Wanna Jazz Up Your TV Credits Without Lying?

The term “billing” refers to how SAG credits you when you play a given role in a SAG film or TV project.

It’s not just a matter of what you think, but it is actually a particular status that you get from SAG for a given credit.  And the credits are different for film than for television, which is what I will go into in this article.

For TV there is actual billing that is noted at SAG when you do a role, the main ones being Guest Star, Series Regular, and Co-Star.  These have basically defined sizes, but sometimes the role could fall close to two different billings, so then your agent needs to negotiate for the credit.  That will up your pay as well as up the status of your credit, so this is very important for your talent agent to do for you.

In some cases, however, you may not be 100% sure what the official rating of your credit is, so here are some guidelines.

  • When it comes to your resume, you should use whatever your actual credit was, if possible.  If you can’t then, go with whatever billing you think is closest — and if you have to choose between two of them, choose the one that makes you look better!

Additionally, there are a few other hybrid kinds of credits that I like to use , even though they are not official terms.

  • For example, I suggest to use “Guest Role” when you have a one-liner, although SAG likes “Under-5,” meaning “under 5 lines.”
  • Some actors who are building their credits also like to put extra work on their acting resumes.  In that case, you might want to use “Featured” if you don’t want to come right out and say it as extra work.

As to whether you should put extra work on it…if you haven’t done much other work, then pick out a few of of your best, most featured roles, and put them on your resume.

But don’t try to make it look like you were a Guest Star or that you played some big role, when you didn’t even have any lines. Just put “Featured” and let them figure it out.

If an agent you’re meeting with gets mad that you put extra work on there, tell them that you heard “somewhere” that that was how you were supposed to list it, and then take it off if they want you to.

  • When you get to a point where you have four or five speaking credits in the Television category, remove all of your extra work entirely. Until then, just be ready to tell a good story about each of your credits when they ask.

The billing of “Featured” is basically used when you have one word or when you were really an extra or background actor and there is a really good shot of you doing something with the star of the film.

If you think your acting resume might need a make-over, give us a call and let us redo it for you. We also do “Day Job” resumes should you or someone you know be in the market for a new job.

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