The allure of fame often draws many would-be actors into the field of drama. Hoping to make it big, many of these people try to gain parts in commercials, television shows and movies. Some people get into acting because they simply love drama. Whether your motivation is fame and fortune or simply practicing an art you love, the acting world has several different career options that will allow you to utilize your talent.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of available jobs for actors and actresses is expected to increase at an average rate through 2018. Without faster than average growth, competition for jobs is expected to remain fierce. Actors can perform in a variety of venues. Aside from movies and television, some actors work exclusively in areas like musical theater. Some may work in night clubs or amusement parks, where drama is an important element of the venue.
While some people become actors without any formal training, many do not. The BLS notes that formal training through a conservatory or college can be one of the best ways to ensure regular employment in this field. A bachelor's degree in drama, film or even broadcasting can help pave the way for employment, and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree can be even more valuable. The BLS reports a median hourly wage of $16.59 for actors in May 2008. The bureau also notes that guaranteed employment beyond three to six months is rare.
Teaching drama is a second career option for those who want to get into the acting field. Some schools have extensive fine and performing arts programs and employ drama teachers as part of their faculty. Other secondary teachers may teach English or communication in a public or private school system that offers drama as an extracurricular activity. Yet other teachers may teach at the community college or college level. It's possible to secure a position at a college teaching drama or a related field like communication with just a master's degree. According to the BLS, the median salary for teachers nationwide was $47,100 in May 2008, while the median salary for college professors was $58,830.
One specialized field of acting you may wish to consider is that of voice acting. Voice actors have a wide range of employment options. If you have a distinct voice or perhaps a wide range of voice and impressions you can do, a voice acting career might be the way to go. For instance, noted voice actor Don LaFontaine was known for his narration of movie trailers until his death in 2008. Voice actors can work on commercials, animated movies, video games and any other venue where voice acting is needed. Although no formal training is required to be a voice actor, taking a few basic acting and voice lessons may prove beneficial. Payscale.com notes that the going hourly rate for voice actors is anywhere from $10.13 to $49.13 as of October 2010.
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