ActorsRéz: mobile resumé building on the iPhone and iPod Touch

The terrific iPhone and iPod Touch apps just keep coming, and this one is just in time for gifting during the holiday season.

I had an email out of the blue this morning from a developer, John Parron. John contacted me to see if I’d take his creation ActorsRéz (for resumé) for a run. He’d seen some of my earlier posts in this series of tools and apps for actors, and wondered if I might be interested in his newest. I was happy to do so as this is a brand new app by a software developer who is passionate about the iPhone. John was also an actor, so you know it’s going to have the goods. John kindly provided me with a free token to take ActorsRéz through its paces.

As an actor, I’ve often been asked to send through my resumé and a head shot when I’ve been on the go; I watched my actor son recently scanning and emailing his own off to casting agents, and just about every day too. In these busy, time-poor days and with iPhones and iPod Touches as pocket computers, it seemed a good idea for someone to come up with an application that would let the actor shoot through an updated film and/or theatre resumé and head shot as well as a commercial list as soon as it was needed. This is what ActorsRéz does, and it does it well.

It’s a fairly simple app to use, but it has some powerful features. You are walked through each phase of the set up or Build of your resumé. You access the custom-made layouts via the Build button at the bottom of the ActorsRéz screen. With each step of the build and as you use the app, there is an on-page info button on the top right-hand of the screen with further details and tips. As you continue building you will be asked to choose A4 (International) or US Letter formats, and can choose to have your headshots auto-trimmed to the standard 10 x 8″ format. These are the details that make the difference, since your recipient is probably going to want to print out your resumé one side and head shot the other.

You add the usual personal details via the keyboard or checkboxes – name, height, eyes, hair, and voice range since Musical Theatre actors almost always need to include this. If you have a website this can be listed too. You can add representations, of course – your agent and manager, or a couple of agents if, say, as I do, you have a separate one for voice-over work. You can choose the layout you like here i.e., who goes to the top of the list!  Experience credits, training and recognition are also provided for. You can organise your credits in order of importance; the onboard tip suggests you sort these from least to most important with the most important first, natch! Other skills and proficiencies are provided for with spaces for Accents and Dialects, fluency in languages and other skills.

As you build your resumé you can choose whether to put film or theatre at the head. You can, of course, create multiple resumés, so it’s easy to send off the one that’s most appropriate when called on. A space for union affiliation is also provided – great touch. You can upload up to five headshots to ActorsRéz – another great idea, which means you choose what you think is the best for the particular casting requirement. When you finish building your resumé you save it as a file which you should name individually – say ‘Film’ or ‘Theatre’ or ‘Voice.’ There’s also a separate listing for commercials, which is a really good idea as acceptable industry practice is not to list these amongst your other stage or screen credits.

Uploading headshots is a snap – just what you’re used to with the iPhone. Get the shot on to your iPhone or iPod Touch and just select the file in ActorsRéz. When you have finished building, you can preview your resumé and it’s saved as a file under the File button at the bottom of the screen. If you wish to edit details and add to your credits, just access via the Actor button, again at the bottom of the screen.

When it’s time to send off your details to an agency just click the Files button. Up will come the saved resumés. Choose the one you want, attach the headshot you want and hit the forward arrow. Enter the email address, click Send, and heigh-ho it’s on its way.

I’ve sent John some feedback and I know he’s going to include integration with the fabulous Dropbox into the next version, hopefully out before Christmas or just afterwards. He has other ideas and improvements in the pipeline for ActorsRéz – I’d like to see a welcome homescreen with a couple more walk-through instructions to get you started. I’d also love to see international union affiliations added to the existing ActorsRéz list which, currently, is North American in focus. MEAA (Australia) and Equity (UK) should be there too since many actors are represented by multiple agencies and have one or more global union affiliations. Actors Rez is an international app, so I think this would be a nice touch. I’d also love to be able to import my existing resumé into ActorsRéz – what about it, John?

Meanwhile, this nifty app ActorsRéz 1.0 is offering an introductory price of $4.99 USD for the first 30 days; $9.99 USD thereafter and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Productivity category. Unlimited future updates are free too!

What are you waiting for? Buy it for yourself or gift it to an actor you know.  You can like ActorsRéz on Facebook too; I have.

UPDATE: John contacted me to say that the Australian actors’ union MEAA will be included in the listing of affiliations in the next release of ActorsRéz. Nice one, John. You’ve gained a lot of friends down under for that action!
FURTHER UPDATE: ActorsRéz has been updated to v 1.01. MEAA is in there as are a lot of other improved interface features. Thanks!