Actor refers to an individual who works in television or some other medium such as film or theater who pretends to be somebody else for money. Snarky comments aside, it is actually an age-old and respectable craft requiring intense practice, skill and in most cases, natural talent. The term was originally used to describe male performers, while female performers were called actresses. In more recent years however, it has become a rather gender-neutral phrase.
Method acting is a process by which the actor has intimate and real-world exposure to a situation in order to incorporate the sensations he gained from the experience into his or her role.
Some actors tend to revisit certain attitudes or personality quirks when it comes to their work. Such individuals are referred to as character actors. Jeff Goldblum for example has a tendency to play hyper-active characters with a penchant for stammering.
In fiction Edit
It is not uncommon for actors to actually play actors on TV. On the FX Network drama series Dirt, actor Josh Stewart played Holt McLaren, a Hollywood film actor whose career had grinded down and was no longer considered "bankable". Tabloid magazine editor Lucy Spiller promised to reinvigorate Holt's career in exchange for scandalous gossip about other actors that she could publish in her magazine.
On the NBC comedy series 30 Rock, Tracy Morgan plays Tracy Jordan - an eccentric African American comedy film actor whose career is repackaged for television when he takes on the lead role in the comedy sketch series TGS with Tracy Jordan. Another actor from the fictional series is Jenna Maroney, who was the star of TGS back when it was just called The Girly Show.
- Another term for an actor is thespian.