Luvvies. Tyrannical directors. Useless agents. Less job security than an England football manager. Who'd be an actor? Michael Simkins isn't sure, even though he's been one himself for over thirty years. Join him backstage as he examines that business called showbusiness, from am dram to Hollywood, and from Shakespeare to ads for flatulence pills. In a career that started as a plump teenager in ballet tights at RADA, Michael has appeared in countless West End plays and musicals, presented safety training workshops for sewage workers, and when resting, worked as a crate smasher at a car factory. He's done movies, soaps, ads, and voice-overs, and worked with everyone from Meryl Streep to Kelly Osbourne. As the ultimate jobbing actor he's flirted with triumph and oblivion without ever quite managing either. In The Rules of Acting he shares his hard-won wisdom. Covering everything from learning your lines to tilting for Oscar success in Hollywood, surviving a flop, to why it's advisable to read the whole script if you wish to avoid improper relations with a pig, it's the ultimate survival guide for anyone contemplating a life in showbiz. "Throw out An Actor Prepares! Michael Simkins' book tells actors all they need to know about the realities of the acting profession; the passion, the struggle, the noble idealism and the heartache". (Helen Mirren). "It is thrilling that Micahel Simkins is having such success as a writer - anything to keep him off the stage". (Ian Mckellen).