An old headshot. Mock away.
I've noticed what appears to me to be a disproportionate amount of anxiety from people at several levels of the field about writing bios for programs and such.
What I intend to present here is a series of templates and principles that should make the task take under five minutes and be a relatively low stress endeavor.
The purpose of the bio is to let the audience (including other industry professionals) know a bit of additional relevant information about you. While to some degree it can serve to establish the credibility of the artistic team, if you are early in your career (or even doing your first show) that is also an interesting bit of information to an audience. (With that in mind please realize that no one worth knowing is going to judge you harshly for being new to the field, so don't worry about having a short bio.)
This post is particularly aimed at people early in their careers. Remember that you'll be getting more credits as you go, which means that your bio can change constantly throughout a season.
These are all fairly flexible and geared for short bios. Long-form bios are basically expansions on the template. (I have bios for several of the disciplines I work in throughout my site).
PETER PAN @ Tufts University - Photo by Elizabeth Herman
Attention Young Actors: You don't always know what you think you know. This is especially true when it comes to stage combat. And you may want to think twice before you claim it on a resume. This is true even if you took a workshop or two and/or performed fights onstage a handful of times.
I'm talking mostly about the "Special Skills" section of the resume. As many of you know, common wisdom dictates that you should not put anything down on there that you cannot do on short notice. I want to work on the assumption that people are making their claims in good faith (liars are a whole other issue). That one would not put down a language that they do not speak, an instrument they do not play, or claim a degree that they have not earned.
But unfortunately, sometimes stage combat ends up on an acting resume when it really shouldn't be...
It is a dark, dark world that we whistle in...