So I need to write a bio about myself and need some tips in doing so. If anyone has any do’s or don’ts on how to craft a proper bio, that would be so helpful!
- Generally, they’ll give you a word count, so keep that in mind.
Most bios I’ve seen and written focus on a few points: your name, your role, previous work (doesn’t have to be everything, just highlight a few you’re proud of), maybe a thank-you to family or an SO for love and support, and some people put a clever or meaningful quote at the end.
In the section for previous work, I usually I know name two or three shows, maybe one extra if I’m listing work with different theater companies.
Sometimes I will start by saying I am proud/delighted/glad to reunite with a particular director, or to return to a theater company.
When in doubt, throw something together and run it by someone else in your cast.
- This is the format I have used (and have seen to be widely used):
- If this is your debut at a particular company; if not, what else have you been in at that company?
- Other shows/companies you’ve worked with (pick a couple highlights)
- Pertinent hobbies (music, dance, etc.)
- Any special thanks (possibly in first person, if it makes sense)
Bios should be in third person. The education part can be moved around, especially for child/student actors. They should be very short unless otherwise told – like one sentence per bullet point above, if that. Possibly include your website or professional social media at the end.
“‘Reddit: The Musical’ marks cherrypro’s first production with Internet Theatrical Company! They have previously performed on Broadway in ‘Marvel’s The Avengers: The Musical’ as Ensemble New Yorker #42. When not performing onstage, cherrypro can be found practicing the harmonica. They hold a degree in Underwater Basket Weaving from the Hippy Arts College at Generic University. Love and thanks to Mom, Dad, and Santa Claus!”
If you have any Playbills, you can check there for more examples. Or, go to almost any Broadway or touring show’s website, go to cast and creative, and look there.
Or, when in doubt, ask the director of the show you’re working on what to they want.
- I edit playbills locally. There’s already some good advice in here, but I have some additional advice to help you look professional:
- GRAMMAR IS IMPORTANT. Learn how to use commas, semi-commas, proper capitalization, etc.
- Be consistent. For example, always list the character before the play, or always put the theatre name in parentheses.
- Don’t just list a slew of shows you’ve been in. It goes boring for the reader.
- Don’t be afraid of the thesaurus. I once did a production of Sweeney Todd where literally the entire cast wrote “name is excited to…..
- Double check spelling of show names, characters, and especially theatres. Do they use ‘er’ or ‘re’. It’s astounding how often this is wrong, especially if someone writes “I’m excited to make my debut at Company Theater!” when it’s Company Theatre.