Movie/film actors and actresses play the roles of characters in motion pictures and depict these characters using their voices, movements, body language, gestures, and appearances to relay a message, be it informative, educational, entertaining, or other impact to reach a targeted audience.
Becoming an actor/actress is not an easy task. While there is an increasing number of roles to be filled, even the most talented and experienced actors/actresses are often unable to provide what a role needs, if only because of the role’s context within the story or relation to the other performers involved. Some actors are more suited for particular genres, like comedy, drama, or horror, and in all cases they must be able to provide a convincing portrayal of the character based on the director's or producer's guidance. The greater an actor's talent and prior success, the more likely he/she is to land roles.
Aspiring actors/actresses must develop and offer a wide range of skills to convincingly portray roles, which often involve studies of “real people” whom actors seek to emulate or expand upon. Then, the performer must translate this to meet the needs of a script and adjust accordingly, and must be able to relay this ability on-the-spot when reading at an audition. The ability to improvise is often necessary, as are strong reading and comprehension skills and the ability to understand a role and what the director or producer expects. They should also be able to change approaches if necessary, but always remain consistent through multiple takes of the same scene. Memory skills are essential for accommodating scripts, as is the ability to deal with the stresses of production and long hours on sets, whether in closed-stage scenarios or on-location. They must also be able to accept rejection, as even the most prominent performers often do not receive the roles for which they audition.
Many actors and actresses have formal training in the field and/or degrees in the performing arts, while others commit to acting schools to learn and refine their craft. Regardless of education, many spend years in small roles on stage and in independent productions to demonstrate and refine their abilities and prove they can act convincingly and consistently.