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Career and Education Opportunities for Actors in St. Louis, Missouri

For those living in the St. Louis, Missouri area, there are many career and education opportunities for actors. There are currently 640 jobs for actors in Missouri and this is projected to shrink by 2% to 630 jobs by 2016. 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. Actors work in a variety of jobs, including: theatrical performer, motion picture actor, and clown.

The St. Louis area is home to seventy-one schools of higher education, including nine within twenty-five miles of St. Louis where you can get a degree as an actor. Actors usually hold less than a high school diploma, so it will take only a short time to learn 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 St. Louis 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

Lindenwood University - Saint Charles, MO

Lindenwood University, 209 S Kingshighway, Saint Charles, MO 63301-1695. Lindenwood University is a large university located in Saint Charles, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,253 students and an admission rate of 40%. Lindenwood University has 4 areas of study related to Actor. They are:

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated one and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Acting, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Directing and Theatrical Production, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

McKendree University - Lebanon, IL

McKendree University, 701 College Rd, Lebanon, IL 62254-1291. McKendree University is a small university located in Lebanon, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,258 students and an admission rate of 65%. McKendree University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated one student in 2008.

Fontbonne University - Saint Louis, MO

Fontbonne University, 6800 Wydown Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63105-3098. Fontbonne University is a small university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,967 students and an admission rate of 82%. Fontbonne University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville - Edwardsville, IL

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Il State Rte 157, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1001. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is a large university located in Edwardsville, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 13,602 students and an admission rate of 89%. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Principia College - Elsah, IL

Principia College, 1 Maybeck Place, Elsah, IL 62028-9799. Principia College is a small college located in Elsah, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 520 students and an admission rate of 84%. Principia College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated one student in 2008.

University of Missouri-St Louis - Saint Louis, MO

University of Missouri-St Louis, One University Boulevard, Saint Louis, MO 63121-4400. University of Missouri-St Louis is a large university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,591 students and an admission rate of 46%. University of Missouri-St Louis has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated four students in 2008.

Webster University - Saint Louis, MO

Webster University, 470 E Lockwood Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63119-3194. Webster University is a large university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 18,237 students and an admission rate of 57%. Webster University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated twenty-seven students in 2008.

Saint Louis University-Main Campus - Saint Louis, MO

Saint Louis University-Main Campus, 221 N Grand Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63103-2097. Saint Louis University-Main Campus is a large university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,975 students and an admission rate of 72%. Saint Louis University-Main Campus has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated two students in 2008.

Washington University in St Louis - Saint Louis, MO

Washington University in St Louis, One Brookings Drive, Saint Louis, MO 63130-4899. Washington University in St Louis is a large university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,946 students and an admission rate of 22%. Washington University in St Louis has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated one 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: St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri photo by Dschwen

St. Louis is located in St. Louis City County, Missouri. It has a population of over 354,361, which has grown by 1.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in St. Louis, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in St. Louis are priced at $111,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in St. Louis, down from two hundred sixty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in St. Louis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 19.1% of St. Louis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Louis is 10.9%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

Nativity of Our Lord Church, Church of the Good Shepard and Church of the Holy Communion are among the churches located in St. Louis.

St. Louis is home to the Terminal Railroad Association Building and the Memorial Home as well as Washington Park and Willmore Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampton Village Shopping Center and Loughborough Shopping Center.