Career and Education Opportunities for Actors in Las Cruces, New Mexico
There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for actors in the Las Cruces, New Mexico area. 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 $24 per hour or $49,570 per year in New Mexico, and an average of $29 per hour or $64,430 per year nationwide. Actors work in a variety of jobs, including: artistic director, stunt driver, and narrator.
There are six schools of higher education in the Las Cruces area, including one within twenty-five miles of Las Cruces 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 studying to be an actor if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Actor
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 Las Cruces 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
New Mexico State University-Main Campus - Las Cruces, NM
New Mexico State University-Main Campus, 2850 Weddell Street, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001. New Mexico State University-Main Campus is a large university located in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 17,198 students and an admission rate of 61%. New Mexico State University-Main Campus has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts.
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: Las Cruces, New Mexico
Las Cruces is situated in Dona Ana County, New Mexico. It has a population of over 91,865, which has grown by 23.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Las Cruces, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Las Cruces are valued at $133,900 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Las Cruces, down from nine hundred eighty the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Las Cruces are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 28.4% of Las Cruces residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.1%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Las Cruces is 5.6%, which is less than New Mexico's average of 7.5%.
The percentage of Las Cruces residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 77.3%, is more than both the national and state average. Mesilla Park Baptist Church, Greater Saint John Church of God in Christ and Valley View Baptist Church are among the churches located in Las Cruces. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Las Cruces is home to the Mesquite Street Original Townsite Historic District and the Walden Hall as well as Frenger Park and Preciado Park. Visitors to Las Cruces can choose from Scoggin Blue LLC, SpringHill Suites Las Cruces and Villa Del Telshor Apartments & Corporate Suites for temporary stays in the area.