Tears before bedtime!!!

  • User Deleted

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    Hi everyone, I need your help!!

    I find I'm in fear of auditions, and for all the wrong reasons. I find one particular emotion very difficult to hit on request…Tears!!!

    I can turn most Casting Directors to tears just before they shout “GET OUT”, but, when asked to turn the taps on for an improvisation, it brings out a completely different emotion in me, one of horror!!!

    In my past life, before becoming an actor, I would travel the world with my job and see sights no person should have to see, so trained myself to show no feelings, thereby suppressing the very skills I now need to be a good actor.

    So I'm asking for help, can anyone of my friends out there make me cry? Can you bring a tear to my eye? And therefore make my Casting Directors smile.

    PS…Splat, any offers of a punch on the nose, will be sadly turned down. Too many people have already beaten you to it…hehe…hence my ‘Greek God' good looks

    Regards to all, Steve

    • 2nd Jun 2009
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  • User Deleted

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    100% serious...I have tried most everything, short of asking Paul McKenna for help...I cant even cry at a funeral!!!for almost 25 years I had to suppress deep emotional feelings...I can act any emotion, but the physical appearance of tears is a no go..PS Splat, that £2000...is that cash or cheque?..lol

    • 30th May 2009
    • 1
  • Mark Joseph

    Actor

    Loads of actrs can't cry. That's what tear-stick is for. As long as you can project the emotion of being in a tearful state, the tear-stick'll take care of the rest.

    M.

    • 30th May 2009
    • 2
  • Christine Hounslow

    Actor

    I'm with Splat - you need expert tuition in controlled environment by experts - does the Actor Centre have advice? I had an excellent teacher at drama school who taught us the techniques required over quite a long period - maybe 2 terms in all - now I can cry at the drop of a hat with one particular memmory, or not cry - just as I wish - but I saw some of my class mates completely fall to pieces and 2 left school coz they couldn't cope with the emotions the technique brought up. Good luck - but proceed with care. xx

    • 30th May 2009
    • 3
  • Christine Hounslow

    Actor

    p.s. I hate the actors in soaps who make the sounds so convincingly but have a perfectly dry cheek! Shallow work if you ask me!

    • 30th May 2009
    • 4
  • User Deleted

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    Thank you Mark for you comment. Yes, there are the usual aids to give the appearance of real tears, but, as my sainted drama teacher used to say to me "keep it real" so I must agree fully with Christine and Splat.

    I suppose I'm no stranger to danger, however, unleashing some hidden past memories, for me would be like opening Pandora's Box and without the correct support of expert guidance, more dangerous than I could dream of.

    Like all of us, I like to take pride in my craft, and I feel this is a challenge I must set myself, but, I know it will be worth the journey in the end. Thank you Christine for your good wishes, and thank you Splat… as expected sound words, wisely given. Cheers mate.

    PS…Now I know I'm not the only person on here with an acting nemesis. May I ask "what's yours?" And "what do you do to get over it?

    Very grateful for your comments so far…Steve

    • 30th May 2009
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  • Farah Sardar

    Actor

    My husband's like you Mr McTigue, he does not cry.

    When I took my daughter to see Happy Feet (the penguin one), I cried all the way through (I can't believe I did that). And that's why I don't watch the Magic Roundabout!!!

    • 31st May 2009
    • 6
  • Mark Joseph

    Actor

    There is also the Mametian argument that you shouldn't have to dredge up your own personal horror to get to a state similar to a characters'. It's unneccesary and can be harmful to your mental state over many years. Also, you ever tried to cry 25 times in a row from scratch on film? I think a lot of men (not to be sexist of course, but we do tend to be worse at this particular thing) would have a problem with this.

    Also, on a practical note, I've always found the "trying to stop oneself crying" always ends up a more raw take, depending on the situation.

    M.

    • 31st May 2009
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  • Nadia Ostacchini

    Actor

    Yep, I agree with alot of what Mark says there.

    • 31st May 2009
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  • Claire Conroy

    Actor

    I cry at the drop of a hat, my think is keeping the emotion in. Everybody has a different issue to overcome. I wouldn't push it. I couldn't cry until I found a monologue that opened the floodgates and after that it hasn't been a problem. Don't forget sometimes not crying is the best way to convey an emotion, its what we do in real life, we try to hold it together at the most challenging times. Don't force it, in my opinion the worst thing for me to view on stage is someone pretending to cry it gives me the shivers. Just let it be if tears are meant to come they will.xxx

    • 31st May 2009
    • 9
  • Farah Sardar

    Actor

    Baddddoinnggggggggg. 'Hello Zebedi'

    • 31st May 2009
    • 10
  • User Deleted

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    Steve .. are we perhaps taking things out of context here ??? In all my acting career, and it's been a full one I can assure you, in the myriad of shows I have done, there have only been two occasions where it has been deemed necessary to show the end emotion.

    This 'fear' of auditions regarding the showing of this emotion, is somewhat akin to to an actor having a huge wart on his chest, and he hopes and prays that they don't ask him to remove his shirt !!.

    Prior to the Casting, the script alone will tell you what you are in for, so you can obviously prepare yourself.

    Rather like yourself ,, I have seen some horrific sights, the memory of which never, ever fades, the saying " Man's inhumanity to Man " is constantly in my mind. But the brain, being the wonderful machine that it is, allows you to closet those memories.

    But ... I urge you .. DO NOT try to use those particular memories in order to fulfill the demand of an emotion ie, tears. You will be walking into dangerous territory.

    I suggest that you do as I do. I get the feeling that you are a Romantic, if so ... find a piece of music .. music that has a strain, or a couple of lines that really sadden you .. hum them, and use THEM. Daft as it may seem, I have a couple of lines from a Beatle song that does the trick every time .. well twice.

    • 31st May 2009
    • 11
  • Christine Hounslow

    Actor

    I cried when I gave birth to my daughter - love , relief, and incredible happiness - you don't have to think of something terrible to make you cry. I can think of that moment now and smile and laugh about it - or I could use the emotion to cry my eyes out right now. I repeat - I had the training and can use it however I wish.

    • 31st May 2009
    • 12
  • Law Ballard

    Actor

    I have heard there is a good w.shop at the actors centre that works on being able to cry and different emotions at the drop of a hat, I haven't done it, just met someone who rated it. I can understand your position, if you have learned to can the tears, then it was at the time a useful way of dealing with your emotions, but now its not so useful and there maybe difficult things that you need to face within yourself, so you don't feel that you would get out of control when you do cry. I think that a good therapist could help you feel safe enough to let them out and deal with them. having said that I concurr with others, in that if you are feeling emotions and responding to the situation you are doing ie scene work or monologue, then it doesn't matter if there are tears or not, because the reality is i will be moved by whatever is happening/moving you if its not 'put on'.

    I was curious about the whole crying thing, as i worked on a project where the director wanted me to cry, at the drop of a hat, and even with preparation and work on it, it was really hard, especially as it was every night for a month. In the end i realised it didn't matter, and putting pressure on myself to cry wasn't going to work anyway. So i decided to just let it go and see, and in the end lots of different emotions came and went and made for an interesting exploration around the text, sometimes tears came sometimes other emotions and i think it was much more authentic for the audience than trying to emote tears.

    And, ya know i watched loads of films and looked at the crying scenes, and realised, there are very little tears shed, it was a surprise, but didn't always detract from the emotions i felt as a watcher.

    • 31st May 2009
    • 13
  • User Deleted

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    To all of you, may I say a big thank you for all your comments and sound advice, I cant tell you how much it means to me..I said to a friend, that I sat a long time in front of my computer, just looking at the keys, before I plucked up the courage to open myself up to my peers with my 'silly' problem. I believed no one would care, or indeed, would believe it a joke, so I had already, if you like, in my own head written the forum answers I would get…how wrong I was!!

    I have found the last 24 hours very cathartic. I have received many messages via email and of course via here from some of the best in the business and people I hold in high esteem.

    Dear Fuzz, please call me Steve…all my friends do, and I deem you very much a friend.

    Alan, as expected from someone so astute (word checker changed astute to hirsute, thank God I spotted that one!!!) I am a Romantic, I think all us actors are if we are honest, but I do feel flawed not being 'the full package'. I thank you so much for your comment. I sense you know exactly where I am and the problem I have to come to terms with. PS…How did you know I had a 'wart' on my chest..spooky…hehe.

    Mark, great comment again..you mentioned "you ever tried to cry 25 times in a row" that for me would be like Olympic Gold…let me do it once first and see where it goes from there, Cheers Mark.

    I'm with you Claire, pretend crying, or as my mum would say crocodile tears is a poor substitute and you are so right Christine about the soaps at the moment real is real, false is obvious, and our audiences deserve better. (that's me off Eastenders casting list for a while..lol)

    Splat, Alan mentioned rightly about the Brain being a wonderful machine, and so it is, and I need to master that machine to be the actor I want to be, just like when I passed my driving test some 400 years ago!!! I needed a professional Instructor…and I fully agree with you I need one again to guide me along a path, even Indiana Jones would think twice about. Many thanks, Splat

    Regards Steve

    PS...just had to say, to my friend who kindly sent an email believing I was near a nervous breakdown!! that I am no way near Christopher Walken 'Nick' from The Deer Hunter just at the moment, but, thanks for the email none the less...Steve

    • 31st May 2009
    • 14
  • User Deleted

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    Hi Steve

    What a fantastic thread! I have to agree with Splat and Christine. I use memories of stuff in my past all the time to help me empathise with characters that I am playing. I am in control of it because I have dealt with the issues in my past and so I am not worried about 'dredging up' or unlocking any issues. I'm not sharing these memories with anyone else...hopefully they'll just be seeing the character and their emotions. As long as the emotion is truthful.

    In answer to your other question...my fear in auditions/rehearsals is when they get you to stand in a group and say your name while doing an action...can never think of anything to do and end up looking like an idiot...but then, maybe that's the point.

    Geri

    • 31st May 2009
    • 15
  • User Deleted

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    Hi Geri,

    I think you hit the nail on the head.

    Ultimately, I think I am trying to solve two issues here, mainly my inability to cry…This I know will take time, but, also my fear of being asked to cry.

    Some would say "What the hell, so you're not perfect, live with it, move on". If I was happy to sit back and except that, then I would not have raised this thread in the forum…I'm not saying solving my issues will make me a better actor, far from it, but, as you said, when I need that emotion it will be truthful. Being truthful when I act means so much to me, Geri…so much.

    I know what you mean about the standing in a group thing. Its like the old Psychometric testing…Tapping your head while rubbing your stomach exercise…When I do things like that, I always look like one of those Crash Test Dummies, after the accident…lol

    Cheers Steve

    • 31st May 2009
    • 16
  • Nathan Head

    Actor

    this can be frustrating, i can so easily cry anytime i want. it can be very simple and the annoying thing is that i can never do it under pressure.

    on set i just go dry!

    • 31st May 2009
    • 17
  • User Deleted

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    Thank you Nathan for your comment

    When I started this thread, I suppose I believed my problem was 'just me' and an issue in the great scheme of things, not that important, but, it seems to of highlighted in some very small way the incredible things actors do for the profession they love.

    Is it all worth it?...For me, your darn tooting it is.

    Regards Steve

    • 1st Jun 2009
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  • Christine Hounslow

    Actor

    Should we put "Ability to cry on demand" on our special skills ? :-)

    • 1st Jun 2009
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