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Many children dream of being successful actors; most of them grow out of it but for some it is not a dream that can easily be let go. Acting is a career that requires total dedication and a willingness to continue when times get tough.
Acting is the portrayal of a character, feeling or situation to an audience, bringing it to life by speech, expression and movement. It can involve following a script and the instruction of a director, or individual interpretation and improvisation. Working conditions can vary depending on whether an actor is acting on stage, film or television.
As well as performing, typical responsibilities of an actor can include:
Jobs are mostly short-term contracts and full-time, on-going work is hard to find. When in work, hours can be irregular and, arguably more so in film, there can be a lot of waiting around between scenes or during retakes. Travelling between jobs could be required if filming on location, unless the filming is based in a studio.
Inevitably, an actor will hire an agent to find them work and auditions. Casting companies can also be useful. Whilst “lucky breaks” are not unheard of in the industry, for the most part they are rare. Most actors will go through training at drama school or other companies before becoming professional. Even if television is the long-term goal, actors often start out with minor roles as extras, or in unpaid amateur stage productions.
Television production companies will often hire actors directly for a programme, so having an agent or having details on a casting agency website can be very important.
The bottom line is: in order for an actor to be successful, they need to be seen. Performing as much as possible and working extremely hard to publicise talent can go a long way.