Being an actor is like no other job. You have to be able to showcase a range of emotions in front of a camera, and on stage, you need to rehearse and understand your lines, and the pressure will always be on when you step into the spotlight. 

It’s not an easy job by any means, but it can be advantageous if you desire to become an actor. So what skills do you need? Let’s look at some key attributes that will help you succeed as an actor.

Communication Skills

Communication Skills for actorsYou need to be able to understand and communicate with other people on set, as well as be vocal and able to convey your thoughts and emotions convincingly on stage. This is necessary for working with your fellow actors, crew members on set, and of course, with your director, who will have a specific vision for the scene. It’s also important to interpret and understand your character’s emotions and motivations, as this will help you interpret the lines more truthfully and effectively. Communication skills are essential for all actors, particularly if you want to pursue a career in dramatic acting.

Sense of Humor

Being able to laugh at yourself and the situations you find yourself in is a crucial attribute for any actor and helps when you’re filming long hours on set. The film industry can be stressful and often unpredictable, so having a good sense of humor can help you cope with the pressure and make you more likable and approachable on set. Related to this is your ability to remain calm and collected while under pressure, take constructive criticism, and learn from your mistakes.

Physicality and Body Awareness

An actor who is aware of their body and can use it effectively on stage or in front of the camera is an asset. This includes knowing how to control your breathing, using your voice effectively, being aware of what you’re doing with your body, and being able to change this when necessary. Think about actors like Alec Guinness, who was able to change his physicality on stage and seamlessly become different characters. It’s this awareness and ability to change that makes such actors so unique. This is why you often see actors undertaking physical theatre classes or workshops and attending improv workshops to help build on and improve these skills.

Drama and Theatre Experience

Drama and Theatre Experience for actors
Group of drama students acting out a classroom scene on stage during the 2018 FED at Camp Humphreys.

This is essential if you want to pursue a career in dramatic acting. You must ensure plenty of theatrical training before seeking an agent. It’s also worth noting that you don’t need to study in a drama school or attend a university to be successful as an actor. Plenty of actors have attended private and applied to drama schools, which are often the best option for aspiring actors.


Confidence is such an important and underrated quality in actors. It’s essential to be confident in your abilities, but also be open to constructive criticism, as well as able to take direction from your  casting director. You may have the best take ever, but if the director feels that your performance isn’t quite right, you need to be able to accept this and move on. Being an actor requires a particular type of person. You must have high self-awareness, an outgoing personality, and a strong work ethic. You must be able to receive negative feedback and use it to improve your work. You should also have a passion for the craft and the desire to improve your skills. If you possess these qualities, you may be ready to take the next step toward a successful acting career.


Being an actor is not an easy career path to take. You’ll have to deal with rejection, criticism, and long hours on set. However, you can achieve this if you have the desire and determination to succeed and possess the skills necessary to be a successful actor. These skills include communication skills, a sense of humor, physicality and body awareness, drama and theatre experience, and confidence.