Skillfully making a stage kiss look real and intimate without crossing lines is a skill that takes practice, starting with having an honest discussion about what feels comfortable to both actors involved.
Choreograph the hand placement and practice until both actors feel at ease with it.
1. Talk About It
Communication is key when it comes to theatrical kissing. Communicating with your scene partner prior and during rehearsals about how the kiss should occur and being honest about any discomfort felt from it can go a long way toward creating an effective kissing scene.
If, after kissing with one of your co-stars, you find yourself thinking more and more romantic thoughts of them, that could indicate their kiss was more genuine than you initially anticipated. That can only be taken as positive sign; seeing that potential partner could bolster confidence in that kiss.
If you would rather forgoing scenes that feature kissing, be honest with your teacher and they can find an alternative means of portraying the story without kissing – there may be other approaches such as no touching and looking deeply into each other’s eyes which still work to convey what needs to happen in that scene.
2. Practice It
Fake kissing is an integral part of acting, especially musical theater, which often necessitates romantic scenes which require kissing other actors. There are ways you can make fake kissing less awkward and more comfortable.
At first, have an honest discussion with your fellow actor about what makes them uncomfortable so there are clear boundaries for the scene. Joking around about it may also help break the ice and make the scene feel less serious.
Prior to going onstage, it is also essential that you practice your stage kiss. This is particularly crucial if your breath could become an issue; an unpleasant odor in your mouth can ruin an otherwise great performance, so brushing teeth regularly and using breath mints is recommended. One good way of practicing kisses for stage performance is holding soft fruit in your hand and kissing it gently; this will give an idea of what it would feel like kissing another castmate onstage.
3. Be Consistent
If you and your co-star have different views about kissing on stage, it is important to discuss it openly in order to plan how best to choreograph it and ensure both of you feel comfortable with the scene. Discussing it will also make it easier to remember that you are just acting and that this momentous occasion should not become intimate for either party involved.
For instance, if you’re concerned that kissing on stage could come across as infidelity to your romantic partner, it is essential that you discuss it beforehand with them in order to reassure them and form a better character.
Likewise, if there are any dental concerns related to kissing scenes – for instance bad breath – make sure that you brush and use a breath mint prior to rehearsals or performances. Remember that kissing may not always be necessary in musical theatre shows and don’t feel pressured into doing anything that makes you uncomfortable.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Many directors are sensitive to actors’ discomfort with kissing on stage and will adapt the rehearsal environment to make you more at ease. Be honest about any concerns with the director so they are aware.
If you prefer not to place your tongue into someone’s mouth when intimate, but don’t object to other forms of physical intimacy, ask the director to substitute a different action in its place such as loving embrace for kissing scenes.
Before any performance or rehearsal, always ensure you brush your teeth and use breath mints; nobody wants to kiss someone with bad breath! Depending on the director, he or she may even give a short break between kisses to allow you to regroup and focus on performing better if this is needed during a scene; this will especially come in handy if this kissing part was new to you; take this time to review all aspects of the kiss as this time can help create more believable kisses!