OK. This is sort of part rant and part actual information that you need.

I hear a lot about crying onstage. Especially from girls, though often from the boys too. I hear “I/she/he can cry on command,” as if that is a great skill to have as an actor.

Not so much.

It is FAR more compelling onstage to have a character who is desperately trying NOT to cry. If it happens as a natural part of the scene and because you are so into the story and the relationships and the energy of your partners, great. It is effective, and it is wonderful when you are able to tap into those deep emotions. But if you go into the scene with crying as the goal, then you have bypassed all those steps in getting to the natural pinnacle of your emotional state. Your scene may go a whole different direction, and you may end up in a very strange place if you are just crying and nothing that came before it has justified the tears.

Crying is not acting. Crying is just crying. Feeling is acting, and crying is just one of the millions of  things that might happen when you feel- but try fighting it when it happens, and you may heighten that even more.

And that’s all I have to say about that.


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