Not blinking: How??

I’ve seen actors and others go long times without blinking. Is there a trick to this?

Here is character actor Jimmy Slonina lip synching Battle Hymn of the Republic. He goes an awful long time with his eyes wide open. How??

The trick is to open up your eyes, and then not shut them for as long as needed… :smiley:

But . . .I can’t! Then again, when I was a kid and went to get fitted for contacts, the optometrist (a family friend) nearly hit me. My corneas are too sensitive, I guess. :wink:


This is basically “Acting for the Camera 101”, don’t blink, stay very still, don’t move your eyes, don’t move your eyebrows, DON’T MOVE!, look into the eye closest to the camera of your co-star, cheat your angle (face, shoulders) toward the camera, etc. It’s really all very un-natural at first, but you get the hang of it. You would be amazed how long you can go without blinking…

I imagine eyedrops are helpful before a scene starts, if they are intending on keeping their eyes open.

I’ve read (can’t remember where) that Billie Whitelaw damaged her tear ducts permanently by doing this while performing Samuel Beckett’s Rockaby.

are you sure that you aren’t blinking and missing the blinking?


I am not an actor (despite having the prerequisite good looks).:stuck_out_tongue:
Even the smilies I pick have closed eyes.

Morgan Freeman does a very effective version of this in the final Shawshank parole scene.

I remember reading that Christopher Lloyd decided on his own that when he was going to play Judge Doom for Who Framed Roger Rabbit, he would never blink on camera.

I too wondered how that was possible. It’s kind of like saying that you’d just hold your breath for 10 minutes straight for an underwater scene. At a certain point, involuntary forces take over the body!

I read the whole thread (slowly, and a couple posts multiple times) without blinking. It’s not hard if you pay attention. And really, how long does the camera ever really linger on an actor’s face without changing the shot? A minute? Two at most?

Robert Powell as **Jesus of Nazereth. ** Leads us through the uncanny valley of the shadow of death.

Concentration on something can help.

Marcus Gronholm, a former World Rally Champ, used to go a tremendous amount of time down the road without blinking, something that was often pointing out by the announcers. One time, they even kept the camera that was on him on for a long time and it was a amazing to watch his eyes completely 100% focused and unblinking.

Here is a clip that shows him from that angle, though I don’t know if he blinks in it(yes, it’s funny he crashes in the very clip).

The concentration thing is absolutely true. The reason video gamers can suffer from bloodshot eyes is because they aren’t blinking enough or at all during intense focus. I can agree with this because I play a lot of video games, and now whenever I am playing one that requires a LOT of concentration and quick reflexes (like an online FPS), I force myself to blink more often and I get less eye irritation or none at all.

So yeah if you have something that is forcing a lot of visual concentration, you will naturally stop blinking. Video games does the trick for me. Driving at 200mph probably would too. How actors tap into that is incredible.

I had that trouble when using CADD programs. I taped a sign reading THINK BLINK on top of my monitor to remind me to blink now and then. :slight_smile: