Actors

Also known as:  Actor Understudy, Actress, Dramatic Reader, Elocutionist, Monologist, Vaudeville Actor, Voice-Over Artist

ABOUT ACTOR CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Actors are entertainers; they bring a writer's world 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 criti ...
cism and rejection. Once hired, actors spend hours memorizing lines and rehearsing.

The work days can be very long, especially on film shoots. Stage productions usually require work in evenings, weekends and holidays. 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.

Besides roles in movies, T.V. 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.

Many struggle for years to make a living. Often, they need to take on 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 you auditions.

Although few actors ever achieve stardom, this can certainly be an exciting and financially rewarding career - what Shakespeare called the "passion to play."
SNAPSHOT Expand
Play parts in stage, television, radio, video, motion picture 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.
Leadership
LOW
Critical decision making
LOW
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
LOW
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Promote productions using means such as interviews about plays or movies.
Read from scripts or books to narrate action or to inform or entertain audiences, utilizing few or no stage props.
Sing and/or dance during dramatic or comedic performances.
Portray and interpret roles, using speech, gestures, and body movements in order to entertain, inform, or instruct radio, film, television, or live audiences.
Work with other crewmembers responsible for lighting, costumes, makeup, and props.
Attend auditions and casting calls in order to audition for roles.
Collaborate with other actors as part of an ensemble.
Learn about characters in scripts and their relationships to each other in order to develop role interpretations.
Perform humorous and serious interpretations of emotions, actions, and situations, using body movements, facial expressions, and gestures.
Work closely with directors, other actors, and playwrights to find the interpretation most suited to the role.
Study and rehearse roles from scripts in order to interpret, learn and memorize lines, stunts, and cues as directed.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Developing Objectives and Strategies Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Fine Arts Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Sociology and Anthropology Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
History and Archeology Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Memorization The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Originality The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
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