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ACTOR: It's Possible to Make it a Living

About this video 

Tyler is a Professional Actor. Tyler just graduated from college but tells us that it's easier than he expected to find acting gigs. Tyler loves his job and doesn't regret a bit of pursuing a career in acting.

School: University of California San Diego
Degree: Theater
Job Title: Actor

Job Summary: Actors

Job Description

Actors express ideas and portray characters in theater, film, television, and other performing arts media. They also work at theme parks or for other live events. They interpret a writer's script to entertain or inform an audience.

On-the-Job Training

Long-term on-the-job training

Additional Info

It takes many years of practice to develop the skills needed to be successful, and actors never truly finish training. They work to improve their acting skills throughout their career. Many actors continue to train through workshops or mentoring by a drama coach.

Every role is different, and an actor may need to learn something new each time. For example, a role may require learning how to sing or dance, or an actor may have to learn a foreign accent or how to play an instrument or a sport.

Many aspiring actors participate in high school, college, and local community plays. In television and film, actors usually start out in smaller roles or independent movies and work their way up to bigger productions.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$0 - $250,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
0 to 10 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Long hours, Irregular, Varies Widely
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Travel, Outdoor, Indoor
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Detail oriented, Creativity, Verbal communication skills, Artistic, Strength/stamina, People skills, Public speaking ability

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='0'>Hi.</span> <span m='290'>My</span> <span m='420'>name</span> <span m='630'>is</span> <span m='890'>Tyler</span> <span m='1330'>Oakley.</span> <span m='1920'>I</span> <span m='2190'>am</span> <span m='2500'>an</span> <span m='2780'>actor/dancer.</span> <span m='4280'>I</span> <span m='4430'>just</span> <span m='4720'>finished</span> <span m='5040'>a dance</span> <span m='5390'>shoot,</span> <span m='5620'>which</span> <span m='5770'>is</span> <span m='5880'>why</span> <span m='6030'>I'm</span> <span m='6120'>not</span> <span m='6290'>wearing</span> <span m='6580'>a</span> <span m='6630'>shirt.</span> <span m='7880'>On</span> <span m='8050'>a</span> <span m='8109'>day-to-day</span> <span m='8490'>basis,</span> <span m='8950'>it</span> <span m='9030'>really</span> <span m='9420'>depends</span> <span m='9840'>on</span> <span m='9940'>the</span> <span m='10040'>day--</span> <span m='11180'>days</span> <span m='11390'>like</span> <span m='11530'>today,</span> <span m='11890'>I</span> <span m='12230'>do</span> <span m='12340'>a shoot.</span> <span m='12520'>I did</span> <span m='12760'>a</span> <span m='12830'>shoot</span> <span m='13230'>yesterday.</span> </p><p><span m='15540'>Some</span> <span m='15810'>days</span> <span m='16239'>I</span> <span m='16400'>will</span> <span m='16580'>wake</span> <span m='16800'>up,</span> <span m='16920'>check</span> <span m='17140'>my</span> <span m='17270'>email,</span> <span m='17760'>peruse</span> <span m='18090'>casting</span> <span m='18490'>websites,</span> <span m='19270'>and</span> <span m='19490'>then</span> <span m='20730'>exercise,</span> <span m='21700'>watch</span> <span m='21920'>television,</span> <span m='22750'>read</span> <span m='23130'>for</span> <span m='23520'>the</span> <span m='23620'>rest</span> <span m='23860'>of</span> <span m='23930'>the</span> <span m='24000'>day.</span> <span m='24530'>Typical</span> <span m='24890'>day,</span> <span m='25030'>when</span> <span m='25170'>I'm</span> <span m='25300'>at</span> <span m='25450'>a shoot--</span> <span m='26630'>I</span> <span m='26720'>get</span> <span m='26850'>the</span> <span m='26940'>call</span> <span m='27140'>sheet</span> <span m='27320'>the</span> <span m='27380'>night</span> <span m='27570'>before</span> <span m='28340'>and</span> <span m='28550'>they</span> <span m='28640'>say,</span> <span m='29300'>show</span> <span m='29490'>up</span> <span m='29620'>at</span> <span m='29730'>this</span> <span m='29920'>time.</span> <span m='30730'>Sometimes</span> <span m='31160'>they ask</span> <span m='31350'>me</span> <span m='31430'>to</span> <span m='31490'>bring</span> <span m='31670'>my own</span> <span m='31850'>wardrobe,</span> <span m='32330'>so</span> <span m='32540'>I put</span> <span m='32700'>together</span> <span m='32970'>what</span> <span m='33080'>I</span> <span m='33120'>can.</span> <span m='35140'>Show</span> <span m='35370'>up</span> <span m='35590'>at</span> <span m='35800'>the</span> <span m='35880'>designated</span> <span m='36430'>time</span> <span m='37520'>and</span> <span m='37830'>then</span> <span m='38680'>usually</span> <span m='39180'>you</span> <span m='39260'>sit</span> <span m='39430'>around</span> <span m='39690'>waiting</span> <span m='40020'>for</span> <span m='40570'>maybe</span> <span m='40880'>about</span> <span m='41120'>an</span> <span m='41200'>hour.</span> <span m='42070'>They</span> <span m='42160'>might</span> <span m='42310'>costume</span> <span m='42810'>fit</span> <span m='42950'>you,</span> <span m='43560'>do</span> <span m='43670'>what</span> <span m='43780'>they</span> <span m='43850'>need</span> <span m='44030'>with</span> <span m='44170'>you.</span> </p><p><span m='44560'>They</span> <span m='44810'>feed</span> <span m='45020'>you,</span> <span m='45260'>you</span> <span m='45350'>sit</span> <span m='45550'>there,</span> <span m='45780'>you eat,</span> <span m='46965'>you</span> <span m='47370'>network</span> <span m='47770'>with</span> <span m='47870'>the</span> <span m='47970'>other</span> <span m='48130'>actors.</span> <span m='48900'>And</span> <span m='49110'>then</span> <span m='50440'>get</span> <span m='50570'>on set,</span> <span m='51170'>let</span> <span m='51380'>them</span> <span m='51490'>set</span> <span m='51690'>up</span> <span m='51810'>lighting,</span> <span m='52140'>let</span> <span m='52320'>them</span> <span m='52410'>mic</span> <span m='52740'>you,</span> <span m='52970'>and</span> <span m='53370'>do</span> <span m='53560'>whatever</span> <span m='54410'>job</span> <span m='54650'>is</span> <span m='54730'>required.</span> <span m='55180'>And</span> <span m='55490'>then</span> <span m='56370'>do</span> <span m='56520'>it</span> <span m='56580'>again</span> <span m='57060'>and</span> <span m='57210'>again</span> <span m='57720'>and</span> <span m='57850'>again.</span> <span m='58520'>And</span> <span m='60290'>you</span> <span m='60400'>do</span> <span m='60550'>that</span> <span m='60820'>for</span> <span m='61120'>sometimes</span> <span m='61590'>up</span> <span m='61690'>to</span> <span m='61790'>14</span> <span m='62150'>hours.</span> <span m='63180'>That's probably</span> <span m='63420'>the longest</span> <span m='63680'>shoot</span> <span m='63940'>I've</span> <span m='64019'>been</span> <span m='64369'>on.</span> </p><p><span m='64720'>My</span> <span m='64830'>career</span> <span m='65239'>and</span> <span m='65440'>educational</span> <span m='66080'>path</span> <span m='68450'>began</span> <span m='69500'>when</span> <span m='69680'>I</span> <span m='69710'>was</span> <span m='69850'>nine</span> <span m='70050'>years</span> <span m='70230'>old.</span> <span m='70880'>My</span> <span m='70950'>mom</span> <span m='71150'>signed</span> <span m='71370'>me</span> <span m='71480'>up</span> <span m='71630'>for</span> <span m='71800'>a</span> <span m='71840'>musical</span> <span m='72190'>theater</span> <span m='72430'>summer</span> <span m='72690'>camp</span> <span m='73160'>and</span> <span m='73450'>I</span> <span m='73570'>had</span> <span m='73680'>a</span> <span m='73720'>lot</span> <span m='73850'>of</span> <span m='73920'>fun.</span> <span m='74870'>Kept doing</span> <span m='75090'>that</span> <span m='75270'>for</span> <span m='75350'>a</span> <span m='75390'>little</span> <span m='75580'>while</span> <span m='75890'>and I</span> <span m='75980'>got</span> <span m='76130'>more</span> <span m='76320'>involved</span> <span m='76680'>in</span> <span m='77210'>high</span> <span m='77390'>school.</span> <span m='78580'>I</span> <span m='78730'>went</span> <span m='79000'>to</span> <span m='79160'>UC</span> <span m='79480'>San</span> <span m='79650'>Diego,</span> <span m='80620'>I</span> <span m='80700'>got</span> <span m='80900'>my</span> <span m='81040'>degree</span> <span m='81320'>in</span> <span m='81440'>theater,</span> <span m='81880'>I</span> <span m='82020'>got</span> <span m='82270'>my</span> <span m='82480'>minor</span> <span m='82900'>in</span> <span m='83000'>dance.</span> </p><p><span m='83780'>Most</span> <span m='84150'>of</span> <span m='84190'>my</span> <span m='84280'>performance</span> <span m='84920'>was</span> <span m='85410'>in</span> <span m='85530'>musicals</span> <span m='86160'>at</span> <span m='86270'>UC</span> <span m='86540'>San</span> <span m='86740'>Diego.</span> <span m='87930'>There was</span> <span m='88130'>a</span> <span m='88170'>student-run</span> <span m='88620'>musical</span> <span m='88940'>organization</span> <span m='89670'>I</span> <span m='89730'>got</span> <span m='89890'>involved</span> <span m='90240'>with</span> <span m='90520'>and</span> <span m='91500'>did</span> <span m='92400'>a</span> <span m='92460'>lot</span> <span m='92600'>of</span> <span m='92640'>musicals</span> <span m='93040'>with</span> <span m='93150'>them.</span> <span m='94150'>I</span> <span m='94250'>graduated</span> <span m='95210'>this</span> <span m='95340'>past</span> <span m='95580'>year,</span> <span m='95740'>2014.</span> <span m='97080'>And</span> <span m='98570'>taught</span> <span m='98980'>dance</span> <span m='99520'>at</span> <span m='99750'>my</span> <span m='100260'>old</span> <span m='100550'>performing</span> <span m='100980'>arts</span> <span m='101140'>school</span> <span m='101340'>for a</span> <span m='101520'>while,</span> <span m='101890'>waited</span> <span m='102170'>tables,</span> <span m='102780'>and</span> <span m='103010'>then</span> <span m='103780'>quit</span> <span m='104010'>those</span> <span m='104810'>at</span> <span m='104910'>the</span> <span m='104960'>beginning</span> <span m='105300'>of</span> <span m='105350'>this</span> <span m='105530'>year</span> <span m='105980'>and</span> <span m='106290'>have</span> <span m='106560'>been</span> <span m='107320'>acting</span> <span m='107610'>professionally</span> <span m='108160'>ever</span> <span m='108330'>since.</span> </p><p><span m='109130'>What</span> <span m='109270'>I</span> <span m='109310'>wish</span> <span m='109540'>I</span> <span m='109560'>knew</span> <span m='109770'>before</span> <span m='110270'>my</span> <span m='110390'>career</span> <span m='110720'>started--</span> <span m='111140'>this is</span> <span m='111280'>going</span> <span m='111380'>to</span> <span m='111430'>be</span> <span m='111490'>long</span> <span m='111710'>and</span> <span m='111800'>rambling,</span> <span m='112180'>but</span> <span m='112380'>I'm</span> <span m='112510'>an</span> <span m='112580'>actor,</span> <span m='112860'>so--</span> <span m='115720'>when</span> <span m='115930'>you</span> <span m='116030'>start</span> <span m='116760'>in</span> <span m='116870'>this</span> <span m='117050'>business,</span> <span m='117470'>people</span> <span m='118110'>will</span> <span m='118400'>only</span> <span m='118620'>tell</span> <span m='118850'>you</span> <span m='119040'>why</span> <span m='119400'>it</span> <span m='119570'>can't</span> <span m='119810'>work.</span> <span m='121000'>And</span> <span m='121160'>they</span> <span m='121300'>cite</span> <span m='121850'>statistics,</span> <span m='123015'>but</span> <span m='123270'>like</span> <span m='123460'>2%</span> <span m='123980'>of</span> <span m='124070'>people</span> <span m='124360'>in</span> <span m='124430'>Screen</span> <span m='124660'>Actor's</span> <span m='124980'>Guild</span> <span m='125250'>are</span> <span m='125320'>working</span> <span m='125790'>and</span> <span m='125890'>there's</span> <span m='126070'>this</span> <span m='126220'>many</span> <span m='126410'>people</span> <span m='126740'>in</span> <span m='126820'>Screen</span> <span m='127090'>Actor's</span> <span m='127440'>Guild.</span> <span m='127730'>Or</span> <span m='127880'>this</span> <span m='128090'>many</span> <span m='128289'>actors</span> <span m='128789'>go</span> <span m='128970'>into</span> <span m='129100'>the</span> <span m='129190'>business</span> <span m='129590'>and</span> <span m='129669'>only</span> <span m='129870'>this</span> <span m='130050'>many</span> <span m='130289'>succeed</span> <span m='130789'>or</span> <span m='131350'>make</span> <span m='131590'>it</span> <span m='131670'>or</span> <span m='131740'>what</span> <span m='131900'>have</span> <span m='132150'>you.</span> <span m='133060'>And</span> <span m='133470'>only</span> <span m='133710'>so</span> <span m='133900'>many</span> <span m='134400'>celebrities</span> <span m='134990'>make</span> <span m='135170'>this</span> <span m='135330'>much</span> <span m='135530'>money.</span> </p><p><span m='136120'>What</span> <span m='136340'>they</span> <span m='136420'>don't</span> <span m='136640'>tell</span> <span m='136830'>you</span> <span m='137070'>is</span> <span m='137820'>that</span> <span m='138460'>there</span> <span m='138700'>are</span> <span m='138760'>actors</span> <span m='139410'>who</span> <span m='139560'>you've</span> <span m='139680'>never</span> <span m='139930'>heard</span> <span m='140140'>of--</span> <span m='140320'>you</span> <span m='140480'>probably</span> <span m='141000'>have</span> <span m='141110'>never</span> <span m='141320'>heard</span> <span m='141480'>of</span> <span m='141560'>me.</span> <span m='142200'>David</span> <span m='142500'>Patcher</span> <span m='142780'>Green</span> <span m='143260'>is</span> <span m='143570'>a</span> <span m='143680'>working</span> <span m='144030'>actor</span> <span m='144260'>in</span> <span m='144320'>Los</span> <span m='144540'>Angeles</span> <span m='145080'>who</span> <span m='145510'>we</span> <span m='145650'>have</span> <span m='145760'>never</span> <span m='146000'>heard</span> <span m='146200'>of.</span> <span m='147070'>Many</span> <span m='147340'>actors</span> <span m='148060'>make</span> <span m='148370'>their</span> <span m='148500'>living</span> <span m='148940'>at</span> <span m='149100'>a</span> <span m='149330'>middle-class</span> <span m='149980'>level</span> <span m='151280'>as</span> <span m='151560'>actors</span> <span m='152030'>and</span> <span m='152170'>love</span> <span m='152330'>what</span> <span m='152500'>they</span> <span m='152610'>do</span> <span m='152910'>and</span> <span m='153390'>it</span> <span m='153630'>really</span> <span m='153870'>works</span> <span m='154150'>for</span> <span m='154230'>them.</span> <span m='154600'>There's</span> <span m='154920'>plenty</span> <span m='155180'>of</span> <span m='155250'>actors</span> <span m='155520'>you</span> <span m='155590'>may</span> <span m='155710'>have</span> <span m='155800'>seen</span> <span m='155960'>on</span> <span m='156060'>television</span> <span m='156530'>you</span> <span m='156610'>haven't</span> <span m='156870'>heard</span> <span m='157070'>of.</span> </p><p><span m='158300'>They</span> <span m='158460'>also</span> <span m='158670'>don't</span> <span m='158850'>tell</span> <span m='159000'>you</span> <span m='159130'>about</span> <span m='159330'>actors</span> <span m='159690'>who</span> <span m='160950'>they</span> <span m='161040'>leave</span> <span m='161310'>their</span> <span m='161430'>job</span> <span m='161710'>in</span> <span m='161760'>the</span> <span m='161830'>middle</span> <span m='162050'>of their</span> <span m='162160'>career</span> <span m='162480'>and</span> <span m='162660'>decide,</span> <span m='163060'>I</span> <span m='163090'>want</span> <span m='163240'>to</span> <span m='163280'>be</span> <span m='163390'>an</span> <span m='163470'>actor.</span> <span m='163870'>And</span> <span m='164000'>then</span> <span m='164280'>don't</span> <span m='164510'>get</span> <span m='164620'>on</span> <span m='164740'><i>Parks</i></span> <span m='164980'><i>And</i></span> <span m='165100'><i>Rec</i></span> <span m='165380'>after</span> <span m='165640'>a</span> <span m='165680'>couple</span> <span m='165940'>months</span> <span m='166230'>and</span> <span m='166300'>are</span> <span m='166380'>like,</span> <span m='166630'>OK,</span> <span m='166880'>this</span> <span m='167060'>isn't</span> <span m='167180'>what</span> <span m='167380'>I</span> <span m='167430'>want</span> <span m='167620'>to</span> <span m='167690'>do.</span> <span m='168090'>They</span> <span m='168190'>go</span> <span m='168350'>into</span> <span m='168460'>the</span> <span m='168550'>failed</span> <span m='168840'>actors</span> <span m='169150'>category.</span> <span m='170230'>But</span> <span m='170700'>there's</span> <span m='171100'>so</span> <span m='171300'>many</span> <span m='171600'>of</span> <span m='171700'>them</span> <span m='171920'>who</span> <span m='172030'>just</span> <span m='172460'>see</span> <span m='172710'>the</span> <span m='172810'>business</span> <span m='173190'>and</span> <span m='173280'>don't</span> <span m='173420'>decide</span> <span m='173780'>it.</span> <span m='173930'>And they</span> <span m='174220'>go</span> <span m='174380'>under</span> <span m='174570'>failed</span> <span m='174920'>actors,</span> <span m='175350'>but</span> <span m='176140'>this</span> <span m='176320'>isn't</span> <span m='176620'>impossible.</span> </p><p><span m='178290'>I</span> <span m='178380'>was</span> <span m='178510'>really</span> <span m='179120'>surprised</span> <span m='179490'>and</span> <span m='179860'>I</span> <span m='179920'>felt</span> <span m='180130'>very</span> <span m='180370'>fortunate</span> <span m='180840'>by</span> <span m='180980'>how</span> <span m='181090'>much</span> <span m='181280'>work</span> <span m='181530'>I</span> <span m='181600'>was</span> <span m='181780'>able</span> <span m='182020'>to</span> <span m='182120'>get</span> <span m='183250'>right</span> <span m='183470'>out</span> <span m='183600'>of</span> <span m='183660'>college.</span> <span m='184280'>And</span> <span m='184490'>albeit,</span> <span m='184580'>it</span> <span m='184890'>wasn't</span> <span m='186140'>a</span> <span m='186240'>lot,</span> <span m='187830'>I'm</span> <span m='188200'>not</span> <span m='188540'>rolling</span> <span m='188960'>in</span> <span m='189030'>money,</span> <span m='189340'>but</span> <span m='190170'>it's</span> <span m='190370'>definitely</span> <span m='190710'>possible</span> <span m='191190'>to</span> <span m='191300'>do.</span> <span m='191990'>And</span> <span m='192670'>I'm</span> <span m='193000'>really</span> <span m='193190'>surprised</span> <span m='193680'>by</span> <span m='194060'>how</span> <span m='194230'>much</span> <span m='194450'>I</span> <span m='194500'>was</span> <span m='194660'>able</span> <span m='194900'>to</span> <span m='195000'>do.</span> <span m='195390'>So</span> <span m='195760'>I</span> <span m='195840'>would</span> <span m='195980'>not</span> <span m='196210'>discourage</span> <span m='196690'>anybody</span> <span m='197070'>based</span> <span m='197390'>on</span> <span m='198090'>statistics</span> <span m='198840'>or</span> <span m='199340'>especially</span> <span m='199860'>teachers</span> <span m='200250'>who</span> <span m='200380'>are</span> <span m='200500'>bitter</span> <span m='200870'>that</span> <span m='201670'>they</span> <span m='201790'>never</span> <span m='202110'>made</span> <span m='202280'>a</span> <span m='202330'>living</span> <span m='202620'>as</span> <span m='202770'>actors.</span> </p>","file":{"id":633432,"video_id":"","name":"3095-Tyler - Actor.mp4","duration":203778,"thumbnail_url":null}});