Career and Education Opportunities for Actors in Chesapeake, Virginia
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for actors in the Chesapeake, Virginia 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 $52,950 per year in Virginia, and an average of $29 per hour or $64,430 per year nationwide. Earnings for actors are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Theater, Film, and Television in Virginia and not quite as good as general Theater, Film, and Television category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: movie stunt performer, acrobat, and community theater actor.
The Chesapeake area is home to thirty-six schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Chesapeake where you can get a degree 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 Chesapeake include:
- Artistic Director. Audition and interview performers to select most appropriate talent for parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions.
- 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
Hampton University - Hampton, VA
Hampton University, , Hampton, VA 23668-0099. Hampton University is a medium sized university located in Hampton, Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has an admission rate of 45%. Hampton University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated five students in 2008.
Virginia Wesleyan College - Norfolk, VA
Virginia Wesleyan College, 1584 Wesleyan Dr, Norfolk, VA 23502-5599. Virginia Wesleyan College is a small college located in Norfolk, Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,381 students and an admission rate of 77%. Virginia Wesleyan College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated one student in 2008.
Old Dominion University - Norfolk, VA
Old Dominion University, 5115 Hampton Blvd, Norfolk, VA 23529. Old Dominion University is a large university located in Norfolk, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 22,973 students and an admission rate of 72%. Old Dominion University has 2 areas of study related to Actor. They are:
- Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 14 students in 2008.
- Acting, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 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: Chesapeake, Virginia
Chesapeake is located in Chesapeake City County, Virginia. It has a population of over 220,111, which has grown by 10.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chesapeake, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chesapeake are priced at $160,000 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, five hundred eighty-nine new homes were constructed in Chesapeake, down from seven hundred fifty-eight the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Chesapeake are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and transportation equipment. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 24.7% of Chesapeake residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.8%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Chesapeake is 6.1%, which is less than Virginia's average of 6.4%.
Pleasant Grove Church, Refuge Mission Church and Saint Andrews Church are among the churches located in Chesapeake.
Chesapeake is home to the Jacks Camp and the Portlock Yard as well as Cascade Park and Ford Park. Shopping malls in the area include Great Bridge Shopping Center, Greenbrier Mall Shopping Center and Poplar Hill Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chesapeake can choose from Courtyard By Marriott, Chesapeake Travelodge Motel and Comfort Inn Bowers Hill for temporary stays in the area.