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Actor & Actress Profile

Actor & Actress Profile

Introduction

This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Actor & Actress. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Actor & Actress
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Actuary Work Information

  • Finding Suitable Work  

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    Working Duties Expected

    Actors bring to life characters created by playwrights and scriptwriters.

    A lot of their working life is spent rehearsing, for stage, TV or film productions.

    Finding the next job is a major part of an actor's life. Being able to live with rejection is essential.

    Skills such as singing and dancing can make finding work easier.

    Actors' working hours can be long and irregular, and may include evening and weekends. They work indoors in theatres and TV/film studios, but filming can also involve outdoor work.

    The minimum annual rate in a West End theatre is around £14,800. Outside London, this is around £12,200.

    Actors need to be:

    talented and determined
    physically fit, with good stamina and a strong, trained voice
    lively and creative
    good team workers, adaptable and versatile.

    They may work in theatre, television and film - their prospects depend on talent, self-discipline, and luck.

    Most actors do full professional training at drama school. Entry is very competitive. There are often no formal qualifications, although some courses specify GCSEs/S grades (A-C/1-3) or A levels. Candidates usually need to be at least 18, but most drama schools welcome adults between 25 and 30.

    Candidates have to take one or more auditions. They should also have evidence of an interest in acting, for example belonging to an amateur dramatic or community drama group.

    Some actors go into other work, such as directing, writing or teaching.

    What does the role encounter?

    The actor's job is to bring to life characters created by playwrights and scriptwriters. This means interpreting what the director of the play wants from them.

    A lot of their working life is spent rehearsing and preparing for performances, whether they are on stage, on TV or in the film studio. Once a play is running, performing becomes important.

    Teamwork is a major part of the work. A successful actor must be able to work well with other actors and all the technical members of the stage or TV crew.

    Actors also spend a lot of time trying to find the next job. It helps to be versatile, and skills such as singing and dancing can make finding work easier. Stunt artists, variety acts, comedians and mime artists are also part of the acting profession.

    The basic rate for an actor in a West End theatre is around £14,800 for nightly performances.

    What hours will I have to work?

    Working hours can be long and irregular, and may include evenings and weekends. However, there are strict rules on working hours and rest periods.

    Indoor work in theatres and TV and film studios is usually comfortable and warm, but rehearsal rooms can be unwelcoming. TV and film studio lights can be hot.

    Outdoor filming can be very uncomfortable and usually means a lot of sitting and standing around.

    Actors often spend time away from home, in the UK or other parts of the world.

    What level of salary/benefits can I expect?

    These figures are only a guide.

    The British Actors' union, Equity, negotiates minimum rates.

    The basic minimum rate for an actor in a West End theatre is around £14,800 for nightly performances and £17,400 for twice-nightly performances.

    Income in the provinces is around £12,200 for nightly performances and £13,300 for twice-nightly performances.
    Actors may earn much more than this as they build up a reputation, but many only find part-time work, so earn only a proportion.

    They may receive lodging allowances while working away from home.

    Some small-scale productions may work on a profit-sharing arrangement.

    What type of skills will I need?

    Actors need:

    talent
    to be self-disciplined and hardworking
    to fit well into a team
    a strong, trained voice
    a lively and creative personality
    stamina and good physical fitness
    self-confidence and resilience
    to be adaptable and versatile
    a good memory, this is essential to learn parts quickly
    knowledge and understanding of literature
    to listen to others' views.

    Career Progression:

    Actors can achieve larger parts through hard work and consistent good performances.

    Some move into directing, producing, writing or teaching.

    Very experienced mature character actors can sometimes make a second career playing older roles.

    Similar Types Of Job Roles & Industries:

    Arts Administrator
    Classical Musician
    Dramatherapist
    Dancer
    Entertainer
    Media Researcher
    Music Therapist
    Popular Musican
    Sound Engineer (Recording Industry)
    Sound Engineer (Theatre)
    TV/Film Camera Operator
    TV/Film Floor Manager
    TV/Film Production Assistant

    Further information can be found at:

    Conference of Drama Schools Ltd, PO Box 34252, London NW5 1XJ Website: www.drama.ac.uk

    Drama and Dance Officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Mac Neice House, 77 Malone Road, Belfast BT9 6AQ. 028 9038 5200.

    Equity, Guild House, Upper St Martin's Lane, London WC2H 9EG. 020 7379 6000. Website: www.equity.org.uk

    National Council for Drama Training, 1-7 Woburn Walk, London WC1H OJJ. 020 7387 3650. Website: www.ncdt.co.uk

    STAGEREGISTER, Letton Lodge, Alnmouth, Northumberland NE66 2RJ. Website: www.stageregister.com

    The Ulster Association of Youth Drama, Lagan Valley Island, Lisburn BT27 4RL. 028 9038 5685.

    Trade Journals/Publications:

    Contacts
    Spotlight
    The Stage


    Other Useful Actor & Actress Work Information

    We have a section available at this site on Actor & Actress job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

    Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
    Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

    Details of other Actor & Actress Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
    Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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