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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Funny, engaging, perceptive and hugely entertaining - Stephen Fry
Screamingly funny - set to become a classic - Mail on Sunday
A real page-turner and a genuinely funny and honest book about the actor's life - 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
Daring, brutal, hilariously candid, Simkins unravels his own profession to show the exhilaration, masochism and madness underneath - Julie Myerson
You read the wonderful Michael Simkins with a mixture of horror and delight ... will hold good for as long as people go on taking the undignified risk of dressing up and pretending to be other people - David Hare
Blisteringly funny, self-deprecating account of the ritual humiliations actors undergo - Guardian
A winningly self-deprecating account...packed with anecdotes, light-hearted in tone and entertaining throughout - Times Literary Supplement
Michael Simkins trained at RADA. He has appeared in more than 70 plays in rep, and stage highlights include A View from the Bridge at the National Theatre, as well as musicals Chicago and Mamma Mia. He also directed Alan Ayckbourn's Absent Friends at the Greenwich Theatre. He has made countless TV appearances - recent credits include Foyle's War and My Family - as well as turns on the silver screen in such films as Mike Leigh's Topsy-Turvy. He has worked with luminaries as diverse as Anthony Perkins, John Malkovich, Michael Gambon and Buster Merryfield. He lives in London with his actress wife Julia.