Actors have the exciting job of playing characters in a number of different traditional and non-traditional formats. The goal of most actors is to become a well-known, household name. The reality for most actors is a tough, competitive environment, which comes with a lot of waiting around and auditions. After leaving drama school or other forms of education, most actors get extra work, small roles and act in adverts or indie productions. Not everyone makes it in the acting world, but some actors do get that sought after lucky break.
Actors normally spend their time:
- Auditioning for parts
- Securing an agent who’ll help them get parts and manage their finances
- Performing in everything from TV ads to short films, plays (hopefully) TV shows and feature films... whatever gets them their big break!
- Doing a day job for living expenses while they explore roles to boost their acting CV
- If you’re creative, you’ll see it as a perk that you will often be asked to tweak your lines so they fit your character better and offer other kinds of creative input
- You will learn a number of random new life skills over your career, depending on the parts you play. You could learn anything from fencing and horse riding to close-up magic
- You get to do what you love and you might even see yourself on the big screen
- The variety of acting work is fantastic. You could end up travelling the world and seeing all kinds of locations
- You’ll meet loads of new people and be invited to all sorts of interesting events
- FAME FAME FAME FAME FAME. An acting career could be great for your self-confidence because of the praise for your work, and at the top levels everyone could know your name
- You’ll be asked to learn your lines and recite them. That means you have to read and remember things. There are only so many out-takes a TV or film crew can do before it stops being funny and starts being expensive
- If you take your role as a character actor too seriously and aren’t able to stop being the character once you’re off-set, your friends and family may end up finding you a pain in the neck
Useful Skills and Qualifications
Young people aged up to about 16 may choose to go to a specialist performing arts school. Most of these schools are private and charge fees, though. To become an actor, professional training usually begins once you have left school.
Acting is one of those jobs you can fall into without any training at all, but it’s best to prepare. Because there’s so much competition for acting parts, you’ll usually be better off with a university or drama school course. To get on one of these courses you’ll need five GCSEs including English, and A levels or a BTEC Diploma.