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What They Do

Actors Career Video

About This Career

Plays parts in stage, television, radio, video, or film productions, or other settings for entertainment, information, or instruction. Interprets serious or comic role by speech, gesture, and body movement to entertain or inform audience. May dance and sing.

This career is part of the Arts, Audio-Video Technology and Communications cluster Performing Arts pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Collaborates with other actors as part of an ensemble.
  • Portrays and interprets roles, using speech, gestures, and body movements, to entertain, inform, or instruct radio, film, television, or live audiences.
  • Works closely with directors, other actors, and playwrights to find the interpretation most suited to the role.
  • Performs humorous and serious interpretations of emotions, actions, and situations, using body movements, facial expressions, and gestures.
  • Studies and rehearses roles from scripts to interpret, learn and memorize lines, stunts, and cues as directed.
  • Learns about characters in scripts and their relationships to each other to develop role interpretations.
  • Attends auditions and casting calls to audition for roles.
  • Sings or dances during dramatic or comedic performances.
  • Works with other crew members responsible for lighting, costumes, make-up, and props.
  • Tells jokes, performs comic dances, songs and skits, impersonates mannerisms and voices of others, contorts face, and uses other devices to amuse audiences.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overnight travel
  • Overtime work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Actress
  • Comedian
  • Comic
  • Community Theater Actor
  • Ensemble Member
  • Narrator
  • Performer
  • Tour Actor
  • Voice-Over Artist