10 Tips to Figure Out How To Cry On Command

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Wondering how to cry on command? One very important part of being an actor or an actress is being able to cry when needed. If you are filming an emotional scene, you will want to make the scene as believable as possible. Often times, this requires that you cry. Crying on command is something that some people can do with ease, while others struggle. If you want to be able to cry on command during every scene, there are a few techniques that you should try. Out of the 10 methods listed below, you should be able to find one that works wonders.

frodo crying in lord of the rings elijah wood

10 Tips On How To Cry On Command

Tip 1: Put Yourself in an Emotional State of Mind

Making your self emotional will make it easy for you to cry. If you think about losing a loved one, a significant other leaving you, even the loss of a family pet, you might be able to start shedding tears. Any sad event in your life should help you begin to cry. This is something that you want to be careful with. If you are working on a crying scene for days, thinking about the most traumatic events in your life can have a negative effect on your mental well being. The more that you use this method, it can put you in a sad and depressed state that you may not be able to get yourself out of. If it is too painful to think about an actual event, make something up. Think about a loved one passing away and how it would make you feel. Think about how you would feel if you were just diagnosed with a terminal illness. This should get the tears to start flowing and you won’t have to keep reliving traumatic events in your life. Once the tears start flowing, you can let your character and your acting skills take over.

Tip 2: Think of a Sad Movie

If you ever saw a sad movie that brought you to tears, you should start thinking about it right before you need to cry. Just about everyone who saw the movie Titanic was brought to tears at the end. Even the toughest guy in the theater shed a tear at the end of that movie. The same is true with the Christmas movie, It’s A Wonderful Life. If the movie was sad enough, and it brings you to tears every time you see it, just remembering what happened in the movie could be enough to make you start crying. Once the tears start coming, you can build on that, helping you give an Emmy winning performance.

Tip 3: Be the Character

leonardo dicaprio crying

This could be difficult if you are beginner. This is a common method for experienced actors who are able to relate to their character and become them. If your character is sad, find the root of the character’s sadness and make it your own. This is the most natural way to make yourself cry because your emotions are coming out as if you are actually your character. It will also make the scene more believable. In order to use this method, you may need to practice a lot. You may even need the right part. If you cannot relate to your character and put yourself in their shoes, you may need to use another method.

Tip 4: Try Laughing

Laughing is the opposite of crying, however, if it is done right, you can laugh and make it look as though you are crying. To do this, you would need to cover your face while you laugh. When you laugh or cry, your body tends to shake. If your face is covered, nobody will know that you are laughing. If you can get yourself laughing hard enough, your eyes might start to tear up. This is what you want. If you aren’t tearing up, you and rub your eyes while your face is covered, making them appear red and swollen. If you are going to use the laughing method, make sure that you aren’t smiling when you uncover your face. Also, you need to keep your laughing as quiet as possible or try to make it sound like your are crying. With some people, the two sound very similar.

Tip 5: Irritate Your Eyes

Benedict Cumberbatch crying in star trek beyond kahn

If you cannot muster up enough emotion to make yourself cry, you can try irritating your eyes. There are a few ways that you can do this. First, try holding your eye open for a minute or two. When you eyes is exposed to the air without blinking for a period of time, they will start to water. This is called the staring method. If you can rub your eyes before you start staring, this method will be even more effective. Next, you can try holding your eyes open in front of a fan. This will only work out if there is a fan is on the set. If there isn’t you will need to find another way to irritate your eyes. If there is a fan around, it will give you the same results as holding your eye open, it will just happen faster.

Finally, try putting your index finger right up to your pupil. This can be dangerous is you aren’t careful. Just be sure not to press too hard. You don’t want to scratch your cornea or poke so hard that filming needs to stop until you can compose yourself.

Tip 6: Rub Your Eyes and Pinch Your Nose

Before you are going to perform your scene, you should rub your eyes roughly. This will make them red, and in some cases you will tear up. You should also pinch your nose. If your eyes didn’t water when you rubbed them, they might after you pinch your nose. Even if they don’t, your nose will be red, which often occurs when a person is crying. If you don’t have time to rub your eyes and pinch your nose before the director calls action, you can try to do this while your face is covered. It is not uncommon for a person to cover their face when they are about to cry, therefore, covering the face would be believable. With your face covered, it is relatively easy to rub your eyes and pinch your nose.

Tip 7: Yawn Over and Over Again

jess crying Zooey Deschanel in New Girl

If you have ever been tired and yawned over and over, you will know that your eyes often water. This is a great way to make your eyes water so that you can make your crying scene look believable. If you have the opportunity where your back is turned or by covering your face, make yourself yawn a few times. The tears should start flowing. It is very easy to yawn. People say that yawning is contagious. If you just think about yawning, chances are you will be able to do it naturally. A natural yawn produces more tears than a forced one.

Tip 8: The Menthol Stick

Nothing for how to cry on command works? Try this. If you have tried all of the methods listed above without success, you should use the menthol method. This is a tool that film and television actors have been using for years. The menthol stick would need to be dabbed under the eyes, and the result is immediate tears. The menthol comes in either a stick or a spray. The stick just needs to be applied under the eye and the result will be instant. The spray is a bit more noticeable, however, it is just as effective as the stick.

Tip 9: The Ugly Cry

Tobey Maguire crying in Spiderman 3
Probably the ugliest cry in the history of cinema.

Many actors and actresses don’t want to use this method for how to cry on command. That’s because they don’t look their best. If you are desperate and you cannot cry on command regardless of how hard your try, you should try the ugly cry. To do this, you should just made an ugly face and try to cry. For some people, this can lead to a full-blown, hyperventilating cry.

Tip 10: Fighting Back the Tears

If you have tried every possible method on how to cry on command and nothing seems to work, you should try fighting back the tears. This requires you to do some serious acting without the crying. Also, fighting back the tears can be more powerful and effective in a scene that actually crying with real tears will. You can usually only use this method if the director approves the change. If not, you will need to keep practicing one of the other methods listed above until you get it right.


Crying on command is something that every actor and actress will eventually have to do. For some, the task comes relatively easy. For others, it takes a bit of practice. If you are trying to find the best way for how to cry on command, you should try all of the methods listed above. Certain methods work better for some people than for others. When you find the one method for how to cry on command that works best for you, go with it. It could greatly improve your acting career.

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