The only scripted portion of a FoolProof show is the poem that is recited in the very beginning. It is a poem called "Please Hear What I'm Not Saying" by Charles C. Finn. The idea behind the poem is that we all wear masks in our everyday lives; we hide a portion of ourselves from those around us. When we "drop our mask" we allow the truth to be seen. Below is the revised version we use.

 

 

 

 

Please Hear What I'm Not Saying

Don’t be fooled by me, don’t be fooled by the face I wear,

For I wear a mask, a thousand masks,

Masks that I’m afraid to take off

And none of them are me.

Pretending is an art that is second-nature to me,

But don’t be fooled, for God’s sake don’t be fooled.

I give you the impression that I’m secure,

Within as well as without, and that I need no one,

But don’t believe me. Please!

My surface may seem smooth,

But my surface is my mask,

My ever-varying and ever concealing mask.

Beneath dwells the real me,

In confusion, in fear, in aloneness,

But I hide this, I don’t want anyone to know it.

I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear being exposed.

That’s why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,

To help me pretend,

To shield me from the glance that knows. 

But such a glance is precisely my salvation,

my only salvation, and I know it.

That is, if it is followed by acceptance, if it is followed by love.

It is the only thing that can liberate me from myself, 

from my own self-built prison walls

It is the only thing that will assure me of what I cannot assure myself, 

That I’m really worth something. 

But I don’t tell you this, I don’t dare,

I’m afraid to. 

I’m afraid that your glance will not be followed by acceptance and love.

I’m afraid that you’ll think less of me,

And that you’ll laugh,

And your laugh will kill me. 

I’m afraid that deep down I’m nothing,  

That I’m just no good, 

And you’ll see this and reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate pretending game, 

With a facade of assurance without, and a trembling child within.


And so begins my parade of masks.

© 2017 by FoolProof Improvisational Theatre Troupe.