Lead Actor/Actress Career Profile, Salary & Job Outlook
What does a Lead Actor/Actress do?
A leading actor/actress, or star, plays the role of the protagonist in a motion picture, television, or other media production. After auditioning and casting, they interpret serious or comic roles by speech, gesture, and body movement to entertain audiences. In addition, they memorize lines, read from cue cards, and perform improv to portray characters and express a broad range of emotions for viewers.
How much does a Lead Actor/Actress make?
According to Glassdoor, Lead Actors make a national average of $93,474 or $44.94 an hour (as of March 2022). In general, entry-level actors make around $55,000 annually, with senior-level actors making $162,000 a year. This wide range also depends on skill, seniority, company, and location. Actors associated with major studio productions make millions per film.
What is the job outlook for this career?
Film revenue is forecasted to grow to $392.34 billion by 2025. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities in the acting field (including Actors) are expected to increase at a rate of 32% during the 2020-2030 decade.
How to kick-off your career:
- Go to auditions and reply to casting calls.
- Prepare a demo reel.
- Explore the NYU x Rolling Stone x IndieWire Film + TV Industry Essentials online course.
- Download Yellowbrick’s Ultimate Film Career Guide.
Judd Apatow, Film & TV Industry Essentials contributor,
Film director/producer/screenwriter/ comedian
Film Director | Camera Operator | Location Manager | Camera Operator | Production Assistant Gaffer | Key Grip | Cinematographer | Props Master | Stunt Coordinator | First Assistant Director | Second Assistant Director | Director of Photography | Line Producer | Assistant Props Master | Script Supervisor | Boom Operator