Career Description – Understanding Theatre and Creative Arts

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Overview of Actors, Technical Directors and Producers
This career outlook and forecast covers:

  1. Actors;
  2. Technical Directors;
  3. Producers

Nature of work for Actors, Technical Directors and Producers:

  • Employment sector for this actors, directors and producers is not fully formalized in Kenya and East Africa. Available opportunities come through auditions which are characterized by rejections as well.
  • Formal training in Kenya is quite minimal and many actors, producers, and directors find work on the basis of their experience and natural talent alone.
  • The industry is characterized by erratic earnings making the actors and directors seek for supplemental incomes in other jobs in other fields.
  • It is also characterized by extraordinarily high earnings to the most successful actors, producers, and directors.
  • Actors, producers, and directors express ideas and create images in theatre, film, radio, television, and other performing arts media.
  • They interpret scripts to entertain, inform, or instruct audiences.
  • Their main employers are local or regional television and radio stations, local theatres, and film production companies,

Specific tasks for Actors, Technical Directors and Producers:

  • Actors perform on stage, radio, television, video, or motion picture productions.
  • Other roles they perform include doing voice-overs and narrations for advertisements, animated features, and other electronic media. They also work in entertainment clubs, and theme parks too.
  • Actors portray characters, and, for more complex roles, they research their characters traits and circumstances so that they can better understand a script.
  • Most actors struggle to find steady work and not many achieve recognition as stars.
  • Producers make the business and financial decisions. They select scripts, approve the development of ideas, arrange financing, and determine the budgets. They hire or approve directors, cast members, and key production staff.
  • They negotiate contracts with clients on behalf of the cast crew. They guarantee compensation and benefits to team members.
  • Television and radio producers determine which programs, episodes, or news segments get aired. They research material, write scripts, and oversee the production of each piece. They coordinate the activities of writers, directors, managers, and agents to ensure that each project stays on course and within budget.
  • Technical Directors take charge of all creative decisions of a production which include interpreting scripts, auditioning and selecting cast members, conducting rehearsals, and directing the work of cast and crew.
  • They approve the production’s design elements. These include the sets, costumes, choreography, and music.
  • Assistant directors cue the performers and technicians, telling them when to make entrances or light, sound, or set changes during performances.

Work Environment for Actors, Technical Directors and Producers in Kenya

  • Actors, producers, and directors work under constant pressure. Many face stress from the continual need to find their next job. To succeed, actors, producers, and directors need patience and commitment to their craft. They endeavour to deliver impeccable performances, often while functioning under undesirable and unpleasant conditions.
  • Producers and directors organize rehearsals and meet with writers, designers, financiers, and production technicians. They experience stress not only from these activities, but also from the need to adhere to budgets and production schedules.
  • Work assignments typically are short term—ranging from a day to a few months—which means that workers may frequently experience long periods of unemployment between jobs. These results in unpredictable earnings from this trade thus the reason why quite often actors, producers, and directors hold other jobs in order to sustain a living.
  • Work hours are often long and irregular—evening and weekend work is a regular part of life in the performing arts. Actors, producers, and directors who work in theater may travel with a touring show across the country, whereas those who work in film may work on location, sometimes under adverse weather conditions.
  • Those who appear live or before a studio audience must be able to handle impromptu situations and calmly ad lib, or substitute, lines when necessary.
  • Actors should be in good physical condition and have the necessary stamina and coordination to move about theater stages and large movie and television studio lots.
    They also need to manoeuvre about complex technical sets while staying in character and projecting their voices audibly.

Education requirements for Actors, Technical Directors and Producers in Kenya

  • Formal training, either through an acting conservatory or a college program, is necessary for these jobs, but some people successfully enter the field without it. Most people studying for a bachelor’s degree take courses in radio and television broadcasting, communications, film, theater, drama, or literature. Many stage actors continue their academic training and receive a Master of Fine Arts degree.
  • Advanced curricula may include courses in stage speech and movement, directing, play-writing, and design, as well as intensive acting workshops.
  • Most aspiring actors participate in high school and college plays, work in college radio or television stations, or perform with local community or estate theater groups. This experience helps many young actors hone their skills.
  • Actors, regardless of experience level, may pursue workshop training through acting conservatories or mentoring by a drama coach. Sometimes actors learn a foreign language or train with a dialect coach to develop an accent to make their characters more realistic.
  • Producers have no specific training requirements. They come from many different backgrounds. Actors, writers, film editors, and business managers commonly enter the field.
  • Producers often start in a theatrical management office, working for a press agent, managing director, or business manager. Others work behind the scenes with successful directors or promote their own projects. Although there are no formal training programs for producers, a number of colleges and universities offer degree programs in arts management and in managing non-profit organizations.
  • Directors often start out as actors. Many also have formal training in directing.

Key Skills:
Actor:

  • Speaking – Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring – Monitoring/Assessing your own performance, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Reading Comprehension – Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Social Perceptiveness – Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination – Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Producer:

  • Speaking – Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring – Monitoring/Assessing self-performance, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Critical Thinking – Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Coordination – Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
  • Writing – Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Reading Comprehension – Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening – Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Time Management – Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
  • Judgment and Decision Making – Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Complex Problem Solving – Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Social Perceptiveness – Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Management of Personnel Resources – Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Negotiation – Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Persuasion – Persuading others to change their minds or behaviors.
  • Systems Analysis – Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Active Learning – Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Management of Financial Resources – Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
  • Management of Material Resources – Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
  • Learning Strategies – Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Systems Evaluation – Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Instructing – Teaching others how to do something.
  • Service Orientation – Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Mathematics – Using mathematics to solve problems

Technical Director:

  • Speaking – Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring – Monitoring/Assessing personal performance, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Coordination – Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
  • Reading Comprehension – Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening – Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking – Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Time Management – Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
  • Management of Personnel Resources – Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Writing – Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Social Perceptiveness – Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Persuasion – Persuading others to change their minds or behaviour.
  • Complex Problem Solving – Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making – Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Systems Analysis – Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Active Learning – Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Learning Strategies – Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Systems Evaluation – Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Instructing – Teaching others how to do something.
  • Service Orientation – Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Negotiation – Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Operation Monitoring – Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Quality Control Analysis – Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Operation and Control – Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Management of Material Resources – Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.

Abilities Required:
Actors:

  • Oral Expression – The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Memorization – The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
  • Originality – The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Speech Clarity – The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Comprehension – The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Fluency of Ideas – The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Oral Comprehension – The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Visualization – The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Near Vision – The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Producer:

  • Stress Tolerance – Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Integrity – Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Dependability – Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Leadership – Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Attention to Detail – Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Initiative – Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility – Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Self-Control – Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behaviour, even in very difficult situations.
  • Cooperation – Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Achievement/Effort – Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Social Orientation – Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Persistence – Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Independence – Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Innovation – Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Concern for Others – Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Analytical Thinking – Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Technical Director:

  • Attention to Detail – Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability – Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility – Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Stress Tolerance – Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Leadership – Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Initiative – Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Self-Control – Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behaviour, even in very difficult situations.
  • Persistence – Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Cooperation – Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Independence – Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Achievement/Effort – Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Integrity – Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Innovation – Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Social Orientation – Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Concern for Others – Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Analytical Thinking – Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Knowledge Required:
Actor:

  • Fine Arts — Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Producer:

  • Communications and Media – Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • English Language – Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics – Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Administration and Management – Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modelling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Telecommunications – Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
  • Law and Government – Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Customer and Personal Service – Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Clerical – Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Education and Training – Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Public Safety and Security – Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Psychology – Knowledge of human behaviour and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioural and affective disorders.
  • Fine Arts – Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • Sociology and Anthropology – Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Economics and Accounting – Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • Sales and Marketing – Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Personnel and Human Resources – Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Geography – Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • History and Archeology – Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
  • Philosophy and Theology – Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
  • Design – Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Production and Processing – Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mathematics – Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Career Description – Understanding The Actuarial Science Profession

Director:

  • Communications and Media – Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Telecommunications – Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
  • English Language – Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics – Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Administration and Management – Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Service – Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Production and Processing – Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Engineering and Technology – Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Education and Training – Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Clerical – Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Fine Arts – Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • Personnel and Human Resources – Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Mathematics – Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Psychology – Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Economics and Accounting – Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.

Employment

  • Actors, producers, and directors may find work in theme parks, non-profit professional companies, big tourist hotels, and theaters. Auditions typically are held in Nairobi for productions across the country and for shows that go on the road.
  • Many films are shot on location and may employ local professional and nonprofessional actors.
  • Opportunities are now devolving across the country thanks to emergence of many local radio channels which are also employing many actors, producers, and directors.

Job Forecast/Prospects:
Employment in these occupations is expected to grow in the years to come. Expanding digital television operations, increasing production and distribution of major studio and independent films, and rising demand for local films in Kenya and the neighboring countries should create more employment opportunities for actors, producers, and directors.

Also fueling job growth is the continued development of interactive media, direct-for-Web movies, and mobile content, produced for cell phones or other portable electronic devices.

The government’s emphasis on local, entertainment productions may boost employment opportunities in the broadcasting industry.

Competition for jobs will be stiff. The large number of highly trained and talented actors auditioning for roles generally exceeds the number of parts that become available. Only performers with the most stamina and talent will find regular employment.

Venues for live entertainment, such as the national theater are expected to offer many job opportunities. However, prospects in these venues are variable because they fluctuate with economic conditions.

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