing or landscape painting, and any other trick/skill you have that really impresses people.

General Tips

  • Your resumé must be one page maximum! Don’t fill that page with ink, either. Make sure to leave white space on the page so it looks organized and not jumbled.
  • Have uniform headings and hopefully the same or complementary fonts. Be consistent with your formatting.
  • Resumé should be cut to a centered 8″ x 10″ and stapled in each corner to the back of your 8×10 headshot so the headshot/resumé combination is like a double-sided page.
  • All info, especially contact, height, weight, hair/eye, and training should be the most current!
  • Highlight what’s relevant for the particular show.
Image

One of the best examples I found online. Credit to lyralenkaye.com.

Best wishes to everyone auditioning this week! I know you’ll do great.

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Something I’ve learned: Sleep is optional.

I’ve had a lot to think about lately. My mind has recently been spinning so circuitously and relentlessly that sometimes entire days pass without the accomplishment of real-life tasks, such as my education, or exercise, or human contact, or sleep, getting the chance to happen. How exciting. I’m an adolescent. I’m learning who I am and what I believe in! … Apparently, who I am is an increasingly introverted and obnoxiously ruminative sixteen-year-old girl, and what I believe is that homework vanishes without any sort of consequence if you just let it sit for a day or two more, and what I do not believe in is portion control.

Something that bothered me: Life does not wait for you, nor do the people or opportunities in it.

I have a cellular mobile device. Somehow, various people have gotten ahold of my number and, thus, I receive an inordinate amount of communication. Oh, civilized humanity and its personable and ceaseless greetings … how they mar my valued pensive loneliness. It is not only like rubbing a dog the wrong way. It is like rubbing a hedgehog the wrong way (in fact, there is no right way to rub a hedgehog. Likewise, I am quite impossible.) Lately, I feel overwhelmed by how impatient my friends can get when I don’t reply to their texts. Come on, dude, are a few more lines of bad grammar really going to turn your day around? However, a few thoughts of sense have resurfaced in the briny depths of my tortured noggin:

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

Living in an interminable silence, a comfortable inertia, is not how God wants me to live. And I decided, several years ago, that God must be the Lord of my life. Therefore, I’ve got to follow His will and never my own. My will is to be stubborn and lonely and to not take the risk of letting anyone know me closely. God’s will is to love deeply, boundlessly, unconditionally, uncomfortably – He created us for Him and for each other, to live in perfect unity and love. I think I definitely need to bulldoze some walls and drain some moats.

Something I forgot: Jesus loves us more than we can possibly understand.

With the attitude about love that I have been carrying around for a while now, I might have written 1 Corinthians 13 like this:

“Love is obnoxious, love is overly personal. It does not back off, it does not go away, it does not respect personal space. … It’s always clingy, it always rants, it’s overly expectant, and it always keeps texting back. Love never fails [to annoy me.]”

Now I realize that all of this is probably true, and the only reason I see these as negative attributes is because I was coming from the opposite perspective, a perspective of fear. I saw persistent accountability to someone as ‘being tied down.’ I saw accepting kindness as going in debt to someone. And I thought of love as a lack of propriety.

But Jesus has never stopped chasing me down. He sends me messengers, speaks through friends that I probably don’t deserve to have anymore. He teaches me what I need to know. I’ve known several distinct times that He was saying to me “I’m not going to let you get away from me.” God has a plan, of which I am a small part. And yet, even for me, a stubborn, corn-fed kid who likes to choose whatever I want and call it truth, God keeps sending blessings that overwhelm my heart. And He keeps teaching me what is REALLY true. I need that more than anything right now: Truth taught by Love.

lyd is a sheepEnglish Sheep

I’m such a sheep. I get distracted. I’d rather eat than do many things. I do not have the coordination to play soccer. I also have light-colored hair. Sometimes.

But most of all, I am a fool who was lost, but my Shepherd came after me. And this guy? He never gives up on me.

That’s love.

John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

从来没有停止做梦.

i love it when i have exciting dreams. sadly, it seldom happens to me. i must have odd sleep patterns or something. or perhaps my mind is too taxed from days of stoichiometry, geometry, and other arts of a sesquipedalian* nature to conjure up wonderful stories for my enjoyment during the very late and very early hours. that’s why i love it when i get to experience an exciting adventure without having to create it myself. it may come in the form of a book, a movie, or a painting. or i might find it all crinkled up and stuffed into the trashcan. you never know.

in no particular order, here are some of my favorite dreams.

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*sesquipedalian: a word that i know i, of all people, can’t get away with quietly slipping into a sentence like sweeping the dust under a rug. it basically means ‘polysyllabic’.

no, seriously. i wrote backwards in cursive. some great lyrics.

be amazed.

today, among my other incredible feats, i wrote down some song lyrics backwards and took a picture. actually, it technically wasn’t today, it was in 1903. that is why it’s in sepia. i invented a time machine, and teleported myself, my computer, and my other invention which was to supply power for my computer without any electrical sockets. so i did lots of incredible things today.

now i’m going to go prove that some quadrilaterals are parallelograms. i like both of those words. they’re fun to say. and one of them is featured in a work of literature.

•medieval•

When you’re fifteen, the world seems to come to an end… like, every day. My disaster du jour occurred as I was practicing a four-octave G major scale at the piano. I had been practicing it for about ten minutes, and, try as I might, I couldn’t play it perfectly at the ridiculous clip I was attempting.

You see, the way my mind works makes about as much sense as the lyrics to a later Beatles song. I was rather aggravated at my inability to dazzle the world with my 208 beats per minute. And thus, my thoughts went o’er hill and dale, and eventually plunged off an emotional precipice into the icy sea of despair. “I have no talent at all…” thought I. “I don’t know a single person who’s as talentless as I am. I possess no talent in any manner.” I’m blessed with a lot of intelligent, musical, artistic, scientific, mathematical, and otherwise talented friends that I have a strong tendency to compare myself to.

So, in a mood as black as Sweet Honey in the Rock, I went upstairs to read some of My Name is Asher Lev, a novel I’m reading for class.

Mandatory reading for the whole world!

The story is centered on Asher, a Jewish boy who lives in New York City in the 1950s, and his incredible gift in drawing and painting. As I read, it struck me how hard (and diligently) Asher works to develop his gift. It spends pages delineating all sorts of things he draws (in true Potok fashion, I’m told.)

This piece of literature taught me something important, and slightly obvious: I do have talents. Everyone has talents. However, I can’t expect myself to be a prodigy if I don’t work darn hard at them! Talents have to be developed through work, practice, persistence, and patience. (I could almost make that into some quotable slogan, except I would have to change “work” to “pork” … I hate pork.)

So, with the commencement of my sophomore year, I resolve to develop my talents. ….. ..Which, I admit, means that I should prolly spend a lot less time with my social media. 😛  Out of the dark ages; into the renaissance. My reawakening of art, music, joy… (I had to throw in a historic analogy.)

p.s. dear em,

have you talked to my friend at all recently?? 😉

I didn’t know there was a certain empty space in my life until that space was filled this afternoon. Even though I was not aware of this thing’s existence an hour ago, I don’t think I can live without it from this time forward.

keep calm.

I think I'll call it 'Rhapsody in Orange.'

….. It’s a full-size poster, and I believe fate meant it for my wall. My dad got it for free at work today (in a burst of particular randomness, even for him. I still don’t understand how this happened). I kept seeing this motto in England, and all I know is that it was popular during one of the world wars. I love the idea of this saying as a wartime motto. It’s not particularly inspirational or valorous. It wouldn’t issue from the lips of a general; it would come from the grandmother who’s already seen it all. And maybe this tea-and-crumpets practicality is just the right mindset for a crisis. As much as I love this poster, there is one thing I desire even more:

now panic.

The best thing ever to grace my eyeballs.

I saw this in a gift shop in England. I probably should have bought it.

So, I do the newspaper crossword compulsively about every day. (Sometimes I feel the pressing need to try to accomplish every other puzzle on the page. Look at it, there are like 9 puzzles on there. Why is my subconscious trying to sabotage all my free time?!?) The horoscope is located right under the crossword, so today I happened to read it. It said:

“Born today, you harbor both tremendous drive and paralyzing sloth – and while this may seem in others to be an impossible combination, in you the natural conflict between your natural get-up-and-go and your just-as-natural inertia is one of the cornerstones of your personality. …When you seem inactive, your brain is often teeming with thoughts, plans, and speculations – and when you are clearly on the move, you may simple be keeping busy.”

I don’t have an excess of respect for horoscopes. You might as well throw a dart at a rack of inspirational Hallmark greeting cards and live by the wisdom of whichever one you pierce. My interaction with horoscopes usually involves passing over them on my way from the crossword to the “wonderword.” But I did think it was funny how much that sounds like me. I mean, it’s not even my horoscope, but it is a pretty effective character study of me. I usually find myself teetering between great expectations and low motivation (that last phrase an original poem by yours truly). I don’t have much else to say about it except that it’s annoying.

So although I am hard on horoscopes, I have to admit they aren’t completely useless. Without horoscopes, for instance, I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of writing this blog post. Also, they can help line birdcages. And litter boxes.