Whether you're pursuing an acting career or just having fun performing in school plays, the time may come when you have to kiss a co-star on stage. It can be an awkward situation, especially if you've never done it before and don't know the other person very well. The key to having a credible kiss that you are both comfortable with is to make sure you understand the tone of the moment and rehearse it until it seems natural.
Part 1 of 4: Understand the scene
Step 1. Read the work carefully
Before preparing for an acted kiss, it is important that you understand what is going on in the scenes leading up to it, as well as the scenes after. This information can help you determine the best way to kiss. Read the entire play carefully so that you are sure you understand your character's emotions and motivation in the kiss scene.
- Make sure to take into account the relationship between your character and the co-star. For instance. If the kiss is between two new lovers, it will probably be tentative and delicate. On the other hand, if the kiss is between two people meeting after a prolonged separation, it can be more passionate.
- Take into account the character's personality as well. For example, if you play someone who tends to keep their emotions pent up, the kiss can be the turning point where it all comes to the surface.
Step 2. Talk to the director
Whether you're acting in a school play or a Broadway show, it's the director's job to make sure all the actors know exactly how to play their characters and that they know the specific scenes. The director may have a specific idea about how the kiss should be done, so they can give you suggestions so that both you and the co-star know what to do. If he doesn't mention the kiss scene specifically, don't be afraid to ask for some guidelines.
- Because the director may have supervised kiss scenes before, chances are they have some advice on how to make the experience less awkward. Let him know if you feel embarrassed so he can give you some guidelines to help you feel more comfortable.
- If the director wants you to do the kiss scene in a way that is different from what you envisioned, try to be open-minded. Try to do it their way, and if it doesn't seem natural or appropriate, ask if you can try doing it your way to see if it works better.
Step 3. Remember that it is just a performance
Having to kiss a co-star you don't know well can be awkward and embarrassing. However, it's important to remember that even if you don't feel anything towards the co-star, your character does feel a connection to the character she plays. You don't need to be attracted to each other or even like each other, you just have to make the audience believe you are.
- Try treating the kiss as if it were an action from a scene that you wouldn't do in real life, like yelling at another character or being violent. It is simply pretending.
- Doing a kiss scene can be especially awkward if you have a partner. It is better to have an honest conversation with her about it rather than avoid it. That way, you can discuss her concerns and assure her that you are only playing a role.
Part 2 of 4: Talk to the Co-Star
Step 1. Try to get to know each other
For most people, having to do a kiss scene with someone you don't know very well is awkward. The best way to ease discomfort is to get to know your co-star better. If you can feel more comfortable with each other, it may be easier to do the kiss scene without feeling too much embarrassment.
You don't have to spend a lot of time with your co-star to get to know her. Consider going out for coffee or just sitting down and chatting during rehearsal breaks
Step 2. Talk about the motivation of the characters
Although it can be helpful to have a certain level of comfort with your co-star, it is just as important that you both understand what is going on in the kiss scene. Talk about the motivation of the characters so they can understand the meaning of the kiss to them and can figure out how to do it.
Note that the kiss may not mean the same to both characters. For example, one character may have genuine feelings, while the other is just trying to manipulate his love interest to get something he wants. If this is the case, you and your co-star should agree on what the overall tone of the kiss should be, such as tender, passionate, or delicate
Step 3. Establish ground rules
To make you and your co-star less awkward during the kiss, it can help to set clear limits on what is comfortable for both of you. They can agree to actually kiss during the scene, but decide that it is best to do it with their mouths completely closed. On the other hand, if you are both embarrassed, you can agree that it is better to fake a kiss and not have your lips touch. Take the time to talk about how close you are willing to get so that neither of you accidentally makes the other uncomfortable.
- No matter what the director or co-star thinks, you should never do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. It's normal to feel nervous and uncomfortable, so don't be afraid to say so.
- If you don't know how to talk to your co-star about your limits, you can say something like, "Since we don't know each other well, I'll only feel comfortable if we do the kiss with our mouth closed. Is it okay for you?"
Part 3 of 4: Choreographing the kiss
Step 1. Plan a real kiss
The most important step in getting comfortable with doing a kiss scene is working on the specific movements that will make up the moment. It's usually easier to plan your kiss after you and your co-star have set the boundaries for the scene. Try to focus on the technical details to avoid feeling uncomfortable. That means talking about whether they will be standing or sitting during the kiss, and in which direction each will move their head.
- The tone of the kiss can help you choreograph it. For example, if it's a hesitant first kiss, you may need to move slowly and it may not last long. On the other hand, if it's a passionate kiss, you may need to move quickly to convey the urgency and make it last a bit longer.
- Don't just focus on the kiss itself. Think about where you are going to place your hands during the scene, such as your co-star's cheek, and whether you are going to hold her while kissing her.
Step 2. Use a fake kiss
In the case of many performed kisses, you and the co-star do not need to actually put your lips together to make the audience believe that you are kissing. One of the two can gently place his hand on the side of the other's neck, so that the fingers are behind the ear and the thumb can rest on the lips of the co-star. When one partner leans in to kiss the other, the other will kiss the thumb instead of the lips. It's an ideal option if you feel uncomfortable with the idea of kissing your co-star.
- If you plan on using the fake kiss method, ask an experienced actor to show you how. It can be difficult if you've never seen it done before.
- For the fake kiss technique, make sure to support the thumb of the hand that is farthest from the audience. That way, it will be more difficult for the audience to notice that it is not a real kiss.
- In some cases, it may not be possible to resort to a fake kiss. Talk to the director about what works best for the scene.
Step 3. Rehearse the kiss
If this is your first time kissing your co-star (even a fake one) on stage, you may be especially anxious. To ease some of your nerves, be sure to rehearse the kiss with your co-star as many times as necessary to make sure you both know exactly how to stage it and that you feel more comfortable with the idea.
- While you and your co-star may want to rehearse alone the first two times, you should practice in front of the other cast and crew members a few times to get used to doing the scene in front of an audience.
- Practice kissing when you have your wardrobe on at least once or twice. That way, if you or your co-star is wearing a hat or some other piece of clothing that can make the kiss uncomfortable, you can anticipate it in advance.
- The director may have some observations about the kiss after watching them rehearse. Incorporate this feedback into your performance as long as you feel comfortable doing so.
Part 4 of 4: Do the kiss scene
Step 1. Pay attention to hygiene
A kiss scene is most enjoyable for everyone involved when both actors are respectful enough to practice proper hygiene. Point out that you have showered on the day of the performance and wear deodorant before going on stage. Most importantly, though, no one wants to kiss someone with bad breath, so brush your teeth before the scene as well.
- If the kiss is at the end of the play and you're worried about not having fresh breath by then, it's a good idea to bring mints, gum, breath spray, or mouthwash with you. During intermission or a scene you're not in, you can quickly freshen your breath for the kiss.
- If you plan on resorting to a real kiss, you may also need to apply some lip balm to ensure your lips are soft.
Step 2. Make sure you know your lines
It may seem obvious, but you have to make sure that you know all the lines before and after the kiss. If you focus exclusively on the kiss itself and how nervous you are about getting it right, you run the risk of forgetting the lines during the performance and ruining the scene. Go over the lines of the kiss scene a bit more carefully than the other scenes in the play to make sure you're clear.
One trick to help you learn the lines from the kiss scene is to practice them while doing something else, like knitting or throwing a ball. This strategy can help simulate the distraction you may feel while on stage thinking about the next kiss
Step 3. Make the kiss as you rehearsed it
If you want the kiss to go well when you're on stage, you need to do it exactly how you and the co-star practiced it. Usually changing the way you play it at the last minute because you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed will only make things worse because the co-star won't know what to expect. Kiss each other as you rehearsed it so that you both know what to do and how to react.
- If you feel uncomfortable with any details of the kiss, say so during rehearsals. You must be confident in the way you interpret it at the time of the performance.
- If there's something about the kiss that you need to change at the last minute, like swapping a real kiss for a fake one because you're sick, be sure to tell your co-star before they go on stage.
- Even if you are not a professional actor, you must act professionally. Try not to laugh or make a fuss about the kiss. This way, both you and your co-star may feel more comfortable.
- In most cases, the more you have to kiss someone on stage, the more comfortable you will feel. Usually the first time is the hardest.
- If something about the kiss makes you uncomfortable, always be honest with the co-star and the director.
- It is very useful to remember that you only act. Think of the kiss as just another part of the act.