Question: Hi - I am a beginning actor, and recently got my headshots done. I also am engaged to be married next year. Should I print my to-be married name on my headshots (even though I am not officially married yet) or my maiden name? --Jen
Answer:Very good question. The answer is quite simple. You can print whatever name you'd like to use as your stage name. If you want to be known in the industry as Jen Maidenname then go with that. If you prefer to be known as Jen Marriedname, there is no problem using that one even if you aren't married yet. Many actors (especially popular in the 40's and 50's) have changed their names completely (i.e. Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, and Jackie Gleason!). So whatever name you choose to print on your resume is acceptable as long as that's how you want to be known as in the industry.
The one to keep in mind when deciding what name to use is that in any of the unions there can only be one 'Jen Marriedname.' If you still wanted to go that route, you'd have to go professionally by adding a middle name to differentiate the two actors.