I Just Graduated with a Performance Degree... What’s Next?

  • Laura Jeanne Portera

Part One: Preparation

The transition from college into the real world is the most intimidating and exciting time of your life. As a theater major, you’re going from textbooks and backpacks, to train rides and waiting rooms. You will begin submitting to casting websites, auditioning in person, and sending in video reels. Within your time at school, you were hopefully taught the essentials for auditioning. If so, use this article as a guide to double check how prepared you are.

Preparation is KEY. If you do not show you are a prepared actor in an audition room, it leaves the director to believe you are not a prepared actor in rehearsal. The number one item that shows you’re prepared is your headshot/resume. Take these with you EVERYWHERE. To find examples of acting resumes that have a proper format, search your favorite actor’s website. On their website, their resume will have its own section and be beautifully spaced out. Next, we have to talk head shots. If you’re still using the photo your department took first semester freshman year; it’s time for a new one. These should be professional, high-resolution headshots. It’s preferable to have two or three options: A serious face, a happy face, and a funny face. Every audition calls for a different look. Some places to check out for quality headshots are: Sub/Urban Photography, Jordan Matter Photography, and Susan Stripling.

Next, let’s talk about your website. Having a website will make your life SO MUCH easier! When speaking with an agent or casting director, you can easily provide them with more information on yourself by advertising your website. Your site should include the following sections: An about me page, headshot/ resume, media (production stills, video reel, personality photos,) an upcoming events page, and a contact page. Keep each page clear and concise. But most importantly, make sure it represents you. For user-friendly, cost-efficient website builders, be sure to check out Squarespace, WordPress or Wix.

Another way to advertise yourself as an actor is through business cards. It’s a quick, easy way to provide your information in a tiny little package. Simply, list your contact information, website, and most importantly, your name. Feel free to use a different headshot on each side to show your versatility. These cards will come in handy any time you make a connection. Whether you meet a fellow actor at Pearl Studios, meet a playwright at Starbucks, or send a thank you note after an audition, you can easily hand off your card. Not to mention if you use services like Vistaprint, you can purchase 100 for as little as $7.99.

Although these essentials have been taught to you over and over again, it can be very intimidating to step into the auditioning world to find you are unprepared. It is vital to make sure everything is updated, current, and represents the best you! Be sure to ask family and friends what they think of your headshot, resume, website, and business cards. They know you better than anyone and will make sure you are well represented and well prepared for the world!