Category: Inspiration


In 2006, UK filmmaker Simon Cox announced to a group of friends that his new movie, Kaleidoscope Man, would be the biggest British indie sci-fi movie of all time – A sweeping statement? Or was it?

After years of trying to get his second movie funded through traditional film industry routes, it was at this moment that Simon made the decision to stop chasing carrots and do whatever needed to be done to achieve his dream; making an epic sci-fi movie that would move and inspire people in the same way the original Star Wars inspired him. But, he was in his 40’s with a young family, broke, feeling washed up and beginning to realise that perhaps Hollywood wasn’t about to come knocking.
Now in 2016, Simon has nearly finished the hugely ambitious Kaleidoscope Man. And its good. In fact, it’s very good. But the road to getting it made has certainly been rocky and full of challenges and the finance to do it has not fallen into his lap. Yet, his determination and passion has lamented the support from thousands across the world – And at this moment, the eyes of the UK film industry are upon him.

Come to our fascinating one day seminar and discover from Simon himself just how he and a team of friends have managed to pull off this incredible feat.
How they convinced 700+ people to run from attacking alien ships in Central Birmingham.
Built the international space station in a warehouse in Nuneaton (with materials from Wikes DIY store).
How they convinced 80’s pop icon Toyah Willcox to star in the movie.
Sent fleets of attacking alien ships flying over Central London.
Turned Birmingham into a deserted battlefield.
Got primetime TV coverage on BBC London Tonight.
Discovered a young illustrator who went from creating images for Kaleidoscope Man to
Godzilla, Star Wars the Force Awakes and now Star Wars Rouge One.
Pulled together over 500+ people to help get the movie made.

You’ll hear amusing anecdotes, see fascinating behind the scenes videos and some exclusive clips from the movie – before anyone else sees them.
Catch Simon now before the movie hits the big screen and discover for yourself how with a little passion and determination YOU can achieve your dreams too.

AN-014 – MINDSET 5/9 | “Listening’ with SHARON BOTT

Listening – that seems a pretty straightforward thing to be talking about, doesn’t it? I mean, most of us have been doing it all our lives and it seems we’ve got quite good at it – haven’t we? But have we really? Do we actually listen – and if we think we do, who are we listening to? Is it possible that in changing the way we think about listening that we could impact our lives and careers for the better?

As ever, immensely grateful to Sharon Bott for her contribution in making this series possible. If you’ve enjoyed this show, please have a look at her website – there’s loads of good stuff to absorb …

AN-006 | Sand in the Oyster

When we get a new script in the hand, it’s all too easy to succumb to some less than helpful habits in our keenness to make our mark on the role. Inspired by a quote from a slightly surprising source, here’s a thought about character development that may help shake out any old, stale habits you may have fallen into.

Hugh Laurie on being ready

I post this as much to remind myself as anything! Thank you Hugh!
“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There’s almost no such thing as ready. There’s only now. And you may as well do it now. I mean, I say that confidently as if I’m about to go bungee jumping or something – I’m not. I’m not a crazed risk taker. But I do think that, generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”

Steve Vai gets ontological

On the power of personal choice, going through a dark period in his twenties and moments of clarity.
I’ve archived the full six part interview here:
Video interview with the American guitar legend Steve Vai. FaceCulture spoke to him about picking up the guitar, the excitement of his first guitar, music becoming clear, composing, lessons from Joe Satriani, transcript of The Black Page by Frank Zappa, playing in a band, the power of personal choice, going through a dark period in his twenties, The Story Of Light, No More Amsterdam and more.

Who Moved My Cheese?

Do you wonder why people continue to do the same things over and over, every day, every month, every year, and wonder why they get the same results? I love this quote from from “The Book of EST” by Luke Rhinehart. The wording is, of course attributable to Werner Erhard:
If we put a rat in a maze with four tunnels and always put cheese in the fourth tunnel, after a while that rat will learn always to go to the fourth tunnel to get cheese.
A human will learn to do that too. You want cheese? Zip zip zip down the fourth tunnel, there’s the cheese. Next day you want cheese? Zip zip zip down the fourth tunnel and there’s the cheese. Now after a while the Great God in the white suit moves the cheese to another tunnel. Zip zip zip goes the rat to the fourth tunnel. No cheese in the fourth tunnel. The rat comes out. Goes down the fourth tunnel again. No cheese. Rat comes out. Goes down the fourth tunnel again. No cheese. Comes out. Down the fourth tunnel again. No cheese. Comes out.
Eventually the rat will stop going down the fourth tunnel and look elsewhere.
Now the difference between rats and human beings is simple: THE HUMAN BEINGS WILL GO DOWN THAT FOURTH TUNNEL FOREVER!
Rats don’t believe in anything; they’re interested in cheese.
But the human being develops a BELIEF in the fourth tunnel and he comes to MAKE IT RIGHT TO GO DOWN THE FOURTH TUNNEL WHETHER THERE’S CHEESE IN IT OR NOT.

Upset? – It’s no big deal.

Do I get upset when it rains? Do I beat up on myself when the heavens open? No.
Do I let rain or weather stop me? Am I a fair weather player? No.
Does it mean there’s something wrong when the weather is bad? You already know the answer to that question if you’ve been paying attention.
It strikes me that many of us learned, very early in life, that was a huge payoff to drawing attention to the fact that if we were sad. There was real value in complaining to your mother that you were sad or upset or depressed or whatever. My guess is that a great many of us got to experience our mother’s love through her sympathy whenever we complained of being hurt or upset. What do we want more of, and then some, as human beings? Being loved. If we experience being loved as a consequence of EXPRESSING our complaint, is it any wonder that we get addicted to complaining and insisting there is something wrong? No.
That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. The problem arises when we notice that when we grow up, very few people in our lives are REALLY that interested in our complaints. We have the experience of being sad or whatever, complaining about it, but then not getting the love we expect when we press the complaint button.
And that is very confusing. Funny thing is, because human beings prefer to be right above all things rather than have things work for them, we get angry and confused when things that once got us a payoff no longer do so. So, instead of going “oh well, that didn’t work, let’s move onto something else, we do our best to MAKE it work. The first instinct is to think that we failed to communicate our ‘upset ness’ and then go looking for causes, reasons, contributing factors, in order to make our upset real. Yeah – let’s give it some real gravitas – then people will understand and give us the love you have been conditioned to expect – right? How do you think psychologists, psychiatrists, council lord make their living? However, in day to day life the strategy still doesn’t work. It doesn’t take long to realise that people – although they make sympathetic noises – aren’t really ‘getting it’.
The real problem and unworkability arises when some part of us realises that we have entered a zone of incongruity – a zone where we are being run by habits, false expectations and just plain ‘being right’. Except, it does not occur to us that way. It just occurs to us as if the laws of our existence (complaint -> love) have been transgressed, and the transgressors is … the person who is not ‘getting it’. At which point the ‘transgressor’ experiences something very strange – either an increase in complaints directed at THEM … or a withdrawal of communication – to put a finer distinction on it: a sulk.
What has happened here? Frustration. The complainer has experienced failure to obtain love by the ‘normal’ means therefore there is something wrong. There are two people involved . One or both of them must be to blame. Next thing that happens is that one or other of them are made wrong. Sometimes both (universal wrongness). And here’s the dangerous corner or tipping point: depending on the situation, the listener will experience being made wrong for no apparent reason and, quite reasonably, defend themselves or walk away (neither being the path to peace) or the complainer will make themselves wrong. Both options can lead to unpleasant outcomes. Because the complainer is in the zone of incomprehension, they find that there are no words to express what is really going on. The fact is, they don’t KNOW what is going on. They experience a blank wall of ‘wrongness’ that is impossible to express. What, after all, does a rat in a cage that has been trained to expect food in a tray when it presses a button experience the day the food doesn’t appear? Is there an equivalence in Rat World to “there’s something wrong here”. Probably – except that WE know, observing the rat, that there is nothing wrong. Pressing a button does not mean food in a tray. We made it up.
How would it be if we got that complaining about our upsets does not get us love? That we made it up that it does? What would it make available if upset, like the weather, occurred to us as simply ‘is’?


Michael Bott

Actor - represented by Tom Fitz at Simon & How Associates
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