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What Do Actor Do?

Example of Actor Job 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.

Life As an Actor: What Do They Do?

  • Tell jokes, perform comic dances, songs and skits, impersonate mannerisms and voices of others, contort face, and use other devices to amuse audiences.
  • Perform original and stock tricks of illusion to entertain and mystify audiences, occasionally including audience members as participants.
  • Perform humorous and serious interpretations of emotions, actions, and situations, using body movements, facial expressions, and gestures.
  • Work with other crew members responsible for lighting, costumes, make-up, and props.
  • Promote productions using means such as interviews about plays or movies.
  • Work closely with directors, other actors, and playwrights to find the interpretation most suited to the role.

Skills Needed to be an Actor

Below is a list of the skills most Actors say are important on the job.

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.

  • Movie Extra
  • Television Actor
  • Minstrel
  • Stand-In
  • Tour Actor

Is There Job Demand 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 7,400 job openings in this field each year.


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.

Tools & Technologies Used by Actors

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Actors:

  • 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 do I Become an Actor?

Are there Actors education requirements?


How Long Does it Take to Become an Actor?


Where Actors Work


Below are examples of industries where Actors work:


You May Also Be Interested In…

Those who work as an Actor sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


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

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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