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To stay current in the acting field, it’s important to have an actor bio. Self-promotion can be tough and often slightly gruelling for some but it is essential to be able to convey all your skills and attributes to the directors and companies you are trying to win over.
Follow along with us as we go behind the scenes on how to write an actor’s bio with our nifty step by step guide!
An actor’s biography is essentially the short blurb for your own story. It’s a summary of your work to date, skills and credentials. An acting bio allows you to express the values and beliefs that make you stand out and will often require your own twist so the industry understands what you are all about!
Alongside headshots, acting bios are one of the most important self-marketing tools an actor can acquire. They serve as your calling card; actors’ bios are important because they tell the industry in written form who you are, what you can play well and how to cast you.
Here we will take you through a step by step guide on how to write an actor’s bio, to equip you with the right tools should your dream role fall into your inbox tomorrow!
Before you start writing your acting biography, be aware you will want it to be concise. Keeping it simple and relevant will increase your chances as drawn-out paragraphs will be a lot less engaging for the reader. It’s also likely a theatre or movie company will set a word limit for bio length so it is important to adhere to this in your bio submission.
Make sure to use the third person throughout your acting bio. That is for example using “he/she/they” instead of saying “I,”. Also, mention your first and last name throughout the text as it will make your name stick in the reader’s mind and be more memorable.
An acting bio example of using the third person would be something like; “Being encouraged to pursue acting from an early age, Rebecka Smith was enrolled at the Youth School of Acting in London from the ages of 7-11. She starred in numerous plays as well as being awarded ‘Rising Star’ in her year group.”
Now you know your technical tick boxes as the writer, it’s also important to be attentive to the reader. Although you may have some of the best and most relevant experience, it’s important to know who is reading your work and what will draw them to you. You are more likely to broaden your chances by personalising your acting bio to each job. Not only does this serve to highlight yourself as an individual better but the extra attention to detail proves you’ve put the time and thought into your acting bio, already demonstrating you are attentive and hard-working!
By planning out your bio, it will assure you’ve put all the necessary information in whilst sticking to the appropriate word limit. Acting bios are usually put into four paragraphs, putting the most important information at the top and moving down towards the less crucial content at the end.
Read on as we break down what to include in your acting bio!
Now to put pen to paper (or nowadays hands to keyboard) and start writing your acting bio. With casting decisions usually being made very quickly you want to draw the reader in from the opening lines so they are strongly encouraged to keep reading. So keep it short yet informative and direct.
You can summarise any relevant training in this next paragraph whilst also keeping it short and punchy. Here you can name any relevant employment experiences and successes, including training, certifications and credentials. Always include any other interesting achievements or practices related to the job (aka anything that may set you apart from the rest).
This paragraph should explain if you are currently doing anything else alongside maintaining your professional acting practice. This also helps to paint a picture for the reader of some of the roles you would be best suited for whilst giving that extra personal embellishment.
Here’s an opportunity for your reader to understand you further on a personal level. In the final paragraph include your skills and some details of your personal life including hobbies and achievements. It’s the place to accentuate some of your best traits and flesh out your bio if you don’t have as much relevant experience. You can still win over potential castings by showing off who you are and how you would be the ideal candidate for the role at stake.
There’s nothing worse than an acting bio filled with grammar mistakes and typos. Even if the content is spot on you won’t get far without seeming professional and credible. Ensure to double (or triple) proofread your work so any basic writing mishaps can easily be corrected. Also, check any formatting requirements for that specific submission. By not abiding by their specifications it will already set your chances back.
Your acting biography is very much a live document, it needs to be up to date with all of your current work and accomplishments. Maintaining your acting bio keeps it relevant and contemporary. Whether you’ve just been nominated for an award or have been cast in a new project be sure to include it, you never know what credentials may steal the show.
Although you already have and know your story, we hope you now have the confidence to write and share it. Remember to take your time and don’t rush it, it’s your potential golden ticket to landing your next dream role. Don’t be too modest either, it really is your opportunity to shine and market yourself so be proud of your work and highlight all your strengths. You’ve got to be your own biggest cheerleader before anyone else can come and join you on the field!
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