Saturday, May 26, 2012

Weep For It

We need never be ashamed of our tears.

Charles Dickens
Hello Marty
"Real men don't cry." Nonsense. A man who will not allow himself to weep when he needs to is denying his own manhood. Sometimes human life seems to be a bucket of tears, pain and regrets. There are plenty of things worth crying about, not just spilt milk.

But sorrow can be a life line to joy. A good healthy shedding of tears can clean the mind and the heart of the mud of depression and hurts. Weeping can be the ritual of purgation for an accumulation of injustices. It is a compassionate comrade through an obscure night of the soul. It is the heart's answer to anger, resentment and rejection. A good cry cleans the slate.

Young actors have asked me how to cry on cue when performing in a play. I tell them that a genuine cry is easier than a genuine laugh. In both cases it takes connection to something genuine in the actor's life, either sympathetic or empathetic. In the case of tears, if one doesn't have something to cry about or isn't able to be sensitive to the circumstances of his character, he hasn't lived a life yet.

I remember doing a play in Philadelphia in which I had a speech about my long lost son. In the speech was the line "I never took him to a ball game." That simple reference, though only marginally personal to me, was enough to open up the gates of my reservoir of tears.

There are fake laughs everywhere. We are all guilty of them. But fake tears are worse. One can put on a sorrowful face, with a quivering voice and an occasional sniff and try to convince people that you're weeping, as I watched one defrocked TV evangelist do one day.

"What's so funny?" It is best to be genuine all the time. Find the humor and laugh at that. And if the heart tells you it needs to weep than let it happen, man or woman.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never Give Up


Ken Riches said...

I think a genuine laugh comes much easier for me.

Rubye Jack said...

Both sides of my family are Okie farm families and we don't cry damn it. I was taught as a little kid not to cry and still today very seldom do so. I do whine however, which is very frowned upon around here. Ha.