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Be Ready For Your Closeup

Mar 15, 2008
We're all familiar with the poker face and the overactive face. A poker face is all right for playing poker and an overactive face is fine for the life-of-the-party. But neither is much help to the actor. A poker face transmits nothing at all, and an overactive face soon becomes a meaningless blur.

Training the facial muscles is a "must." It can be done more easily than some truly heroic muscular feats.

There are many facial muscles you can train physically after you have located them mentally.

There are twenty-one sets of muscles in the face that can be trained for controlled flexibility, tone and expressiveness.

Try touching the tip of your nose with your upper lip.

Don't cheat yourself by trying to push the upper lip with your jaw, lower lip or tongue.

Sit in front of a mirror and study the muscles which control the movement of your upper lip as you work it up and down. Try this exercise using the "elevator" muscles at the point of the cheek bones to lift the upper lip.

EXERCISE

1. Use the elevator muscles on the right side to raise and lower right side of the lips; show the teeth.

2. Repeat for the left side.

3. Alternate these actions.

Now push both lips out as far as you can in a whistling position, at the same time locate the muscles that control the movement. You'll find them completely surrounding the lips.

Command these various muscles to perform for you - and they will.

Next, try to turn your lip inside out.

It's surprising how many "stiff upper lips" there are. Yet for natural expression, and to get equality and firmness of diction, you need to overcome that stiffness and acquire flexibility and control of the upper lip.

In motion pictures and television, the whites of the teeth, like the whites of the eyes, are of utmost importance. These whites reflect light which the camera picks up.

We all know people whose faces seem to have no vitality. Their expressions are bloodless and flat. Organically, these people may be healthy and yet give the impression of being anemic. They are almost without expression because there is no tone or alertness to the muscles of their faces.

After locating certain muscles with your mind, you can develop the muscle tones for a vital, live, animated face.

You can be as wide-eyed as Judy Holliday or as menacing as Anthony Quinn by controlling the small muscles just underneath the eyes. The powerful Humphrey Bogart was a peerless master of this delicate technique.

The actor should do everything he can to improve the use of the eyes and to increase their flexibility and control until they become a manageable tool of his trade.

In the beginning, the muscles of your face will jump and quiver during these facial calisthenics. Soon, you'll be able to blend, smoothly, the muscles used in going from the top to bottom to top.

With practice, you will have an animated, attractive face which can portray all emotions.
About the Author
If You're An Aspiring Actor, But Don't Know Where To Start, Then You're In For A Treat... New Found Book Has The Answers!

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