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What You Need to Know About Actor

Actor Definition 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?

  • Construct puppets and ventriloquist dummies, and sew accessory clothing, using hand tools and machines.
  • Tell jokes, perform comic dances, songs and skits, impersonate mannerisms and voices of others, contort face, and use other devices to amuse audiences.
  • Prepare and perform action stunts for motion picture, television, or stage productions.
  • Dress in comical clown costumes and makeup, and perform comedy routines to entertain 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.

Actor Needed Skills

When polled, Actors say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

Other Actor Job Titles

  • Impersonator
  • Movie Star
  • Performer
  • Mime
  • Movie Actor

Job Outlook 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. There will be an estimated 7,400 positions for Actor per 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.

What Tools do Actors Use?

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 to Become an Actor

Are there Actors education requirements?


What work experience do I need to become an Actor?


Where Actors Work


The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.


Other Jobs You May 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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