Actor or Actress

Actor or Actress


The role of the Professional Actor or Actress is the portrayal of characters in dramatic productions. The performance may be given on stage before a theatre audience, or may be recorded for radio, television or film audiences. This Occupation is a Talent.

Work Activities

An Actor or Actress, in order to be assured of a successful livelihood, must be capable of interpreting and undertaking a wide variety of roles.

Acting is both an art and a craft. Interpretation represents the art of acting, and communication the craft – hence stage-craft. In developing the character being portrayed, the Actor or Actress works in co-operation with the producer/director and fellow Actors/Actresses, so as to realise the full intentions of the author and the producer/director, thus stimulating the desired audience response.

In addition to performing in dramatic presentations, Actors or Actresses may be employed by commercial firms for advertising. They may also find employment in the film world.

Personal Qualities and Skills

You must be versatile, extremely committed and determined. You should be able to get on with your colleagues, as you may spend a long time working and even living with them.

You must be self-confident and able to take rejection. You will also need to have a good memory in order to learn your lines. Actors or actresses are often also talented singers and dancers.

Pay and Opportunities

Salaries vary considerably. Work can be irregular and very lowly paid. Many actors have other, concurrent jobs. Many actors try to place themselves with an agent who can source work for them. Currently equity states a minimum of EUR446.26 per week for theatre work. Successful actors will earn multiples of this.

Entry Routes and Training

Many people who are interested in acting as a career join an academy or school of acting and receive training in the various aspects of dramatic art before seeking employment on the stage. Others may enter the profession as a result of having previously gained some experience in amateur drama.

Backstage work in a theatre may also provide knowledge that could lead to an acting career. Whatever channel the aspirant uses in an effort to enter professional theatre, radio or television.


First rank Actors or Actresses generally are persons of considerable intelligence and many have third level education. The more literate a player is the better chance he/she has of understanding fully a wider range of parts. However, evidence of acting ability is more important than academic qualifications and those who show talent for acting are accepted in the world of drama though lacking in formal educational achievements.

The entrance requirements for courses vary and the individual college prospectus should be consulted.

[source: Actor or Actress]