An actor (or actress for female) is one who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre, and/or in modern mediums such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής(hypokrites), literally "one who interprets". The actor's interpretation of their role pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art, or, more commonly; to act, is to create, a character in performance.
Formerly, in some societies, only men could become actors, and women's roles were generally played by men or boys. In modern times, women occasionally played the roles of prepubescent boys.
After 1660 in England, when women first started to appear on stage, the terms actor or actress were initially used interchangeably for female performers, but later, influenced by the French actrice, actress became the commonly used term for women in theatre and film. The etymology is a simple derivation from actor with ess added. Within the profession, the re-adoption of the neutral term dates to the 1950–1960s, the post-war period when the contributions of women to cultural life in general were being reviewed.Actress remains the common term used in major acting awards given to female recipients.
In policy debate, an actor is an entity that enacts a certain policy action. If a plan were to have the U.S. send humanitarian aid to Sudan, then the actor would be the United States federal government.
Many times, actors are subdivided into more specific "agents".
Sometimes the Negative will use a counterplan to solve for the harms of the affirmative and the most common method of doing so is by the use of an agent counterplan, which simply does the mandates of the Affirmative plan through the use of another agent. Sometimes, the Negative will even use another country. If the Affirmative plan were to send peacekeeping troops to Congo, then the Negative would have Bangladesh (or any other country), do it.