Acting as a craft, discipline, and business
I consider myself lucky to connect with Craig Archibald, acting coach and owner of The Archibald Studio. I asked him about his recent release because I could see how much he cares for actors and sharing experience.
What sparked in you to write this particular book?
Several years ago, a dear buddy asked if I was recording the counsel I imparted to clients. The truth was I had already secretly begun a journal with guide points for actors and artists. When a second pal encouraged me, I started to write in earnest.
It’s been some time since a comprehensive industry guide of value was published. When I was a young actor in Manhattan in the early 1990s, I desperately searched for a guide or mentor to help me navigate the maze of entertainment. I couldn’t find them. Like my fellow art buddies, I learned a lot of lessons the hard way. When I turned my focus from performing to coaching, one of my first instincts was to provide a guide not only to the young actor but to all actors who find themselves lost in the jungle without a guide. There is a strange, murky cloud that surrounds our industry. I knew I could provide clarity not only for my clients but for all actors and the people who love and support them.
What makes this project different or special for you?
Well, that’s easy … it’s my first book! At my essence, I’m a storyteller, and personal experience has always surpassed theory for me, so it’s a natural fit to combine a memoir with an educational book. I was also a kid who struggled with grammar, so the idea of being a published author is really one of my wildest dreams come true. I hope this inspires others who may feel insecure about their technical skills to keep the faith and commit to completing whatever you dream of doing.
Who are your primary collaborators, people who helped make this possible?
My colleague and dear friend Dan Futterman was the first on this train, encouraging me to write what I was coaching. Our buddy Ali Selim enthusiastically backed him up. When Kim Peacock heard about it, she became a passionate champion, and finally Michael Albanese jumped on the support express. There’s been no looking back.
Key people offered their input, read early drafts, and improved them. These include Lathrop Walker and my brother Kim Archibald. Erik Odom takes a special spot in this lineup as a truly adept line editor, sounding board, sage soul, and buddy.
My literary agent Jill Grinberg in Brooklyn made all the savvy connections, and Laurel Myers was a significant shoulder of support at Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.
What is your hope for readers to take away from this book?
That they have the capacity to succeed. That there is opportunity out there for them to make a living answering their life’s calling. That by changing their mindset, they can indeed change their lives. That an artistic life is possible and highly rewarding beyond financial terms. Above all, to never forget how fortunate they are to have received the storytelling gene from the universe. That’s pure spiritual gold.
We are living through a rather dark and difficult time. I want my book to be a beacon of hope, humor and creative inspiration for everyone.
How did YOU grow in this project?
This book was a labor of love. It started with mad dashes on sticky notes. I sacrificed at least five Thanksgivings and July Fourths to throw it all into my computer. As it progressed, so did I as a writer. Every step expanded my education. I already knew about mounting plays, television shows and movies, so learning the art of writing and the particular challenge of publishing has been and remains enlightening.
I’ve also been rewarded with wonderful new relationships and self-discoveries that I never would have experienced otherwise. It hasn’t been easy (at all), but it has been a pleasurable and somewhat humbling experience.
What do you have coming up next?
A very long stay with my therapist at a hotel that has a great spa! (Joking)
I have several film projects in different stages of development. I also have a novel in its final edit stage and, apparently, some show business stories that many people think would make another book.
Most importantly, I look forward to helping more young actors and artists. Whether at my studio in Los Angeles, my seminars in New York City, or through future speaking engagements, my most treasured dream is to give back to the next generation and make a difference to the wellbeing of our planet. Seriously. It needs all the help it can get!
“The Actor’s Mindset” is Canadian-born Craig Archibald’s first book. Craig has developed an invaluable position in the world of acting. As a writer, director, producer and actor, Craig has shown a noticeable range of versatility and experience in almost all aspects of entertainment. His stage acting career began in Saskatoon, Canada in 1978, his career in film and television began in New York City in 1995. However, Craig is best recognized for his founding of the Archibald Studio. The Archibald Studio was established, to offer instruction to actors of all experience levels, even training new hopefuls entering the field. The list of visiting clients include actors Constance Wu, Eric Roberts, Kathryn Erbe and Dan Futterman. Any and all of the students who have visited Craig’s teaching program for acting have given favorable reviews and recommendations for other aspiring actors. With this said, it is without any doubt that Craig Archibald has been and will continue to be a constant source of influence and knowledge in the acting art.