Professional Acting Workshop:  Acting Essential

The Actor's Bag of Essentials:
What every actor should keep in their acting & audition bag.

Most pro actors wear a shoulder bag that holds an unusual collection of very important acting and auditioning tools of the trade.

Some actors refer to their acting bag as their "Go Bag," meaning they keep it stocked, ready and always available so they can grab it and go at a moment's notice.

Because what's in this bag is so important, most actors think of it like a doctor would think of their medical bag, not just important -- necessary.

What's in Your Actor's Bag shows You Are Ready to Do the Job.

Your Actor's Bag is not a personal statement, or a fashion statement -- it is a professional statement. It says you are a working actor, and you have all the tools at hand to do whatever job you are asked to perform.

What's in an Actor's Bag of Essentials? Here's a condensed list of the most important items for auditions and class, and brief explanations why they are important. We will be adding and deleting items from this list over time, so please check in often.

Your Acting Headshot/Photo: The quality of this item is the most important acting asset in your bag. Make sure you have several copies.

Your Acting Resume: Make sure this is printed on one side only. Many stage and film auditions require that your resume and headshot are stapled back-to-back so that they can't become separated. Make sure you have several copies.

What's in Your Actor's Bag?

Sturdy Folder or Compartment: Keep all copies of your headshot and resume in a sturdy folder or separate compartment in your bag so they don't get bent, crinkled, or wet.

Simple Folder: Take one copy of your headshot and resume and put them in a separate simple folder so you can easily retrieve them when you walk in.


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Top book on Acting in TV Commercials Best Book on Commercial Acting for Pro Actors

Demo Reel(s): If you have a commercial, tv/film, or voice-over demo reel you can keep a couple copies in your bag so you can produce them if they are asked for.

Acting Essential Tip of the Day: Monday August 08, 2022

Every actor should know the difference between empathy and sympathy. Sympathy means you FEEL sad because someone you care about feels sad, regardless of whether or not you understand why they are sad. Empathy means you UNDERSTAND why someone feels sad because you can put yourself in their shoes.

Your script, copy or side: If you have been given or assigned this in advance for an audition or class, make sure you bring it.

A list of your time conflicts: a complete list of times/dates you would not be available because of other commitments. You can keep this list on paper, or as a file on your phone/thumb drive.

Your Phone or Tablet: Put this on vibrate in the holding room, and on airplane mode or off when you enter the audition or class room. DO NOT take selfies or pix in the holding area, and only take an emergency call. You should have digital files of your headshot, and resume, in case you need to print more copies unexpectedly. If you have a demo reel(s), you can also have a digital copy on your phone, too.

USB Thumb Drive: If you don't have a smart phone capable of holding the digital files mentioned above, you can put them on a USB thumb drive. The drive could also come in handy if any digital files are shared in class, or at the audition.

At least one pen, AND sharpened pencil (or mechanical pencil): for sign-in sheets, marking scripts, taking notes, etc

Ziplock Bag (or purse) for: Meds, lozenges or throat spray (no gum), eye drops, travel sizes of toothbrush/paste, deodorant, eye drops, wash cloth, touch-up make-up, small mirror, comb/brush,, etc.

Water Bottle: for drinking water, and to wet a small washcloth if you need it.

Reading Material: for killing time and feeding your brain, can be a paperback, magazine, or eBook.


FOR WOMEN: Change of shoes with higher/lower heels, change of top (lighter/darker color), eyeglasses w/o lenses, additional make-up to change your character look.

FOR MEN: Change of shirt (lighter/darker color), eyeglasses w/o lenses, baseball hat.

We will be adding much more info on The Actor's Bag of Essentials over the coming weeks, so be sure to check back often.

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Here are just a few of the other Professional Acting Topics we intend to cover:

Acting Terminology
Acting Techniques
Acting Auditions
Acting Schools
Acting Workshops & Seminars
Voice Over Actors

The Topics below are Coming Soon!

How to Get an Acting Agent
Film Actor
Acting Universities
Acting Resources
The Online Store for Actors

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DISCLAIMERS: This website is for entertainment purposes only, the content is opinion only, and should not be regarded as expert advice.

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