Mike Kimmel, Author Spotlight

Need a killer monologue for an audition? Discover a wealth of fresh options in this detailed tome.

Sick of the same scripts being done to death? Looking for a soliloquy relevant to today’s contemporary world? Seeking material with a positive spin? Full voting member of the National Television Academy and Tonight Show sketch comedy performer Mike Kimmel has been writing, acting, and producing for decades. Now he’s here to share a curated collection of sixty of the best comedy and drama monologues.

Monologues for Adults is the ultimate volume of family-friendly stage material to help you nail that college drama program audition or professional stage performance. With relatable, real world topics applicable to adults, these pieces require no costumes or props, and discuss ethical questions perfect for deep thinkers to explore. And with literally dozens of gender-neutral and unique scenes to choose from, you’ll find the right piece to take you from zero to callback in no time at all.

Monologues for Adults is the dramatic arts advantage you need in your next live performance. If you like fresh material, optimistic spins, and challenging ideas, you’ll love Mike Kimmel’s definitive new resource.

Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Mike Kimmel whose book Monologues for Adults captivated and informed me from beginning to end. With today’s author spotlight, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Mike Kimmel will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Mike Kimmel!

Mike Kimmel is a film, television, stage, and commercial actor and acting coach. He is a twenty-plus year member of SAG-AFTRA with extensive experience in both the New York and Los Angeles markets. He has worked with directors Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Townsend, Craig Shapiro,  and Christopher Cain among many others. TV credits include  Game of SilenceZoo, TremeIn Plain SightCold CaseBreakout KingsMemphis Beat, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  He was a regular sketch comedy player on The Tonight Show, performing live on stage and in pre-taped segments with Jay Leno for eleven years. 

Mike is a full voting member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the organization that produces The Emmy Awards, and the author of nine books in the Performing Arts.

Now, how wonderful does Mike Kimmel sound?! Mike Kimmel is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of the author’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and the author and I hope that you enjoy Mike Kimmel’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!

Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover! Please tell us more about yourself

Thank you, Aimee.  I’ve been an actor and writer for more than twenty years now and have known since childhood that these two artistic pursuits would be my life’s work. I grew up in New York City, where I started my acting career. I worked mostly in theater, TV commercials, and commercial print modeling, slowly building my resume and my skill set. I then moved out to Los Angeles, where I found greater opportunities to work in episodic television and film. I also appeared as a sketch comedy performer on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and was fortunate enough to become one of the show’s regulars–– known then as The Mighty Carson Art Players, in honor of former host Johnny Carson. Over the years, I’ve also traveled throughout the U.S. to film movies, TV shows, and commercials in smaller, emerging markets.

Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?

I grew up in the Bronx, a rough area of New York, with a loving family but very little opportunity to pursue my interests in film, television, theater, and writing. There were no after-school programs for the arts in my community and my parents didn’t know anyone in the entertainment industry. I also couldn’t find any serious, practical guidance through our local schools and libraries.

Over the years, I’ve taught acting classes and coached actors privately. I realized there was a surprising lack of solid audition material for younger actors. Much of the available material I found was either too theoretical or contained inappropriate language and scenarios for youngsters. I decided to try my hand at writing my own monologues and dialogues for our youngest students to practice in class. My first books were for kids and teens––but always included a practical approach that I knew would help them outside the classroom in the real world. Basically, I wanted to write the books I wanted to read when I was a young, aspiring actor myself. This new book, Monologues for Adults, is a departure for me, but I believe it provides important guidance for up-and-coming adult actors too.

What would your advice be for aspiring writers?

My advice for aspiring writers is the same as my advice for aspiring actors: Ply your craft every day. Write something every day. Get it down on paper or into a document on your computer screen. Write it down, even if you think it’s not any good––and even if you think it’s not appropriate for the writing project you currently have in mind.

I’ve written nine books this way. When writing the first one, Scenes for Teens, I found myself constantly being interrupted with ideas for my second book. I wrote those down too––even though they felt like a distraction at the time. Scenes for Teens took much longer than I thought it would to complete, but when it was finally published, my second book, Acting Scenes for Kids and Tweens, was almost halfway done, as well. That experience taught me a lot. Today’s distraction is tomorrow’s manuscript. Keep writing. Keep going. There’s no substitute for discipline, perseverance, and momentum.

In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book? 

I believe a book should be practical. I believe a book should solve a problem or fill a definite need for the reader. A book should be so helpful to readers that it encourages them to recommend it to friends and family––and to seek out more of the author’s work. We’ve all done good work and we’ve all done work we’re not so proud of … but a book is forever. A book will be around long after its author is gone. If a book isn’t practical and doesn’t serve a specific need in the world, I believe the author should keep it locked away in a bottom desk drawer.

What is your writing process like?

I like to take an incremental, step-by-step approach. I’m usually writing three books at a time and they’re all in various stages of completion. Once I decide which book I’m going to work on that day, I try not to think about writing an entire book. Instead, it’s more helpful to focus on writing one single page. I also give myself a daily target goal of two hundred fifty words. Two hundred fifty words roughly translates to one typed, double-spaced page and is a realistic writing goal I can accomplish daily without overextending myself.

I’m also an early riser and find that’s when I’m at my creative best. I like to begin work on my books early, and 4:00 AM seems to be my sweet spot. At 4:00 AM, I can get a good deal of work done before the rest of the world knows I’m awake. I also keep index cards, post-it pads, and notebooks tucked away everywhere. Whenever a good idea grabs my attention, I like to be able to capture it and put it down on paper right away. I’m not against any of the new technologies, but writing in longhand works best for me––at least, in the rough draft stage. Also, index cards, pens, pencils, and notebooks work just as well when there’s a power outage. They never need a system update or reboot. Those simple tools will work just as well for you and I today as they did for Hemingway a hundred years ago.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Because I write scene and monologue books for actors, the goal is to make each individual script conversational and relatable to real life. My research lab has always been the real world. There’s a commonality of human experience across all cultures and civilizations and I try to tap into those shared experiences. If I have an unusual experience or interaction during the day––positive or negative–––I ask myself: “How can I use this in a script?”  I look at each individual script as an opportunity for the actor to connect with the audience in a conversational and realistic manner.

One of the great challenges is selecting which pieces to cut. When in doubt, I’ve learned to ask advice from people I trust to determine whether to include a scene in the next book––or cut it, rework it, and save it for a future book. I teach acting classes too and sometimes my students will test out the material. Ultimately, I know I’m not writing the book for myself, but for an audience that will use it––and whose tastes may be wildly different from my own. Most of all, I want every book to be useful and practical.

I also think it’s important to keep everything clean and family-friendly. Many actors gravitate towards edgy material and dialogue, but that can be a trap. I’ve never heard an agent or casting director say: “I don’t like that guy. He doesn’t curse enough.”

Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?

I think it’s important to keep writing whether you feel inspired or not. Start writing and the inspiration will often catch up to you. Jack London said, “You can’t sit around waiting for inspiration; you have to go after it with a club.” That’s still great advice today.

And whenever I feel really stuck, I pick up something I wrote a day or two before and start rewriting and refining it. That’s been a great strategy to help move me forward so that I can complete my daily two hundred fifty word writing goal.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

Yes, I mentioned Ernest Hemingway and Jack London briefly. They’re definitely at the top of my list, along with John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, and Erskine Caldwell. Even though they lived and wrote long ago, their stories, thoughts, and ideas remain timeless. These writers are still as relevant today as they were in the previous century. I believe it all goes back to what I like to call the commonality of human experience. That’s what I try to draw upon for the audition pieces I write for actors of all ages––child, teen, and adult. I look for the universal experiences that bring us all together. The things that bring us together are much stronger and more lasting than the things that tear us apart. The world has changed. Technology has changed. But people are still very much the same today as they were in previous generations.

Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you? 

This year! With help from The Big Man Upstairs, I try to release one or more new books each year. Right now, I’m working on a second monologue book for adults, along with a book of helpful hints and practical career advice for actors. I can’t teach anyone to be a star because I haven’t done that myself. But I can definitely teach actors how to learn their craft, build their credits, and develop long-term careers in the entertainment industry.

Thank you, Aimee, for everything you do for the writing community and for being such a kind and gracious host.

Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Mike Kimmel! If you have liked what you have read about the author and are interested in learning more, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.

Goodbye for now book lovers,

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