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Career and Education Opportunities for Actors in New Orleans, Louisiana

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for actors in the New Orleans, Louisiana area. There are currently 1,270 working actors in Louisiana; this should grow by 93% to 2,450 working actors in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for actors, which sees this job pool growing by about 12.8% over the next eight years. In general, actors play parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions for entertainment, information, or instruction.

The average wage in the general category of Theater, Film, and Television jobs is $20 per hour or $40,860 per year in Louisiana, and an average of $29 per hour or $64,430 per year nationwide. Jobs in this field include: elocutionist, aerialist, and second.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of New Orleans where you can study to be an actor, among thirty-two schools of higher education total in the New Orleans area. Actors usually hold less than a high school diploma, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be an actor if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Actor

Actor video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, actors play parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. They also interpret serious or comic role by speech, gesture, and body movement to entertain or inform audience.

Actors study and rehearse roles from scripts so as to interpret, learn and memorize lines, stunts, and cues as directed. They also attend auditions and casting calls so as to audition for roles. Equally important, actors have to work closely with directors and playwrights to discover the interpretation most suited to the role. They are often called upon to learn about characters in scripts and their relationships to each other in order to optimize role interpretations. They are expected to portray and interpret roles, using speech and body movements so as to entertain or instruct radio, film or live audiences. Finally, actors coordinate with other crewmembers responsible for lighting and props.

Every day, actors are expected to be able to speak clearly. They need to articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for actors to promote productions using means such as interviews about plays or movies. They are often called upon to sing and/or dance during dramatic or comedic performances. They also construct puppets and ventriloquist dummies, and sew accessory clothing, using hand tools and machines. They are sometimes expected to read from scripts or books to narrate action or to inform or entertain audiences, utilizing few or no stage props. Somewhat less frequently, actors are also expected to ready and perform action stunts for motion picture or stage productions.

Actors sometimes are asked to write original or adapted material for dramas or other performances. They also have to be able to introduce performances and performers so as to stimulate excitement and direct smooth transition of acts during events and perform original and stock tricks of illusion to entertain and mystify audiences, occasionally including audience members as participants. And finally, they sometimes have to ready and perform action stunts for motion picture or stage productions.

Like many other jobs, actors must be reliable and believe in an agile approach to problem solving and deal with change.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in New Orleans include:

  • Artistic Director. Audition and interview performers to select most appropriate talent for parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions.
  • Choreographer. Create and teach dance. May direct and stage presentations.
  • Dancer. Perform dances. May also sing or act.
  • Director. Interpret script, conduct rehearsals, and direct activities of cast and technical crew for stage, motion pictures, or radio programs.
  • Fine Artist. Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of mediums and techniques.
  • Music Composer. Write and transcribe musical scores.
  • Music Director. Direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.
  • Musician. Play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.
  • Producer. Plan and coordinate various aspects of radio, television, or motion picture production, such as selecting script, coordinating writing, directing and editing, and arranging financing.
  • Program Director. Direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in preparation of radio or television station program schedules and programs.
  • Singer. Sing songs on stage, radio, or motion pictures.
  • Technical Director. Coordinate activities of technical departments, such as taping, editing, and maintenance, to produce radio or television programs.
  • Writer. Create original written works.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Actor Training

Loyola University New Orleans - New Orleans, LA

Loyola University New Orleans, 6363 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118-6143. Loyola University New Orleans is a small university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,474 students and an admission rate of 61%. Loyola University New Orleans has 2 areas of study related to Actor. They are:

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree.
  • Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree.

Dillard University - New Orleans, LA

Dillard University, 2601 Gentilly Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70122. Dillard University is a small university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 851 students and an admission rate of 35%. Dillard University has a bachelor's degree program in Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft, Other Specialties which graduated one student in 2008.

University of New Orleans - New Orleans, LA

University of New Orleans, 2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA 70148. University of New Orleans is a large university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,428 students and an admission rate of 55%. University of New Orleans has a master's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated thirty-one students in 2008.

Tulane University of Louisiana - New Orleans, LA

Tulane University of Louisiana, 6823 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118-5698. Tulane University of Louisiana is a large university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,157 students and an admission rate of 27%. Tulane University of Louisiana has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated two and two students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

AmSAT Certified Teacher: Certified Alexander Technique Teachers have completed a 3 year, 1600 hour course at an AmSAT certified teacher training center.

For more information, see the American Society for the Alexander Technique website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana photo by Krakers

New Orleans is located in Orleans Parish County, Louisiana. It has a population of over 311,853, which has shrunk by 35.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in New Orleans, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in New Orleans cost $139,700 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, eight hundred eighty-two new homes were built in New Orleans, down from 1,026 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in New Orleans are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 25.8% of New Orleans residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in New Orleans is 9.8%, which is greater than Louisiana's average of 7.1%.

The percentage of New Orleans residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.1%, is less than both the national and state average. All Saints Catholic Church, Iglesia Bautista Getsemani and Mars Hill Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in New Orleans. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

New Orleans is home to the Keller Market and the New Orleans Country Club as well as Harris Playground and Hardin Playground. Shopping malls in the area include Carrollton Shopping Center, Read Boulevard Shopping Center and Read Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to New Orleans can choose from Rampart Street Connection, Lafitte Guest House and HAMPTON INN & SUITES CONV CTR for temporary stays in the area.