"Do not apologize for crying. Without this emotion, we are only robots." ― Elizabeth Gilbert
We all begin this life as criers. Yet as actors, genuinely crying onstage or on camera seems like an insurmountable challenge. A big roadblock is our mindset, that has defined tears to be a sign of weakness. In a world that is increasingly desensitizing itself, holding back our emotions, blocking them out or worse, burying them, has become the normal thing to do.
Over time, expressing raw emotions through crying becomes a very private affair, as most of us, do not want to expose our vulnerability. However, being an actor is about being open and vulnerable to feelings and connecting deeply with the world. Ergo, empathy and unabashed expression of genuine emotion are a necessary component of an actor's training.
An actor needs to be a master at drawing from the emotional well
of his mind and harnessing genuine feelings to create believable characters. Here are some tips that might help you pull off the greatest crying scenes onstage or on-screen.
Live the Emotion
Although, as actors we are professional fakers, the feelings expressed in the act, need to be genuine and what is going to take you through is belief. Genuine feelings are the wellspring of tears. Are you crying because the scriptwriter has specified so in the parentheses? Do you understand why this character is going to cry? Ask these questions to yourself.
Emotionally, you need to understand the rationale that has made this character helpless. Imagination and empathy for the circumstances of the character and being driven by the pathos of the moment, should naturally lead to the expression of tears. Ergo, living the emotion and deeply feeling it from inside, is the only way of making yourself cry.