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Also known as film stars, movie stars or performers, actors portray characters in live and recorded or filmed productions. This may involve performance in theatre, opera, variety, film, radio, television or in commercials. Actors need to be determined, self-confident, and versatile, have a good memory, be patient and committed due to long rehearsal schedules, be able to retain performance levels, and cope with changing situations. To be successful within in the often cut-throat industry, Actors need to not only be very talented but gain recognition with industry contacts. Employment as an actor can be very sporadic, with long periods of unemployment between projects, thus gaining alternative employment is often not a requirement but a necessity.
An actor may perform the following tasks:
- study scripts, learn a part and interpret the role through speech, gesture and various other performance skills
- attend auditions for parts in productions, performing prepared or improvised pieces
- rehearse parts by memorising lines, cues and movements
- undertake extensive research for certain roles and productions
- under the guidance of a director, act the part of the film, television, stage or radio character in front of live audiences, cameras or microphones
- attend costume fittings
- sing and dance when required.
Qualifications to be an actor are not needed but can help with networking, gaining experience and getting auditions.