Career summary

Details for Actors


Description

Play parts in stage, television, radio, video, or motion picture productions 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.

Tasks

  • 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.
  • Perform humorous and serious interpretations of emotions, actions, and situations, using body movements, facial expressions, and gestures.
  • Study and rehearse roles from scripts to interpret, learn and memorize lines, stunts, and cues as directed.
  • Learn about characters in scripts and their relationships to each other to develop role interpretations.
  • Attend auditions and casting calls to audition for roles.
  • Sing or dance during dramatic or comedic performances.
  • Work with other crew members responsible for lighting, costumes, make-up, and props.
  • Tell jokes, perform comic dances, songs and skits, impersonate mannerisms and voices of others, contort face, and use other devices to amuse audiences.
  • Read from scripts or books to narrate action or to inform or entertain audiences, utilizing few or no stage props.
  • Promote productions using means such as interviews about plays or movies.
  • Prepare and perform action stunts for motion picture, television, or stage productions.
  • Write original or adapted material for dramas, comedies, puppet shows, narration, or other performances.
  • Introduce performances and performers to stimulate excitement and coordinate smooth transition of acts during events.
  • Dress in comical clown costumes and makeup, and perform comedy routines to entertain audiences.
  • Construct puppets and ventriloquist dummies, and sew accessory clothing, using hand tools and machines.
  • Perform original and stock tricks of illusion to entertain and mystify audiences, occasionally including audience members as participants.
  • Manipulate strings, wires, rods, or fingers to animate puppets or dummies in synchronization with talking, singing, or recorded programs.

Interests

  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Knowledge

  • Philosophy and Theology - Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • 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.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

Skills

  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Related careers

  • Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators
  • Floral Designers
  • Models
  • Music Composers and Arrangers
  • Singers
  • Talent Directors