Tricks of the Trade: Camryn Grimes

How do you memorize a long monologue? “I have an auditory and photographic memory, so those work in combination. When I have to read something, it kind of acts as music in my brain. It’s really easy for me to memorize because I see and hear sound and words. When I get a heavy monologue, I really only have to scan it. I can learn a two-page monologue easily if it’s written in a way that makes sense for the brain. I’ll read it over a few times before bed and let it sink in, and then wake up the next day and as I’m getting ready, I kind of drill it in. Where it really comes together for me is when I’m rehearsing with the other actors. I hear their music and then it all cohesively goes together for me.”

How do you remember your blocking? “I think that’s a style with soaps, in particular, and when you’ve been doing it a long time, you kind of instinctively know what the next move [of your character within a scene] will be. It’s the dance and the beat. I just naturally don’t feel like I should sit there, because dialogue doesn’t really infer that, so it’s a combination between your directors and the blocking to make sure it makes sense. But usually, for the most part, I will go and stand in a position or make a move and the director will be like, ‘How did you know to go there?’ After a while, you just get the gist of it, because you know your set and the places in which people move and you can kind of predict where to go.”

How do you prepare for an emotional or crying scene? “On days that are going to be emotionally draining, I make sure to have a lot of fun beforehand. For me, you don’t want to play into the emotion too quickly and I’m a very jovial person, so blocking and rehearsal are great for getting the happy out of my system, but it’s really dependent for me because I think acting is so much about listening and reacting. I also want to make sure that I’m there with my scene partner, which is most important to me. It’s not a solo thing; we need to be in it together. It really is a collaboration and figuring out where that emotion is living and playing to that rather than what is scripted.”

How do you cry on cue? “I’ve learned from the best with Eric [Braeden, Victor], Sharon [Case, Sharon], Josh [Morrow, Nick], Melody [Thomas Scott, Nikki] and Peter [Bergman, Jack]. I can even manipulate what eyeball the tears come out of. If I know that the tag will be on me, I can hold it and make that teardrop fall. There have been scenes where I’m not meant to cry, but my scene partner is making me cry. There are scenes where I’m supposed to cry but I couldn’t get there — and that’s okay. You don’t have to cry to be hurt, and although crying can be a wonderful tool, it is not the endgame. I usually get there by taking my cues off of where the scene is going naturally and what’s transpiring between me and my scene partner. We shoot chronologically, so we tell the story as it goes, which is helpful, so when I tap back into wherever my character is, it kind of naturally leads there.”

How do you approach playing the tag at the end of a scene? “It’s second nature but I don’t know a single time where somebody doesn’t make fun or laugh at tags. You stay in it for as long as possible, which is really longer than people would think, especially if somebody asks you a question and you don’t answer the question. That’s extremely unnatural. So you just hold it for as long as you can until you essentially break character and laugh. It’s a storytelling device to keep the audience guessing and wondering. You accept it as a part of the job and try to be as authentic as possible.”

What do you do when you can’t remember a line? “I just fully admit it. I’ll just say, ‘Can we go again?’ Sometimes I can save it, but usually I don’t if I’m struggling with the line. I think the biggest sign of somebody who could have gone up on a line but maybe kept going is when they look up and then to the left and right because they’re trying to remember. That’s the biggest tell.”

How do you approach playing drunk? “When it comes to playing drunk, you have to be really careful or it becomes totally absurd. When I did the scene for the girls’ night with Amelia [Heinle, Victoria], Melody and Sharon, I brought a bottle of tequila [as Mariah] and at one point, before we were set to go, I opened it and it was real tequila. We didn’t drink any of it, but somebody said, ‘Oh, here’s a good trick. Take a sniff, bend over with your head down and spin.’ I did that and went into the scene and something about the smell mixed with that kind of dizziness, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, that worked!’ I was feeling a little loopy and I was talking quicker and interrupting more. So that was a tip that really helped me, which I would definitely use again. You also have to choose the slurring of the words correctly; otherwise it’s not realistic. You sort of change the cadence in which you would talk.”

How do you shake the feeling that you didn’t do a scene as good as you could have? “That’s also something that comes with the territory. Most actors are their own worst critics, so you’re always going to think about something post-doing it and be like, ‘God, I could have done this differently.’ Very rarely are you 100 percent satisfied. There are moments where I might not have been as present as I would have liked to be and I get upset. If you didn’t do your best, it’ll ruminate and bug you. You just learn to make peace with your choices and say, ‘That’s where the character was at that moment and I’m okay with it.’ ”

What is your approach to love scenes? “First of all, they’re heavily rehearsed, so you know how to move your head at this particular moment and not block the light. Love scenes are the least sexy things you can imagine. We are so happy that on screen, they come across as being romantic and sexual and intimate, but it’s the opposite for us. I don’t know a single person that enjoys [shooting] them. There’s usually a deep groan of disdain when you read you have one. I don’t particularly like being semi-naked on screen, but that’s a personal insecurity. I just try to lean into the moment and be present with Cait [Fairbanks, Tessa]. It helps if you have been with your scene partner for a long time and very comfortable with kissing. We definitely ask each other questions, like, ‘What do you wanna do here?’ and then it becomes collaborative and you’re not feeling alone in it.”