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Life As an Actor

Career Description 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.

Daily Life Of an Actor

  • Perform humorous and serious interpretations of emotions, actions, and situations, using body movements, facial expressions, and gestures.
  • Sing or dance during dramatic or comedic performances.
  • Introduce performances and performers to stimulate excitement and coordinate smooth transition of acts during events.
  • Promote productions using means such as interviews about plays or movies.
  • Dress in comical clown costumes and makeup, and perform comedy routines to entertain audiences.
  • Tell jokes, perform comic dances, songs and skits, impersonate mannerisms and voices of others, contort face, and use other devices to amuse audiences.

Things an Actor Should Know How to Do

These are the skills Actors say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

  • Television Actor
  • Stunt Performer
  • Community Theater Actor
  • Soubrette
  • Illusionist

Are There Job Opportunities for Actors?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 63,800 jobs in the United States for Actor. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 11.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 7,400 new jobs for Actor by 2026. The BLS estimates 7,400 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Actors in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Actor are Utah, Georgia, and Iowa. Watch out if you plan on working in Kansas, Nebraska, or Idaho. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What Tools do Actors Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Actors may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Linux
  • Facebook
  • FileMaker Pro
  • YouTube
  • Apple Final Cut Pro
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Website development software

How to Become an Actor

Education needed to be an Actor:

Actor Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become an Actor?

Actor Work Experience

Where Actors Work

Actor Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Actors work:

Actor Industries

Are you already one of the many Actor in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


Image Credit: Donald Judge via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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