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Start Practicing Your Gift-Opening Face Now

Start Practicing Your Gift-Opening Face Now

By Anthony DeVito

Sometimes you get the perfect gift and sometimes you get a cat, in which case you have to fake excitement. START PRACTICING THESE MOVES NOW, TEAM.

Use an acting tool called "emotional recall."  That's when you think back to a memory, and, in the moment, funnel the emotions you felt then into a reaction. For example, if you were expecting a diamond ring and he gave you a slap band, don't freak out. Simply reverse your disappointment by recalling the delightful memory of receiving an unexpected icecream cone.*

Study the great liars of our time. We suggest reading Michael Caine's Acting in Film, or watching a campaign speech by any politician on either side of the aisle.

Practice receiving bad news. See the silver lining in something tragic and convince yourself it's actually good news. This will come in handy during your next breakup, job firing or surprise jail sentence: "Now, I can catch up on all that reading I meant to do as a free man!"

Like everything. Don't allow yourself to react negatively to anything ever again. This way, no matter how bad the gift, you won't have to fake your reaction. "A bag of smelly rocks? These smell like... Hawaiian seaweed! Best (insert holiday) ever!"

Work on faking a heart attack.  This way, he or she won't remember whether you did or didn't like her gift. In the midst of the chaos, the only thing on her mind will be stuffing you into an ambulance and getting you to the hospital. This is potentially very expensive idea if you don't have insurance. Keep in mind you may have to go on statins after your trip to the doctor, and the potential for this to snowball into an avalanche of lies is high.

Get your body accustomed to reacting without thinking. As soon as you open the gift, don't speak—give them a long-lasting hug. That way, they won't be able to see your face. When hugging, make sure to squeeze with all your strength, creating the illusion you feel very strongly about this gift. Even if it's just socks.  They're socks he or she bought and that makes all the difference.

Have a line ready to thwart the disappointed face you might make as a knee-jerk reaction, something like, "It's not what I wanted, but then again I never wanted to fall in love, and look how that turned out." Kiss them for a full minute. Count in your head, otherwise it's weird.

Always have food in your mouth. This will buy you a second or two to gather your thoughts and appropriately react. Also, you won't be hungry.

Do three sets of five in front of a mirror. Muscle memory is a key element in selling your facial expression.

*If you're lactose intolerant, don't use that memory. You might throw up.

What? Comments below for me? You shouldn't have, Sparklers!

Topics: Life
Tags: holidays, gifts, christmas, presents, acting, faces, fake it till you make it

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About the Author
Anthony DeVito

Anthony DeVito is a NYC based comic. Originally from New Jersey, he was featured as one of the "New Faces" at the 2012 Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, recently taped a Gotham Comedy Live on AXS TV, performed at the 2013 Bridgetown Comedy Festival and 2013 SF Sketchfest, and is also the former host of "Say What?!" on the NOC TV. You can follow him on Twitter @anthonydevito_

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.