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A Series of Faces A series of bright white lights in a row are all lined up, all pointing in my direction blinding

the vision of what was in front of me. A buzz came through my body. It was like all the nerves were once asleep but now decided to wake up and shake with their unused energy. My face turns towards the large room filled with shaded ovals, all looking in my direction, all watching waiting to see what will happen next. One by one large thuds hit the inside of my chest while I stand trying to pantomime a normal conversation with the homeless drunkard lying on a black painted bench. Laughter suddenly and abruptly explodes as a large dark figure appears on the lightly stained and withered stage. I continue to stand there waiting, waiting to mess up, waiting to stutter and mess up the only line that I had, two simple words. My mind however could not keep thinking about the execution, the delivery, Should I be super exaggerated with my facial expressions, or should I act like someone in this situation would actually act? I chose to step outside the little security box that I had previously set up and decided to use exaggeration. The action of acting out would be a way for me to make myself known for the hope that I would catch a few laughs, or even better, make the whole audience laugh. This idea become suddenly more real as soon as a large dark headless figure walked up on stage breaking the streak of silence with a roar of laughter coming from behind the figure. As the figure walked past the area I was positioned, the corners of my eyebrows curled into the middle of my face, my jaw dropped while I tucked my lips in my mouth. The two words that were waiting anxiously inside my mouth rushed out like a train yelling NO WAIT! as I threw my arm at the figure. The

crowd of dark ovals broke out in chains of laughter. At this moment I had made a connection, exaggerated facial expressions and movement resulted in a comedic gesture. That was my first ever performance on stage in front of a large crowd of people, and worst of all it was in front of all the students that attended the high school. I was however just a minor character, a small gear in the mechanism of the somewhat chaotic play. You see, these plays were not any normal high school play that usually happened at night and only parents attended. No, these plays were done in the middle of class and teachers would sign their classes to go to the plays that were performed during class (formally called in-class plays.) These were performed by the theatre classes and when a student would have taken higher theatre classes, they would get the opportunity to write their own plays and get a chance at it getting picked to be an in-class play. I was only in theatre 1 at the time and to be quite honest, I had no clue what I was doing because I had never done such a thing before this class in my entire life. That good bit of people that seemed like a loud crowd roaring with laughter, made me have at that moment a sense of control of the audience. I felt like I had power, the power to control peoples emotions with the expressions of my face. I also more realistically felt like I had a connection with the audience that they could directly understand what I was trying to get at purely based on my facial expressions. After that moment I could not stop observing peoples faces in different situations. When I watched movies I would pay close attention to what face would make certain emotions become very real and others really fake. I noticed the difference between comedic expressions and dramatic expressions and how if a face in a particular instance were altered just slightly, the whole interpretation of the persons emotions would

change, or how the other persons emotions would change in reaction. From observing people I noticed referring to earlier people have a special connection with facial expressions. It is a way for people to communicate in normal out of theatre situations, like a different language. Some people are more literate in the reading of facial expressions than others, which comes with experience and practice, like learning any other language. Sometimes facial expressions can be misinterpreted, and others can be very clear and direct, which also occurs in all languages. In theatre however, actors practice the latter, clear and direct, in most instances. This is what I noticed with most in most situations, that if someone exaggerates their expressions in acting or in real situations a situation that would be very dramatic and serious instantly becomes funny. This also works inversely, if someone uses faint or realistic yet very emotional, their expressions would create a tone that was more serious and dramatic. This is even more defined in theatre. Since theatre is sectioned off into certain categories like dramatic theatre, or comedic theatre it allows the audience to be set up for the emotion allowing the audience to more easily connect and understand what emotion the actor is trying to convey. This exaggerates facial expressions as being a literacy and really communicates to people who dont think of facial expressions as a literacy as it being a literacy. Since theatre makes it easier for people to identify their emotions with the actors facial expressions there is more of a literacy that is going on because the connection is much more evident than in real situations where facial expressions can be misinterpreted or incredibly obscure. More formally my theatre teacher Mrs. Moore showed us a power point on facial expressions and what kind of emotions they produce. Mrs. Moore, a character in and of

itself, was obviously very theatrical. She showed every emotion through the use of her face and she made us practice constantly, to be clear in the showing of our emotions through moving an eyebrow, puckering your lips, and so on. She would go around the room and put her hand on the students faces and contort them explaining it in the process of what emotions she was creating. She came up to me after visiting the other students faces, wrapped her white bony hands around my cheeks. As my eyebrows were being pushed up and my jaw dropped down she explained to me, Now this is what you would do if you wanted to act really surprised in a comedy. She then moved my eyebrows down slightly, curving the ends down, and then bringing my jaw slightly upward. She turned to the class, and stepping to the side, And this is how you should look when you are surprised in a drama or any kind of performance that you wanted to be taken seriously. She had done this specifically because it takes experience to learn a language and she wanted us as student actors to actually experience facial expressions and what kind of reaction they would create. She wanted us to be clear and direct with it and to make it very easy for an audience to know what we are trying to tell them. So I practiced this over and over until I felt like I could completely understand the language of facial expressions for the stage and that I would be able to clearly communicate with the audience. By theatre 2 the next year and even more so in theatre 3 and 4, I felt like I had become literate in facial expressions. I had performed in many in-class plays and at the end of each one I would always get complemented on my facial expressions especially after comedic plays. People would say Wow I could not stop laughing at some of the expressions your face was making. More specifically, in the spring my school performed

the musical, Les Miserables as an after-school production my junior year. I tried my hardest to act very dramatically but serious at the same time (no big expressions) however when acting like a dirty drunkard in a Inn, and a sailor trying to find prostitutes I let myself go and I acted big. I did this because I wanted the audience to know that my character should not be taken seriously and that they should laugh at him. At the end of the play someone random couple came up to me and gave me a bouquet of flowers exclaiming, I really want you to have this, you where just so into it and youre face made me laugh my ass off while you were acting drunk; youre a good drunkard. After people would tell me things like I feel very rewarded and accomplished knowing that I communicated the situation how I wanted to. This communication brought me back to the control of the audience that I felt when I first performed on stage and how my face could control how the audience reacts in certain scenes. Theatre especially for the actor can feel the connection when a decision is made and then the audience directly responds to it. Facial expressions are literacy because like any language it is something that needs to be learned and in some cases, taught (like in theatre class). Facial expressions can be misinterpreted, have different variations, and create a universal connection that most people share. Theatre however will take facial expressions and categorize them, making it easier for people to understand and connect with the actor. Theatre adds clarity to the language of faces and really defines facial expressions as a literacy.

The most successful part of my paper is making my point but also making connections back so that the paper flows and is relevant through out the entire thing. It makes the paper as one whole while having progression instead of each section being separate ideas. I am proud of how I made the narrative parts and the analysis parts of the paper flow and connect to each other. This makes the paper bring two very different kinds of writing to connect to each other and the transition to happen very smoothly. If I were to work more on a part of the paper it would be the narrative sections, to add more detail and description. If more detail were added to the narrative section then it would be easier for the reader to imagine and understand what is going on in the story. I want the reader to notice the point that theatre defines facial expressions as a literacy in the narrative sections of the paper. I also want the reader to notice and understand the analysis that is made about the narrative sections so they can understand the point that Im trying to make.