Special skills for acting resume can make landing a significant part in a movie, television show, or theatre production much easier.

Therefore, a polished acting resume is a crucial element of your submission—especially if you want to be sure that it ends on a high note.

As the skills section of any resume is the most open-ended, and with an acting resume, it might be challenging to figure out what to add.

For example, should you mention your special dancing skills? Cooking? Your time on the school scrabble team?

From New York to Los Angeles, actors strive hard to put together a stellar resume to assist them in standing out from the crowd and give casting directors a brief view of their careers.

If you are looking for tips to create a resume that’ll help you shine, we have got you covered. In this guide, we will answer your queries regarding the special skills to list on resume.

Special Skills List for Actors: What are they?

 

an actor with a golden face mask displaying special skills for acting resume


Special skills for acting resumes aren’t just extras or nice-to-have for actors—sometimes, they are super helpful for the projects.

As an acting teacher, Paul has said:


“Imagine Geoffrey Rush in ‘Shine’ if he couldn’t play the piano, Olivia Munn on ‘The Newsroom’ if she wasn’t fluent in Japanese, or Channing Tatum; if he couldn’t dance.”


He further elaborates, “Many of the seminal roles of those we now know and love have been career tipping points for actors due to their unique skills.”

As mentioned above, actors’ special skills have helped them become a turning point in their careers.

As a result, actors are usually expected to have a special skills section in their resume.

This section includes a list of extra abilities that could come in handy or make you unique.

Common special skills to write in a resume include fluency in foreign languages, musical instruments, sports, and proficiency in dance, particularly in a specific type of dance such as tap, salsa, or ballet.

Even cheerleading and stage combat are essential skills to pen down in a resume.

With that being said, any unusual, special, or rare talent falls under the umbrella of skills—as long as it is related to acting.

What Are Some Special Skills to Put on an Acting Resume?

It’s become an industry joke as the actors usually exaggerate their skills on resumes.

Directors may ask you to use that skill during your job, so don’t lie about it.

You can make a list fairly extensive as far as what to include. However, make sure to include how expert you are in the mentioned skill.

Divide special skills for acting resume into three parts: beginner, intermediate, advanced, or expert.

As an actor, especially a newbie actor, these skills will make you different and help you land the part of your choice.

If you’re uncertain about where to start, here are some special skills examples that casting directors and agents like on an acting resume:

  • Foreign Languages (don’t forget to mention fluency level)
  • Musical Instruments (from violin to drums, note whatever you can play)
  • Athletic skills (it includes martial arts, skiing, cheerleading, gymnastics, and fencing)
  • Accents
  • Stage combat
  • Gun handling
  • Singing
  • Dancing (especially if you know any special dance such as tap dance or ballet)
  • Improvisation
  • Stand up
  • Creative insight
  • Excellent understanding of scenes, acting techniques, and emotions

However, don’t let the skills above limit you. Instead, it’ll help you think outside of the box.

If you believe you have any other skills to help you thrive in the show business, don’t forget to mention them.

What Special Skills don’t belong to an Acting Resume?

It’s cool if you have so many skills to add to your resume.

However, not all of your passions belong to the list of special skills for acting resume.

Though every casting director has a different approach, the general idea is that the hobbies and interests, particularly those that don’t require any extraordinary skill—being a dog lover, avid reader, or foodies—should be left off.

Instead, mention the hobbies or interests that are more specific and could be potentially useful in your acting career— such as a trained carpenter or an experienced chef— these skills are worth including.

Don’t forget there’s a fine line between including extra, unhelpful information and curating a perfect, precise resume—and the “section of special skills for actors is not a landfill for useless information” quoted by the casting director, acting teacher, and director Paul Russell.

Paul has made a pretty lengthy acting special skills list that should never be mentioned on the resume. However, here are some real-life examples.

  • “Tetris” (Do you want to be cast in the remake of “Tron”)
  • “Owner of [name withheld] jewellery” (how does it help in acting?)
  • “Enjoys restoring cars in the family collection” (no, it wouldn’t help you be a part of the fast and furious franchise)
  • “Related to Jimmy Stewart” (and your point being…?)

Skills that are more of hobbies—more specifically, useless hobbies for an acting career shouldn’t be a part of your acting resume.

They make it unnecessarily lengthy and tedious. Experts, including Russell, believe that pointless to mention that you are a licensed driver.

However, if you know how to drive a stick, that is worth noting.

What Skills are needed for Acting: List of Acting Skills and Techniques

Acting may seem effortless on screen, but it requires hard work and special skills to reach that level.

Let’s imagine a casting director looking to cast someone for a role you desperately want—but the character has a talent that you don’t.

Depending on the skill, it’s not out of the question that you can learn how to do it fast enough to be acceptable on stage or screen.

Many academy winners’ actors have done it with great success.

For instance, Natalie Portman especially learned ballet for her breath-taking part in “Black Swan,” and that role helped her in bagging the best actress Oscar in 2010.

On the other hand, Adrien Body learned to play piano to successfully perform the leading role in “The Pianist,” the performance won him an Oscar in 2003.

Though, when it comes to starting an acting career and picking up new skills, you should think more broadly about the job you want.

Instead of looking at what others are doing, make a list of abilities for a resume of your own.

Think about where you’d like to go in your career and what you need to get there.

It will give you a specific idea about what skills you should learn and what will be the best actions, to begin with.

For example, if you want to have an actor profile, particularly for musicals, you should master dancing and singing.

However, to be an actor in a comedy movie, you should know the art of improvisation. Conclusively, with a clear goal in your mind, you’ll have a picture of what to learn.

With that being said, here are some desirable skills to list on a resume that are needed for acting:

  • Learning dialogues
  • Performing well during auditions
  • Being able to take direction
  • Punctuality
  • Reliability
  • Experience in improve
  • Confidence in front of an audience
  • Clear Vocals
  • Dancing (Learn basic dancing, you wouldn’t want to embarrass yourself like Joey!)
  • Method acting
  • Dialects

What to Put on an Acting Resume with No or Little Experience?

If you are starting your acting resume with no experience, make sure to make a strong list of special skills.

In addition to that, simply write anything you’ve done related to acting, any school play, community theatre play, or even a short project film that you have put together with your friends.

If you have nothing, join the drama club and community theatres, apply to local films, and learn from acting workshops— anything will work. And it will look good on your acting resume.

Special Skills for Child Acting Resume

From “Baby’s Day Out” to “Home Alone,” child actors have proved to be no less than adults.

However, like an adult, a child also needs a resume to enter the show business.

The good news is that the child acting resume has more freedom than the adult actor resume.

One can simply expand the list of special skills for the acting resume. It is one reason that makes a child’s acting resume different from the adult.

Casting directors pay special attention to the special skills section for the child actors who don’t have any acting credits yet.

It provides them a clear indication of the child’s capabilities and talents, so make sure to include the information that reflects the child’s personality.

Start the list with basic performance skills like dancing, modeling, creating online content, singing, juggling, and creating online content.

Then expand the list to sports followed by non-sport activities such as bicycling, jump rope, or hula hooping.

If your child has been a part of charity-oriented activities, that’ll reveal their strong character.

It includes Boy Scout or Girl Scout, mentoring young kids, feeding the homeless, or collecting charities for noble causes.

Finishing the special skills section with the strengths and personality traits such as intelligence, fast memorizer, adventurous, friendly, team player, and outgoing.

It’s A Wrap!

Acting can be a ruthless and competitive career choice. Even the most talented performers struggle to be successful.

The first step to standing out and catching the director’s attention is a well-formatted resume.

Find what you want as your niche and highlight the column of your special skills.

Make it as catchy as you can; it’ll boost your chances of being part of the industry.

 

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