Career Corner Life as an... actor

To be or not to be: that is the question. Well actually, the question we're approaching here is whether a career as an actor is right for you...

Thankfully, Luke from Stage School has three valuable tips to kickstart you on your way to a life as a thespian. For more exclusive Stage School content, follow us on Twitter @C4AmINormal, Facebook, under the same name, and Instagram @c4_aminormal and watch Stage School every weeknight at 5.30pm on E4!

If you ADORE being the centre of attention, have strong determination and most importantly, can act, then read on for our tips and advice on how to become an actor!


Would you consider a career as an actor?


Getting started

It's a good idea to take a relevant course early on - either at college, uni, or drama school. Useful subjects include musical theatre, acting, and performance studies. As acting is an extremely competitive profession, a good school or course will really help, and some may even offer the chance to perform in front of industry professionals. For a list of recommended schools, check out the list at the bottom of this article.



As mentioned in the introduction, determination is incredibly important as no doubt, you will experience rejection (everybody does!). If you're the type to give up after a rejection, then acting probably isn't the career for you. As well as this, a good memory, discipline, acting talent and creativity are all skills that you will require.


A day in the life

As an actor, your time will be taken up in a number of ways including attending costume fittings, learning lines, researching roles, and of course... going to many, many auditions!



It's important to note that only well-established actors will earn a high salary, so it's better to get into this industry for the passion rather than the dosh! Most actors are self-employed and will charge per performance or contract. Equity is the UK trade union for professional performers and lists minimum legal rates of pay. Find a link to this at the bottom of this article.


Environment and hours

It's impossible to offer a number of hours that you're likely to be working, as this differs from job to job. Most theatre performances take place in the evenings, with some during the day and you may be required to spend weeks or months away from home while you tour with a performance. If you working in television or film, the hours can also be very long.


What next?

Well, working towards that Oscar, of course! Other than acting, you could look into teaching, scriptwriting, or directing.

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