Acting Career Path: All You Need to Know

Do you have the ability to express your emotions in front of people? A career as an actor may be a good option. Here’s all you need to consider before choosing the acting career path from a Jaipur-based actor/writer, Anshul Awasthi, with over 10 years of experience.

1. Acting Career Path: What is the Role of the Actor?

Acting is the art of portraying a character on various platforms like theatres, web series, films, serials, radio, etc. It can be in any form like voiceover, acting, mimicking, animating, dancing, singing, etc. It is a talent to express and represent different emotions and feelings in front of the audience.


Contents: Jump to Section

1.1 Industry/Sector
1.2 Social Image
1.3 Reasons to Become an Actor
2.1 Personality Traits Required
2.2 Physical Demands
2.3 Psychological Demands
3.1 Extra-Curricular Activities Recommended
3.2 Related Hobbies to Take Up
3.3 Related Movies/ TV Shows
3.4 Related Fiction to Read/ Novels
4.1 Part-Time Options
4.2 Traveling Required
4.3 Average Workday/What to Expect
5.1 Retirement Prospects
5.2 Threats from Automation
5.3 Common Reasons for People to Quit

1.1 Industry Sector

Government projects, production houses

When you start your acting career path, there are ample opportunities to get jobs, though there is also tough competition. You can get jobs in different sectors like model agencies, MNCs, government projects, production houses, also nowadays OTT platforms. Definitely, you can start by entering Bollywood, game shows, reality shows, TV series, etc depending on your experience and skills.


1.2 Social Image

Extremely glamorous.

As soon as you introduce yourself as an actor/actress, you get all the attention from people, as it is an extremely honorable and profession full of glamour and fame. According to their works and name in the industry, actors gain the spotlight every time they are in public. Also, for further jobs and positions, once you get globally known, you can get offers from all around the world.

1.3 Reasons to Be an Actor

Popularity, creative fulfillment, financially rewarding with experience

When you choose the acting career path, there are so many options to decide for being an actor, from screenwriter to a producer, or director. We are all aware that in any field, significant experience is necessary to move to higher positions. So, while working as a side actor or assistant to being a lead actor in a particular project, you will need that much experience and skills. Your salary will be according to your position in the acting field. And you can choose your role accordingly after you gain sufficient experience and fame.

Anshul-Awasthi-closeup-actor-on-screen acting different emotions look how to become an actor in india

2. What It Takes to Be an Actor

2.1 Key Personality Traits Required

Networking skills, acting skills & screen presence, confidence, patience

There are some important character qualities that are required in the acting field. However, while doing internships and working as an assistant, you can develop other skills as per the demand in the acting industry. Some traits you need to work on are polishing your communication skills, taking criticism and self-criticism, working towards stage fear if you have, your uniqueness, being able to understand, and performing different roles.

2.2 Physical Demands

Physical appearance, fitness, travel

The most demanding trait is that you must be physically fit and have a good body posture. Maintaining your health is very necessary for the acting industry. Also, being able to work around the clock is also very important. As shoots can be in the early mornings, afternoon, nights, etc., depending on the story. Plus, you will need to travel a lot in this career, so be ready to explore new places and meet different people.

acting career path

2.3 Psychological Demands

Patience, stress

You should have traits such as good communication skills, patience, passion, a knack for handling fans and news reporters, and, tackling stressful shoot timings. If you can handle all of these things, you will have an exciting life with something new to learn every day.

3. How to Build Interest in the Acting Career Path

3.1 Extra-Curricular Activities Recommended

These days anyone can very easily convert their hobby into their career. To know more about an acting career, you can take acting classes or various workshops to overcome your flaws. Also, until you get a proper role in the industry, you can work as a model or theatre actor. This will help you to build your resume with enough experience.

preparing for take acting career theatres practising alone

3.2 Related Hobbies to Take Up

Dramas, annual events

To be an actor, you can start preparing right from school age as acting is one such career, where there is no age limit. Like you can participate in various school activities like annual functions, dramas, school plays, etc. Apart from this, you can also make yourself creative by playing in theatres for small roles, also giving auditions in small production houses.

school drama plays extra curricular activities

3.3 Related Movies/ TV Shows

Kota Factory, The Artist

To learn different types of roles in acting, one should watch these movies and web shows to get a clear idea about the profession. However, you cannot learn acting by just watching movies, but you can learn onscreen acting from famous actors/actresses. These are some examples:

  • Super 30
  • Kota Factory
  • Omkara
  • The Artist
  • Tootsie
  • Border
  • Agneepath

3.4 Related Fiction to Read/ Novels

An Actor Prepares, Audition

Yes, if you are on your acting career path, books can really help in nurturing your abilities. Reading can help to understand one’s skills, talent, and mistakes more efficiently. Also, you can get to know about various troubles, you face in this career and how to overcome them. Some famous books are:

  • An Actor Prepares by Constantin Stanislavski
  • Audition by Michael Shurtleff
  • Bollywood Cinema: Temples of Desire by Vijay Mishra.

4. Life as an Actor

4.1 Part-time Options


Yeah, you can work part-time in the acting profession. You can do your other jobs and still do acting in your free time. It’s your decision, you want it to be your full-time profession or part-time. There are many people who are doing acting as a hobby with their full-time jobs.

However, once your acting career takes off you’ll be left with little to no time for other part-time pursuits. But many actors still take up other part-time ventures like becoming reality TV judges or hosts, philanthropy activities, side businesses like film production or fashion clothing design, etc.

4.2 Travelling Requirements

Excessive travelling

As we see actors/actresses do shooting in different places around the world as per the movie demand. So, yes, if you are a travel freak, then you can fulfill your dream here. Because an actor travels a lot for his movies, promotional shows, award functions, etc. Also, once your film/series is launched, you have to travel for promotions in various cities, to gain popularity.

shooting scenes travelling around the world shooting-scenes-travelling

4.3 Average Workday/What to Expect

10-12 hours

Well! There are no fixed work timings in the acting industry as it depends on the shooting deadlines. Generally, average working hours are between 10-12 hours per day though staying at the location till the entire shoot ends is mandatory. So, you need to continuously travel to different sets of places around the states or country for weeks or months. Actors also need to handle unfavorable conditions like midnight shifts, bad weather, etc. And overtime is not new in this industry.

5. Future of a Career as an Actor

5.1 Retirement Prospects

As mentioned earlier, there is no starting age or ending age to be an actor, you just need proper dedication and passion. Unless you get bored of being an actor/actress, you can work till you die, as many artists do. Also, other than acting, you can start your own production house, casting agency, etc.

script reading retirement prospects actor-preparing-dialogues

5.2 Threats from Automation


No, there are no threats from AI & automation in the field of acting as this career is all about expressing one’s emotions and character. Though we have seen movies like Marvel and Jurassic World, where AI and technology have played a vital role in portraying extinct animals and superheroes. So, yes, there are new technologies to be invented like gaming techs, AR systems, virtual productions, and so on. These systems can give people a real-life experience of these adventure series just by watching them. However, they will never replace actors.

ai-and-automation ai and automation virtual reality

5.3 Common Reasons for People to Quit

When you choose the acting career path, you have to perform different roles in your entire profession, not just in India but worldwide. Most people quit this profession due to financial issues and criticism. Plus, it involves working in unhealthy conditions without any fixed working hours. That makes people leave this job. Also, if you are not mentally prepared with all roles like excessive travelling, communication, and handling media, you can get a hard time adjusting in the acting field.

Curated & Edited by Aayushi Berawala (CareerNuts Staff)

Read next:

How to Become an Actor in India | Where Do You Start?

Do you like theatre plays or are fond of movies and TV shows? Then why not enter this career line as an actor? Anshul Awasthi, a Jaipur-based actor and writer talks about the qualifications, his acting journey, and everything you need to know about how to become an actor in India.

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