Welcome to the 99-TIP series. Each 99-TIP is geared to give you a tiny tidbit that empowers you to get clearer about your career. So you can go from struggling to happy, healthy, wealthy and working!
This TIP is about Acting. There’ll also be 99-TIPS about Marketing, Auditioning and Branding in future blogs. Break a leg!
Actors call or e-mail me all the time and say, “I want to cry on cue. Can you help me?” Well, I can and I can’t. The truth is that you can’t just tell yourself to cry. We’re not wired that way.
Instead, you’ve got to do a preparation. That means that you’ve got to immerse yourself into a situation, real or imagined, that makes you cry. “Real” is using a real experience, object, or action that triggers tears. “Imagined” means conjuring up a fantasy, such as the death of someone close to you, that brings on the waterworks.
Stanslavski said, “we cannot set feeling. We can only set physical action.” This means that whatever action (or creation of an emotion-charged situation) we act out can produce the desired emotional result.
But it’s been my experience that you first have to train your expressive apparatus to respond before you can go for the emotional gold. There must have been a reason why I sat in that chair and did Method exercises for the better part of 10 years. You have to train yourself to respond to inner and outer stimuli and know what might be a good preparation to turn on those tears. And the cool thing is… the more you do it, the more able you are to repeat it.
THAT I can definitely do for you. I can provide a platform for you to develop a way of working that will work for you. You have to be consistent and committed, however, to get to that level of expression where crying just happens as a result of your moment-to-moment interaction with your acting partners. Other teachers can do this, but the trick is to train in a place that both increases your skills and nurtures you to want more.