Amazing articles on just about every subject...

Acting And Mimicry:
 Acting And Mimicry

 What Is Mimicry?

 Acting—opera And Stage

 How To Study And Analyze A Part

 General Rules

 Exercises For Elasticity

 Elements Of Mimicry - Part 1

 Elements Of Mimicry - Part 2

 Elements Of Mimicry - Part 3

 Elements Of Mimicry - Part 3

 Read More Articles About: Acting And Mimicry

Elements Of Mimicry - Part 2

( Originally Published Early 1900's )


The eyes are capable of expressing nearly all the states of mind and of human passion. They seem to be the most noble and expressive of all the parts of the body. No part of the face can show, better than they, noble sentiments and. high spirits as well as hate, jealousy, and other ignoble feelings. They are called the mirrors of the soul. In prayer, they are raised; in sorrow, they weep ; in anger, they burn ; in doubt, they wander; in anxiety, they are restless. They sparkle in joy and gladness as they do in serenity of mind and soul. The eyes are unnaturally enlarged during violent emotions ; in brutal passions, such as anger or rage, they are more lively, but in the depressing emotions, such as horror, fear, etc., they seem to lose their vivacity, even their color. They are sunken in moments of sadness and melancholy. In drunkenness they feel heavy.

When tired, the look is lazy ; when agitated, lively; when serene and in good spirits, quiet. In attention or meditation the look is hard; in apathy or indifference, soft; in fear, uncertainty, indecision, the eye is oblique. The man of guilty conscience has a sinister, sometimes satanic, look. The prosaic man's looks are forced, artificial. Besides the above, we have undecided, penetrating, sure, fixed, hesitating, ironical, simulated, etc., looks.


The nose, being the chief characteristic in esthetical and race analysis, has a great importance in mimicry. In spite of the fact that it is one of the least movable parts of the face, it lends splendidly to the expressions; especially to the expression in which the breathing apparatus is involved.

There is a naturally coordinated collaboration between the act of breathing and the expansion of the nostrils. In fear or anger, when the breathing is affected, the nostrils become dilated or constricted. There is a strong analogy between the expressions in the sense of smell (of which the nose is the principal organ) and the expressions of pride, haughtiness and arrogancy. In these expressions the nose is active. In the chapters on "Expressions and Make-up," more about the nose will be found.



The mouth is one of the most sympathetic parts of the face. Lavater, the great Swiss physiologist and psychologist, gave utmost importance to the mouth in the analysis of human character. (See paragraph on make-up.)

The mouth has at its disposal a quantity of muscles used for mastication, speech and song, and is very powerful in expression (especially the corners of the mouth which are raised in expressions of high spirits and fall in expressions of low spirits). During the most animated discussion the action is concentrated on the lips. The singer should not forget that the mouth and lips are of utmost importance from a vocal point of view and he must pre-pare his mimicry so as not to interfere with his voice.

We make the following divisions of the emotions and states expressed by the movements of the lips:

In joy, satisfaction, content, etc., the corners of the mouth are curled upwards, thus producing a smile. Sometimes biting the lower lip slightly is a sign of satisfaction.

In sorrow, disappointment, moral pain, fear, etc., they turn down.

In determination, or severe stubbornness, the lips are pressed together.

In sarcasm or irony, the lips are compressed and turned down.

In retained anger, the mouth is drawn in, lips compressed; often people bite the lower lip in trying to control exploding anger.

Dissatisfaction at a mistake committed is ex-pressed by biting the lower lip.

Anger, fury, desire of vengeance are expressed by biting the upper lip with the lower jaw advanced, showing the teeth.

In cold and fear, the lips and the whole mouth tremble.

In ecstasy or admiration, the lower jaw drops slightly.

In yawning, the lower jaw falls down.

In some cases of contempt and disdain, the tongue is pulled out.

Licking the lips with the tongue denotes gluttony, although sometimes it is a sign of nervousness also.

The figures on page 145 illustrate in detailed study, the previous exposition of the states and emotions expressed by the lips.

Home | More Articles | Email: