How to become an Actor

Overview, Courses, Exam, Colleges, Pathways, Salary

Entertainment & media


Who is Actor ?

An actor is an individual who portrays characters in plays, movies, television shows, or other forms of entertainment, using their skills in acting and interpretation.Actors are artists who embody a role in a manner that moves the audience to think and feel a certain way. They have the power to captivate their audiences by their skilled portrayal of various characters. Acting is more than just memorising and saying lines, it requires the actor to truly understand the character and accurately convey that understanding to the audience by manifesting the character through themselves. For each role, an actor has to spend hours training themselves by studying the character, memorising the lines, and rehearsing the scenes. Their main goal is to depict the persona of the character by delivering meticulously crafted performances that are entertaining, engaging, and impactful. They are also involved in promoting the productions they’re working on through interviews, television appearances, and social media. They can work in films, theatre, television, and other performing arts media. Actors are also involved in doing voice overs for animated features and narrations for audiobooks.

Depending upon the particular production, they also sing, dance, or fight as a part of their role. It takes years of practise to develop the skills required to be a successful actor, and actors never truly complete their training. Throughout their careers, they strive to improve their acting abilities. Many actors continue to train by attending workshops, rehearsals, or receiving coaching from a drama coach. Every role is unique, and an actor may need to learn a new skill for each one. For example, a role may necessitate learning to sing or dance, or an actor may be required to learn to speak with an accent, play a musical instrument, or participate in a sport. Many aspiring actors begin their careers by taking part in school plays or local theatre productions. Actors in television and film typically begin in minor roles or in independent films and work their way up.

Types of Actors:

There are various types of actors, including:

  • Stage actors: These performers work in live productions, including plays, musicals, and other theatrical performances.
  • Film actors: They work in movies and portray characters on-screen for cinematic storytelling.
  • Television actors: Actors who appear in television shows, series, and miniseries, often portraying recurring characters.
  • Voice actors: They use their voices to give voice to animated characters, video games, commercials, audiobooks, and voice-over work in various media.
  • Commercial actors: Actors specialising in commercials and promoting products or services through on-screen performances.
  • Leading actors: Actors typically play the central characters in a production, often carrying the narrative and driving the story forward.
  • Supporting actors: Actors who play secondary or supporting characters, providing depth and adding dimension to the story and its main characters.

These categories are not rigid; actors may work across different types depending on their skills, experience, and opportunities.

Typical day at work

What does Actor do?

  • Read the scripts thoroughly
  • Memorise the character’s dialogues in the scripts
  • Rehearse the scenes while paying attention to the body language, facial expression, and gestures
  • Research the character's personality traits and circumstances to deliver authentic performances
  • Audition for various roles in front of directors, producers, and casting agents to secure work opportunities
  • Take part in promotional events such as interviews, photoshoots, social media platforms
  • Take speech training and acting classes when required for a role
  • Discuss the role with the directors, producers, and fellow actors to refine the acting performance better

Abilities and Aptitude needed

What are the skills, abilities & aptitude needed to become Actor?

  • Creativity - is an important quality for actors. Actors interpret their characters' feelings and motivations in order to portray them in the most compelling way possible.
  • Memorization abilities - Actors must memorise a large number of lines prior to the start of filming or the premiere of a show. TV actors frequently appear on camera with little time to memorise scripts, and scripts are frequently revised or even written just moments before filming.
  • Persistence - Actors may audition for a variety of roles before landing a job. They must be able to accept and move on in the face of rejection.
  • Physical endurance - Actors must be in good physical condition to withstand the heat from stage or studio lights as well as the weight of heavy costumes or makeup. They may work long hours, including performing in more than one performance per day, and must do so without becoming exhausted.
  • Reading abilities - Actors must be able to read scripts and interpret how a writer has developed their character.
  • Communication abilities - Actors, especially stage actors, must say their lines clearly, project their voices, and pronounce words correctly so that audiences can understand them. In addition to these characteristics, actors must usually be physically coordinated in order to perform predetermined, sometimes complex movements with other actors, such as dancing or stage fighting, in order to complete a scene. For an actor, communication skills including verbal and nonverbal language are paramount in order to skillfully deliver dialogues and portray the character’s thoughts and emotions on screen. This requires strong body language & vocals as well as the memory to remember the lines. They should be highly observant and detail-oriented in order to accurately identify and embody the finer details that make up the character they play. They should be able to express emotions on cue through their gestures, accent, body language, and movement. They should be able to command a good stage presence and keep the audience engaged and interested in the character as well as the story throughout their performance. Their interpersonal skills and team working abilities are also important in order to work in close collaboration with the directors, producers, fellow actors and the rest of the cast and crew of the production.


Salary for Actor?

The salary of an "Actor" career can vary significantly based on a range of factors, such as the actor's experience, popularity, the scale of productions, the industry (film, television, theater, etc.), and the country or region they work in. 

  • Minimum Monthly Salary: The minimum monthly salary can typically range from INR 10,000 to INR 20,000 for entry-level or relatively unknown actors.
  • Maximum Monthly Salary: The monthly salary can typically range from INR 10,00,000 to several lakhs (or even more) per month for highly successful and popular actors.
  • Annual Salary: The annual salary may range from INR 1,20,000 to several crores (or even more) per year.
  • Highest Paying Job and Scope: In the acting career in India, the highest paying job would typically be lead roles in major Bollywood or high-budget regional films. A-list actors who are well-established, highly popular, and have a successful track record in delivering box office hits are often offered premium remuneration for their roles.

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How to become an Actor?

Entrance Exam

Entrance Exam for Actor ?


Which course I can pursue?


Which Industries are open for Actor?

  • Film industry
  • Media & Entertainment Industry
  • Media and Journalism Industry
  • Music Industry


Are there internships available for Actor?

The skill of Acting can only be developed through constant practice and training. After completing their courses, Aspiring Actors must look for coursework in additional skill areas, like singing, dancing, or playing instruments. Participating in Local theatre and other acting opportunities open doors to more paths in their career journey. Taking up minor roles in TV Commercials, Series, Stand-Ups and Talk Shows can benefit the career.

Career outlook

What does the future look like for Actor?

Actors in our society enjoy a popularity that gives them the power to influence the masses. With the digital streaming services on the rise, the number of work opportunities for actors has increased as well, leading to an increased demand for these skilled professionals. Acting is not a typical nine-to-five job with a regular schedule, instead, actors are often required to work whenever the filming schedule demands it. This includes working anytime from early mornings to late evenings, as well as on weekends or holidays.

The job may require local and international travel too, depending upon the specific project. Actors work in many settings including film studios, on-set locations, television studios. They are paid on a production-by-production basis in terms of their reputation in the industry, their popularity among the masses, and their experience in the field. After gaining sufficient experience in the field, many actors choose to branch out into other roles such as directing, producing, scriptwriting, singing, and even teaching acting. This is a fairly competitive field that demands its aspirants to be dedicated, determined, and persevering. It is critical to consider potential job opportunities when planning for the future. On the other hand, glamorous or potentially high-paying occupations, such as acting or music, typically have a surplus of applicants. Job opportunities may differ depending on industry, firm size, or geographic location. Even in crowded fields, there are job openings. Good students or qualified individuals should not be discouraged from pursuing training or entry.