If you can see yourself holding the next Best Actor trophy at the Academy Awards then you might have a future as an actor. In this profession, you will have the chance to play different roles on film, television or theater. You will get the opportunity to entertain an audience and even inspire them with the characters you play. You will have the chance to earn a lot of money and be famous at the same time.
To succeed in this career, you will need to be very persistent and patient. The industry is very competitive and there are more actors than there are jobs available. You will need to develop whatever raw talent you have and continue to improve your craft so you can establish your reputation in the industry. Excellent memorization, reading and speaking skills are all prerequisites to succeed in this job. You must also be in good physical health as filming scenes for a movie or performing for theater can be very taxing and tiring.
The obvious draws to becoming an actor are fame and fortune. While these are indeed good reasons to pursue an acting career, they won’t be enough. True actors want to act because they get a sense of satisfaction in knowing that the movies or theater productions that they are part of entertain and uplift their audience. They get their fulfillment from the knowledge that their acting serves a greater purpose other than the popularity and money it brings them.
Actor Work Environment
The nature of the job of an actor is not as glamorous as what a lot of people believe. Actors work long and irregular hours, even on weekends, holidays and weekends. They may travel to locations within the country or abroad to shoot a film. Theater actors may tour across the country or perform shows daily while a production runs. They have to do what the scene requires, which can mean being drenched in water, subjected under the heat of the sun or sent crawling in the mud. They may have to contend with heavy and uncomfortable period costumes.
A stark reality that aspiring actors have to face is the fact that there can be long periods of unemployment in between jobs. Those who have not yet attained celebrity status often hold another job just to be able to pay the bills while waiting for their big break.
The May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the median hourly wage of actors is $22.15. No data exists for their annual wage since they don’t generally work fulltime year round. Since this is only the median wage, there are those that earned less and those that received more than this amount.
The agency reported in May 2012 that the median hourly wage for actors is $20.26 but the lowest 10 percent were only paid less than $8.92 per hour while the upper 10 percent were paid more than $90. Actors who have established themselves in the industry are given multimillion dollar contracts.
Actor Career Outlook
Although there is strong demand for movies, the employment of actors is only set to grow 4 percent for the period covering 2012 to 2022 which is slower than the average rate for all job types, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This rate factors in the reduced demand for theater actors due to the inability of small and mid-sized theaters to get financing for their productions. In the future, new job opportunities may be generated for actors by new platforms such as online television. Because of this dearth of jobs, competition is going to be fierce for various roles.
Strictly speaking, a bachelor’s degree is not necessary to become an actor. However, getting formal training in theater arts, drama or filmmaking will give actors an edge over those who don’t have one. Stage actors typically get a bachelor’s degree in theater arts in a university. Many actors continue to take acting classes from coaches throughout the course of their careers to improve their craft.