Actors

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About the 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.

It is also Called

  • Voice-Over Artist
  • Ventriloquist
  • Vaudeville Actor
  • Tour Actor
  • Thrill Performer
  • Theatrical Trouper
  • Theatrical Performer
  • Television Actor
  • Stunt Woman
  • Stunt Person
show all

What They Do

  • Manipulate strings, wires, rods, or fingers to animate puppets or dummies in synchronization with talking, singing, or recorded programs.
  • Perform original and stock tricks of illusion to entertain and mystify audiences, occasionally including audience members as participants.
  • Construct puppets and ventriloquist dummies, and sew accessory clothing, using hand tools and machines.
  • Dress in comical clown costumes and makeup, and perform comedy routines to entertain audiences.
  • Introduce performances and performers to stimulate excitement and coordinate smooth transition of acts during events.
  • Write original or adapted material for dramas, comedies, puppet shows, narration, or other performances.
  • Prepare and perform action stunts for motion picture, television, or stage productions.
  • Promote productions using means such as interviews about plays or movies.
  • Read from scripts or books to narrate action or to inform or entertain audiences, utilizing few or no stage props.
  • Tell jokes, perform comic dances, songs and skits, impersonate mannerisms and voices of others, contort face, and use other devices to amuse audiences.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: SC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Social interests, but also prefer Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Achievement and Recognition in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • 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.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • 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.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Preparation Required

These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

Wages

In 2016, the average hourly wage in California was $53/hr

Outlook

1.17%
avg. annual growth

During 2012, this occupation employed approximately 34,200 people in California. It is projected that there will be 38,200 employed in 2022.

This occupation will have about 400 openings due to growth and about 1,100 replacement openings for approximately 1,500 total annual openings.