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Actors may do some or all of the following:

  • audition for parts in performances on stage, in film or on television
  • study scripts to understand the part they are playing
  • research their character
  • memorise and rehearse their character's lines, cues and physical movements
  • discuss their character with the director and the other actors they work with
  • act out the role for an audience or in front of a camera
  • improvise parts of their character's personality or actions during rehearsal or in front of an audience.

Actors need to have:

  • knowledge of how people behave and speak so that they can create believable characters
  • the ability to project their voice to fill a room
  • knowledge of body language and movement
  • knowledge of a variety of books, plays, and poetry
  • knowledge of different cultures
  • skill in interpreting and analysing roles
  • small business skills, including the ability to market and promote themselves
  • creative ability
  • memorising skills
  • research skills
  • good communication and listening skills.


Other skills, such as playing a musical instrument, singing or dancing, are also useful.


Actors need to be:

  • disciplined and motivated
  • confident in themselves and their ability, and dedicated to acting
  • creative and imaginative
  • observant
  • able to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • able to take direction
  • able to work well as part of a team
  • able to turn up to productions prepared and on time.