OFO No: 265501





Other names for Actor:

  • Actress
  • Mime Artist
  • Performance Artist
  • Voice-over Artist


Youtube clip – The Career of an Actor

For training options in South Africa – scroll down


What is an Actor / Actress?

Actors perform on stage in a theatre, on the radio, on television, or in movies.

It’s hard for most actors to find steady work. Only a few become famous ‘stars’. Some actors work as ‘extras’. Actors can also teach in high school or in college drama departments.

Actors work under constant pressure. Many face stress finding their next job. Actors need patience.

Most acting jobs only last a short period of time which means they can have a long wait between jobs. Some actors have a second, different job in order to make enough money.

Actors work long and strange 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.

Work varies enormously from the live stage performances to television soaps and film parts.

Actors have to be passionate and self-disciplined.

It’s a highly competitive business.  Be prepared for endless auditions and self promotion until you get established.

What does an Actor / Actress do?

  • self-promotes
  • networks
  • prepares for and attends auditions
  • learns lines and rehearses
  • researches material to help prepare for a part
  • does voice-overs for adverts
  • performisin a studio for film, television or radio broadcasts….and most importantly…
  • opens lots of fan mail!!!

Are you … ?

  • theatrical?
  • passionate about acting?
  • literate?
  • a person with a strong speaking voice?
  • uninhibited?
  • confident?
  • able to handle criticism?
  • hard worker?
  • dedicated?
  • self disciplined?
  • team player?
  • a reader?

How do I become an Actor / Actress?

Actors usually train at an acting school/college or university, however, some people enter the field without formal training.

Those who want a bachelor’s degree take classes in radio and television broadcasting, communications, film, theatre, drama, or dramatic literature.  Many continue their training and get a master’s degree in fine arts.

Training may include classes in stage speech and movement, directing, playwriting, and design, as well as acting workshops.

Here are a few options you may consider:

  • Some Universities of Technology 

National Diploma or BTech in Drama, Musical Theatre or Performing Arts

  • Some SA Universities

A Bachelor of Arts in Drama, Stage Craft or Performing Arts

  • Some private institutions

Offer various performing arts training

Minimum requirements:  Each institution has its own set of requirements.  Students wanting to study acting will have to first pass an audition too.

Here are some other acting schools:

  •  NATIONAL SCHOOL OF ARTS: (Johannesburg)

Is a specialist SCHOOL (as in Grade 9 –12) specialising in Arts


Offers Drama



  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. 
  • CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


Youtube examples of Oscar winning acting performances:


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Comedian … or … Television Presenter

Is becoming an Actor / Actress the right career choice for me?