Scientific Portal on Body Language, Kinesics, and Nonverbal Communication#

Genuine Smile

Smile is really contagious. You receive smile in return from the person you smile at. But sometimes, fake smiles are also exchanged as formality or avoiding the other person letting down. It's very important to know which facial muscles are involved that makes the difference between fake and genuine smile.

A thin band of Zomgatic muscles on both side of face arising from Zygomatic bone i.e. near ears and merging into Orbicularis Oris (circular muscles around mouth) and skin of mouth corners also contracts and pulls edges of lips upwards while smiling.

When we watch genuine smile; it definite spells cast magic. Genuine, warm and friendly smile originates from bottom of heart. Telling sign of it are crinkled eyes, crow's feet in area between eyes and ears and no signs of tension on forehead. Genuine smile appears and fades away gradually. Emotional centers inside brain controls genuine smile.

Originality lasts longer like lingering fragrance of blossom. Same principle applies to expression of emotions also. Crocodile’s tears don’t last longer so does the fake smile.
One has to put lot of efforts in fake smiling; forcefully pulling back edges of lips and showing teeth by keeping eyes wide open i.e. no crinkling or crow's feet. Fake smile appears shallow and it drifts away quickly as if it is purposefully put on face.

You may find sales persons, professionals, politicians, actors and celebrities quite often putting fake smile on their faces. They are really good at it.
Which is a genuine smile? Left or right?
Can you really spot genuine smile? I think you can. Do check your personal score through this test created by BBC Science. Also watch this video by Mr. Ehsan Hoque, Ph. D. Candidate at Affective Computing Group - MIT Media Lab.


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Genius of acting

“All the world's a stage,
and all the men and women merely players:
they have their exits and their entrances;
and one man in his time plays many parts..."
- Sir William Shakespeare

Isn’t this quote true? Throughout life, we live upon instincts, emotions and thoughts. We are our own script writers but some people enact our lives. For them, it’s part of passion and profession. They don’t just act but they interact with our emotions and feelings at deeper level. They posses power to alter our thinking and perceptions about ourselves and the world around us. They amaze, mesmerize and hypnotize us.

Warm welcome to the wonderful and fascinating world of acting, actions and performances! This is an illusionary world in which creative of minds, imaginations and life like performances interlace and work in unimaginable dimensions. Actors and their performances have changed people and real world at lesser or larger proportions. Haven't they?

We can’t relate ourselves with billionaires, bureaucrat or financial bulls very easily. We find ourselves quite close to performers who enact our pains, sorrows, joys, dreams, ambitions and despairs. Only genuine performances get standing ovation and awards because most people deeply feels as if not actual actors but they were performing on stage or in movie and perhaps wanted to act that way in their real lives too.

Putting pains in performance
Without such marvelous impression, movies and dramas wouldn’t have driven crowds crazy about their beloved superstars like Al Pacino, Elizabeth Taylor, Amitabh Bachchan (Superstar of the millennium), Rajinikanth (Cultural icon of Tamil cinema), Tom Hanks, Will Smith, Nicole Kidman, Jackie Chan or Russell Crowe and many more. Despite of being a singer, Michael Jackson surmounted popularity worldwide only because of showing pain, anguish and gloom from bottom of his heart. In fact, he was the one who observed and experienced them closely in his childhood.

What is being a true acting performer? To become one, a person needs to study of human mind in depth, observe people (including oneself) and enact them at best. It's all about understanding natural expressions, behavioral patterns, body movements and overall mannerism of people and trying to enact them by imagining at best that how the character that they are playing would and should do in given situation and circumstances. Living a character at its best throughout the performance is very important.

Japanese actor
We have heard about many actors and actresses who got deeply involved into characters they played in dramas or movies. They could not get out from psychological state of major character role they have played. Characters take grip the mind of actors over a long duration. This happens due to brain’s natural response to emotions they portray on face consciously as demand of roles. That’s why they need to be very impartial about different roles they (choose to) play.

What make audience truly fascinate is synchronization of tone of voice, pronunciation, facial expressions, gestures, postures and body movements. Micro and subtle expressions on face can make any character very intriguing to observe by both people and critics. Successful performers know very well that how to convey emotions of the characters they play more silently. Blinking of eyes, tiniest flutter of facial muscles, gentle touch or fidgeting with objects bring transcending effect that words can't achieve.

Nonverbal Acting Legend
Gone are the days when movies used to be silent – without any dialogs. We can only imagine the kind of skill and sensibility required to enact without words. Performers had to utilize their body language only and nothing else. Entire expressions and body movements needed to perfect enough to understand the character. One of the legendary actors that still rules over the heart of millions is Sir Charlie Chaplin. He became immortal on silver screen by the characters he played at his best.

Off course, we cannot underestimate the combine efforts taken on script, dialogs, costume, makeup, background music, lights, set and specials effects. They get dissolved in performance and still make their effect felt. They share success equally without any doubt. In fact, all performances entirely depend upon a good script and direction.

Being a theatrical icon or movie superstar is a long, continuous and tough journey. Facing camera or audience on stage is not that easy. However, once you get in tuned with true spirit, you can master your performance. In drama, everything goes live and you don’t get second chance to correct mistakes. Only committed people to this field have glorified it.

Vijay Albal (Co-author)

(Co-author of this post/article is from Pune, India. Currently, he works as quality assurance professional in an international product based software company. Apart of his profession, he's active in theatrical performance, scripting and direction.)

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