Actors Job Description video

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Actors are entertainers. They bring a writer's words to life by portraying characters on stage, screen and radio. Though the career can be glamorous, the road to success is often long and difficult. Most actors have to compete for parts through auditions. They need to be able to handle criticism and rejection. Once hired, actors spend hours memorizing lines and rehearsing. The workdays can be very long, especially on film shoots. Stage productions usually require work in evenings, weekends and holidays. In addition to reciting lines, actors need to be able to impersonate a real or fictional character, often right down to particular mannerisms…even regional accents. Besides roles in movies, TV programs, and on stage, actors are employed in commercials, theme parks, and even teaching. Some roles call for singing and dancing. No formal education is required, although training at a university or dramatic arts school can refine important skills such as diction and movement. Actors can get performing experience in school or community productions, as well as in summer stock. Many struggle for years to make a living. Often they need to take on part-time work to supplement their acting income. It can be helpful to have an agent. Working on commission, talent agents promote their clients to directors and producers and may have an edge in getting you auditions. Although few actors ever achieve stardom, this can certainly be an exciting and financially rewarding career…what Shakespeare called the "passion to play."

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