Also called: Actor, Actress, Comedian, Performer
Produced by CareerOneStop
Video transcript: skip transcript
Actors are entertainers. They bring a writer's words to life by portraying characters on stage, screen and radio. Though the career can be glamorous, the road to success is often long and difficult. Most actors have to compete for parts through auditions. They need to be able to handle criticism and rejection. Once hired, actors spend hours memorizing lines and rehearsing. The workdays can be very long, especially on film shoots. In addition to reciting lines, actors need to be able to impersonate a real or fictional character, often right down to particular mannerisms…even regional accents. Stage productions usually require work in the evenings, on weekends and holidays. Besides roles in movies, TV programs, and on stage, actors are employed in commercials, theme parks, and even teaching. Some roles call for singing and dancing. No formal education is required, although training at a university or dramatic arts school can refine important skills such as diction and movement. Actors can get performing experience in school or community productions, as well as in summer stock shows. Many actors struggle for years to make a living. Often they need to find other part-time work to supplement their acting income. It can be helpful to have an agent. Working on commission, talent agents promote their clients to directors and producers and may have an edge in getting an actor auditions. Although few actors ever achieve stardom, this can certainly be an exciting and financially rewarding career …what Shakespeare called the "passion to play."
What they do:Play parts in stage, television, radio, video, or film productions, or other settings for entertainment, information, or instruction. Interpret serious or comic role by speech, gesture, and body movement to entertain or inform audience. May dance and sing.
On the job, you would:
- Collaborate with other actors as part of an ensemble.
- Portray and interpret roles, using speech, gestures, and body movements, to entertain, inform, or instruct radio, film, television, or live audiences.
- Work closely with directors, other actors, and playwrights to find the interpretation most suited to the role.
Arts and Humanities
- music, dance, visual arts, drama, or sculpture
- English language
Math and Science
- sociology and anthropology
- customer service
- reading work related information
- talking to others
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- remember words, numbers, pictures, or steps
- communicate by speaking
- listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
- create new and original ideas
- notice when problems happen
People interested in this work like activities that include creating, designing, and making your own rules.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Social Orientation
You might use software like this on the job:
Web page creation and editing software
Video creation and editing software
Electronic mail software