Don’t ever date an actor.

Maybe I’m being a bit too specific; there are a lot of people you shouldn’t date.

Lepers, for example. People who say “Um…” before telling you how old they are. Jocasta. Anyone from Manchester. That guy you’re dating right now. Or individuals with the last name Bin Laden, Kaczynski or Bush.

And artists. A lot of people would say you just shouldn’t date artists of any kind. They’re too volatile and often just plain crazy.

Very specifically, though, I don’t think you should date an actor. Even playwright or director is cutting it pretty close. But never date an actor. I’m saying this even though I am one.

OK, maybe you can date me.

But all other actors are off limits. I already have to compete with the rest of them for parts; I don’t want to compete with them for your affections, too.

And the person needn’t ever have appeared onstage or onscreen to qualify.

The incognito actors are out there, waiting to be discovered and discarded by your discerning dating eye. Whether or not the man has ever donned a dance belt, tights or a body mic makes no difference. If he’s an actor, you’ll know it:

After a grueling four-hour group date, he posts a sheet of paper on the door of his apartment. This sheet lists the names of those few men who have earned a second shot at getting into his pants. If you’re not on the list, he’ll probably send you a politically worded e-mail (BCC-ed to all the other rejects) encouraging you to try again next year. That is, if he isn’t happily married. You of, course, will still be single, looking for work.

I mean a date.

Ok, so that’s a bit extreme. But if you were an actor, you’d notice the eerie similarities between waiting by the callboard and waiting by the phone: That monologue/story wasn’t funny enough. Why was the date/audition so short? I should have worn something sluttier. The ones who make you wait: actors.

But the audition is just the beginning.

The younger, less mature actors will have egos the size of Russia. And like any good Russian, after too much vodka, the ego needs to be stroked, constantly, to stay inflated. If he gets the job he wants, he’s awesome. And he’ll tell you so. Repeatedly. And in so many words. For example, “Hey, guess what? I’m awesome.” In fact, he’ll start singing “I will, I will rock you.” In bed.

If he doesn’t get what he wants, if someone else gets the job, you’ll have to bring him Ashley’s iced-cream and rub his pink feet while he nurses his ego’s purple bruises. This rejection was clearly a message: He has no skill. He’s as far from awesome as Dustin Diamond (Screech). Perhaps he’ll become an i-banker. Because he’s totally qualified for everything. But acting. And without that job, he has nothing. Nothing but you.

No pressure.

But don’t fool yourself into thinking the ego roller coaster will eventually mellow into something more manageable. It will evolve, sure, but not in a nice way. It will transform into something far worse, a horrible ego monster.

When the actor’s ego has taken enough beatings, it will stop looking like Russia and start looking more like the underbelly of America: endless and oblivious. Rather than being easily bruised, this actor’s ego has become jaded by rejection, unwilling to be damaged.

It’s like a cockroach at the end of the world.

Or Cher.

So you dump him, and he just … ignores you. He keeps coming back like that nasty rash you had last spring. And he doesn’t respond to antibiotics. You have to change your locks, your address and maybe even your name. And still, you show up to meet your next blind date, and there he is, smiling. So you have no choice but to give in, to date him until the world ends by bang or by whimper.

And even then. … even then … his mutant ego scuttles along, oblivious to it all.

If you can manage the unflappable ego, my guess is you won’t be able to manage the unpredictable emotions.

Because he’ll be emotional. Oh yes he’ll be emotional. Truly, soul-shakingly emotional.

Ladies and gentlemen, please be happy with your stolid, unmovable dudes. It’s a welcome relief from the actor alternative.

Unlike other men, this one cries with no onions in sight. In fact, weeping is just a tool for him — maybe even a weapon — and he’ll use it as such. If he can emotionally manipulate an entire audience, he can sure as hell emotionally manipulate little ol’ you.

He spends all day in class plumbing the depths of his tortured soul. You’ll never be vulnerable enough to match him.

Unless you’re also an actor. In which case … oh hell no.

You two will create a black hole of vulnerability that makes everything around you seem plastic and unbreakable by comparison. And the raging battle between your ego-Titans will destroy entire cities.

I mean, look at Los Angeles.

If you can juggle the emotions, God bless you, and tell me your secret. But you’ll have to reconcile yourself to the fact that he probably won’t ever get famous.

Let’s be honest, part of a thespian’s sex-appeal is the promise of future riches. He’s so talented, he’s destined for celebrity.

Trust me, he isn’t.

He’ll stay true to his “craft,” refusing to “sell out.” He’ll perform all the big parts at all the small venues, and he’ll spend six months out of 12 at some out-of-town regional theater. Maybe the Yale Rep. And you don’t want to live in New Haven.

Never again.

Fame and fortune’s not what you’re looking for? I don’t believe you. But maybe, just maybe, you’re telling the truth. And if you are, I have to warn you … he might get famous.

So I lied.

Yes, there is a chance he’ll become rich, famous and worldly beyond your wildest dreams. Once he does, there are only three possible outcomes…

The first possibility: He’ll get you knocked up, then dump you two months before the baby’s due. To add insult to injury, he’ll start dating Claire Danes. She may be employed, but she didn’t even graduate from this school. Look on the bright side: If he dumps you before the baby’s born, you don’t have to worry that he’ll name her Moses, Apple or even IBM.

The second possibility: He won’t get you pregnant, but he’ll still dump you. To add insult to injury, he’ll adopt children… with Angelina Jolie. And those kids are cooler than you’ll ever be. I mean come on, that baby had a mohawk.

The third possibility: He won’t get you pregnant, but he’ll still dump you. To add insult to injury, he’ll impregnate Katie Holmes instead, with a beautiful, eerily half-Asian baby. And of course he’ll deny he was ever attracted to you. That’s right, you heard correctly, L. Ron Hubbard blessed him with Scientology and the saving grace of heterosexuality. Yes, Katie Holmes is indeed a woman.

If he can use tears to manipulate little ol’ you, he can use “love” and Oprah’s couch to manipulate the entire United States.

Still with me? Still want to date an actor? Think you can handle all this?

Congratulations, you’ve earned a callback. I’ll meet you at Koffee Too?

You’ll be reading for the part of my boyfriend.

Chad Callaghan has hired the services of a talent agency to sort out his personal life. Resumes and headshots should be sent to chad@talent.nh.ct