Want to give an Oscar worthy performance and openly weep in front of an audience?
Your audience may be seated theater guests, a director and cameraman or your family and friends.
Or you're trying to manipulate your way through a sticky situation and a few tears may get you a little mercy from the jury, angry spouse, or disappointed parent.
Whatever your motivation, here's some tips on getting your cry on. Try these different approaches alone, in front of your mirror. See which one works best for you and bring down the house!
The Old Fashioned: Make yourself sad.
Basically, think sad thoughts until the tears come. The best way is to truly feel sad about what you're talking about. But if you can think about a sad thing and talk about something else, go for it.
If you can do this on cue and you can do this believably, get on the next flight to Hollywood. We need you.
The Chemical Approach: Put something in your eye.
Some say glycerin drops (which can be found in many theatrical supply stores), or rubbing a menthol stick under the eyes (also found at the theatrical store). Some cut onions.
This writer suggests NOT doing these. When will you discreetly drop stuff in your eye? What if you spend more time reacting to the physical discomfort? And why smell like onions the whole time?
Bored to Tears Approach: Yawn with your eyes open.
If you yawn one or two times with your eyes open, you'll tear up. Some actors let their lips quiver with the pre-yawn, cover their face with their hands for the actual yawn, and look up with tears.
This takes much practice. It's not for everyone.
Masochistic Approach: Hurt Yourself
Another one not suggested. Because, well, it hurts. But you can pinch yourself very hard. Nose hairs. Those hurt. If you're "lucky" enough to have nose hairs you can pluck with your fingers, hide behind a hand, pluck and tear up. If you can turn away, grab a mirror and tweezers and turn back around real fast, then you're a talent and should try a career in slight of hand magic.
Don't make yourself bruise, bleed or scar. Then it's going to be real tears and that will be so counter-productive.
The Hardest Method: Don't cry
As an actor, some of the best performances are watching a person hold back tears.
As a manipulator, sometimes the best method is not to cry for pity but instead face the situation with some honesty. Then if you cry it's because you did the right thing.
- Warning: Know what you're putting in your eye. Drops, rubs, or poking yourself with a stick: always be careful!
- Warning: Just 'cuz there's tears, you still may not be believed. None of these tricks will guarantee an ovation or that you will not get grounded.
- Last Warning: Please don't hurt yourself. I was just joking about that one. Hurting yourself is bad.