David Simmonds

As a kid I loved movies. The Saturday morning cartoons and the serials at the Savoy Cinema on Holloway Rd were a highlight of my week. Plus, I had a knack for memorising the words of songs on the radio and creating songs yet to be written. Deciding that is what I wanted to do but knowing the chance of doing that looked greener elsewhere, I left London for Canada in my 20’s. I arrived in Toronto 1965 then settled in Vancouver 1971 where I found work at a recording studio writing lyrics for advertising products A-Z. Chocolate bars, burgers, real estate and global airlines. I was establishing a place in the emerging vibrant west coast scene and authored numerous song lyrics recorded by B.T.O, Bryan Adams, Lee Greenwood, and Michael Buble, among others. One of those songs, ''Ordinary People”, recorded by The Bootleg Band, won country song of the year. Another gig to note; 20 plus lyrics i wrote for a trade show celebrating the Jim Pattison Group of companies. I was moving in the right direction. I also ventured into the world of actors and acting. Roles in stage productions from my school days had whetted my appetite for more. Settling in Vancouver and enrolling in classes, then invited as a member of the Firehall performance group in Gastown. I had secured a contract and a pay cheque and found myself submerged in intensive training. Daily sessions in movement, improv, voice and scene classes. This led to acquiring an agent, auditioning and being cast in professional film and television roles. I was seeing a future where the dreams of a kid could become my reality. Moving to Victoria B.C., I opened and operated The Screen Actor's Studio. For additional details- see My Story page.

People I have worked with.

Madeleine Sherwood.

(November 13, 1922 - April 23, 2016) Madeleine was a friend and a tour de force. Guaranteed to change the molecules of any room she entered. A colleague of Tennessee Williams, she portrayed Mae/Sister Woman and Miss Lucy in both the Broadway and film versions of 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' and 'Sweet Bird of Youth'. She also starred or featured in 18 original Broadway productions including Arturo Ui, Do I Hear a Waltz? and The Crucible. In television, she played the Reverend Mother Placido, in The Flying Nun (81 episodes.1967–70).

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0792828/

Jonathan Mason

Jonathan Mason

"I’m grateful to have had David as my first acting teacher. His training has been a guiding force throughout my career, leading me to stages like North America’s Stratford festival. In my fifth season, i find myself playing Romeo in ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ a testament to David’s impactful mentorship.”
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3962236/

 https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/WhatsOn/PlaysAndEvents/Production/Romeo-and-Juliet.

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Claudia Ferri.

David is a gifted mentor, a collaborator and facilitator of the craft, always brilliantly opening the path for eager students seeking to hone and develop their acting skills. Whether during low or high tide, his precious insight has served me well along my journey into establishing my career to where it is headed now. I am deeply grateful and proud to call him my Friend. **
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0274750

Season Premiere. March 20th.2024

Watch Claudia in Palm Royale on Apple T.V. 

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Shimon Karmel.

For over 25 years, David has been an invaluable friend, mentor, and coach. His expertise as a supremely talented writer, director, and performer is matched only by his extensive knowledge of film, theater, acting, poetry, and literature. A quick-witted individual who thinks critically and outside the mainstream orthodoxy, David's humor and profound insights into life and the meaning of existence have always been a welcomed presence. I am truly honored to call him both a friend and mentor in my artist's journey.
https://www.shimonphoto.com/

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Ryan Hesp

David has been a mentor and great friend to me for 20 years. I can't imagine my life without his guidance and friendship. A more authentic, funny and kind person you will not meet. His wealth of knowledge and experience in the arts are unrivaled. For his work on screen, Ryan can be seen in Timeless (2016), Final Destination 5 and Continuum. Also in recent episodes of Allegiance, Supernatural, Supergirl (x2) and Batwoman (x2) among others.


ttps://www.imdb.com/name/nm1640089/

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Naomi Simpson

I first met David, my anchor, teacher and friend, 27 years ago at the shared space of Cinevic and The Screen Actors Studio in Victoria BC. I am forever grateful for his mentorship and friendship over the years. David has inspired me and provided me with the groundwork I take to the film set with me to this day. Naomi can be seen in a variety of comedic and dramatic film and TV roles. Watch for her on Season 2 of Animal Control on Fox TV.
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm7706059/ 

Joanne Wilson

”What started as learning under an astute and gifted teacher, led to working alongside him as an instructor and, most importantly, to a life-long friendship. I relish when I get to spend an afternoon with David, often joined by other actors for a table-read of his brilliant, unique plays.I love David’s insight, his talent and his unmatched sense of humour."

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1026453/

or contact https://www.actingmindfully.com

CIRCA 1995:  Director Mort Ransen poses for the movie " Margaret's Museum ", circa 1995.  (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Mort Ransen

(August 16, 1933 – Sept 4, 2021)Mort was a Canadian film and television director, editor, screenwriter and producer, In 1960, Ransen was hired by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Over the next 24 years, he would direct, write, edit and/or produce 21 films for the NFB. He left the NFB in 1984 and directed his Genie Award-winning 1995 film Margaret's Museum.

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0710372/


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John Emmet Tracy.

John has appeared in numerous film, television, and stage roles. He currently has a recurring role as Ellis Steele on the American television series, Yellowstone. And has held recurring roles on series like Batwoman and iZombie and was a series regular on the Sci-Fi series, Olympus. John has also appeared in films including American Mary (2012), If I Stay (2014), and Fifty Shades Freed (2018) and voiced the role of Thomas Jefferson in the video game Assassin's Creed III (2012).

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1356757/


John 'Yellowstone' interview.
https://youtu.be/Dtlasvmje9Y?si=6fd8tg80KCPniwd-

Aliyah O’Brien

Working with David at the Screen Actors Studio in my early days of exploring acting was such an incredible gift. I came to the studio with curiosity, and left with the confidence to pursue a career in a very wild industry. Forever grateful for David’s mentoring and belief in me. We are bolstered by the people who see our potential and nourish it, and David so graciously did that for me and many others. And truly, THANK YOU


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Coaching

For coaching: – Contact Konnekta

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Upcoming events.

Readings from 'Picasso on a Napkin' and selected short stories are scheduled for 10th April courtesy of TWUC (The Writer's Union). Limited spaces available . Reserve your spot.

Screenplays / Stageplays / Books / Verse & Lyrics.

For more details of the works in the following categories below, hit CHECK button and / or, contact author. 

Alma Rattenbury

The Frozen Honeymoon

Postcards from Amor

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Veronika's Revenge.


Mozzie

Dinner w. Nigel

(60 mins. One setting)

Two Tickets to Kathmandu

(60 + mins.)

Spex

(15mins. 3 actors).

Put a Cherry on it

(15mins. Improv)

Appointment for a a Scapegoat

(60 + mins. One Set)

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Moving Day. (A musical inspired by Erik Satie ).
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Moving Day (cast)

The Teleporter’s Handbook

A collection of eleven stories that will transport you into imaginary worlds and thoughtful adventures. Tales and fables laced with dark humor. The feature story is an interlude to: The Occasional Assassin, a.k.a The Teleporter’s Handbook Vol.1. This is a must-read for fans of stories that tap into mythology and challenge the imagination.

The Occasional Assassin

Taking place in the future, a young woman who opposes the greed and politics of the world she lives in, commits to ending the regime that is destroying the planet. When a planned protest fails to materialise she takes matters into her own hands.  After assassinating the dictator she is teleported into the past. With the support of an android. she has never met, who protects her, she joins The Quagga Group. Circa 1960.  A group of women undercover of a nursing home facility who are committed to eliminate eco-criminals. 

A collection of metrical poetry. Excellent for finding the music in the word and to be read out by one or passed around in a group.

Picasso on a Napkin

Metrical poems, verses and lyrics.  The poems of sunlight and shadows. Of love and loss. Chaos and joy. The purpose of this small book is to be read out loud.   To reveal the music in the spoken word. Offering the choice to rap, tap, dance or sing. Find your own voice. Whether as an individual or part of a  group.

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The Actor’s Pocketbook

This pocketbook provides an easy access reminder for the beginner and working actor to reference and keep close at hand. Inside there is a table of contents that  investigate tools the actor should apply to building their process as a working actor. Subjects include; serving the story and approaching the audition. What Actors have to say about Acting. Forming your Scene Objective and How to Action Text. These 50 pages provide an outline of essential techniques that focus on how to make actions speak louder than words.

Extracts: Verse & Lyrics.

 

Picasso on a Napkin.

One day with friends in a cafe 

enjoying tapas drinking wine 

Pablo Picasso passing time 

to focus his distracted mind

was doodling a pencil sketch 
and satisfied that it was done 
when it revealed a gentle dove.
The messenger for peace and love. 

A woman picked the napkin up.
“This sketch that you were rendering,
I wish to buy now, how much?”
Pablo nodded. “Yes, of course
One hundred thousand is the cost.”
The woman was completely floored.
“It only took one minute’s work.
And you think that is what it’s worth?”

Pablo replied with nonchalance.

“It takes time to learn to dance,

to cook and sew or read a book.

With due respect to you madame,

the sixty seconds that were spent

my scribbling a pencil sketch

was not as simple as it looked.

add on my forty years it took.”

 

The woman did not understand

his odd unreasonable demand

Pablo reclaimed it from her hand

and crumpled it without regret

Stuffed the napkin in his coat

said goodbye to all his friends

left the café heading home

past the children jumping rope.

 

He smiled at them as he walked by

the words they chanted keeping time

followed him along the road

The painter with one master stroke 

long remembered now he’s gone
had drawn a dove for peace and hope

and made a rhyme for skipping rope.

Picasso on a napkin

 

I wish I could

I wish I could

I wish I could

draw half as good.

draw half as good

as Pablo 

Picasso on a napkin.

**

 

See readers comments on Books page

 

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