Actors work in film, TV and the theatre.

What does an actor do?

An actor takes on a role in a performance, and pretends to be a character. You’ll use your voice, body and costumes to become the role you are playing. You’ll need to be highly creative and have a good memory for lines. You may be required to improvise, so being able to think on your feet is an important skill.

An actor could be working in:

  • television
  • film
  • radio
  • theatre

You may end up working on a traveling production or a long running drama. It’s a varied job role that often requires hard work and long hours. It’s also highly competitive. 

What do I need to do to become an actor?

There are a number of different routes to becoming an actor. Most actors study drama at a university or conservatoire. You’ll have to go through an audition or casting call before taking on a specific job. 

To get on to a relevant degree or diploma you may need 5 GCSEs A-C, including maths and English and at least two A levels. A level drama or theatre studies is desirable, but not essential. 

The most relevant vocational course would be a BTEC Diploma in Performing Arts. 

Related skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Discipline
  • Physical fitness
  • Teamwork

Academic route

  • At least two A levels, drama or theatre studies is desirable

Vocational route

  • BTEC Diploma in Performing Arts

Related subjects

  • Drama, music, and performing arts
  • English
  • Media studies

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

You’ll usually be self-employed and working with an agent or casting agency.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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