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Career and Education Opportunities for Actors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

For those living in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area, there are many career and education opportunities for actors. 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 $49,440 per year in Pennsylvania, and an average of $29 per hour or $64,430 per year nationwide. Jobs in this field include: show girl, voice actor, and amusement park entertainer.

There are fifteen schools within twenty-five miles of Philadelphia where you can study to be an actor, among 156 schools of higher education total in the Philadelphia area. Given that the most common education level 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 Philadelphia 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

The University of the Arts - Philadelphia, PA

The University of the Arts, 320 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102-4901. The University of the Arts is a small university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,405 students and an admission rate of 45%. The University of the Arts has 3 areas of study related to Actor. They are:

  • Acting, bachelor's degree which graduated 22 students in 2008.
  • Directing and Theatrical Production, bachelor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 19 students in 2008.

Rutgers University-Camden - Camden, NJ

Rutgers University-Camden, 406 Penn, Camden, NJ 08102. Rutgers University-Camden is a medium sized university located in Camden, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,398 students and an admission rate of 51%. Rutgers University-Camden has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated two students in 2008.

Community College of Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA

Community College of Philadelphia, 1700 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 19130-3991. Community College of Philadelphia is a large college located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,293 students. Community College of Philadelphia has an associate's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated six students in 2008.

Bryn Mawr College - Bryn Mawr, PA

Bryn Mawr College, 101 N Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010. Bryn Mawr College is a small college located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,758 students and an admission rate of 49%. Bryn Mawr College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated three students in 2008.

Bucks County Community College - Newtown, PA

Bucks County Community College, 275 Swamp Rd, Newtown, PA 18940-4106. Bucks County Community College is a large college located in Newtown, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,260 students. Bucks County Community College has an associate's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated six students in 2008.

Ursinus College - Collegeville, PA

Ursinus College, 601 E. Main St, Collegeville, PA 19426-1000. Ursinus College is a small college located in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,680 students and an admission rate of 55%. Ursinus College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated four students in 2008.

Rowan University - Glassboro, NJ

Rowan University, 201 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro, NJ 08028. Rowan University is a large university located in Glassboro, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,271 students and an admission rate of 57%. Rowan University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Arcadia University - Glenside, PA

Arcadia University, 450 S Easton Rd, Glenside, PA 19038-3295. Arcadia University is a small university located in Glenside, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,872 students and an admission rate of 69%. Arcadia University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated eighteen students in 2008.

Temple University - Philadelphia, PA

Temple University, 1801 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122-6096. Temple University is a large university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 35,343 students and an admission rate of 61%. Temple University has 3 areas of study related to Actor. They are:

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 101 students in 2008.
  • Acting, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated forty-four and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Directing and Theatrical Production, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Villanova University - Villanova, PA

Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085-1699. Villanova University is a large university located in Villanova, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,295 students and an admission rate of 39%. Villanova University has a postbaccalaureate certificate and a master's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated one and nineteen students respectively in 2008.

University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA

University of Pennsylvania, 1 College Hall 34th and Spruce Sts, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6303. University of Pennsylvania is a large university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 24,060 students and an admission rate of 17%. University of Pennsylvania has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated three students in 2008.

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania - Cheyney, PA

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, 1837 University Circle, Cheyney, PA 19319-0200. Cheyney University of Pennsylvania is a small university located in Cheyney, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,488 students. Cheyney University of Pennsylvania has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated four students in 2008.

University of Delaware - Newark, DE

University of Delaware, , Newark, DE 19716. University of Delaware is a large university located in Newark, Delaware. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,500 students and an admission rate of 58%. University of Delaware has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated three students in 2008.

West Chester University of Pennsylvania - West Chester, PA

West Chester University of Pennsylvania, University Avenue and High Street, West Chester, PA 19383. West Chester University of Pennsylvania is a large university located in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 13,619 students and an admission rate of 47%. West Chester University of Pennsylvania has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Swarthmore College - Swarthmore, PA

Swarthmore College, 500 College Ave, Swarthmore, PA 19081. Swarthmore College is a small college located in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,490 students and an admission rate of 16%. Swarthmore College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated two 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: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania photo by Apollo1758

Philadelphia is located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 1,447,395, which has shrunk by 4.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Philadelphia, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Philadelphia cost $212,900 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, five hundred forty-five new homes were constructed in Philadelphia, down from five hundred ninety-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Philadelphia are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 32 minutes. More than 17.9% of Philadelphia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is lower than the state average.

The percentage of Philadelphia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Boulevard Church, Mount Herman Church and Saint Michael Mission Center are all churches located in Philadelphia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Muslim Estimate.

Philadelphia is home to the Five Points and the Academy Gardens as well as Durham Park and Cloverly Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Mall, Andorra Shopping Center and Red Lion Shopping Center. Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from Comfort Inn, Concordia Worldwide Hotel Reservations and Embassy Suites for temporary stays in the area.