How to Act Depressed

Опубликовал Admin
26-09-2016, 02:45
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Depression is no joke. But if you need to act depressed for a play or for some other performance, it's important to do so respectfully and accurately. Under no circumstances should you pretend to be depressed to get attention. If you need to do it, though, you can learn to look, act, and speak as if you were depressed. Note: If you're suffering from the symptoms of clinical depression and want to learn more, read How to Cope with Depression.

Looking Depressed

  1. Make your character wear darker colors. While dark colors don't automatically scream "depressive," some people expect it when seeing a performance. If the other characters are wearing brights, try switching to blacks, browns, and grays in your pants and shirts, and people will start to notice.
    • Switch the type of clothes you wear as well. If other characters wear new or trendy clothes, wear some older used clothes, to switch things up. Worn sweaters and "indoor" clothes are good ideas.
  2. Wear the same clothes a few days before the performance. Your character should wear the same thing repeatedly, as if it were too much work to go about changing. Ideally, it should be something that you feel comfortable in, like a hoodie and your favorite pair of dark jeans, not something that looks super-cool or stylish.
    • People suffering from clinical depression will often lose interest in activities and behavior that once excited them, and basic upkeep can sometimes become a chore.
  3. Avoid bright or colorful make-up. If you don't wear make-up anyway, go ahead and skip this step. But if you regularly incorporate a bit of make-up into your dressing routine, stop using it. When you're depressed, you start pulling back from your regular routines and caring less about going through the motions, so leaving the make-up in the drawer can be a way of suggesting that you might be depressed.
  4. Don't shower for a few days before the performance. Again, if you're depressed, regular day-to-day activities will start to seem too daunting to take on. You may be too upset and distracted by what you're going through that you'll forget to do things like shower and keep up a clean appearance. If you want to fake it, skip a couple showers during the week and rumple up your hair, as if you can't be bothered to fix it.

Acting Depressed

  1. Stand a little part from the other characters. When people get depressed, they'll start pulling back from their friends and family. If you want the audience to think you're depressed, put a little more space between you and the other characters on the stage. If you seem like you don't want to hang out like you usually do, people will get the visual message.
    • Instead of standing on stage, sit on the floor, in the corner, and hug your knees. Bonus if you've got a hood to pull up on your sweatshirt.
  2. Make your resting face a frown. Instead of looking open and excited about what other people are saying, try a grimace. Look like you're trying to solve a complicated math problem at all times, when you're really just listening to people talk. You'll look depressed.
    • If it helps, try focusing really hard on something complicated or difficult. Try to remember all the lines to your favorite song in your mind to distract yourself. Make a concentrating face.
    • Don't over-do your frown, just furrow your brow and make a face like you're concentrating really hard on something, especially if people are laughing and joking. You shouldn't look like a sad clown, which will be over-the-top and fake looking. You don't want to look like you're acting.
  3. Carry around some props. The right prop can do a lot to communicate that you're depressed. Try carrying around any of the following depressive signifiers:
    • Books like "Perks of Being a Wallflower," "The Bell Jar," or "Crime and Punishment," which are about depressives.
    • A cane, as if you expect to need help picking yourself up.
    • An old tattered umbrella, as if you expect it to rain at any moment.
    • A sad-looking tattered stuffed animal, as if you just need it.
  4. Listen to sad and slow music. To get in the right mood for a performance, try listening to sadder, slower, and quieter music than you might normally be used to listening to. This will have the dual function of getting you in the mood to act sad, as well as clueing anyone who's listening in to the fact that you're "depressed." Try out the following acts:
    • Nick Drake
    • Elliot Smith
    • Dashboard Confessional
    • Nico
    • Joy Division
    • The XX
    • The Cure
    • Digital Daggers
  5. Don't laugh. One of the quickest and most convincing ways to seem depressed is to stop laughing at things you would normally find funny. Instead, sigh heavily and look down at the ground. If you can't even be made to laugh like you usually did, you'll seem depressed.
    • It can be hard to stop yourself from laughing, so try to keep a go-to depressing thought in your mind if you feel you're about to laugh. Start thinking about polar bears dying or global warming.
    • Sometimes, gently pinching your cheek with your teeth, or snapping a rubber band on your wrist can offer a quick jolt of pain that will keep you from laughing, as well. Don't over-do it.

Sounding Depressed

  1. Whisper and mumble. Depression affects your desire to communicate effectively, as well as your ability to carry on conversations. When you're giving your lines, say them quietly, with difficulty. Make it seem that it is hard for you to talk loudly enough to keep a conversation going. Take a long pause before you answer or respond to a question, then sigh deeply and say something along the lines of the following:
    • "Oh...I just don't know."
    • "I don't really care."
    • "Whatever."
    • "I guess..."
  2. Be sarcastic. Respond to questions and conversational prompts as if you've got nothing but contempt for the conversation that's happening. Sneer at simple questions and make everything think that they've done something to raise your ire, even if they're just asking you what you want for lunch.
    • Sarcasm is sometimes more of a tone than a specific thing to say, but you can always just repeat what someone says to you in a snide tone of voice. "I don't know, what do you want for lunch?" is a good option.
    • Roll your eyes a lot when others speak. One of the easiest ways to communicate sarcasm is to act like responding would be beneath you. Stay quiet and roll those eyes.
    • Don't be mean. It's possible to take your act too far and start to seem like you're angry, which could get you into trouble. Use sarcasm gently and as a last resort.
  3. Speak less. When we're feeling up and happy, it feels good to communicate and to carry on conversations. When we're depressed, talking is sometimes the last thing you want to do. If you want to seem depressed, don't say anything at all.
    • If you're asked a question directly, instead of responding, just shrug your shoulders and look at the ground.
  4. Find the darkness in everything. If there's a light conversation happening, turn it dark, as if you can't help but find the negative in every positive thing. Be a downer on every conversation, even if you have to turn the conversation completely away from where it was going.
    • If your friends are talking about how much fun they had over the weekend, try saying something like, "I guess they found a few new cases of Ebola this weekend."
    • If your mom asks what you want to eat for dinner, say something like, "I just read about that guy in Alaska who lived in the bus and starved to death."


  • Don't think that the cup is halfway full. Be negative, but although not too much. Support some ideas, but have skepticism.
  • When frowning, make sure it's not a huge frown. Just a small, sad smile.
  • You may be called emo or Goth. Just ignore this and frown, or say, "Oh thanks," sarcastically.
  • Slouch. Don't slouch all the time, for you may get back pains in the future. Try to avoid slouching -- do it when you need to, but if you're sitting or leaning against the wall, just slump down.
  • Try bundling yourself in blankets, eating ice cream, groaning as a response, and watch movies on the couch.
  • Whatever you do, pretend as if you don't care about anything. Don't laugh and if you feel it appropriate to smile, make it look forced, and this may help people to get the message.
  • Be careful when you pretend to have a serious mental illness. It could make actual depressed people hate you.
  • When people say something to you just take a deep breath and smile!


  • If you slouch too much, this may cause back aches in the future.
  • Make sure you don't actually get depressed when you finish acting.

Things You'll Need

  • Dark clothes (optional)
  • Dark eyeliner or mascara (optional)
  • A frown
  • Tears (optional)
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