Before you can get auditions and callbacks, you have to have an actor bio. The actor bio is likely the first impression casting directors and casting agents have of you, so it has to be good. An influential actor bio will give them everything they need to know in a few short sentences. To create the best actor bios possible, here are some dos and don’ts when writing your own.

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Don’t make your actor bio too long

You want your actor bio to be engaging but not so long that casting can’t get through all of it. You’re not writing a book but a short, concise summary of your background. You don’t want to leave anything out, but you also don’t want to overwhelm the reader with too much information. Generally, an actor’s bio should be one to two paragraphs long. It’s enough to convey who you are and what you’ve done, but not so much that casting can’t get through it.

Don’t include irrelevant information to your actor’s bio

If applying to a commercial, don’t include your training and education in your actor bio. Commercials want models, not actors. Casting directors want to know about your experience in relevant fields such as dance, theatre, film, and TV. Don’t include your theatre credits if you’re applying for a commercial and you’ve only done theatre. If you’re used to a film, don’t include your dance training in your actor bio. Filmmaking is an entirely different field than dance, and casting directors won’t know how to interpret your experience. Instead, include your experience in filmmaking or other relevant areas such as theatre. Don’t include your film credits in your actor bio if you’re applying to a TV series. Casting directors want to know about your experience in TV, not film. If you’re used to a TV show that’s a sequel to a movie, don’t include the original film in your actor bio.

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Do include your most relevant physical traits in your actor bio (eye color, hair color, height, and weight)

While casting directors don’t necessarily care about these traits, they may be necessary to directors or producers if you’re cast in a specific role. For example, if you’re playing the lead in a TV show and you both share the same eye color and hair color as the character, you and the director might feel more connected to the role. This is especially true for children’s positions, where eye and hair color may be the only way a casting director can determine who is and is not eligible for a particular role.

Do highlight you are most notable credits

Include credits relevant to the type of work you’re pursuing and the role you’re trying to play. If you’re applying to a dramatic feature film, don’t include your credits from TV shows. Don’t include your credits from feature films if you’re using them for a TV show. If possible, include credits relevant to the role you’re trying to play. For example, if you’re trying to play a college student, don’t include credits from when you were a child. If you’re new to the industry and don’t have any credits, don’t put anything in your actor bio about credits.

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Do use action verbs to show your skills

If you have horseback riding or gymnastics skills, list the skill in your actor bio. Otherwise, list your skills such as “good at learning quickly,” “resourceful,” “passionate,” etc. If you have a skill such as a horseback riding, list it as a skill. If you have a skill such as horseback riding and have experience riding a specific type of horse, include that in your actor bio. If you have a horseback riding skill and have won awards for horseback riding, definitely include that in your actor bio.