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The Rules of Acting Paperback – 5 Jun 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (5 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091951291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091951290
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 166,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Readers at large will be rewarded with self-helpless laughter, generated by the absurdity and the blessedness of the job Simkins loves" (The Times)

"As well as being an all-round actor, Simkins is a wonderfully knockabout writer, somehow managing to be world weary and full of joie de vivre at one and the same time" (Mail on Sunday)

"Hilarious ... a masterclass in the perils of being a luvvie" (Daily Mail)

"One of Britain's funniest writers" (Daily Mail)

"Readers at large will be rewarded with self-helpless laughter, generated by the absurdity and blessedness of the job Simkins loves" (The Times)

Book Description

A manual for showbiz survival from am dram to Hollywood and all that lies between…

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Michael Simkins describes himself as a 'jobbing actor' who has worked in theatre, TV and film for over thirty years. UK based, he may not be familiar to an overseas audience although he has appeared in many series which have been exported - Midsomer Murders, Foyle's War etc., etc. In fact his name may not even be familiar to Brits, but his face almost certainly will be.

Ostensibly, the book is a guide to people wishing to start a showbiz career, and it does contain a lot of useful advice on drama schools, auditions, theatre work, TV etc. But really all of this is just an excuse for Simkins to share some reminiscences and anecdotes about the weird and wonderful world of the luvvie. And he does so with a gusto that frequently took me way beyond giggling to howling with laughter.

Some of the stories are clearly true, some apocryphal, some possibly embroidered (or dare I say it) perhaps even made up, but they build up to a picture of someone who has thoroughly enjoyed his career - the lows as well as the highs. Simkins has worked alongside some of the true greats of British theatre and TV, and generously praises many of them. The ones he's less polite about he tends not to name, but mostly it's quite possible to make a good guess about who he means, which adds a whole other element of fun. There's a lot of swearing and jokes of a sexual nature, so perhaps not for the over-sensitive - I could have done with less of the extremes of swearing myself in places - but overall the book is so good-natured it would be hard to take offence.

Simkins takes us through his career from his days at RADA in the 1970s, his apprenticeship in the provincial theatres, on to the West End and the National Theatre.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roger Risborough on 30 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sorry to be the (wrap)-party-pooper, but this felt like a bit of a pale imitation of Michael Simkins' other books and Michael Green's seminal work on the subject - "The Art of Coarse Acting". Simkins freely acknowledges his debt to Green, and having coincidentally just re-read the "Coarse" version of what acting is really all about, the only real difference between the two works (apart from the effect of time on some of the old jokes), is that Green deals with the amateur code, and Simkins with the professional version. This book still has some interesting insights into the actor's life and perpetual insecurities, and Michael Simkins is an ideal tour guide through the various nooks and crannies of theatre and television, as he really seems to have done the lot in his time. Adverts, Shakespeare, The Bill, Eastenders, Chicago, Mamma Mia, etc all add up to an impressively varied CV, but the sum total of the book equates to rather less than he managed with his earlier work "What's My Motivation?", which felt funnier and fresher. But as Simkins points out, actors these days are heavily motivated by the fees they get for repeats of their work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. T. Bowes on 6 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Or write a book about it. Obviously the roles for Simmo are drying up because he really is scraping the barrel here. This book is really of no interest to anyone except those thinking of entering "the profession". Its basically a "how to" guide written from the inside. And terribly, horribly pretentious. Perhaps Simmo has nothing left to write about? Just in case, Simmo makes sure that his current agent's contact details are nicely placed underneath a late chapter heading. And his memory seems to be failing him. An incident recounted in "What's my motivation?" is here ascribed to someone else in a completely different setting and there are various other glaring errors. The book is so badly proofed that I ended up picking up a pencil and correcting all the spelling mistakes (not a good idea when you have borrowed the book from the library, granted!)because I found them so bloody irritating.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lindy on 18 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michael Simkins is a terrific actor. With his latest book he demonstrates once again that he is also a terrific writer with a wonderful sense of humour. "The Rules of Acting" is hugely entertaining; it will keep you laughing throughout as Mr S describes what can befall a thespian wannabe, and, like one of his stage performances, leave you longing for more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paxmeister on 16 July 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a massively enjoyable book that had me laughing all the way to Horsham on a horribly hot and crowded train.Michael Simkins is a gifted comedy writer who also manages to be surprisingly moving at times.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 12 Sept. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not as funny as his previous book - more a useful handbook for those in the industry.Needed more humorous anecdotes.
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By Suze TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This guy is one of those actors who is always in work but never gets recognised even though he's been in some good stuff and always does a good job.
I've read most of his books and he always gives me a laugh. I'm not a cricket fan though but I love his books that aren't cricket related.
Regarding the acting game, he tells it like it is. This book covers everything a would be actor needs to know. From applying to drama school, to getting an Agent, to staying in Digs.
And it is all told with humour and wit.
It's not a stuffy list of Do's and Dont's.
It's a fun read.
And I think it will appeal to everybody, not just those of a thespian persuasion.

Another good book from this author.
Thanks Mr Simkins, please keep them coming.
I am dying to know who that snotty actress who played an Angel was though. You should have named and shamed.
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