Performing Arts A2 - Unit 4 - Report Secion (1 Specialism)

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Unit 4 - Report Section

For my Unit 4 Report Section I have chosen three areas of the performing arts industry to explore. They are Performer, Technical Support and Administration. These three different areas of the performing arts industry are key in the running of any production. In each of these areas there are many sub sections of individuals who are assigned to work in specific jobs. I have chosen to look at one individual role in each of these sections:

Performer = Actor

Technical Support = Stage Manager  

Administration = Advertisement  

Each of these specific roles require unique qualifications and experience. I am going to research in detail into each of these individual roles to identify the job process behind each of them.

Performer = Actor

What is an actor?

An actor is a person who conveys a role in an artistic production. An actor can apply to many genres of performing including live theatre, television, radio and movies. It can also apply to more unusual types of actor for example a street entertainer or the art of clowning. However in this “performer” part of the report I will be concentrating on a typical live theatre actor.

What is the job like?

Actors work under constant pressure. Actors face a constant stress to find their next job. Most acting jobs only last a short period of time—from 1 day to a few months—which means that actors can have a long time between jobs. Some actors have other jobs in order to make enough money. Actors work long and irregular hours. They may do one show at night and another during the day. They also might travel with a particular job. Evening and weekend work is a regular part of an actor's life. The most important things is for an Actor to be in good physical condition.

What skills are required to become an actor?

There are many necessary skills which are needed to become a ‘successful’ actor. These include:


All these skills are key in becoming a professional actor and are significant when an individual wants to go out into the professional business. All these skills are vital when entering into a company and are what casting directors look for when casting actors. The environment in which a professional actor works is very intimate and especially during rehearsal periods it is vital that the employed actor shares an enthusiasm and maintains a level of commitment. Also in this situation it is important that the actor works well with other actors in the company and is easy to work with. An actor should show self-belief but also be able to take advice and constructively use this to adapt their work. They should be easy to communicate with and should show a correct level of politeness when been directed. A professional actor should have the appropriate skills and experience to develop a role and have enough confidence in their own ability as an actor to put across their own thoughts. It is very important for an actor to be highly organised, prompt and show a high level of discipline. When employed into a company an individual should remain professional at all times and maintain a high standard. The life of an actor is a highly stressful one, actors are constantly searching for their next job but it is vital that an actor stays focused to their job and maintains a good physical condition because rehearsal and performance periods take a lot out of an actor and core physical strength is vital.

How does an actor achieve these key skills?

An actor usually gains these skills through education either in college, school or university. They can also gain skills through experience in many aspects of the performing arts and getting involved in performances and local productions. An actor may also wish to take external examinations to further enhance their qualifications and their skills, for example an individual may take exams with LAMDA or RADA which are highly acclaimed drama schools which do external exams in not just acting but musical theatre, verse and prose, mime and performance reading. The more experience and skills an actor has the more employable they become. If an individual can prove that they have skills in different areas of performance and that they are diverse and adaptive performers then they already look more employable the person with an A Level and no further experience. In the world of the performing arts an actor needs to have experience in the business but should also have evidence of qualifications and training to succeed.

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How does an actor use these skills to progress into the professional industry?

There are many paths an actor can take to progress in the professional industry. An actor might choose to take an undergraduate course in acting after school or college to further enhance his/her skills and enhance their employability. Some individuals may wish to go straight into the business and audition for plays to gain experience and get known in the business. Some may choose to find an agent who would look for employment for the individual. The performing industry is a highly competitive industry and ...

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