Acting. Do it for love but Value the Business.

It’s a long road to being an actor. We suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous criticism, self-doubt and uncertainty. Actor training rivals the hours put in by MBA candidates. Yet, the financial gain is often less. Sometimes much less.

Why is that? Actors are smart. Actors are funny. With their strong work ethic and charisma many—including this one—do well in the business world. The answer, clearly echoed in “A Chorus Line,” is love. But love “don’t pay the rent.” The price of affection should not include relinquishing control of your business. Think of yourself as a business — a good one — a successful one.

Agents, managers, casting calls and training centers all have their place in the entertainment industry. As the I.R.S. will tell you it is an industry. So take some authority. Play a little offense. Be the captain of you own destiny and market yourself!

Build a brand that’s clear and cohesive. “Get narrow” with your commercial persona and then amplify it. Social media can be more than family photos it can keep people up to date on what you’re doing as a pro. Websites are easier to build than ever and Google loves both. Make sure your headshots are taken with the Internet in mind. Think beyond the audition. Think like a brand. Be a brand.

Will it get you a job? No. Neither will head shots or a great monologue. Marketing is an instrument in your actor tool box. Wielding it will motivate you to take inventory of your offerings. It’s an opportunity for clarity into what differentiates you from competitors. Finally, the world ain’t gettin’ any less digital. Explode out there now. Get a foot hold. When people are searching they should access who you are and what you offer—quickly.

Or, you can sit around and wait for your agent to do it.

Stage Door