DAVID PENN and an ETHOS
David is an award-winning director and acting coach, who’s worked in theatre, television, film and opera worldwide for over forty years. He was a resident director at Glyndebourne, the Bristol Old Vic and the Royal National Theatre, at the latter an Assistant to Harold Pinter, David Hare and Tom Stoppard. He has directed on film, tape and digital, over one hundred hours of broadcast television drama, including Howards’ Way, Coronation Street, The Bill, Brookside, Casualty and Dream Team.
David is a visiting professor at FAMU, the legendary film academy in Prague.
He has worked with countless actors, some of world renown, discretion dictating their anonymity here. The remarkable fact is, having engaged with the revelatory process of his Naked Face masterclasses, actors regularly declare it a life-changing experience; not only, subsequently, do they get cast more frequently, the holy grail for actors if ever there was one, but careers, on record, have opened out, sometimes spectacularly.
Something radically different is happening here.
It’s unique, David’s enlightenment.
The Naked Face addresses the crux of the matter. Whilst acting coaches everywhere, drama schools and academies, focus on the processes of acting, the lens of the camera quite ruthlessly gets on with exposing the self-awareness of the actor at work. Riveting magic, so rare, is something else, elusive but related directly to time, rhythm, tone and the unexpected.
On stage, it’s an actor’s responsibility to tell the story; impossible in film, where the logic is otherwise taken care of, by everything and everyone else, from the screenplay to the staging to that ultimate edit. It is key for an actor to understand the huge significance of this but very few do; which is why we have a lot of very confused screen-actors out there.
It doesn’t have to be like that.