I love to read.
I am a perpetual student, an avid reader of business and self-development books, and I’m always on the hunt for the latest and greatest about the science of the mind. Yes, I love how the brain works.
In fact, I believe that most humans do not even come close to using the full potential of their brain in a lifetime.
There are a few books that have had massive impact on my life and have remained the ones I go back to over and over and over again. You’ll notice that none them have the words ‘actor,’ ‘acting’ or ‘auditions’ in the title. And with good reason! I think the more we know ourselves and the less we try to THINK about how to act, the better. Because after all, isn’t acting just recreating life?? So, I thought I’d give you little sneak peak into my own personal library:
1. As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. Hands down, this is the most important book I own. It’s a tiny philosophy book written by a man who was seeking “an oasis of tranquility” in the midst of the violent change during the Industrial Revolution in the late Nineteenth Century. Some might think of it as a religious book, but for me it is a philosophic “bible” if you will, that teaches you the true power of the mind. This is long before The Secret, Tony Robbins or Landmark Worldwide. James Allen paved the road for the contemplative study of how the brain works. Don’t let its tiny size fool you into thinking it has little to offer. This book actually offers more punch than most books on the market today. #asamanthinketh
2. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Not to be confused with the famous book The Art of War. Nope. This one gets inside the artist’s mind and painstakingly describes how we struggle with ourselves. The book will make you cringe sometimes with its deep truth of the struggle to be an artist. Don’t miss his follow-up, Turning Pro, too! #theartistsstruggle
3. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Reis and Jack Trout. Yes, I think I’ve shared that I majored in Advertising and Journalism, but of course I had to take lots of marketing courses for that degree too. But this one I found on my own. Although this book was written in the early 90s, its principles still ring true today even though it was written long before social media existed. Each of the 22 laws can be applied to your acting career if you think outside the box. I think it is gold. #marketing
4. You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. An amazing read of one woman’s journey from abuse and self-doubt to mastering her thoughts and ultimately loving herself fully. That alone will inspire you. But the real magic of this book is the amazing resource at the back. She has created a huge glossary of every physical ailment you can think of and shows you what the possible/probable emotional cause is for it AND a corresponding “new thought pattern” to counteract it. It is genius. I actually use it on myself and my clients all the time, and I am astounded by its accuracy and ability to heal. #healyourlife
5. The Organized Actor®. Oh come on, I couldn’t make book recommendations without adding mine in. But the reason it’s on this list might surprise you. The book has morphed a great deal since I first wrote it in 1994. So sure, it still has all of the tools you need to keep everything about your acting career in one place. But, more importantly, it now has tools for productivity too. As our lives have gotten busier, and we are pulled in more and more directions, it is so important to have a place to bring us back to our intention with our acting career. This new edition as created with productivity in mind. Yes, I wrote it. And I still use it today. If you’ve always felt unorganized or have feared “getting organized” because you think it might take away from your creativity, I challenge you to use the book for even just three months and watch magical things start to happen. #productivity Buy your copy here.
Of course this list could be longer, but start with these 5 books and tell me what you think of them. And please share your favorite go-to book that has impacted your life!
Leslie Becker is an award-winning Broadway actress, writer and creator of The Organized Actor® and is passionate about inspiring, entertaining and educating others. www.OrganizedActor.com.