The term mourning can be defined as the expression of deep sorrow that shows pain. It is usually dedicated to someone who has passed away. It can be expressed through many forms, such as crying. Whereas, others can express their pain and shock through wailing out loud, and on the other end of the spectrum, individuals can also be so sullen, with hardly any facial expression. But again, this does not disregard the fact that they are mourning.
Profeta addresses how mourning is such a huge display of emotion, especially if it through acting. She researched on mourning rituals in a wide variety of cultural contexts and focused on a valuable account of female wailing in a Bedouin community. She then used this research to aid Okwui and Ralph as they needed to cry for 8 minutes straight, literally. “In that they made me think of what is theatrical but still not untrue about crying as a public display” (83), says Okwui. From this, it is palpable that such accounts revealed a unique manner of thinking whereby one would not be concerned that the public nature of their tears would impugn their genuineness, since crying served a purpose as public ritual. Another unique aspect that Profeta mentions is when a professional mourner wrote that crying is a form of song, and this henceforth inspired Okwui to create a playlist if songs, which she felt gave her connection. When she listened to it before she performed, she was more in touch with her emotions and thus, it certainly aided her to cry in the performance.
I personally find mourning in acting extremely enthralling. I believe it entails a great amount of talent for an individual to place themselves in such a manner and to deliver it in a very authentic way. In one of the TV series that I watch, Jane the Virgin, the main character, Jane, was able to deliver an incredible crying scene when her husband, Michael, had passed away. I was fortunate to find a footage that Michael recorded himself and personally sent it to Gina Rodriguez who plays Jane. It was astonishing as this clip was not part of the director’s script, but the actor felt that him involving himself even further into the story by acting in real life would aid Jane deliver a great crying scene. Hence, he recorded himself and saying how his death is something that Jane will come to live to with. Moreover, It was said Gina Rodriguez had watched that video Michael sent her and it helped her create such an impactful crying scene in the episode when she found out that her husband died. It is particularly fascinating how an individual manipulates emotions in many ways. By digressing away from the script, either using a certain playlist as Profeta says or by letting your actors indulge their own personal lives to equip their acting are all forms of preparation that I am extremely impressed by. Finally, I believe that emotion is crucial in dance as it is able compliment your dance moves to even create a bigger mood impact to the audience.