Alfonso Faustino: Crying On Command (Cue)

The real Wen-Ho Lee: David Henry Hwang’s, Yellow Face.

One of the many characters I play in Yellow Face is Wen-Ho Lee.  His story is so sad for me; you can read about his experiences on the Internet.  As a student at Beverly Hills Playhouse, I created this character on my own, and my directors, Jeffrey Sun and Rob Zimmerman, tuned it up from there.  Like I mentioned, as a student at Beverly Hills Playhouse, I am trained to be director-proof — in other words, if the director doesn’t give me any direction, I am skilled to create my own character for the director’s input.

I created Wen-Ho Lee to cry during the FBI interrogation scene of the play, Yellow Face; and, Directors, Jeff Sun and Rob Zimmerman, liked it; but, they wanted to tune it up — they wanted Wen-Ho Lee’s tears to be that of frustration and anger — not defeat and sorrow.  So, each performance, I cry on command to create my character and tell the story of his frustration and anger with the FBI and America.

Director and Actor, Jeffrey Sun: Yellow Face: Rehearsal.

I have to generate my crying with tears in less than 30 seconds; then, after that scene, I have to transition out of that emotional state and get into another character in less than 15 seconds.

People that viewed my performance in Yellow Face, ask me, “how do you cry so fast [and] [on] [command]?”

My answer…”I just do it.”  I am a professional actor, which means, I get paid to act.  The director and producer are my bosses; so, if they tell me to do something as an actor, I do it — plain and simple — I just do it as many times as they want me to do it; because, they are paying me to do it.

So, when the director tells me, “I need you to cry in this scene at this particular line in the script,” I just do it — I cry…plain and simple.

The only thing I do before I go on stage or on set is I pray to Christ; and, I ask Him to be with me and help me bring life to my character.

Duncan Heath: playing the FBI Agent that interrogates one of my characters, Wen-Ho Lee: Yellow Face: Rehearsal.

I don’t know if this makes sense or not; but, it is the way I work.

Actor and Director, Jeffrey Sun, plays David Henry Hwang, who is my on-stage son.  We are rehearsing the Final Monologue before my character, Henry Hwang dies of cancer.

Is it method acting? Meisner?  I don’t know…I just do it.  Crying for me is the same as laughing when I am happy; and, showing signs of anger when I’m angry…that’s it…plain and simple.

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