It’s the dream of every actor. Not a single role goes by where a good tear couldn’t make the moment even better, especially on camera. While not all actors can let loose when told, it’s a skill that certainly comes in handy when trying to get cast.
Before tackling the emotional aspects of crying on command, it’s of the utmost importance to know that you can’t expel water from the body unless the body has water to expel. For this simple little concept to work, you have to drink lots of water.
Don’t Force It
For those of us that have cried and do cry when the feeling strikes, we know that it’s never forced in those moments. Our emotions are simply too strong to hold the tears back, resulting in an overflow. If, on stage, you’re obsessed with analyzing how to make that happen, you’ve already severed your connection to the sadness that would have led to tears. As soon as you tell yourself you have to cry, you won’t.
Accept Your Sadness
Odds are society has taught you to push your sadness away. Whether you needed to keep a straight face at home or were teased at school for crying too much, we, as humans, develop many ways to alter such a negatively received response. To open that outlet once again, it takes time, patience and practice. You must reteach yourself how to react to sadness. You have to learn not to cover it up but to let it out. This alone can take years of work as you figure out the “what” behind the block. Only then, however, can you hope to recondition yourself to accept crying as a normal, natural response to an emotional state to extreme duress.