“I was dissatisfied just being an actor.”

Stanley Tucci, Actor

Pros and Cons of Working as an Actor

advantages and disadvantages of being an actor

Many people dream of becoming an actor.

However, while being an actor can be awesome, there are still many issues related to this career path.

All pros and cons of being an actor are discussed in the following.

Actor Job Profile

Short Job DescriptionActors play in movies, theaters or on many other occasions. Their job is to play a certain role and character and they always have to adjust to new roles they have to play.
SalaryWhile some famous actors make millions, others barely make a living.
Job SecurityAlmost non-existent.
Job SatisfactionGood if you love acting.
Work-Life BalancePoor work-life balance.
Physically / Mentally Demanding?Mentally demanding job.
Future OutlookRather poor since most actors will never make a living out of what they are doing and need a second job.
RequirementsNo special educational requirements necessary.

Advantages of Being an Actor

  1. You can become famous
  2. Actors can earn really good money
  3. Actors have an easy time in the dating market
  4. Being an actor gives you access to exclusive events
  5. Acting can be quite a lot of fun
  6. Your peers will be impressed
  7. You can play different roles
  8. Being an actor never gets boring
  9. You can learn a lot about yourself
  10. Actors learn how to deal with pressure
  11. You can be a role model for many kids
  12. You can meet many interesting people
  13. Actors don’t need a college degree
  14. You can travel the world

You can become famous

One advantage of being an actor is that you can become famous.

While some people don’t want to get all the attention that comes along with fame, many others really strive for it and want to show the world who they are.

Hence, if you are the kind of person who wants to get the attention of many people and who wants to be recognized in public, becoming an actor will be one of the best career choices for you in this regard.

Actors can earn really good money

Apart from fame, actors are also able to earn really good money.

In fact, famous actors are able to earn millions and many of them have become quite rich.

Some of them are even able to fly with private jets instead of just taking a regular flight.

Many famous actors also own fancy houses and many nice cars.

Thus, through an acting career, you can have all those fancy things.

However, please note that the chances to become a world-class actor are extremely low and that only very few actors are able to make it to this level while the majority of actors will never become rich.

Yet, the possibility is there and if you work hard on yourself and are quite talented, you may reach your goal sooner or later.

Actors have an easy time in the dating market

Another upside of being an actor is that they have an easy time finding a partner.

In fact, it is relatively easy for successful actors to find a significant other since fame is always attractive in the dating market.

There are not many professions where it is such easy to find a partner and actors also don’t have problems replacing their partner if they feel that the relationship will no longer work out.

While many of those relationships will only last short-term, actors still have it much easier in the dating market compared to the average person since money and fame always helps and even short-term relationships can make life much more exciting and interesting.

Being an actor gives you access to exclusive events

As an actor, you will also have access to many exclusive events.

While the general public will not be allowed to attend those events, you will often be invited to world-famous venues and will sit next to the greatest personalities in the acting world.

Moreover, you will also be able to stay in the nicest hotels once you reach a certain level of fame.

Overall, your lifestyle will be quite exclusive and many doors will open for you that would have stayed closed otherwise.

Acting can be quite a lot of fun

Some people are also just borne actors.

They want to be in the spotlight already early in their childhood and there are even videos from many famous actors who have already performed as a child.

Thus, you also need a certain type of personality for being a successful actor and those characteristics can only be learned up to a certain level.

There is some level of talent that is required for sure and if you have this talent and also the motivation to become a successful actor, this career path can be great for you since you can combine your passion for being a public figure with your job.

Your peers will be impressed

Actors also enjoy a pretty high reputation in society.

In fact, many childhood friends will be quite envious and will secretly admire you once you make it as a successful actor.

Being an actor is the dream of many people from all over the world, yet only a very small minority will ever make it to a level where they will be recognized by the general public.

Hence, if you are able to become that good at what you are doing, you can be sure that your peers will admire you quite a lot, even though they might not show it to you directly.

You can play different roles

Another benefit of being an actor is that you can play many different roles.

You don’t always have to be the bad or the good guy, you can change roles and can play every part you want as long as you are good enough in your role and can convince the general public about your authenticity.

Consequently, if you don’t want to be the bad guy anymore, you can just switch sides.

You can also switch the movie genre if you feel like you need a change.

In fact, opportunities are almost endless and chances are that you will not be able to try out all the different things the acting world has to offer in a lifetime.

Being an actor never gets boring

In general, working as an actor also never gets boring.

No day will look the same and you will often have to improvise quite a lot.

You will also adjust to every new role you have to play and you will often lack experience to represent the respective character appropriately.

While this can imply plenty of stress, it can also be quite interesting since you will always have to develop your skills further and eventually, you will become really good at your craft.

You can learn a lot about yourself

Since you will play many different characters during your acting career, you will also learn a lot about yourself.

In fact, you really have to feel with the character and develop a high level of empathy if you want to represent the respective character in the best possible manner.

Consequently, you will also develop a higher level of empathy in your private life since you will better understand what drives people and why they do the things they do.

Being empathic is crucial to succeeding in life and by working as an actor, you can learn this important skill in a rather natural manner.

Actors learn how to deal with pressure

As an actor, you will also always be in the spotlight.

Only a few big mistakes can cost you your career and this implies significant pressure.

Moreover, people will try to bring you down on a constant basis and since you are a public figure, you always have to stay patient and calm, even though people may be quite annoying.

All this also implies significant stress and pressure and while it can be challenging to go through all of this, you will really learn how to deal with pressure as an actor.

In turn, many problems that have seemed to be important to you in the past may no longer be big issues in the future since you will develop appropriate solutions for those things and develop a strong mental mindset.

You can be a role model for many kids

Another advantage of becoming an actor is that you will have the power to influence many kids all over the world.

Since you will have a high reach and plenty of popularity, you can really make the lives of people better by showing them what characteristics pay off in life in the long run.

In fact, it is quite important that we learn our young generation to be kind and empathic with others and you as an actor can make a great contribution in this regard since many people will follow your advice due to your popularity.

You can meet many interesting people

During your acting career, you will also be able to meet many interesting people.

In fact, you can meet your childhood idols and some of those people will even become really good friends.

Moreover, you can also meet the stars from tomorrow and can build a really strong network in the acting world.

All this would never be possible as a person with an average job and if you want to meet as many interesting people as possible, the acting world is definitely the place where you should look for that.

Actors don’t need a college degree

You also don’t need a college degree for becoming an actor.

While you need many years of college education for many other jobs, you can become an actor without going to school for that long.

In fact, talent and connections are much more important in the acting world than formal education and if you have those things, you can avoid the need to go to college and to spend large sums of money on a degree.

You can also avoid the trap of student loan debt that many young students fall into.

In fact, many graduates have to pay off their student debt for years or even decades and this often prevents them from buying a home or from spending money on other important things.

By becoming an actor, you can avoid all of those issues and can start earning money right from the beginning.

You can travel the world

As an actor, you will also be able to see the world.

If you reach a certain level of popularity, you will be able to play in movies in several different countries.

You will also be able to see the most beautiful parts of our planet since many movies will just take place at these locations.

Thus, working as an actor can be much more than a job. It can become a really nice lifestyle and can give you the opportunity to see things that most people will never see in their lives.

Disadvantages of Being an Actor

  1. Most actors don’t get rich
  2. Pressure can be enormous
  3. Competition is quite fierce
  4. Castings can be hard
  5. Questionable job security
  6. Actors often have drug problems
  7. One bad performance can ruin your career
  8. Shitstorms on social media are quite common
  9. You need a pretty stable mindset to succeed in the long run
  10. Being an actor implies spending time away from your family
  11. Your own kids may have it hard in school
  12. Actors are at risk of accidents
  13. Many actors have to work quite a lot
  14. Rejection is part of the game
  15. Being a successful actor is much harder than you think

Most actors don’t get rich

Apart from the numerous advantages of being an actor, there are also some downsides to this profession.

For instance, one problem with becoming an actor is that most actors simply don’t get wealthy or even rich.

In fact, there are so many people out there trying to get to the point where people will recognize them on the street.

Yet, only a small percentage of all actors trying to make it to this point will actually get there.

Most of them will just play minor roles and will even struggle to make a living to pay their basic expenses.

Consequently, the salary gap between world-class and average actors is enormous and for most people, an acting career will simply not pay off from a purely financial perspective.

Pressure can be enormous

There is also a high level of pressure that comes along with being an actor.

You always have to perform. It doesn’t matter whether you had a bad breakup or other serious problems in your life.

The only thing that counts is how you perform and if you are not able to work under this serious level of pressure also in bad times of your life, your acting career can be over pretty soon.

Many actors are simply not able to deal with this pressure and a significant number of actors even develop mental problems in the long run.

Competition is quite fierce

Since there are so many people who are trying to become successful actors, the chance for every single one of them is almost zero.

In fact, even if you are talented, it requires plenty of luck and hard work to get to a level where you can make a living out of acting.

Consequently, you may want to be an actor as a hobby or part-time, yet being dependent on the money from acting can be a dangerous place to be in since only a small minority of actors will actually make a good living out of their profession.

Castings can be hard

Also castings can be merciless.

In fact, only performance and also personal contacts matter if you want to get booked for a movie.

There is no room for excuses and if you don’t perform when it counts, you will just not get the job.

Questionable job security

Most actors also suffer from significant job insecurity.

While some famous actors don’t have to worry about it since they have such a high reputation, most average actors will have to search for quite a long time to get the next job.

Also future job security is rather questionable and if you want to play it safe, becoming an actor will definitely not be the right way to go for you.

Actors often have drug problems

Another disadvantage of being an actor is that you will also often get in contact with certain drugs.

In fact, since the pressure in the acting world can be enormous, many actors will not be able to deal with the stress unless they take certain substances that can make their lives easier in the short run.

However, this can lead to detrimental consequences in the long run and actors even died from drug use in the past.

One bad performance can ruin your career

There is also no heart in the acting world. Just one big mistake can ruin your entire career.

For instance, if you make a questionable statement on social media or in an interview, advertising partners may quit your contract and your reputation will also suffer quite a lot.

In turn, your chances of getting into the next big movies will significantly decline as well.

Shitstorms on social media are quite common

In our current state of the world, it is also quite common that actors get shitstorms on a regular basis.

In fact, people often hide behind their computers with avatars and feel quite brave since they don’t have to show their real name.

In turn, people are much more eager to insult others and actors often have to deal with significant levels of hate during their careers.

Hence, make sure that you have a stable mental mindset before becoming an actor since you will have to deal with the negativity of people on a regular basis.

You need a pretty stable mindset to succeed in the long run

In general, being an actor is not easy at all and since you will have to deal with all the pressure and negativity that comes along with being successful, you need to develop a pretty solid mindset since you will lose yourself otherwise.

In fact, many people break under the pressure in the long run and you should really make sure that you are a strong character before you decide for this career path.

Being an actor implies spending time away from your family

Another downside of being an actor is that you will also be away from your family for quite a long time.

If you work on a new movie, you will often have to travel to remote parts of the world.

Quite often, your family will stay at home since your kids have to go to school.

Consequently, you will also miss many important events in the lives of your kids and your kids will likely resent you for that in the long run.

Also your partner may be more likely to cheat on you if you are away from home for too long.

Your own kids may have it hard in school

Your kids may even get bullied in school due to your popularity.

Especially if you make socially questionable statements on a regular basis, chances are that kids in school will make fun of your own children.

In turn, your kids may suffer quite a lot due to your fame and your reach as an actor.

Actors are at risk of accidents

From time to time, actors are also involved in serious accidents.

In fact, some scenes are quite risky and sooner or later, you will be the unlucky one who gets seriously injured.

Of course, the risk of becoming involved in those accidents is rather low.

However, you should still factor that in when you make your decision of whether you want to become an actor or not.

Many actors have to work quite a lot

Actors often also have to work long hours.

Especially during busy times when movies have to be finished, there is often no room for leisure at all and actors just live for their jobs.

Hence, make sure that you are passionate enough to make this time commitment and the sacrifices that come along with it.

Rejection is part of the game

You should also be able to deal with rejection in the acting world.

In fact, many famous actors have been rejected hundreds of times before they got the first important role in a movie and you need a certain level of perseverance to push through those difficult times.

Being a successful actor is much harder than you think

In general, most people vastly underestimate how hard it actually is to become a successful actor.

Most actors will just stay on an average level for the rest of their lives and many of them will also quit after a rather short period of time.

Top 10 Being an Actor Pros & Cons – Summary List

Being an Actor ProsBeing an Actor Cons
Being an actor can make you richMost actors never get rich
Actors can become famousBeing an actor can be stressful
Actors can have huge influenceFierce competition in acting
Your peers may admire youMental issues are rather common
Acting can be a passionCastings are merciless
Good chances in the dating marketMistakes can ruin your career
Actors meet interesting peoplePeople will try to bring you down
Fancy lifestyle as an actorActors work a lot
You can travel the worldYou will be away from your family
You can impress your peersRisk of accidents

Should You Become an Actor?

Now that you know all the advantages and disadvantages of being an actor, you have to decide for yourself whether you still want to become an actor or not.

Always remember that there are several other possible career paths out there for you and if you don’t want to become an actor, you will still have all the chances in the world to find the job that will make you happier.

If you want to get even more information about an acting career, make sure to also get detailed information on the salary, job prospects, educational requirements and job satisfaction of actors.

Also make sure to check out the following articles:

Advantages and disadvantages of becoming a psychologist

Advantages and disadvantages of becoming a chef

Sources

https://www.uncsa.edu/news/20180718-acting-tips-for-beginners.aspx

https://medium.com/thrive-global/15-actors-share-the-most-important-acting-tips-learned-from-their-experience-72b2c1f00ae0

https://actinginlondon.co.uk/best-acting-tips/

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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