Entertainer Kaiwhakangahau

Entertainers perform a variety of acts, such as dance, drama or acrobatics, to entertain an audience.

Entertainers may do some or all of the following:

  • write and research performance routines
  • rehearse their acts
  • design and dress in costumes to suit their performances
  • perform their acts in front of an audience
  • record and edit their videos and photos for social media
  • promote and publicise their acts.

Physical Requirements

Physical requirements for entertainers depend on what kind of performance work they do. For example:

  • human statues need to have a good level of stamina and concentration
  • jugglers need to have good hand-eye co-ordination
  • stilt walkers must have good balance.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for entertainers includes:

  • public speaking
  • theatre sports and debating
  • acting, dancing or singing
  • other experience performing in front of an audience
  • artistic or creative work.

Personal Qualities

Entertainers need to be:

  • observant
  • able to communicate ideas and feelings
  • outgoing, confident and comfortable working in front of an audience
  • able to deal with negative feedback
  • adaptable, as they need to be able to respond to the audience
  • disciplined and motivated
  • patient and persistent enough to perfect their act.


Entertainers need to have:

  • excellent performance skills
  • creative ability and skill in their speciality area
  • knowledge of different performance and acting techniques
  • knowledge of body posture and movement
  • knowledge of human behaviour and character development
  • strong business, marketing and planning skills, as most entertainers are self-employed.



  • work irregular hours, including weekends and evenings
  • work at a range of places including theatres, conferences, festivals and corporate functions, weddings and children's birthday parties
  • may travel nationally and internationally to perform.

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become an entertainer. However, media studies and music, dance and drama are useful.

Entertainers usually specialise in one role, such as:

Acrobats use trapezes to perform feats of balance and agility, often high off the ground.
Aerial Dancer and Circus Artist
Aerial dancers and circus artists perform dances and feats, sometimes above audience members heads.
Clowns use physical performance and humour to entertain audiences.
Comedians use humour to entertain audiences.
Hypnotists use the power of suggestion to persuade their subjects to amuse an audience.
Magicians use illusion and sleight of hand to perform magic tricks.

Years Of Training

There are no specific requirements to become an entertainer. However, a tertiary qualification, such as a Bachelor of Performing Arts, may be useful.