A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Z

Call Sheet: Production term for daily listing of schedule, scenes and cast required. A printed schedule of the day's work that is to be filmed and the people, place and things needed.
Call Time: The actual time you are needed on the set.
Call: Generally, some sort of instruction to the company: a rehearsal call is an instruction to attend a rehearsal at a particular time; time calls are given just before each performance ("Ladies and gentlemen, this is your thirty minute call"); treasury call is pay day in the professional theatre. [Note that time calls are all related to the "Beginners" call, not to the actual time of starting the show. In other words, the 30 minute call is given 30 minutes before "Orchestra & Beginners" is called, or 35 minutes before the curtain goes up.]
Callback: Any follow-up interview or audition. To be instructed to come back to work on a certain day, usually the next day.
Call-Board: The bulletin board used by stage managers to post any information pertinent to actors and crew, such as rehearsal schedules and costume fittings.
Camera Left & Camera Right: The direction of which to look or to proceed when facing the camera. Camera left is your right.
Cans: Headphones.
Cast: The list of characters in a play and the actors who play them. Also, as a verb, to allocate parts to members of a company.
Caster: A small wheel used on scenery and scenic equipment for ease of shifting.
Casting Director: The producer's representative responsible for auditioning and casting performers for consideration by the director and or producer.
Cattle Call: A general audition for roles where many people turn out looking for the part. A mob scene; often an "open call".
Catwalk: An immobile platform above the stage that reaches from one end of the stage to the other, used to gain access to the stage equipment.
Center Line: An imaginary or real line that divides the stage area into two equal parts, running from downstage to upstage.
Center Stage: The Middle of the Performance space.
Changes: Clothing and costumes to be worn.
Character objectives: The thing/s that any given character is trying to achieve in a unit. This must be expressed as a simple active sentence.
Characterization: The development of a character through a close study of the text, and the objectives, actions, claims, endowments, emotion memories, sense memories that the actor attributes to the character.
Cheat: To make an action on stage look realistic without actually doing what you seem to be doing; e.g. an actor looking towards the audience in the general direction of the person he is talking to, is cheating.
Check: Lighting term: to lower the brightness of a lantern to zero.
Choreographer: Devises and rehearses the dance routines, following the concept laid down by the Director .
Cinema Verite: A candid-camera style of filmmaking using hand-held cameras, natural sound, grainy high-contrast black-and-white film, and the appearance of no rehearsal and only basic editing.
Cinematographer (camera man or director of photography): The person who supervises all aspects of photography from the operation of cameras to lighting.
Claims: Those things a character knows and/or believes about him/herself (i.e. education, class, status, wealth, tastes, habits, predilections, weaknesses, temptations, vices, position in family or present company, where born, age, where living etc.)
Clapboard: A mini chalkboard that has the name of the production, director, producer. It is used to keep records of what scene is being filmed and makes a clapping sound to tell the person editors where to start the sound.
Clip: A brief segment excerpted from a film.
Close-Up (CU): Camera term for tight shot of the general area of the head and shoulder.
Cloth: Backdrop scenery painted on fabric. Cloths can be on a banjo (usually in the amateur theatre), can be rolled up, or can be flown.
Cold Reading: Unrehearsed reading of a particular part of a scene, usually at auditions.
Color Changer: A remotely controlled means of changing a colored filter over the lens of a lantern. There are three kinds: a wheel, a semaphore (like the old- fashioned railway signals) and a scroller which uses continuous, usually dichroic, filters. Scrollers are the preferred option in the modern theatre.
Color Frame: A frame which fits over the front of a lantern to hold a colored filter or gel. They can be made from metal (preferred) or a kind of cardboard.
Come down: In the theatre, a show does not finish; it comes down, i.e. the curtain "comes down" to end the show.
Commentator: A voice (the person speaking may be either seen or unseen) commenting on the action of a film. A commentator, unlike a narrator, provides supposedly unbiased information, maintaining apparent perspective and distance from what occurs on the screen.
Composite: A series of photographs on one sheet representing an actor's different looks.
Composition: The placement of people or objects within the frame and the arrangements for actual movements within the frame or by the camera.
Conflict: Status of being paid for services in a commercial for one advertiser, thereby contractually preventing performing services in a commercial for a competitor.
Contact Sheet: The address book of a production, comprised of sheets that contain the phone and address of everyone on a show. These sheets are sometimes broken down and given out by department.
Continuity Sketches: (See Storyboard.)
Continuity: The narrative growth of a film created through a combination of visuals and sound (resembling the "story" in print literature). Also, matching everything done in a previous scene to look exactly as it did the first time.
Copy: The script for a commercial or voice over.
Corner: Short for the "prompt corner"; the place from which the Stage Manager controls the show. From here he has communication links to all parts of the theatre and gives cues to all departments. The corner can be on either side of the stage but traditionally it is on the left (i.e. the prompt) side. Perversely some theatres have the prompt corner on the "opposite prompt" (OP) side of the stage! The person who is operating the corner is sometimes said to be "in the corner" and sometimes "on the book".
Cornerblock: A piece of 1/4" plywood cut in the shape of a triangle, used to connect the stile to the rail on a flat.
Costume Plot: A list and description (breakdown) of every costume piece worn be every actor and character in a play.
Counterweight System: A type of rigging that uses weights to counterbalance horizontal battens containing scenery, curtains, or lighting equipment.
Craft Services: On-set catering.
Crane Shot: A shot taken from a boom that can move both horizontally and vertically, usually over or above the set or the action.
Crawl: Usually the end credits in a film or TV shot which "crawl" up the screen.
Credits: A performers experience listed on a resume. Also, reference or credit given to performers during the opening scene of a film or television show.
Cross: In blocking, to move from one area of the stage to another.
Cross-Cutting (parallel editing): A method of editing in which the point of view (p.o.v.) switches alternately from events at one location to those of another related action. The action is usually simultaneous and used to create a dynamic tension as in the chase scene in D.W. Griffith's A Girl and Her Trust. (See Intercutting for the distinction between cuts.)
Crossfade: A lighting action in which a particular light cue fades down as the next light cue fades up.
CSI: Compact Source Iodide: a type of discharge lamp, usually used in follow-spots, which, although very small (often no bigger than a finger nail), gives a very bright, white light. A 2K CSI lamp will give the same power as a 5K tungsten. These are, needless to say, very expensive.
Cue Lights: Specific lights used by the stage manager to cue backstage technicians and actors. Normally, when turned on functions as a warning and when turned off signals them to GO.
Cue Sheet: The page(s) used to note the cues given by the stage manager to the different technicians.
Cue: As a verb, the word may be used by the stage manager, who "cues" all technical personnel either verbally or on a light, and "cues" actors by giving them their line when they have forgotten it.
Cue-to-cue: A technical rehearsal that focuses on getting the physical production caught up with the acting by skipping over scenes or dialogue that have no technical cues in them in order to run the next cue.
Curtain Call: Taking a bow in front of the audience at the end of a show. Usually abbreviated to "curtain".
Curtain Line: 1) The line on the stage floor where the front curtain touches when brought in. 2) The final line in the play. Also called the Tag Line.
Curtain: In addition to it's normal definition relating to draperies, a term used to indicate the start or end of a performance such as "Five minutes to curtain" (five minutes to the start of the performance).
Cut and Hold: What the director calls out to have all principal action stop and freeze in their positions until told to release.
Cut: An individual strip of film consisting of a single shot; the separation of two pieces of action as a "transition" (used when one says "cut from the shot of the boy to the shot of the girl"); a verb meaning to join shots together in the editing process; or an order to end a take ("cut!").
Cut-out: A free-standing piece of scenery, e.g. a tree, cut out of board into the correct shape and painted.
Cutter: (See Editor.)
Cyc Lights: Type of powerful lighting instruments used to light the cyc with a smooth wash.
Cyclorama: Also known as a cyc. 1) A very large piece of white fabric, tensioned on two or more sides, which covers the entire back wall of the stage. It can be lit in various colors or have slides or gobos projected onto it. 2) A curved drop or wall used as a background to partially enclose the set. Quite often used to depict the sky. May be painted or lit.

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