Home Explore Job Roles Actor / Actress

Job Description

Actors and Actresses will work in theatres, television, radio and film; they will use speech, movement and expression to bring characters to life. Some actors do voice-overs for animated projects, record audio books and are part of television commercials. Salary and hours can vary enormously, unsociable hours may be expected. Most actors sign-up with an agent who will negotiate wages.

Entry Requirements

You’ll usually need to spend time on a training course at a university or drama school. You could take a diploma, foundation degree, degree or postgraduate diploma in drama, or a relevant subject like:

  • performance studies
  • contemporary theatre and performance
  • acting
  • musical theatre

Drama UK has information on approved drama school and university courses. Approved courses give you the chance to perform in front of agents and casting directors.

With luck, experience and determination you may be able to find work without training.

Acting is a very competitive profession. You’ll need to get as much practical experience of acting as you can.

People with disabilities and special learning needs can get extra support from organisations like Shape Arts.

Creative Choices has more information about a career in acting.

Career Path and Progression

If you can show an agent you have potential they may put you forward for auditions and castings. Agents usually take a fee of about 10% to 25% from your earnings.

You could take further training and move into directing, scriptwriting, drama therapy or teaching.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Community arts worker
  • Dancer
  • Dramatherapist
  • Entertainer
  • Entertainment agent

National Government Policy states that all students should have achieved at least a Grade 4 or C Grade in English & Maths at GCSE.  Achieving this minimum grade in these subjects will increase the opportunities open to you, support your future career development and prospects.

Students who do not meet this standard will be supported to continue to study English and Maths through full-time education or an Apprenticeship.

Required Skills

  • Confidence
  • Creative flair
  • The ability to analyse scripts and to memorise dialogue
  • Self discipline
  • Determination
  • Reliability
  • Good communication and listening skills.

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