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NOC 2021 Version 1.0


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53121 – Actors, comedians and circus performers

Actors, comedians and circus performers perform roles and circus skills in circuses, motion picture, television, theatre and radio productions to entertain a variety of audiences. They are employed by motion picture, television, circuses, theatre and other production companies. This unit group includes acting teachers employed by private acting schools.


Example titles

  • Acrobat
  • Acting teacher - private or studio
  • Actor/actress
  • Circus performer
  • Clown
  • Comedian
  • Drama teacher - private or studio
  • Narrator
  • Standardized patient

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:
    Actors and comedians
    • Study and rehearse lines, gestures and expressions to interpret a role
    • Portray roles in video or motion picture productions, television shows, theatre productions, radio dramas, commercials and other productions or perform the narration
    • Sing or dance as required by specific roles
    • Perform comedy acts in nightclubs alone or as members of comedy troupes
    • Improvise a role.
    Acting teachers
    • Train students in interpretation of scripts, speech, movement, and dramatic theory
    • Prepare acting students for specific auditions and performances.
    Circus performers
    • perform a variety of acts intended to amaze, thrill, and engage audiences
    • conceptualize and choreograph original performances
    • study and perform acrobatic and aerial skills required by specific circus shows
    • may participate in the development of a director or ringmaster’s vision.

Employment requirements

  • Demonstrated ability, based on an audition or previous acting or circus roles, is an important hiring criteria.
  • Circus performers and acrobats may require a period of study at a circus school.
  • Acting programs are offered at universities, colleges and private acting schools.
  • Acting teachers usually require experience as actors.
  • Membership in a guild or union may be required.

Additional information


Breakdown summary

Broad occupational category
5 – Occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport
3 – Occupations usually require a college diploma or apprenticeship training of less than two years; or more than six months of on-the-job training
Major group
53 – Occupations in art, culture and sport
Sub-major group
531 – Occupations in art and culture
Minor group
5312 – Occupations in creative and performing art
NOC 2021 Version 1.0
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