I know that you're always looking for a way to stand out from the crowd, actor friend, and special skills are a great way to do that.
What special skills do you have listed on your resume? Comment below and share. I'd love to hear! Mine are currently fitness instruction (kickboxing/weightlifting), handguns, and karaoke queen. No, I cannot sing, but I can perform the crap out of a song.
It's ok to have one fun thing, such as karaoke queen, as long as you can actually follow through on it. However, do not list anything that you can't perform in front of a camera such as fashion or travel.
In this post, I'll discuss the one special skill that you should be working on this year. I found it mentioned over-and-over again by casting directors when I researched the most in-demand skills.
I'll also share my favorite free tool to help you learn how to do it.
THE USEFUL SKILL
Don't dismiss the rest of this post if you already have this skill.
The one special skill that you should learn this year is a foreign language. This is the one skill that I saw casting directors consistently list when asked which special skills they love to see. Don't forget to include sign language in this category, which was used in multiple hit films this year.
Do you already know a foreign language? Comment to let me know what languages you speak. Why not learn another one, especially one that's similar?
How do you know which foreign language is best for you? I'm personally learning French right now because I took two years of classes in both high school and college. You'll be surprised at how much you remember! I could easily be cast as European, so most languages from that region suit my look.
Consider these criteria when choosing a foreign language:
You can also use your newfound foreign language skills to make freelance income as a translator or tutor. The average salary is $20 an hour. Translators are often hired by hospitals or government officials to help with cases, and there are a number of online tutoring services that allow you to work from home.
THE FREE TOOL
Learning a foreign language is easier than ever.
I highly recommend the free version of Dulingo. The smartphone app is very user-friendly, and the desktop version has grammar lessons attached to each module. You can pay to eliminate ads, or you can watch the ads to earn gems to make "purchases."
Duolingo has made learning a foreign language feel like a game. In the free version, you can only miss five answers before you lose all of your health. However, you can use your earned gems to purchase more. Trying to keep all of your health is a fun challenge, though.
They also offer cool badges that encourage you to learn. My next goal, for example, is to earn 100XP in one day, which requires me to complete ten lessons in a day versus my typical three. You decide how many lessons you want to do each day, and Duolingo sends you reminders. It's stupid easy.
THE BEST STUDY METHOD
I want to suggest a few effective study methods to help you quickly learn your language. These include using Duolingo, a method called Deep Work, and speaking with a native.
The trick to using Duolingo is to finish multiple lessons each day from various categories. For example, I currently take one lesson per day in Food, Animals, and Weather as opposed to three lessons in just Food. That forces my brain to actually learn the words as opposed to just memorizing. I'm always surprised at how much I've retained.
I highly recommend that you read a book called Deep Work by Cal Newport. It's the best way to quickly add any special skill to your resume in my opinion. Essentially, you'll need to block out a chunk of time, say four hours, and lock yourself in a room with zero distractions. That means no technology, which means no Duolingo, so you'll need to go old school and buy an actual foreign language workbook. The only other option is to use Duolingo in conjunction with an app that shuts down the other functions on your phone or desktop.
The best and only way to know if you're accurately speaking a language is to talk with a native speaker. Hire a tutor, search for a free meetup, or use the bots option on Duolingo. Better yet, try all three! You do not want to show up to an audition and be embarrassed if there's a native speaker in the room to test your skills.
What if your big break happens because of this newfound skill? Comment and let me know which foreign language you want to learn.
Download the free Duolingo app today and browse through the language options. Pick a language and try the very first lesson. You'll be hooked! You can also find friends to follow or compete with.
If you want another way to stand out from the crowd, then you need to start writing personalized thank you cards. Don't send the first one without learning these tips.
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