On passing an acting academy, I stopped to read the notice board, and saw what tests were happening that day, and smiled inwardly when I saw that a certain test was “changing facial expressions” as instructed by a line of judges. As I had lost my voice, I considered that if not asked to speak I could probably get away with it. Laughingly I went on home, but had to write this poem mischievously, as if I had attended.

All facial expressions hand drawn by the author


By Len A.Hynds

“Facial Expressions,” the test card read,
as I entered the room on my own.
The long line of judges, peered in dread,
at this novice, they’d like to disown.

Firing orders, each in their turn,
making me change my poor face.
This way, that way, “Why can’t you learn,
to act with a little more grace?”

“Look Bashful”, “Regretful”, “Blissful too”,
“Embarrassed”, “Anxious”, “and Shocked”,
“Happy”, then “Guilty”, “Innocent”, “True”.
Then "Stupid, your foolish mind blocked".

“Brave”, “Lonely”, “Horrified”, “Hot",
“Paranoid”, “Pained”, and “Perplexed”.
Variety, that is an actors lot,
try not to look so vexed.

“Angry”, “Envious”, “slightly Demure”,
“Cautious”, “Bored”, and then “Proud”.
“Placid”, “Angelic”, and “Facially pure”.
Then, “Look like your singing out loud”.

“Confident”, “Smiling”, then “A lovesick fool”.
This o doubt is the strangest school.
Hooray! I’ve passed. I’m no acting freak,
But they’ve discovered, that I cannot speak.