Actors use speech and body language to portray characters and situations. This is usually based on a script created by an author, but may sometimes involve improvisation. Acting work varies widely, as it may involve performing in a wide range of settings. Some actors combine their acting skills with singing and dancing, especially within musical theatre.
As well as acting, actors spend a lot of time studying their roles, learning lines and rehearsing. They also need to prepare for and attend auditions for a variety of different medium including live theatre, television plays and series, films, radio and advertisements. Actors usually work as part of a team, under the instruction and support of a director.
Hours can be long and irregular, often including evenings and weekends. Actors in touring companies often spend long periods away from home.
The work can take place in all kinds of settings - indoors in theatres, rehearsal rooms and film or television studios, or outdoors in street theatre or on location in film or television acting. Some roles may involve wearing uncomfortable costumes for long periods.
To be an actor you should:
If you would like to know anything about Actor that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Conference of Drama Schools
PO Box 34252
Creative and Cultural Skills
Tel: 0800 093 0444
Shape UK (disability arts organisation)
LVS Resource Centre
356 Holloway Road
Tel: 020 7619 6160
Minicom: 020 7619 6161
Upper St Martin’s Lane
Tel: 020 7379 6000
Tel: 08080 300 900