Veteran acting coach Craig Archibald’s book title is much like that of an MLA or overall position paper. In short, it perfectly summarizes in a concise, one-sentence description the entire topicality and messaging of the read.


The Actor’s Mindset: Acting as a Craft, Discipline, and Business encapsulates from A to Z the odyssey of the aspiring Hollywood performer, with Archibald generously breaking everything down to its base components and while never at the expense of pace making sure one highlights those little extra oomphs making you stand out amongst the crowd, and in the audition room. “Here’s my formula for success as an actor: Discipline + Time = Integrity, Integrity + Perseverance = Quality, Quality + Opportunity = Success,” Archibald writes in this vein. “Give yourself time. It takes time to build an empire. Don’t rush into this like a fool. You are an entrepreneur—an entrepreneur in a large business. This business has a lot of layers that it takes time to learn. This business hires quality artists. Don’t think that it can be done overnight. Every ‘overnight success’ you hear of has actually been in the works for years.”

“The fastest I’ve taken a client from beginner to working actor is three years,” he continues. “My experience with movies is that they take, on average, six years from conception to completion. A friend of mine adapted his book as a feature film. From the first draft of his screenplay to the first screening of the movie: fourteen years. A young actor who doesn’t understand this process is simply naive. I want you to be smart and savvy.” It’s this affability, mixed with an informal articulation of the actual building blocks a performer must navigate internally and externally that makes The Actor’s Mindset stand out from its literary peers.

Plenty of awarded and credentialed people within the business have written ideologically sound, superbly thought-out meditations on their respective philosophies of achieving success. But Archibald’s friendliness, coupled with his ability to keep things light and not overtly verbose, makes Actor’s Mindset feel genuinely seamless. “The building blocks—the basics of the work we do—always start with the premise that we are physically and vocally trained and ready to perform at any given moment. Too many actors get to Hollywood and give up on their training. Don’t do this!” Archibald states. “…When your opportunity arrives, you must be ready. And in my experience, sooner or later everybody gets an opportunity. Be ready for yours. Discipline over time will make you an artist with integrity. You will know your craft. You’ll have your technique. You’ll be confident. You’ll be smart and savvy.


You will not be green and over-eager and seeking validation. You’ll be cool and collected, driven by your personal goals. People want to work with people who know what they are doing. No one wants to work with idiots or victims who desperately seek validation or approval.”

Kendall Townsend