Career and Education Opportunities for Actors in Austin, Texas
If you want to be an actor, the Austin, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 1,780 people are currently employed as actors in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow 19% to about 2,110 people employed. This is better than 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 $27 per hour or $55,830 per year in Texas, 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: amusement park entertainer, comedian, and voice actor.
The Austin area is home to thirty-five schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Austin where you can get a degree 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
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 Austin 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
Austin Community College District - Austin, TX
Austin Community College District, 5930 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, TX 78752. Austin Community College District is a large college located in Austin, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 35,798 students. Austin Community College District has an associate's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts.
The University of Texas at Austin - Austin, TX
The University of Texas at Austin, , Austin, TX 78712. The University of Texas at Austin is a large university located in Austin, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 49,984 students and an admission rate of 44%. The University of Texas at Austin has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated six, twenty-seven, and two students respectively in 2008.
Texas State University-San Marcos - San Marcos, TX
Texas State University-San Marcos, 601 University Dr, San Marcos, TX 78666. Texas State University-San Marcos is a large university located in San Marcos, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,125 students and an admission rate of 74%. Texas State University-San Marcos has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated zero and nine students respectively in 2008.
Saint Edward's University - Austin, TX
Saint Edward's University, 3001 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704. Saint Edward's University is a medium sized university located in Austin, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,348 students and an admission rate of 64%. Saint Edward's University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts.
Southwestern University - Georgetown, TX
Southwestern University, 1001 University Ave, Georgetown, TX 78626. Southwestern University is a small university located in Georgetown, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,270 students and an admission rate of 65%. Southwestern University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated two students in 2008.
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: Austin, Texas
Austin is located in Travis County, Texas. It has a population of over 757,688, which has grown by 15.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Austin, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Austin are valued at $139,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, 1,928 new homes were constructed in Austin, down from 3,155 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Austin are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 40.4% of Austin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.7%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Austin is 6.5%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Austin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Church, Adam and Eve Garden Baptist Church and Pleasant Hill Baptist Church are all churches located in Austin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Austin is home to the Morris Williams Golf Course and the Sixth Street Historic District as well as Wild Basin Wilderness Park and Rudolph Gamblin Field. Shopping centers in the area include Capital Plaza Shopping Center, Capital Plaza Shopping Center and Lamar Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Austin can choose from Club Hotel by Doubletree Austin University Area, Austin Folk House and AmeriPark at Austin for temporary stays in the area.