March 28, 2008, Newsletter Issue #109: Emotional Scenes

Tip of the Week

For many actors, learning to "cry on cue" is one of the hardest skills to learn. There are many exercises one can do to reach the emotional level where tears can come freely. The best method may be not to try. In other words, the more we attempt to use a technique, the less it can work for us. This is because we remove ourself from the scene at hand. Imagine: Your best friend tells you she never really liked you. Now, would you stop and say to yourself, "Okay. I have to cry. How can I make that happen?" Of course not; the emotion of the "scene" would naturally take over. You have to trust that same organic wave of emotion when you are playing a scene as well. Who knows? Maybe you won't cry at all, but have another reaction entirely. And in scenarios where your character must cry, sometimes the best method is to, well, act. Next time you cry in real life, note how you do it. What does it feel like? Sound like? Learn to recreate this so that you can cry in a realistic manner...even if no tears come.

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