thinking pass over my face


Senior Member
In one of his comic monologues, Spalding Gray tells the story of how he once lost a role in a TV drama. Gray recalls the director explaining the problem: "He could always see something that he could only describe as thinking pass over my face every time I made a move." And that was inexcusable.
--from Say Everything, by Scott Rosenberg

Hi Everyone,

When I am reading this book, I find the fragment in red rather confusing. To be frank with you, this sentence doesn't make any sense to me at all. Would anyone care to help me out?

Thanks in advance.
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi aintor

    You need to divide the sentence up differently:

    He could always see {X} pass over my face.
    He could always see {something} pass over my face.
    He could always see {something that he could only describe as thinking} pass over my face.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Every time I made a movie, he saw something pass over my face - that is, he saw signs of something in my facial expression.
    He could not say exactly what that 'something' was, but it looked rather like thinking. He could only describe it as thinking.
    Actors are not expected to think. They are expected to do exactly what the director tells them. Thinking is a crime - an inexcusable one.


    Senior Member
    to Loob and se16teddy

    Haha, I get it! I always make mistake when dividing up long sentences. Thank you!
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