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The Office of Career Services
Library Building, Room 429 & 430
222-05 56th Avenue
Bayside, NY 11364
Phone: (718) 631-6297

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Occupation Info


Actor/Actress

Overview: Actors portray the role of persons in plays or in advertising commercials on TV, the movies, stage, or radio. Many actors perform only on a part-time basis while being employed in other kinds of work or while pursuing studies for a degree or certificate.
Duties: Actors/actresses work through business agents who arrange for opportunities to audition for a role in a theatrical performance, movie or an advertising commercial on radio or TV.

Actors/actresses study and practice a new script for each audition. They confer with the producer to learn about the role to be portrayed and the style of speech and body language desired.

Actors/actresses interpret a new part or role in order to develop the character's personality as desired by the author and producer. They rehearse with co-actors to smooth out the acting interactions. Actors/actresses read and analyze supplementary background information about the character portrayed in sources such as history books, the archives or earlier works by the author.

Degree(s): A.S. Visual and Performing Arts: Art & Photography Concentration 
A.S. Visual and Performing Arts: Dance Concentration 
A.S. Visual and Performing Arts: Music Concentration 
A.S. Visual and Performing Arts: Theatre Arts Concentration 
A.S. Visual and Performing Arts: Interdisciplinary Concentration  
Job Outlook: Employment of actors/actresses is expected to grow as fast as average through 2018.Expanding cable and satellite TV and increasing public interest in movies will spur demand. Competition will be keen.
Starting Salary: Because of irregular work, beginners' salaries are generally quite low and must be supplemented by other part time jobs.
Salary Range (National Average): $32,000 to $37,000
Education Level: The typical training required for this career is generally a High School Degree or GED Certificate.
Additional Training/Education: Training for acting positions can be obtained at dramatic art schools and colleges and universities offering bachelors' degrees in dramatic and theater arts. College curriculums usually include courses in liberal arts, stage, speech and movement, directing, playwriting, drama history and play production as well as practical acting courses. Local and regional theater experience is essential while you train.
Advancement Info: As the reputations of actors grow, they are able to work in larger productions or theaters. Actors may also advance to lead roles. Some actors become drama coaches or directors. Some teach drama in colleges and universities.
Recommended Skills:
  • Paying attention to what other people are saying, and taking time to understand the points being made.
  • Dance, drama, music, that is, things that are performed in front of an audience.
  • The ability to understand complex written paragraphs, instructions, or reports.
  • Talking, giving speeches, or speaking in a group to convey information, explain ideas, or give instructions.
Recommended Values:
  • Being able to express creative ideas through the arts.
 

* National data collected by the Department of Labor between 2008-2012.
* For New York salary data information please click here
* For New York green job information please click here.

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.