Why that accent class you took in acting school isn’t going to help you book the U.S. role.

acting school american accent training phonetics Mar 02, 2022
Katherine Beck, The All American Actor’s Podcast

Episode 31: Why that accent class you took in acting school isn’t going to help you book the U.S. role.

Have you ever considered why that accent class you took in acting school hasn’t helped you to actually book a U.S. role?

Today I am sharing with you the #1 thing that’s wrong with American Accent training and why I like to think about the American Accent differently.

From phonetics to the General American Accent, I’m sharing with you the most effective way to perform with an American Accent.

By the time you finish listening, you’ll know:

  • Why that accent class in acting school isn’t helping you book the role
  • Why an All American Accent is the most effective accent to learn
  • How perspective helps you sound American

    If this episode inspires you then I'd love to hear from you! Take a screenshot of you listening on your device, post it to your Instagram stories and tag me@katherine_beck_ !

    Then follow me on Instagram to go 'behind the scenes' with me and my own journey as an American accent coach and Voiceover Actor.


    Ready to master the ALL AMERICAN ACCENT? Grab my free guide to learn how to master the All American accent. Grab my free guide here. 




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    You're listening to the All American actors podcast, Episode 31. In today's episode, we are going to talk about why that acting class you took an acting school isn't gonna book you that U.S role. That's coming up next. Ready to go behind the scenes and learn what it really takes to build a sustainable career as a working actor in the US film and TV industry. Join me Katherine Beck, your all American Accent coach, as I give you the insight and inspiration to take action on your career, learn my best tips and tricks to performing with an American accent and hear from working actors and other industry professionals. To give you a comprehensive overview of this biz we call show them. This is the all American actors podcast. Before we jump into today's episode, I want to give a big shout out to Jeremy vitamin who says Katherine Beck really understands and is able to pinpoint areas where Ozzy struggled with the American accent, she dives deep into specific sounds and is able to correct you in an empathetic and clear way I would highly recommend. Oh, thank you so much, Jeremy. Jeremy is a previous student of mine here in Australia. And it's always great to get feedback from previous students because it helps me to clarify what's working, what I'm doing is really resonating with my students. So thank you so much, Jeremy, that is truly wonderful to hear. And I'm glad you're enjoying the podcast. Now I know I've mentioned this in previous episodes about Apple's algorithm and how it works. It's basically based on the number of subscribers and the number of five star reviews you have. This is how other actors are able to find this podcast and for it to get ranked in the apple. So if you enjoy this podcast, do me a favor, take a brief moment out of your day, make sure that you're subscribed. If you haven't yet subscribed, tap those five stars and leave a brief review of the podcast, it would mean so much to me. And you'll definitely get a mention right here on the show. So if you are loving this podcast, go ahead and leave us a review. Alright, so back in my day, the olden days, the first time I learned about accents and dialects that was back in high school junior year, if I remember correctly. And I remember we learned a standard British accent. I remember very little because it really was a lifetime ago. But from what I do remember, there was some general knowledge about sound substitutions. And it wasn't really until that summer when I went to Carnegie Mellon University for an intensive acting conservatory training program. But I really dive deeper into accents and dialects where I learned about speech and I learned about phonetics. And that's when I really started to gain an appreciation for speech and how intricate it can be to speak in another accent. But usually, whenever an accent got introduced an acting class or voice class, it's always been sort of like this generalized concept or teaching of the accent, meaning the information was kind of like a general wash, but really lacked the finer points that really are necessary when developing a character for performance. And I feel like the common belief was that that was okay, that there really wasn't an emphasis on nailing the accent to book the role. But when you get out into the real world of acting, you know, so when you leave acting school, and you're out in the real world, acting and auditioning, well, now, you know, these days, there's so much greater emphasis on sounding authentic in another accent. And the competition is so big. So for example, if you're auditioning for a role that requires a US accent, and you're up against authentic American speakers who were born in the United States, who don't need to worry about whether or not their accent sounds authentic, because duh, it is authentic, so they already have one up on you. So you know, while you're working on the accent, they're just working on the role. But for you, as someone who was not born in the US, you've got all your usual prep work on the audition. But now you have to layer that with all your accent prep work to to make sure that you're sounding authentic. And if you're relying on general information you're given once in an acting class or a voice class back in drama school years ago, well, you might get a rude shock when you realize that your accent may be holding you back from actually booking the role. And that training you received is not sufficient to be competitive in today's industry, and I totally get it. I remember when I was learning the Australian accent when I moved out here to Sydney and I thought well by working with a dialect coach once a week, and you know, listening to some audio files that I would have what it takes to book roles with my Australian accent but I was sadly mistaken. And it ended up taking me a whole lot longer to master that accent because I was thinking of the accent in general terms instead of specific terms. So the question is, if that acting class you had an acting school isn't enough to be competitive and sound of a professional level, authentic level, then what do you do? Well, I'll tell you what you do. You stop learning an old school way of thinking about the American accent, and you start learning a new way that's going to shift your perspective and your sounds. So you can truly transform into an all American character. And that, my friends, is what I teach the all American accent because frankly, no one wants to be standard or general. So why would your character want to speak with a standard or general accent, the standard or the general American accent gives you a cookie cutter way of learning the accent. And frankly, the idea of wanting to perfect this accent is also ridiculous. Because no one has a perfect American accent. In the United States. There are a gazillion different ways to sound American because everyone has a different upbringing, different influences along the way. So when you are performing in the American accent, try and think about it from the perspective of your character, instead of following the rules that are a little outdated. If you ask me. Try speaking all American instead, and see what happens. But hey, if you want to keep learning and applying a general or standard American accent, go for it go right ahead. But what happens when you still don't book those roles, and you're not quite sure why you're not quite sure what's wrong with your accent. Instead, if you want to actually book the role, then I challenge you to think outside of the box, because that is where the magic really happens. So if you are ready to start learning the all American accent and challenging yourself in a different way than I welcome you to join my next five day all American accent challenge where we are going to look at what it truly takes to master the all American accent. The challenge is starting soon. And if you want to sign up for it, you can head over to katherinebeck.com/challenge and I will see you there. Now if you love this episode, go ahead and let me know take a screenshot of the show. Share it on your Instagram story and tag me in it at katherine_beck_ you could find me there. Send me a DM with any topics you want to hear on the podcast and let me know. And coming up next week on the show. I'm going to be talking about why mimicry is the worst way to learn the US accent Now make sure to share the show with all your actor friends. Let them know what's coming up next week and invite them to tune in with you and learn how to become an all American Actor so you can be the working actor you dream to be until then go practice your American accent and I'll see you back here next time.