Triggering Tears


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I've always had this question about how actors and actresses manage to cry on the spot. I even thought before that the tears were only a part of the props. It's just fascinating that they can condition themselves to do all that sobbing. Have you ever wonder what kind of imaginings they rely on?


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I've read a few biographies by some old school starlets and apparently many of the child actors used fake tears. These were applied to their eye area and cheeks right before shooting the scene. Of course, a child star that could cry on demand was highly prized. Unfortunately, sometimes that meant a parent or agent would get a little cruel. Tears would be brought on by claiming a beloved pet died or that the parents were taking the child star to an orphanage.


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I think that actors and actresses who can cry on cue are incredibly talented. The actors and actresses must be very invested in their character and the emotions that the character is feeling in order to cry on cue. I don't think I could ever do that!


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I don't think I could ever cry on cue! I would definitely need coaching or training to acquire this skill. When I was in high school, one of my classmates managed to cry on cue during a performance of the school play. She impressed me so much and to this day I don't know how she did it.


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I can. I just think about something sad and I tear up. I'm from an expressive Italian family where both hot and cold emotions shift quickly, so maybe that's why. I bet it would be harder to do in front of a camera crew though.


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It doesn't matter to me whether someone can cry naturally or not. Not as a filmmaker and not as a viewer either. I think it all looks the same in the end.


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It's a shame that child actors were treated so poorly back then. Hopefully that sort of thing has ended, but who knows. I always assumed that they loaded up with eye drops right before shooting the scene that called for tears.

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