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Career and Education Opportunities for Actors in Kansas City, Missouri

Actors can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Kansas City, Missouri area. About 640 people are currently employed as actors in Missouri. By 2016, this is expected to shrink 2% to about 630 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for actors, which 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 $22 per hour or $46,340 per year in Missouri, and an average of $29 per hour or $64,430 per year nationwide. People working as actors can fill a number of jobs, such as: elocutionist, stunt person, and impresario.

There are seventy-one schools of higher education in the Kansas City area, including ten within twenty-five miles of Kansas City where you can get a degree to start your career as an actor. The most common level of education for actors is less than a high school diploma. 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 Kansas City 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

Baker University - Baldwin City, KS

Baker University, 618 Eighth Street, Baldwin City, KS 66006-0065. Baker University is a small university located in Baldwin City, Kansas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,112 students and an admission rate of 50%. Baker University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts.

Park University - Parkville, MO

Park University, 8700 NW River Park Dr, Parkville, MO 64152-3795. Park University is a large university located in Parkville, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,457 students and an admission rate of 78%. Park University has 2 areas of study related to Actor. They are:

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree.
  • Acting, bachelor's degree.

University of Missouri-Kansas City - Kansas City, MO

University of Missouri-Kansas City, 5100 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO 64110. University of Missouri-Kansas City is a large university located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,481 students and an admission rate of 73%. University of Missouri-Kansas City has 2 areas of study related to Actor. They are:

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated five and nine students respectively in 2008.
  • Directing and Theatrical Production, master's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.

Haskell Indian Nations University - Lawrence, KS

Haskell Indian Nations University, 155 Indian Ave, Lawrence, KS 66046-4800. Haskell Indian Nations University is a small university located in Lawrence, Kansas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 997 students and an admission rate of 50%. Haskell Indian Nations University has an associate's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated one student in 2008.

Ottawa University - Ottawa, KS

Ottawa University, 1001 South Cedar, Ottawa, KS 66067-3399. Ottawa University is a small university located in Ottawa, Kansas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 553 students and an admission rate of 72%. Ottawa University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated one student in 2008.

William Jewell College - Liberty, MO

William Jewell College, 500 College Hill, Liberty, MO 64068-1896. William Jewell College is a small college located in Liberty, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,210 students and an admission rate of 63%. William Jewell College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts.

Avila University - Kansas City, MO

Avila University, 11901 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64145-1698. Avila University is a small university located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,939 students and an admission rate of 50%. Avila University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts.

University of Kansas - Lawrence, KS

University of Kansas, , Lawrence, KS 66045. University of Kansas is a large university located in Lawrence, Kansas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,365 students and an admission rate of 92%. University of Kansas has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated three, four, and two students respectively in 2008.

Benedictine College - Atchison, KS

Benedictine College, 1020 N 2nd St, Atchison, KS 66002-1499. Benedictine College is a small college located in Atchison, Kansas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,988 students and an admission rate of 20%. Benedictine College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated one student in 2008.

University of Saint Mary - Leavenworth, KS

University of Saint Mary, 4100 S 4th St Trafficway, Leavenworth, KS 66048-5082. University of Saint Mary is a small university located in Leavenworth, Kansas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 955 students and an admission rate of 69%. University of Saint Mary has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated three students 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: Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri photo by Dillard421

Kansas City is situated in Jackson County, Missouri. It has a population of over 451,572, which has grown by 2.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Kansas City, 78, is well below the national average.

The top three industries for women in Kansas City are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 25.7% of Kansas City residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Kansas City is 11.3%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Kansas City residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 51.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Glenwood Church, Antioch Church and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary are among the churches located in Kansas City. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Kansas City is home to the Ozanam Boys Home and the Watts Mill Center as well as Central Park and West Terrace Park. Shopping malls in the area include Antioch Shopping Center, Wornall Village Shopping Center and Winwood Shopping Center. Visitors to Kansas City can choose from Budget Host Inn, Days Inn and Embassy Suites Hotel Kansas City Internatinl Arprt for temporary stays in the area.