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An actor’s biography (bio in short and not to be confused with an autobiography) is a summary of all the work you have done in your acting career. Its purpose is to explain the” who” and “what” in a pro’s kind of structure. Just like your actors resume, it is a document that is continuously updated as you continue to progress in your acting career and get more work. It tells the industry about your credits, your work, your extra-curricular activities etc in sentence form and not list form like is the structure of an acting resume.

Whilst your acting resume is mainly for submission to casting directors, directors, producers (the people who have the potential to hire you), an actor’s bio is a good marketing tool for press kits, for a program or a press release (PR) or for sharing with your fans who get to know more about you.  You can have fun when writing your bio. How you perceive yourself, your personality and character can be expressed in detail in your bio. While your actors resume follows strict guidelines of stating your character, the production house you worked with, the project you were involved in, the actor’s bio gives you the freedom to go into details about yourself or simply brag about you, the projects you were involved in and a little history about yourself.

With freedom comes responsibility and below are tips and guidelines on how to write a good bio without getting too carried away:

- Always use the third person.  Instead of saying” I am an actor. I am 29 years old” say “Tom is an actor. He is 29 years old.”

- Get all the important information about yourself in the 1st two paragraphs. The same way you’d write a press release and put all the summarized info in the 1st two paragraphs with the rest of the paragraphs merely expounding on the 1st two.  Many journalists will use these 1st two paragraphs as their own descriptions of you in their interviews. Also, in case the bio is too long, these 1st two paragraphs should tell your reader, who doesn’t have much time to read the whole bio, who you are, fast.

-When talking about your credits, start with the major roles or most recognizable projects you have done in the 1st two paragraphs. The other smaller credits can follow in the subsequent paragraphs. If you are new in the industry and haven’t done any major project, you can talk about the high school plays that you did or those small extra roles you have undertaken or that acting class you underwent.

- Mention the directors you have worked with if they are well known in the industry as one might assume that you are good to work with.

- Mention the special talents you may have if they are important to your acting career.

- Have a paragraph for your personal life. Your hobbies, your fun things to do, what other languages you speak, etc. Put this in the last paragraph.

- Use simple to understand English and choice of words. Avoid overselling yourself with complicated synonyms. The bio is to tell people who you are and not how well you can write. Keep it simple, direct and honest.

What next after you write your beautiful bio?

Share it on your website, or on your Facebook page or on any professional actors’ website. Always have a resume and bio ready.  To share as part of a press release for that new exciting project that is about to get released or for that producer/director who wants to work with you and would like to know more. Always attach your headshot along with both your resume and bio.

Click here to read my bio and get a guideline.

By Gerald Langiri

You may also want to read:

- MARKETING 101: HOW TO GET NOTICED AS AN ACTOR AND GET THOSE ROLES.

- MARKETING 101 FOR ACTORS AND FILMMAKERS - PRESS RELEASE

- 6 STEPS TO LAUNCH YOUR ACTING CAREER

-NETWORKING: HOW TO DO IT AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU AS AN ACTOR

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