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The Main Acting Roles and How to Label Them on Your Resume

The Main Acting Roles and How to Label Them on Your Resume
The Main Acting Roles and How to Label Them on Your Resume

When booking a speaking role and/or titling it on your resume these are the terms you will typically see.


Series Regular:  The leads of a television series.

Recurring: An actor who appears in multiples episodes but it not a lead.

Guest Star:  An actor who supports an episode.  A guest star will normally perform in multiple scenes and have a character arc in the episode.  Often times, the actor playing a guest star role will appear in the opening credits.  A good example of guest stars are the actors who play the killer in a crime drama.

Co-Star:  An actor who supports a scene or two.  For instance, a grocery store clerk or bank teller who helps a principal actor.  Co-Stars normally have lines, but on occasion a casting director will cast a non-speaking co-star.



Lead:  The main character in a film.

Supporting Lead:  A smaller part then the lead that still plays an intricate part of the story.

Supporting: A character that simply pushes the story forward for the sake of the lead or supporting lead characters.  The equivalent of a television co-star.


Soap Opera

Contract: The series regulars of the soap opera for a particular season or seasons.

Day-Player: The equivalent of a television guest-star.  Perhaps has a larger role in an episode.

Under 5 aka “U5”:  Under five lines.  Comparable to a small co-star.

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