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What's My Motivation? [Paperback]

Michael Simkins
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 7.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

5 May 2005
As a boy, Michael Simkins always wanted to be someone. While his friends were out getting laid and stoned, he was tucked up at home dreaming of his name in lights, of holding an audience rapt, of perhaps becoming a TV heart-throb, or having someone, anyone, ask for his autograph in the supermarket. This is the true story of an obsessive pursuit of acting fame. It is a life marked by occasional hard-fought successes and routine helpings of ritual humiliation: scout hut Gilbert and Sullivan, dodgy rock operas, sewage farm theatre workshop, Christmas panto hell, straight-to-video film flops, leading roles in Crimewatch reconstructions and dressing up as a chicken to advertise TV dinners. It is a hilarious tale of turgid theatre, tights, trusses and tonsil tennis with Timothy Spall.

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What's My Motivation? + The Rules of Acting + Detour de France: An Englishman in Search of a Continental Education
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press; New Ed edition (5 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091897491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091897499
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Funny, engaging, perceptive and hugely entertaining" (Stephen Fry)

"Screamingly funny - set to become a classic" (Craig Brown Mail on Sunday)

"A real page-turner and a genuinely funny and honest book about the actor's life" (Michael Billington Guardian)

"Michael writes about disaster, humiliation, rejection and ridicule - the hilarious truth" (Nicholas Hytner)

"Casts an objective eye on the crazy world of the actor with an accuracy that is both chilling and charming" (Mike Leigh)

Book Description

One actor's search for love, happiness and adulation, rewarded with rejection, ridicule, bad costumes and worse scripts

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty debut worthy of an encore! 18 Mar 2004
Format:Paperback
Overhearing my wife listening to Mike Simkins reading an extract from "What's My Motivation?' on BBC Radio 4's 'Book of the Week' programme, I was so overcome by the sound of laughter coming from the living room that I was spurred into buying the book! The greatest compliment I can pay 'What's My Motivation?' is that you really don't have to be a 'luvvie' to enjoy it. It's full of humour and marvellously dry observations on the vagaries of the acting profession. For anyone who enjoys a witty read I can heartily recommend it, and for stage-struck adolescents and aspiring actors it has to be one of the best self-help books available! Encore!!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simmo Rules ! 1 Jun 2004
Format:Paperback
This is a really really funny book, takes the reader through
Michael's early life, his 'obsession' with Am-Dram, particularly
Gilbert and Sullivan, through his time at RADA and then the agonising waits for parts and latterly TV appearances, always hoping for the well-known advertisement in order to become a household name.I confess that I started this book with a small amount of bias as my family and I know the author well, Simmo as he is affectionally known is a lovely bloke, and this comes through in his writing, at which he could become even better at than acting ! All in all, this will make you laugh out loud
many times, a real bonus these days !!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gloriously charming & funnny 21 Mar 2004
Format:Paperback
This is a wonderful read, a gloriously charming and funny account of a jobbing actor's life. Don't expect high-brow 'I, An Actor' style pontificating - this actor/author doesn't take himself that seriously and is hilariously expert at pricking his own pomposities, if they dare try to rear their head. But he'll still teach you as much about being a professional actor as any Stanislavski book. It's a delightful celebration of Englishness and a triumphant celebration of failure, which should become a set text at every drama school. There are too many laugh out loud moments to list here, but my personal favourite involved the actress girlfriend, the unwitting landlord, and the unfortunate attempt at weaving a sexual fantasy. Plus there are cameos by everyone from Anthony Perkins through John Malkovich to Pierce Brosnan. Don't put your daughter on the stage without making her read this book first.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughing aloud 16 Jun 2005
By S. Boyd
Format:Paperback
The funniest book I've read for 20 years. I keep the household awake late at night giggling aloud on every page. The agony is when you come to the end of it. Michael Simkins has a genius for comic writing. A must for anyone who is interested in the theatre and/or has a great sense of humour.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I cried with laughter 8 May 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I rarely laugh out loud when reading but this book had me laughing out loud on many occasions and at times my eyes were streaming with tears it was so funny.
I would recommend it to anyone and I do....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any budding actor or not... 10 Mar 2009
Format:Paperback
Wonderfully funny and perceptive. I am now going to read his book about cricket... and I hate cricket.
He appeared in Minder recently as the wedding singer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo 5 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback
Read "Motivation" after reading Fatty Batter and having loved the cricket book so much I was prepared to be not so enthusiastic, yet I need not have worried. The style is self-deprecation at its finest and having read it on a long plane journey, I am sure the passenger in 17E was heartily sick of my giggles. It was difficult, after Fatty Batter, not to be able to second guess some of his ineptitude but it is written with such warmth and with a keen eye for detail, that I would heartily recommend it to anyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gem from Michael Simkins 9 Aug 2007
Format:Paperback
I read this after loving 'Fatty Batter'. Michael Simkins has an extraordinary gift for comic writing. It doesn't matter if you haven't the slightest interest in acting (or cricket), this book is hilarious. Perfect holiday reading and guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. Thank you Mr Simkins - you deserve a standing ovation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A searingly brilliant insight into the unknown world of the thespian
Richard Stephenson Winter

Michael Simkins raises the curtain on the realities of the world of the professional actor. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Richard Stephenson Winter
5.0 out of 5 stars Every actor should read this!
What's my motivation is brilliantly written and hilarious and I enjoyed every minute. I highly recommend it for any actor.
Published 5 months ago by Zoe rainey
5.0 out of 5 stars Sooo Funny!
I loved this book. It was easy to read and it made me laugh out loud. After reading "Bleeker Hill" I needed something to lighten my mood and this book certainly did that. Read more
Published 9 months ago by HM Patterson
5.0 out of 5 stars I laughed out loud on practically every page
Absolutely brilliant. Sooooooo funny, A must for anyone who wants to literally cry with laughter I had to reread passages I loved them so much
Published 9 months ago by LINDYJB
4.0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining and Amusing Read
This well written and easy to read book gives an illuminating insight into the up and down world of the often strugling professional actor. Read more
Published 9 months ago by John Pitchers
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic!
Exceptionally funny. It was his first and - so far - best book, based on various articles he wrote for Guardian. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Danny Dandruff
5.0 out of 5 stars Autobiography of an actor
I loved this book. It is the story of the life of an actor, which is always interesting, well written and humorous. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Enter Ophelia from the rear
Michael Simpkins has written a gem of a book about what it's really like to be a working actor: one day you're walking the red carpet, the next day you're cleaning it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by shazam
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written and easy to read
I am in that business that we call show and absolutely love this book. I haven't been around quite as long as michael but found his account of 'living the dream' gorgeously... Read more
Published 10 months ago by SB
5.0 out of 5 stars A lifetime of finding out about acting the hard way!
This is a splendid, truthful and comic romp through the acting profession as seen from the inside. I loved it.
Published 11 months ago by Diana
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