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The Rules of Acting Hardcover – 4 Jul 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (4 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091951283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091951283
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.9 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,643 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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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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By Suze TOP 500 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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am not any good at book reviews, but I have to say that Michael has done it again, the bloke is a genius ,I have all his books, obviously Fatty Batter is the best book ever written but all his books are superb, looking forward to the next one.

Pure brilliance
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Taking a look at the various stages in becoming and being an actor, the subject is addressed by Michael Simmons in his usual amusing style.

Well written and structured the book is ful of funny anecdotes. What else can you say other than a thoroughly entertaining read for anyone who is into any form of acting, drama, TV, theatre or film.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think I've read all of Michael Simkins books and find his easy to read style and self-deprecating humor to be a delight. This book is no exception and is a brilliant follow up to his other book on acting called "what's my motivation"

The book has some really laugh out loud moments and so many its observations on his chosen profession could serve well as a metaphor for life itself.

Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish - and certainly entertaining, even if you have no real interest in the vagaries of a thespians lot; but it's unputdownable if you have -buy it!
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