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Actors and Comedians

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NOC:5135
Occupation:Actors and Comedians
Category:Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

About the job

Nature of work:

Actors and comedians perform roles in motion picture, television, theatre and radio productions to entertain a variety of audiences. Actors entertain and communicate with people through their interpretation of dramatic roles. They are employed by motion picture, television, theatre and other production companies.

This group also includes acting teachers employed by private acting schools that train students in interpreting scripts, teach them about speech, movement, and dramatic theory, and help them to prepare for acting auditions.

Job duties:
Actors and comedians perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Study and rehearse lines, gestures and expressions to interpret a role.
  • Portray roles in video or motion picture productions, television shows, theatre productions, radio dramas, commercials and other productions or perform the narration.
  • Sing or dance as required by specific roles.
  • Perform comedy acts in nightclubs alone or as members of comedy troupes.
  • Improvise a role.
Acting teachers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Train students in interpretation of scripts, speech, movement, and dramatic theory.
  • Prepare acting students for specific auditions and performances.
Sample job titles:
  • acting teacher - private or studio
  • actor/actress
  • diction coach
  • drama coach
  • extra, performing arts
  • film dubber
  • narrator
  • stand-up comedian
  • voice coach
  • voice-over actor
Skills:

To work as an actor, you should be dedicated, motivated, and willing to accept constructive criticism. Talent, creativity, and technical skills are essential. You must be comfortable working with others and performing before an audience. Self-discipline and a good business sense are also helpful.

Job requirements:
  • Acting programs are offered at universities, colleges and private acting schools.
  • Membership in a guild or union may be required.
Other considerations:

Demonstrated ability, based on an audition or previous acting roles, is an important hiring criteria. Acting teachers usually require experience as actors.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Undetermined

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia, with employment around 150. With a small percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are not expected to be a major contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Actors and Comedians most commonly work part-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically temporary positions (such as a term, contract, or casual work). Also, a large percentage of the workforce is self-employed which should be an important consideration for those thinking about employment in the occupation.

In 2010, the median employment income for Actors and Comedians was $8,926. In comparison, the median employment income among all occupations in Nova Scotia was $33,187
(Source: 2011 National Household Survey)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2011Estimated change in employment between 2015 and 2017Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2015-2017Estimated rate of unemployment in 2014 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2010
Actors and Comedians150xxx
Minimum:  N/A
Median:  N/A
Maximum:  N/A
Minimum: $1,844
Median: $8,926
Maximum: $39,765
Occupations in Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport9,750Moderate Growth705Moderate
Minimum: $10.50
Median: $18.00
Maximum: $33.69
Minimum: $2,289
Median: $19,980
Maximum: $58,961
Actors and ComediansCompared to: Occupations in Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport
Percent employed full-time10%61%
Percent self-employed55%30%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentActors and ComediansCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern Regionxx12%$30,581
Northern Regionxx16%$33,660
Cape Bretonxx12%$32,974
Halifax79%$10,07248%$41,209
Annapolis Valley14%x13%$32,958
Top 5 Industries of Employment% Employed
Information, Culture & Recreation77%
Other Industries23%
What are the workers like?
AgeActors and ComediansCompared to: Occupations in Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport
% Employed% Employed
15-2431%x
25-3424%13%
35-4414%21%
45-5417%34%
55-6410%26%
65+xx
Median Age3442
GenderActors and ComediansCompared to: Occupations in Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport
% Employed% Employed
Female66%55%
Male34%45%
EducationActors and ComediansCompared to: Occupations in Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high schoolxx5.8%$2,298
High school13.8%$3,22222.5%$7,127
Trades certificatexx4.3%$13,575
College certificate or diplomaxx21.9%$20,158
University certificate or diploma13.8%$3,9504.4%$20,801
Bachelor's degree48.3%$8,91828.7%$19,705
University advanced certificate or diplomaxx3.0%$18,274
Master's degree17.2%$5,5118.1%x
Doctoratexx1.2%$30,975
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryxx0.2%$11,741
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Neptune Theatre School
1593 Argyle Street
Halifax, NS B3J 2B2
Tel: (800) 565-7345
Fax: (902) 429-1211
info@neptunetheatre.com
ACTRA Performers Guild
103 - 1660 Hollis Street
Halifax, NS B3J 1V7
Tel: (902) 420-1404
Fax: (902) 422-0589
maritimes@actra.ca
Theatre Nova Scotia
1113 Marginal Road
Halifax, NS B3H 4P7
Tel: (902) 425-3876
Fax: (902) 422-0881
theatrens@theatrens.ca
Nova Scotia Tourism Talent
2089 Maitland Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2Z8
Tel: (800) 948-4267
Fax: (902) 422-0184
jobs@tourism.ca
National Theatre School of Canada
5030 rue Saint-Denis
Montreal, QC H2J 2L8
Tel: (514) 842-7954
Fax: (514) 842-5661
info@ent-nts.ca

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Drama and dramatics/theatre arts - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the general study of dramatic works and their performance. These programs include courses in major works of dramatic literature, dramatic styles and types, and the principles of organizing and producing full live or filmed productions.
See all institutions providing this program+
Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
agi@acadiau.ca
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
University of King's College
6350 Coburg Road
Halifax, NS B3H 2A1
(902) 422-1271
admissions@ukings.ca
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Program Name:Theatre/theatre arts management
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply business management principles to the management of theatres and production corporations. These programs include courses in theatrical production, theatre design and planning, fund-raising and promotion, investment strategies, human resources management, theatre operations management, marketing, public relations, financial management and insurance, and applicable laws and regulations.
See all institutions providing this program+
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.