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How To Become An Actor

The American Dream Job.

There are several types of actors and three levels of status that they will fall into. There are the "Common Actors” who have speaking roles in film or television. These are the most common type of actors and are what we will focus on throughout this booklet. The other types of actors are as follows:

  1. Background Actors – Extras who never speak and just fill in the space in a crowd.
  2. Commercial Actors – Primarily work only in commercials of various types.
  3. Voice Over, Cartoon, and Looping Actors – Provide their voices to cartoons, commercials and other shows where a voice is heard but no person.
  4. Industrial/Educational film Actors – work exclusively in films used for corporate training and education of others.
  5. Print Actors – Act with their faces and body posture for advertisements that appear in print form.

These will all be discuss in more detail in their own respective booklets.

There are several levels or functions of the common Actor. These are the featured actor, guest staring actor, recurring actor, co-staring or supporting actor, and the principal or staring actor.

  • The featured actor is one that only has one or two lines in a movie or in one episode of a television show.
  • The guest staring actor is one that may have many lines but only appears in one episode of a television show.
  • The recurring actor is one that has many lines as the same character in several episodes of a television show.
  • The co-staring or supporting actor is one that has many lines but is of lesser importance than the principal or staring actor in a movie or television show. In television they will appear in most if not all of the episodes.
  • The principal or staring actor is one that has most of the lines and has the biggest importance to a movie or television show. In television they appear in every episode of the show.

Obviously, the more lines or importance you have on a film or television show, the more money you will make. It should be your goal to figure out where you best fit (honestly) within this area so that you will become more successful. It will also help you move from the status of a struggling actor to that of a working actor.

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