Every actor has to learn how to cry on cue at some point in their career, and so can you. If you are yet to master how to make yourself cry on command, worry not as we will offer you all the useful tips that actors use.
There is one acting challenge that is almost like the holy grail of acting prowess, and that is mastering how to make yourself cry on command. Bad crying can destroy your acting career.
Cry on cue meaning
On cue means that something happens as if it is planned to happen exactly at that moment. In movies and television shows, actors and actresses tend to cry on command during specific scenes, and most people do not understand how they do this.
So, how do you cry on the spot? Well, for some people, it is really easy. For others, however, it can be extremely tough.
Most actors can agree that it takes time to learn how to cry on command.
How to make yourself cry on command: Useful tips used by actors
One thing you need to note while trying to cry on command is that it is important to stop trying too hard to do it. This sounds counterintuitive, but if you force yourself to run your waterworks, chances are you have shot yourself in the foot already.
Let go of the pressure and instead of focusing on the end result, focus on the emotional truth of the moment.
Anyone can learn how to fake cry using the following tips and techniques:
1. Think of something sad
Remember some of your saddest moments in life then do what you would when you normally start crying. These sad events could be a painful break-up, the loss of someone who was close to you, or even a personal tragedy.
As you think about such moments, say stuff such as, “It is my fault” or how you miss something or someone. Doing this can sometimes stimulate the waterworks.
This is the most painful but most effective method to use. This is because it induces emotional tears. If you find it difficult to contemplate your past, move on to some other method.
2. Open your eyes wide and fan them
If you have been wondering how to make yourself cry instantly, use this technique that is almost foolproof. All you will have to do is to open your eyes as wide as possible then fan them rapidly.
You can also use your hands to hold one eye open really wide. Doing this will make you shed tears really fast.
NB: Do not use this method if you are wearing contacts. They will dry up and this can be extremely dangerous for your eyes.
The technique may also fail to work if you are wearing contacts as the air will not reach your iris.
3. Open your eyes wide and do not blink
If you want to learn how to cry on stage, this is one of the simplest things to do. However, it takes longer to achieve and may take some time to master.
Typically, when we blink, our eyes lubricate themselves because they clean themselves in that manner.
When you keep your eyes open for as long as you possibly can, they will stop lubricating themselves. Once you close them, you allow your tear ducts to moisturize your dry eyeballs.
When you start blinking again, your eyes will create an excessive amount of water and you will instantly see the waterworks.
NB: You should know that this experience can also be a little painful because in theory, drying your eyes sounds easier than it actually is in practice.
4. Rub your eyes
Rapidly rubbing your eyes is one of the things that will make you cry on command. All you have to do is rub them until you feel some or even a tiny bit of tears.
Immediately after feeling them, force your eyelids open with your fingers and hold them for at least 10 seconds.
The technique works best if you open your eyes after rubbing them and stare at one particular thing until the tears start flowing down your cheeks.
You can also place your pointer finger on one of your pupils. This will undoubtedly irritate your eyes which will inevitably induce the waterworks.
Remember to include deep breaths and sobbing sounds to make your crying scene more convincing.
NB: Always rub your eyes gently because you do not want to hurt yourself.
5. Use products with Olbas oil or menthol
How do you trigger a crying? You can do this by sniffing or rubbing products containing Olbas oil or menthol, which are some of the things to make you cry fast.
Put the product on some tissue, and when you are ready to shed tears, make crying noises then blow your nose with the tissue, making sure that you rub it under your eyes.
Have you ever asked yourself, 'How do actors cry in movies?' Since they cannot always get into character and expect emotional tears to show their presence, they often use menthol.
Usually, they use either menthol tear sticks or menthol tear producers. The stick is applied right under the eyes while the tear producer is a spray that works instantly.
NB: You should be very careful when using products that contain Olbas oil or menthol. If you get them directly in your eye, they can seriously hurt and may damage your eyesight.
Make sure you wash them off after you attain your goal.
6. The yawning technique
In this technique, all you need to do is to cover your mouth and nose with both of your hands and yawn. Alternatively, you can make yourself feel tired before yawning.
To make it look dramatic, cover your mouth like you are shocked so others do see your mouth as you try to induce crying.
When we yawn, the facial muscles surrounding our eyes tighten. In the process, the lacrimal glands which are located beneath our upper eyelids, just below our eyebrow bones, might feel a slight pressure.
This causes them to release tears that they had kept in storage for later.
7. Listen to sad music
If you have been asking yourself, "I want to cry but I can't, what do I do?" One of the ways you can induce tears is by listening to really sad music.
When you listen to it, imagine sad things like how someone close to you lost their life. It will only take you a few minutes for the tears to start flowing down your cheeks.
If you are not a music person, watching a sad movie should be a good substitute. However, watching a movie is more time-consuming than simply listening to a song.
8. Use the power of onions
Most people shed tears when they start chopping an onion, even after convincing themselves not to cry as they do it.
No matter what we do or say to ourselves, onions will always trigger the waterworks. They contain an enzyme that is released immediately you start chopping them.
When the chemicals in the onions come into contact with our eyes, they make us shed tears.
9. Use eye drops
Eye drops contain saline that provokes tears. All you need to do is pour a few drops into your eyes.
NB: Hide the evidence, as you do not want to be accused of fake crying.
10. Pluck a hair out of your nose
You must be careful as relying on plucking hair out of your nose too frequently could leave you without nose hair at all.
Other major tips to remember
- Crying is more than just tears, it requires physical care, especially keeping the body hydrated. Without enough fluid in your system, your body will be unable to activate its tear ducts
- Always borrow from your personal experience as some people cry more easily compared to others. You should know your triggers and take advantage of them
- Keep in mind that tears are not the only means to convey extreme grief or misty-eyed happiness. Authentic vulnerability matters more than tears
- Learning how to shed tears on command is not easy. It takes practice and baby steps
Under normal circumstances, human beings express their deepest emotions of dissatisfaction, yearning, grief, and sometimes even happiness when they cry.
Helplessness, powerlessness, separation, and loss make women, men, and children shed tears. This is the way our bodies let us know that our souls are yearning for something or have been hurt in one way or another.
How do you make yourself cry in acting? Essentially, this is a skill that has something to do with tapping into your own emotions.
Besides being required to do so in acting, provoking your waterworks can be beneficial for your mental health. It is a way of pouring out all accumulated feelings in order to feel some relief afterwards.
Practice makes perfect. You only need time and determination to learn how to make yourself cry on cue.