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April 30, 2002

ActorsBon: Crying on Cue

Dear Bonnie,

Hello! I really need your help and if you have any advice I'd really appreciate it. I was wondering how people in like movies and everything cry on cue. I can't figure out how they do it. I've tried thinking of events in my life that have made me sad but it doesn't work and I don't know anything else to try. So if you have any ideas I'd appreciate it. Thank you for your time!!


Hi Candace,

There are many schools of thought on how to act (and that includes crying on cue). Some people say you should put yourself in the position of the person you are playing, and by living as that person, whatever is written in the script that makes your character cry should also make you cry, if you are in character.

Others say that you should put yourself back into the mindset of a time in your life that made you sad and let that memory take you to tears. I'm not a big fan of this technique, as I find it distracting to involve my own personal history when portraying a character. Also, if the moment you choose to focus on was a really tough one, you could slip out of the character and into your own emotions... and then where are you in the scene?

So, you'll hear different pieces of advice on how to do that... my preference is to hear music (aloud while rehearsing, in my head while performing) that moves me and associate that swell of emotions with the lines that are supposed to move me in the scene. That mixed-media approach will often help bring me closer to the emotion required by the script.

Hope this helps!!


Posted by bonnie at April 30, 2002 5:35 PM