Actors are hired for roles in film, television, theater or even events. They can also be employed as ‘extras’. In those roles, they appear on-screen with no lines, as narrators for animations or as voiceovers for audiobooks or other media. Since acting roles range from Hollywood ‘A-listers’ to struggling actors trying to secure a steady job, work hours vary. The hours can also be extensive and even irregular.
Some actors may work on a part-time basis. Their acting hours can range from one day to a few months. They spend the remaining hours doing other jobs to supplement their income. For example, they may teach acting classes.
An actor’s work hours may include early mornings, evenings, weekends and holidays. Filming days can run from twelve to as many as twenty hours. Feature films may involve working 5 days a week and can last up to three months of shooting.
Depending on the role, an actor may need to learn new skills or receive training or coaching. This can last several weeks or a few months. For example, in an action movie, the actor may be trained by the stunt coordinator. After all, their moves must appear believable even with a stunt double.
Whether a big-budget, feature film or theater, actors may need to travel to different locations. This includes working in other countries and can take two to three months of production. Other aspects of an actor’s business may include post-production edits and promotion of the film. This can be another two to four months of constant travel and full days of interviews, events and talk shows.
Acting hours can be long and irregular. It requires a great level of commitment but can be very rewarding. With hard work and dedication to the profession, actors can be successful in landing that dream role.