Alternative Career Path for Actors

Shirley Thomas

Throughout the course of his or her career, an actor may go on to win significant roles, getting recognitions and winning awards. Or he may develop a solid career with interesting parts, respected by his peers but forever missing out on getting an award. Or an actor may have all the talent and yet never catch a break, getting several decent roles but that is it.

Soon age is catching up and even though roles are available for older people, competition is just as fierce, if not more. Some actors leave the industry and become politicians, some others invest and start their own businesses, some stay in the industry and work behind the scene.

Some can not easily get over their love of acting and performing, and they wonder if there are other paths to take for well trained actors who would love to continue practicing their craft.

Step Behind the Camera: Direct, Produce or Write

One of the seemingly natural paths to take for actors is directing. Some actors develop keen understanding on movie directing over the years, some others become interested enough to seek formal training. Either way, becoming a director is not that much of a stretch for an actor. You know what it is like to be on the receiving end and being able to empathize with actors you will be giving directions in the future is certainly an advantage.

Some actors, especially the more observant ones, pick up more than just directional tidbits and understanding. They manage to see the bigger picture and acquire first hand knowledge of how to run an efficient production when it comes to movie making.

They come to know the go to guys, the best locations, the best behind the scene talents to recruit, probably even how much to budget the catering. As these actors transition into the role of producers they continue making movies, still telling stories, but doing it by oiling the nuts and bolts of the mechanism, so to speak.

Most actors do what they do because they love acting, they want to be a part of a story. Over time, some find they have their own stories to tell and that they have clear ideas on how to present said stories in movie form. They either get right to it or take classes on how to write movie scripts.

Actors who turn into scriptwriters have the same advantages as those who turn into directors or producers. They have the insider knowledge of the industry and most importantly, contacts. If you were an actor first, you would likely know which agent or producer to whom you should pitch your story. If you have a number of stories or scripts written and you are perceptive enough about the market, you will know which one to prioritize and focus on.

Share the Knowledge and Skills Set

You may have run the course of your acting career or, unfortunately, never even hit prime time at all. That is not to say you are not a talented actor. There are thousands of capable and decent actors who are unknown and, by Hollywood standards, unsuccessful. Movie stars and good actors are not necessarily the same thing after all.

Having experienced the limelight or not, a good actor is likely to have a thing or two to teach. It could be how to deal with directors, how to manage different projects and still go to auditions, how to prepare yourself for an audition or even the basic skills of speech, movement and expression.

Acting classes and schools may sound like the opposite of what passionate actors wannabe would want to do but aspiring, hard working ones will look for guidance and will likely sign up for some lessons. Savvy, experienced actors are certain to be welcome by acting schools to help train the next generation.

Lend a Voice

Growing old, by the silver screen standards, sees a number of actor taking voice acting jobs. While some are still paid the staggering amount they used to get, it is nevertheless not the same. Not to mention voice acting jobs are not exactly the same pool as regular acting jobs when it comes to size.

One thing you may want to consider is audio book reading. Basic acting skills are highly desirable for professional audio book readers. You need to be able to narrate with the right rhythm and inflections, to speak in different voices and accents, to inject emotions into the dialogs, to generally make listening to the book a pleasant experience.

audio book reading

A lot of people still prefer reading from a physical book, a lot of others prefer reading from an ereader. A lot of yet other group of people prefer listening to audio books, either because they like doing something else while enjoying a book or because it is a necessity due to lack of time or disability.

Audio books enjoy a large part of the market when it comes to publishing industry and jobs as audio book readers are certainly not drying up anytime soon. Naturally there will be competition but a background in acting is definitely a leg up.


Actors are trained in the art of conveying stories and messages through their eyes, facial expressions and body language. This skill is valuable when it comes to campaigns, specifically the visual aspects of such. Well trained actors consistently win roles in advertisements and public service campaigns, regardless of age, gender or physical feature. They appear in brochure, posters, catalogs and even landing pages of websites with high traffic.

Stockphotos and product catalogs need effective modelling as well and trained actors have an advantage when it comes to delivering visual narration that is required.

In the same vein, modelling and acting for corporate training call for decent actors. Case studies and role playing are a large part of corporate training these days. Live enactments are used to maximize trainees’ engagements (as well as minimizing boredom during the training). Actors may find themselves becoming an irate customer dealing with a sales staff at a department store or an employee with distinct lack of discipline dealing with undecisive manager.

With the right agency, good time management, professionalism and consistent performance, there is no saying this could not be a good career path.

Branches in the Industry

Becoming an agent is yet another thing an actor might consider. As it is, however, skills set of an agent come after considerable years in the industry and not from training originally received as an actor. When it comes to branching out in the industry, an actor can practically consider a number of things. Talent management or agency, casting agency, costume design, catering business and many more; the only catch is training as an actor has very little to do with potential success in a given choice.

Skills set acquired during formal training as an actor or picked up working as a professional actor certainly open up a number of different areas from which one can build a career.

If you are an observant and hard working person, it is not difficult to map out alternative career path as an actor.