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Career and Education Opportunities for Actors in Cambridge, Massachusetts

If you want to be an actor, the Cambridge, Massachusetts area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for actors sees this job pool growing by about 12.8% over the next eight years. Actors generally 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 $26 per hour or $54,840 per year in Massachusetts, and an average of $29 per hour or $64,430 per year nationwide. Actors work in a variety of jobs, including: theatrical performer, stand-in, and ring conductor.

There are 149 schools of higher education in the Cambridge area, including twenty within twenty-five miles of Cambridge where you can get a degree to start your career as an actor. Actors usually hold less than a high school diploma, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Cambridge 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.
  • Florist. Design, cut, and arrange live, dried, or artificial flowers and foliage.
  • 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

Regis College - Weston, MA

Regis College, 235 Wellesley St, Weston, MA 02493-1571. Regis College is a small college located in Weston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,599 students and an admission rate of 75%. Regis College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts.

Suffolk University - Boston, MA

Suffolk University, 8 Ashburton Pl Beacon Hill, Boston, MA 02108-2770. Suffolk University is a medium sized university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,783 students and an admission rate of 82%. Suffolk University has 3 areas of study related to Actor. They are:

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree.
  • Acting, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Dean College - Franklin, MA

Dean College, 99 Main Street, Franklin, MA 02038-1941. Dean College is a small college located in Franklin, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,321 students and an admission rate of 69%. Dean College has an associate's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated eight students in 2008.

Massasoit Community College - Brockton, MA

Massasoit Community College, One Massasoit Boulevard, Brockton, MA 02302-3996. Massasoit Community College is a medium sized college located in Brockton, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,394 students. Massasoit Community College has an associate's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated one student in 2008.

Boston College - Chestnut Hill, MA

Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Ave, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467. Boston College is a large college located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,623 students and an admission rate of 26%. Boston College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated four students in 2008.

Fitchburg State College - Fitchburg, MA

Fitchburg State College, 160 Pearl St, Fitchburg, MA 01420-2697. Fitchburg State College is a medium sized college located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,400 students and an admission rate of 66%. Fitchburg State College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated one student in 2008.

College of the Holy Cross - Worcester, MA

College of the Holy Cross, One College Street, Worcester, MA 01610-2395. College of the Holy Cross is a small college located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,898 students and an admission rate of 34%. College of the Holy Cross has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated three students in 2008.

University of Massachusetts-Boston - Boston, MA

University of Massachusetts-Boston, 100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125-3393. University of Massachusetts-Boston is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,117 students and an admission rate of 63%. University of Massachusetts-Boston has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated six students in 2008.

Gordon College - Wenham, MA

Gordon College, 255 Grapevine Rd, Wenham, MA 01984. Gordon College is a small college located in Wenham, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,700 students and an admission rate of 71%. Gordon College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts.

Salem State College - Salem, MA

Salem State College, 352 Lafayette St, Salem, MA 01970. Salem State College is a large college located in Salem, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,168 students and an admission rate of 58%. Salem State College has 2 areas of study related to Actor. They are:

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree.
  • Acting, bachelor's degree which graduated 12 students in 2008.

Assumption College - Worcester, MA

Assumption College, 500 Salisbury St, Worcester, MA 01609-1296. Assumption College is a small college located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,888 students and an admission rate of 71%. Assumption College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts.

Tufts University - Medford, MA

Tufts University, , Medford, MA 02155-5555. Tufts University is a large university located in Medford, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,821 students and an admission rate of 25%. Tufts University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated two, one, and five students respectively in 2008.

Northeastern University - Boston, MA

Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115-5000. Northeastern University is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,368 students and an admission rate of 35%. Northeastern University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts.

Clark University - Worcester, MA

Clark University, 950 Main St, Worcester, MA 01610-1477. Clark University is a small university located in Worcester, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,330 students and an admission rate of 56%. Clark University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated two students in 2008.

Brandeis University - Waltham, MA

Brandeis University, 415 South St, Waltham, MA 02454-9110. Brandeis University is a medium sized university located in Waltham, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,347 students and an admission rate of 34%. Brandeis University has 2 areas of study related to Actor. They are:

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Acting, master's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.

Bunker Hill Community College - Boston, MA

Bunker Hill Community College, 250 New Rutherford Ave, Boston, MA 02129-2925. Bunker Hill Community College is a medium sized college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,500 students. Bunker Hill Community College has an associate's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated one student in 2008.

Wellesley College - Wellesley, MA

Wellesley College, 106 Central St, Wellesley, MA 02481-8203. Wellesley College is a small college located in Wellesley, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,344 students and an admission rate of 36%. Wellesley College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated two students in 2008.

Boston University - Boston, MA

Boston University, One Silber Way, Boston, MA 02215. Boston University is a large university located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 31,669 students and an admission rate of 59%. Boston University has 3 areas of study related to Actor. They are:

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 28 students in 2008.
  • Acting, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated twenty-six and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Directing and Theatrical Production, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated three and two students respectively in 2008.

Emerson College - Boston, MA

Emerson College, 120 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116-4624. Emerson College is a small college located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,536 students and an admission rate of 37%. Emerson College has 4 areas of study related to Actor. They are:

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Acting, bachelor's degree which graduated 16 students in 2008.
  • Directing and Theatrical Production, bachelor's degree which graduated 12 students in 2008.
  • Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 12 students in 2008.

Pine Manor College - Chestnut Hill, MA

Pine Manor College, 400 Heath St, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467. Pine Manor College is a small college located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 472 students and an admission rate of 70%. Pine Manor College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts.

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: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge, Massachusetts photo by Scs

Cambridge is located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 105,596, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Cambridge, 142, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Cambridge are priced at $1,078,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, twelve new homes were constructed in Cambridge, down from twenty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Cambridge are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 65.1% of Cambridge residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 38.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cambridge is 5.6%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Cambridge residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 73.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Western Avenue Baptist Church, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Chapel and Cambridgeport Baptist Church are some of the churches located in Cambridge. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Cambridge is home to the Great Court and the Cutter Square as well as John A Ahern Field and Sheridan Square. Shopping malls in the area include Porter Square Shopping Center, The Atrium Shopping Center and Cambridgeside Galleria Shopping Center.