An important skill for an actor is being able to shed real tears on stage or in front of the camera. This can give a performance a powerful sense of drama and vulnerability. However, it can be difficult to cry at the right time, even for the most experienced actors. If you need to cry for a performance, you should practice adopting the correct frame of mind ahead of time. When you're ready for the big moment, push yourself to immerse yourself in the emotions of the scene, and don't forget to hydrate before you do to get those tears flowing!
Part 1 of 2: Adopt the Right Mindset
Step 1. Practice some relaxation techniques
An important part of crying at will is being able to let your emotions and tears flow. You can do this more easily if you start the scene with a relaxed and calm mindset. Try incorporating some relaxation techniques into your daily practice preparing for the play or performance.
- For example, you can practice meditation, yoga, or deep breathing.
- You can also listen to music, especially songs or musical compositions that move your emotions or make you cry.
Step 2. Access your emotional memories
Your own memories and experiences can be a powerful source of inspiration during a performance. As you prepare, reminisce about a time in your life when you experienced emotions similar to those the character goes through. Try to remember how you felt, emotionally and physically.
- For example, you might remember how you felt when you lost a pet you loved or had to move out of your home for the first time.
- You don't need to re-create the exact moment in the middle of a performance in your mind, because you could be distracted or even annoyed so much that it would be difficult for you to finish the scene. Instead, practice remembering those moments from time to time so that you can access feelings more easily when you need to.
you should be careful with frequent exercises to remember emotions. Dwelling on traumatic or unpleasant memories for a long time could be overwhelming, so get some rest if necessary.
Step 3. Use your imagination to explore the character's circumstances
In addition to drawing on your own memories and experiences, try to explore those of the character as much as you can. Try to put yourself in their shoes and visualize exactly what they are going through.
- What you imagine does not have to come directly from the script. You can read between the lines and create a powerful background for the character that makes the moment more emotional for you.
- For example, if the character must cry during a wedding, you can imagine that the love of his life left him at the altar years ago.
- Try to imagine what the character sees, smells, and feels at that moment.
Step 4. Practice the scene until you learn it by heart
The more confident you feel with all other aspects of acting, the easier it will be to lose yourself in the moment and let your emotions flow. Rehearse the scene until you are completely comfortable with all the lines, inputs, and interruptions. This way, you don't have to worry about technical details during the scene.
Remember that all emotions are there; you just have to release them. Crying at will is a skill that can be practiced, just like the other aspects of acting
Part 2 of 2: Be Ready in the Moment
Step 1. Hydrate before the performance
If your eyes are literally dry, you will have a hard time crying on stage or in front of the camera. To prepare yourself physically, drink plenty of water before the big moment.
Some actors recommend drinking 2 liters (½ gallon) of water 1 to 2 hours before a performance where you need to cry
You can also apply moisturizing drops to soothe and hydrate your eyes before the crying scene.
Step 2. Immerse yourself in the moment of the performance
Instead of worrying about the lines or the way you act, try to lose yourself in what is happening around you. Listen carefully to what your scene partner says and pay attention to what they do. As much as possible, react to what happens instead of planning what you will do or say.
This will be easier if you have taken the time to practice the scene and memorize your lines
Step 3. Focus on feeling genuine emotions instead of thinking about crying
While crying is a great way to convey powerful emotion if you're an actor, it won't seem authentic if you force yourself to. Instead of focusing on crying, try to reach a level of emotion that allows you to do it naturally.