Penny Templeton: Creating Acting Lions
What is the definition of acting? For each person who answers that question, there will be a different definition – for some of us, it’s what we have to do at our day jobs with our bosses. For others, it might be as simple as having to step outside of your own characteristics to get that persistent telemarketer off of the phone during the dinner hour.
Regardless of the varying definitions that exist, here is the official meaning according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
Acting: the art or practice of representing a character on a stage or before cameras
We now have the definition for acting – we know a lion to be one of the four cats in the genus Panthera and a member of the family Felidae. What is Merriam-Webster’s definition?
Lion: a person of rank, power, or influence in a particular field
What is the sum of these two words when you put them together?
Acting Lion: the finished product of an actor who has sought the instruction of Penny Templeton with the desire to achieve acting’s highest achievements and “to be or not to be” with ferocity
Penny is no stranger to theatricality – Let her be the first to say that “It runs in my DNA.” In fact, her book Acting Lions is dedicated to the “Eva Barringtons” – her great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother – all members of the thespian community. Penny herself is the culmination of four generations of actresses in her family.
Penny comes from a rich background – despite having three generations of actresses in her family, she was warned not to go onto the stage. However, she just couldn’t resist embracing what was to be her legacy.
“They always told me don’t do it because it was always such a difficult life – so I worked for Bloomingdale’s and studied retail. They wouldn’t let me go to college for the arts program. Working at Bloomingdale’s was just like being in theater – they were so ahead of their time in the 60’s. In those days, when you had a kid you quit your job. After I quit working, I started in theater.”Continued on the next page