There’s No Business Like Your Business

by Sheryl Thompson on November 3, 2008

Originally published in the Vancouver Actor’s Guide July 2006 newsletter.

People dream about owning their own business and as an actor, you do. You are not only your own boss but you are the entire company and the product your company is selling. It can be overwhelming when you think about it. The entire success of your company is in your control.

First, you have a product to sell and that product is you. You need to constantly ensure that your product is the best on the market and you do this by taking classes and workshops to improve your product. Then, you have to sell your product. For example, when you walk into an audition, it isn’t an audition but a sales call. You are there to present your product to the casting director, the client and anyone else in the room and show them you are the best product to suit their needs.

Directly related to Sales, another key area for actors is Marketing. You are out there selling yourself but how does your marketing package look? Headshots are an actor’s main business card and are the core of your marketing package. What about your resume? Your resume is your marketing brochure with product development history, clients who have utilized your product in the past and the special capabilities of your product. Other things to consider adding to your marketing package are actual business cards and a website. Don’t forget about networking – it is vital. You never know who you’ll meet and what they can do to help your business.

Large corporations use goals to keep their business on track. What is the ultimate goal of your business? What are the short and long-term goals that will assist you in achieving this ultimate goal? Would you like to have a speaking role on your resume by the end of the year? Would you like to learn a new skill well enough to have it on your resume by the end of the summer?

There are many more aspects to consider but I hope this will at least get you thinking. Being an actor is, at the end of the day, a job but the emotions involved sometimes make us forget about the business side of what we do. Viewing your acting career as your own business will make you feel more confident in auditions, meetings, networking situations – anywhere you need to promote yourself and give you that professional advantage that will be remembered. I look forward to doing business with you.

Sheryl Thompson is a working actor who relocated from Calgary to Vancouver to pursue her acting career after working in Calgary in the oil and gas industry for numerous years. Please feel free to visit her website at

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