Do you have what it takes to be the next big Hollywood star? Or perhaps you instead see your name in lights on a Broadway marquee? Maybe you just want to see your name in the program of your next high school musical?

If any of these scenarios sound like you, then you obviously want to be an actor someday. But can just anyone be an actor? Don’t you need to be born with natural talent? What if you don’t look like a “movie star”?

Don’t worry about any of those things! If you want to be an actor, you can make it happen. Don’t believe us? Turn on the television and flip through the channels. We bet it won’t take long for you to find someone that looks like you. Not every actor looks like a “movie star.” There are roles out there for people of all ages, races, shapes, and sizes!

As for natural talent, it certainly helps to be born with the ability to perform. But acting is also something that can be learned and mastered through lots of practice. Like any skill, it can be taught. With passion and perseverance, you can be a great actor…even if it doesn’t come naturally.

Actors are just storytellers at heart. Instead of reading a story aloud, they act out the story in the form of a movie, television show, or play. They pretend to be someone else and, if they’re good at it, you see them as that person rather than an actor playing a role.

We often think of actors as “movie stars” when, in reality, most actors aren’t famous at all. Think about your favorite television show or movie. You can probably name one or two of the actors that star in it. Maybe you can even name three, or four, or more. But watch it again and count the total number of actors involved.

There are probably dozens and dozens of actors that you can’t name. But they’re actors! And they’re making a career out of doing what they love…even if they’re not “movie stars!”

Acting can be tough work, though. Most actors spend a lot of time trying out for roles — called auditioning — and then memorizing their lines, practicing, and performing. The final product you see might only look like a couple of hours’ worth of work, but you’d be surprised if you knew how many hours went into the production you saw!

There are many ways to become an actor. Many colleges and universities have drama programs that will teach you the ropes. Of course, many actors get into acting simply by jumping in with both feet and giving it a try. From school plays to community theater productions, there are many acting opportunities you can take advantage of close to home.

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  1. Wonder of the day#948 can anyone be an actor/actress?

    I think that anyone could be a actor/actress because if everyone in the world got a chance to show how good you are at acting. Sometimes if you’re lying your acting like you didn’t do anything. Parents act like they’re mad when you do something dangerous but there actually scared. So that is why everyone can be an actor/actress.

    • Hey there, Matt, thank you for sharing your awesome comment today! We are glad you’ve been thinking of certain times that many of us have acted– emotion is an important part of acting! If we are untruthful, mad, hurt, happy, surprised… actors are good at pretending and helping us understand the emotions they are feeling. That’s when we know an actor is great… we forget they’re acting! :)

  2. You were right about anyone can be an actor. I know this because that’s what happened to me. I had to practice and try out to be part of the play Charlotte’s Web at a community playhouse. I was the lamb. You don’t always get the part you want but that shouldn’t stop you from trying again. Being in a play can be hard because of the practice and the memorizing of lines.

    • Thank you for sharing your awesome comment and connection, Kacie! We are glad you practiced and tried out for Charlotte’s Web! What a SUPER book and play! The best part about acting is that you are part of an awesome group, a community, so no matter what part you play, you are part of the show! Way to go, we are so proud of you for keeping your head held high! :)

    • Thanks for sharing your opinion, Wonder Friend Rebecca! Have you ever been a part of a play, skit, or talent show? :)

  3. Hi Wonderopolis!

    Some of us want to be in a musical when we are older because we like to sing! One of us tap dances and will be in a tap play.
    Do actors ever get scared?
    We predict tomorrow’s wonder will be about Shrek, books, ogres, a fairy tale book with an ogre, an ogre’s cave, and a CareBear ogre.

    • Good afternoon, Froggy 1! We are glad to know that there are some aspiring actors, actresses and dancers out there! Way to go, Wonder Friends! Some actors get scared before performing, while others are not fearful at all! It all depends on your personality! :)

      Thank you for sharing your super predictions on this WONDERful Wednesday! Knock, knock… who is that at the door? :)

  4. Comments:
    Louis – “I learned actors can be all different ages, shapes and sizes and they don’t need to be famous.” Jayna – “I learned there are many different schools to learn how to be an actor.” Ava – “I learned you need to tryout to be in a movie or play.” Will – “I learned it takes a long time to make a movie.” Steph – “I learned in high school you can take a drama class to see if acting interests you.” Jake -”I learned actors are just storytellers at heart.” Miss Marsico “I think I should be a movie star!”

    Questions:
    Adam – “Do you have to be an actor for tv commercials?”
    Ryan – “How do babies know how to act?”

    Predictions: trolls, shrek, fictional characters, how a movie is made

    • Hello Miss Marsico’s Class! What an awesome group of comments, questions and predictions from our Wonder Friends today! Louis, Jayna, Ava, Will, Steph, Jake, and Miss Marsico: we are so excited you shared what you learned about becoming actors and actresses! It’s important to practice and follow your passion! We hope to see Miss Marsico on the big screen in the future! :)

      Adam and Ryan, many people, just like all of us, have been in TV commercials! When it comes to babies, sometimes it can take a long time to get a baby to cooperate. We bet there are lots of toys on set to keep the acting babies happy! :)

      We are heading to the swamp for tomorrow’s Wonder! :)

  5. Good morning Wonderopolis,

    Thank you for today’s WONDERful wonder! We have been in lots of plays at school, so we know how hard it is to be an actor. But it sure is worth it!

    We came up with lots of times and places when we have been actors. We even drew some pictures of them!

    We drew pictures of plays, puppet shows, movie sets, animations, concerts, recitals, and even some auditions!

    • Thank you for visiting us today, PB 1st Graders! We bet you have lots of great advice to give actors and actresses after you experiences in school plays! From memorizing lines to figuring out the different between stage left and stage right, it’s tough work! We hope you had lots of fun and we’re glad to know that you took your awesome ideas to the drawing board! We bet your art is lovely! :)

      HOORAY for you, Wonder Friends! :)

  6. How can a baby become an actor? How do they learn their parts for the movies? We also were wondering how do you know all the information on here? Do you do a lot of research?

    • We LOVE all your awesome questions, Ms. Burns’ class! WAY TO GO, Wonder Friends! We do LOTS of research to provide awesome Wonders for you to enjoy (and learn from)! :)

      We Wonder if you can think of any babies on TV shows, in movies, or in commercials? We can think of lots! Babies are not ready to follow what a director says, so we bet there are lots of toys and snacks on set. This helps those little actors stay focused… and acting like babies! :)

  7. Bonjour Wonder Buddies!

    Today’s Wonder of the Day was great! Some students in our class want to be actors. The video taught us if we try our best we can be successful actors. It also taught us what we need to be an actor and where we could be an actor. It would be awesome to be an actor because amazing things could happen!

    We think tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day will be about norse myths or a famous ogre: Shrek!

    Bye!
    Ms. G’s Class

    • Buongiorno, Ms. G’s Class! Acting is hard work, and it’s lots of fun, too! We are always up for a challenge, and we’re glad to hear the same is true for our Wonder Friends in Ms. G’s Class! We Wonder if you have a school play or talent show to participate in? We are WONDERing about the people behind the scenes, too. What about production, costumes, lighting, direction and script writing! There are so many ways to get involved!

      Thanks for sharing your comments and your awesome prediction! We can’t wait to go green over tomorrow’s Wonder!

      Adios, Wonder Friends! :)

    • Great guess, Wonder Friend Chris! We bet there are thousands, even millions, of actors around the world! Some may be famous, and some may have smaller roles! But the cool part is, they are all actors! :)

  8. I think everyone can be a actor or actress if you just believe in yourself and if you fall pick yourself back up and try again. :)

    • Thank you for the awesome reminder about trying your best, Bella! We are so glad you shared your encouraging comment with us today! HOORAY for you! :)

      Hannah 402, thanks for sharing your smile! :)

    • Thanks for sharing your opinion, Wonder Friend Jesie! Some people work their whole lives as actors without being “famous” or in a major TV show or movie, while others may have natural talent! Sometimes people are discovered by talent scouts because they look the part or talk a certain way that would be good for a role! You never know… someone you know could be an actor, even you! :)

    • Hey there, Marco! Thanks for sharing your very own Wonder, we are always looking for awesome new Wonders! While we like to work quickly, it usually takes us some time to research, write and post our Wonder! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Keep your head held high, Wonder Friend H! We Wonder if you have been a part of your school’s play or talent show? It takes lots of patience and practice to be an actor, and we hope you’ll keep working on your acting skills! :)

  9. Thoughts, Connections, Questions: David- I thought you have to have an ID to be an actor. Stevie- Do you have to be a certain age to be an actor? Bryan- How do actors know their lines so much? Hayden- How do you get to be a famous actor? Erica- Do actors ever have free time?

    Predictions: Hayden- Have you ever watched Shrek? David- Who read the book Shrek? Bryan- Who made Shrek? Erica- What is an ogre? Stevie- Are Shrek and Fiona having more twins?

    • Hey there, Mrs. VanDusen’s Class! Thanks for WONDERing with us today! We are excited to read all your Wonder questions! The actor ID you may be thinking about is the Screen Actor’s Guild- most actors are a part of this organization and they have ID cards with their pictures on them. David, Stevie, Bryan, Hayden, and Erica, we are glad you have so many more Wonders for us! Practice makes perfect when it comes to memorizing lines! We Wonder if you can think of some of the answers to your questions? :)

      Hayden, David, Bryan, Erica, and Stevie: we think you’re on to our next Wonder! We’ll see you in swampland! :)

    • Thank you for telling us about your dreams, Ali! Acting is lots of fun, even if it’s in a school play, community theater, or on the big screen! What matters right now is that you have lots of fun while you perfect your acting skills! :)

    • What a super guess, Wonder Friend Mystery! Thanks for sharing your prediction for tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day®! :)

  10. I really found this wonder interesting, I have always wanted to be an actress/musician. I believe I have the talent and resources to do it. What’s stopping me? Nothing, that’s what! Thanks Wonderopolis! :)

  11. To add on to my post above, I think alot of it has to do with passion. I don’t think someone could have dreams about doing something if they really couldn’t do it. I am very passionate about acting and music. I want to have the sold out shows or people come to see a movie just because I am in it. I believe I can get there. Anyone can be anything they want to be if they put thier heart into it.

    • WOHOO, we love your enthusiasm Ashley! We hope you’ll follow your awesome dreams to pursue a career as an actress or musician (or maybe both?!) :) Talent, hard work and lots of practice are all a part of succeeding! We believe in you! :)

  12. I LOVE acting. I have wanted to act since I was a toddler. Any chance I have, I act. When I act I feel wonderful. I love acting. I think anyone can be an actor. They just have to be inspired and work hard towards their dream.
    You can’t just be an actor. You need to work hard and try your best.

    • Sam, what a great message! We’re so glad you shared your thoughts about acting and how it makes you feel! We’re so happy that you enjoy acting as much as you do, and we are glad you’re following your dreams and working hard! Great job, Sam! :)

  13. ———————————————————–

    Maybe That Guy Was Acting To Be A Actor And Acting To Talk About Acting!!! :D

    ———————————————————–

    I Wonder What’s Next???
    We Hope You’ll Want To Read Tomorrow’s Wonder Of The Day Ogre And Ogre Again!!!

    :/ :\ Is It??? What Is A Fairy tales It’s definitely About Ogres HA HA HA!!!

    ———————————————————–
    See You Next Time For The Exiting conclusion Of Henry V.S Ogres!!!

    ———————————————————–

    • Welcome back to Wonderopolis, Max! We like your comment about an actor talking to the audience about acting for our acting Wonder… we bet he was acting! :)

      We look forward to seeing you tomorrow for tomorrow’s awesome Wonder! :)

  14. Hi wonderopolis today’s wonder was awesome I want to be an actor in New York I think tomorrow’s wonder will be about shrek.

    bye!

    • How awesome, Daniel! We’re so glad you shared your dream about becoming an actor in New York with us today! What a great connection! Keep up the SUPER work, Daniel, and we look forward to WONDERing with you again soon! :)

    • Hey there, Daylen! Thanks for sharing your comment and telling us about what you learned from today’s Wonder! We are glad you enjoyed learning about actors of all sorts with us! It’s cool to think outside the box! Thanks for visiting us today! :)

  15. Hi Blake this is Nick from Ms. Shurpins class this is so much fun let’s next write one on how to bring home the bacon.

    • Hey there Nick! Thanks for sharing your comment and saying hello to Blake! We are so excited when our Wonder Friends connect! We hope you’ll visit more of our Wonders to learn all about cool, WONDERful things! :)

  16. Hi! I liked today’s wonder a lot. I have done acting before, and it is really fun. When my family lived in Amarillo, me and my sisters went to the Amarillo Little Theatre and we did plays and acting classes for fun. My favorite year was when me and my sister Blakeleigh did Summer of Seuss at the theatre and acted in plays based on Dr. Seuss’s books, like Yertle the Turtle, Gertrude Mcfuzz, Green Eggs and Ham and Oh, the Places You Will Go! We were in different ones, though. While we were doing that, our older sister Bryleigh was doing Disney broadway plays at the same theatre and acting as The Little Mermaid. It was really fun acting there! Thank you for today’s wonder! ;) :)

    • Hey Berkleigh, we always love when you comment! Thanks for telling us all about your awesome experiences in Amarillo at the Little Theatre! It sounds like you and your sisters were actresses for the summer! We bet it was lots of fun to participate in all sorts of plays and meet new people, too! We are glad acting was lots of fun! :)

    • That’s so important, Wonder Friend Digis10! We are glad you’ve been thinking about all the hard work and effort that goes into becoming an actor! Thanks for sharing what you learned! :)

  17. Dear wonderopolis,
    I like the movie. I wonder that tommorow wonder is about something fun and it might be on the movies. I really like the part when it said you can be a actor by readings books. your friend, Maria :)

    • Thank you for sharing your comments today, Maria! We are so glad that you liked our acting Wonder. We Wonder if you have ever been a part of a play at school or in your neighborhood? Acting can be lots of fun, but it’s hard work, too! :)

      Thank you for sharing your awesome predictions for the next Wonder! You’re in for a treat! :)

  18. Dear wonderoplis
    I loved the wonder about actors. I never knew that you could check out CDs from the Libary. and I never knew that there was a place in New York about music and you could learn anything in school.

    your friend JOSE

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts about acting, Timothy! We know it takes lots of practice, patience, and even some luck to be an actor! We Wonder if you’ve got any acting skills to share? :)

  19. I am Nick and I am so funny my teacher is Mrs. Shurpin from Park Trails Elementary I am 9 and next week I am going to NASA and sleeping under the biggest air shuttle in the world.

    • Hey there, Nick! Thanks for sharing your comment and telling us all about what you’re doing this summer! It sounds really WONDERful! :)

    • Hey there, Panda Queen! We are glad you’re thinking about how to become an actress! We would like you to talk to your family about how you can get involved with your community– perhaps there is an acting troupe or some cool opportunities to enter a talent show in Michigan? :)

  20. Hello, Wonderopolis I’m so exited to be in this website, I want to be an actres and this video actually inspired me I don’t think you are the owner but thank you anyway,
    Wonderopolis rocks!!!!

  21. And a thing more…
    Can you put some horse videos?
    That would be great!!
    or horseriding, I do that and it is awesome Wonderopolis is so cool, I think I would love to see my favorite animals here. Aloha and Thanks,
    Ivanna Bell

  22. Hi! Ivanna again, how can I be an actresses I would love to be one, I’m not sure I can be one I just see it real difficult. Thanks,
    Ivanna Bell

    • Thanks so much for WONDERing with us, Ivanna! We are glad you enjoyed our acting Wonder and the video, too! We Wonder if you have ever been in a school play or participated in a talent show? :)

    • Keep dreaming big dreams, Gabe, we believe in you! We Wonder if you have been involved with your local theater group, or perhaps you have a school play you can audition for? Every actor starts somewhere! :)

    • How neat, Destiny! We are lucky to have awesome Wonder Friends like you! What is your favorite part of this acting Wonder? :)

  23. I think yes,it is a good way to show your personality to people and to feel good about your life. But to some people, they just don’t want to. You did it again WONDEROPOLIS!!!!

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Can anyone be an actor?
  • Do you have to be naturally talented to act?
  • Can you put on a good show?

Wonder Gallery

948Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Ready to act? Find a friend or family member willing to help you explore one or more of the following fun activities:

  • Who are your favorite actors and actresses? Think of your 10 favorite movies. What makes them great? In addition to compelling storylines, we’ll bet that several of them are your favorites because of the actors who star in them. To learn more about some of the best actors and actresses throughout history, jump online to check out The 50 Greatest Actors of All Time and 50 Greatest Actresses of All Time. Do you agree with the lists? Why or why not? Discuss the lists and your thoughts with friends and family members. Do they agree?
  • Do you think you have what it takes to be a great actor? Give it a try. You might find it’s more difficult than you think. Pick out a favorite television show or movie and find a favorite scene. It might help to do this exercise with something that you can pause and rewind easily, such as a DVD or a recorded show. Try to reenact the scene exactly. That includes saying all the lines correctly in the same way that the actors do. But it’s also more than that. It involves using the same facial expressions and moving in the same way that the actors move. When you start to see each scene for what it is — a complex combination of words, movements, emotions, expressions, etc. — you’ll realize just how talented actors have to be!
  • Up for a challenge? Show us your acting chops! With the help of a few friends or family members, act out a scene from your favorite television show, movie, book, or play. Get someone to record your performance on video. Then upload your acting video to the Wonderopolis SchoolTube channel and post the link to your video, along with a description of what you did, to the Wonderopolis Facebook page. We can’t wait to see you in ACTion! You never know when one of our Wonder Friends might be Hollywood’s next big star!

Still Wondering

Check out ArtsEdge’s Acting and Storytelling resource for family-friendly tips for acting out amazing stories!

Test Your Knowledge

Wonder What’s Next?

We hope you’ll want to read tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day ogre and ogre again!

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