Actors and Comedians

(NOC 5135)

in All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

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 Outlook

Undetermined

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  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate openings due to growth and retirements not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 735 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. 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).

The median employment income for 13% of Actors and Comedians who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$6,347

Median

N/A

Maximum

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

Hourly Pay

$10.81

Minimum

$16.00

Median

$31.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$945

Minimum

$11,712

Median

$60,447

Maximum

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.

By the numbers

Quick look

105

employed in 2016

30.0%

employed full-time

28.6%

self employed

52.2%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
47.8%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
26.6

median age

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

11,000

employed in 2016

59.4%

employed full-time

33.3%

self employed

55.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
44.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
38.2

median age

Where will I likely work?

73.9%

Halifax

10.9%

Annapolis Valley

6.5%

Cape Breton

4.3%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

65.2%

Information, Culture & Recreation

17.4%

Educational Services

8.7%

Food and Beverage Product Manufacturing

8.7%

Other Professional Services

What is the age of Employment?

37.8%

15-24

24.3%

55-64

21.6%

25-34

8.1%

45-54

5.4%

35-44

5.4%

65+

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

43.8%

35-44

35.4%

45-54

12.5%

25-34

8.3%

55-64

4.2%

65+

Top levels of education

46.7%

High school

$4,042 median annual income
33.3%

Bachelor's degree

$15,647 median annual income
10.0%

Less than high school

N/A
6.7%

College certificate or diploma

N/A

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

27.5%

Bachelor's degree

$19,705 median annual income
26.2%

High school

$7,127 median annual income
20.3%

College certificate or diploma

$20,158 median annual income
10.2%

Less than high school

$2,298 median annual income
8.0%

Master's degree

N/A

Education & training

Drama and dramatics/theatre arts - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

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.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Theatre/theatre arts management

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

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.

Institutions providing this program

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Neptune Theatre School
1593 Argyle Street
Halifax, NS B3J 2B2
Tel: (800) 565-7345
Fax: (902) 429-1211
ACTRA Performers Guild
103 - 1660 Hollis Street
Halifax, NS B3J 1V7
Tel: (902) 420-1404
Fax: (902) 422-0589
Theatre Nova Scotia
1113 Marginal Road
Halifax, NS B3H 4P7
Tel: (902) 425-3876
Fax: (902) 422-0881
Nova Scotia Tourism Talent
2089 Maitland Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2Z8
Tel: (800) 948-4267
Fax: (902) 422-0184
National Theatre School of Canada
5030 rue Saint-Denis
Montreal, QC H2J 2L8
Tel: (514) 842-7954
Fax: (514) 842-5661

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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