Bonnie Gillespie

Resume FUN-Shui

I'm half-way though Bonnie Gillespie's FREE 11-day Get in Gear for the New Year Training. Last year I jumped on the bandwagon and bought her book. This past year is the first time I've really focused on on-camera acting in addition to theatre.

Goals! Goals! Goals!

Whenever I have a goal, I always want to get there faster, and getting into the film world is no different. My acting technique is strong, but my filming experience is small--I did do a handful of student films, and some background work this year, but I want to be doing co-star roles in a local Network TV shows (Portland included), and Low (or Ultra-Low) Budget films, or Big Budget films, cause why limit myself?!

Trust the Process

The Get in Gear program is all about evaluating your materials, and making yourself seem ready for the next tier for buyers (casting directors, directors, producers, networks, etc.) I realized that this time last year I had ZERO on-camera credits; now I have four on my resume! I'm lucky to be with my agency, MAM, and my job is to make my material even more castable so my agent, Dustin, can pitch me. 

Day 4 was all about Resumes. Here's the results. 





Not drastically different, but I like how Bonnie puts the focus on what story your credits tell in terms of how TO cast you in the future. Bye-Bye 19-year old Paige, I cannot realistically play you anymore. Bye Willi Eisenring--while I could possibly still continue to get cast in a male role (sorry dudes, I am your competition), it's not telling buyers what I should be getting cast in, which is: Fun Mom, Fierce Mom, Intelligent Business Woman, Medical Professional, and Bubbly Best Friend Roles.

I also remove the italics on play titles, and corrected the email for my agency contact (it was AN email to my agent, just not the one they want on resumes). I tweaked my special skills. I do wonder if there are on-brand skills I should list (or learn). It's not like I need anything super flashy for the roles listed above. I can learn accents for a job, but it's not something I feel comfortable doing on the fly, with a script I haven't prepared on, so I haven't listed any accents or dialects. It's possible that is something I should work towards for a few (RP and Southern perhaps).


My goals for 2018 include getting more roles and footage of bullseye type roles to further specify my resume, and beef up my reel. Some will be by the things I audition for, but others will be self-produced projects. I already have two script ideas, and scene partners in mind! Looking forward to sharing those with you when I have them completed!

The New Years Resolution I Intend to Keep

Welcome to my website and my first blog entry!  

For many people, 2016 was...a lot. One of the big things for me in 2016 was the birth of my daughter! I made the difficult decision to leave my position as Director of Education at Bainbridge Performing Arts, in order to care for my daughter. Since then, I've felt the desire to use my mind and body for something beyond caring for a small child.

I've already accomplished a lot getting back into my acting career since having my baby and leaving my full-time job.

Zandi Carlson - Headshot - Photo by Danielle Barnum

What have I been up to?

·      Working with my acting coach, Charles Waxberg

·      Reading lots of plays

·      Finding monologues

·      Exploring my type and brand (more on that later!)

·      New Headshots (Thanks Danielle Barnum!)

·      Auditioning

·      Started this website and blog


Even though I'm a goal-setting, list-making, accomplishment-oriented kind of gal, for some reason, New Years has never been my favorite holiday. My previous resolutions have always faded quickly.

A few years back, I did a 3-week cleanse in January, and lost a bunch of weight, only to gain back even more than I lost. I was so resentful about all the restrictions I had placed on myself, I went a bit crazy with sweets in the months following.

This isn't going to be a blog about health and fitness. If you want that, then check out my friend Anna's blog on a healthier approach to fitness goal setting. She shared a great quote in Instagram which inspired me:  

I love that. I feel such a strong desire to leap into performing again and to manage my acting career. This quote reminds me to allow myself grace as I discover how to balance my new role as a mom and a working actor. 

Thanks to my friend, Charissa (Twitter: @charissajactor) I learned about Bonnie Gillespie, the author of Self-Management for Actors. I'm a big podcast listener and I recently started listening to the Inside Acting podcast.

The theme that kept resonating with me was...

This is a business of

People want to work with others who are dependable, AND who are enjoyable to work with.

Being a new mom is isolating. It is rewarding and joyful, yes, and also time-consuming, overwhelming, exhausting...the list goes on. Even with support systems in place, this tiny human depends on you. If you have to pay for childcare, things get even more complicated. With all the challenges of a new baby, I have not connected with people as much in the last 8+ months. So one of my focuses for 2017 is:

Connect with People


Strengthen Relationships

I want to...

  • Spend more time with people in person

  • See theatre and supporting artist and companies I love

  • Following up after meeting someone

  • Listen to people and ask questions

  • Create opportunities to work with others

  • Anything to really connect.

Even though I'm generally an outgoing person, I still get intimidated by people. I want to challenge myself to reach out to people I admire and respect, and to connect on a genuine, human level, rather than placing them on a pedestal. 

If you'd like to connect with me - Twitter and Instagram: @Zandi_Carlson.


Thanks for coming on this journey with me.