How to create an All American Character

all american audition character Nov 02, 2022
Katherine Beck, The All American Actor’s Podcast

Do you want to know the secret to getting more U.S. auditions, callbacks and jobs?

Hint: it's not your perfect accent. It's not your perfect analysis of the scene. It's not even your amazing acting. 

It's whether or not we believe your character is All American.

In today's episode you'll learn:

  • Why your character isn't passable as American
  • Why casting director's are telling you to keep working on your accent
  • The 4 main characteristics to crafting an All American Character

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You're listening to the All American actors Podcast, episode 77. In today's episode, we are talking about how to create an All American character 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 showbiz. This is the All American actors podcast. Before we dive into today's episode, I want to share with you some fake news. For the first time ever I am going to be hosting an animation voice over masterclass. That's right. I know a lot of you have requested this over the years. And I've toyed around with the idea and now is the time we are going to be doing animation voiceover together. I'm going to be teaching you my process, how I craft animated characters with my voice. Now, whether you are a voiceover artist, or you're thinking about becoming one or you're an actor, and you just want to learn how to use your vocal instrument more to create characters with your voice. Come on over and join us in the masterclass. It's happening very soon. So grab all the details and information to join at Katherine Forward slash masterclass, I look forward to seeing you there. It's limited numbers. So make sure you reserve your spot in the master class right now. All right, let's jump into today's episode, which is how to create an All American character. And this is very near and dear to my heart. Because when I moved from Hollywood, to Sydney, Australia, and I was learning how to speak in an Australian accent and graft Australian characters, that was a real struggle for me, I could understand the accent. But I couldn't understand the internal state of mind of the Australian speaker. And so I was really struggling with making my character sound and seem and feel and be Australian, just still felt American. And what I've noticed over the years of coaching so many actors from other countries that are doing the opposite, wanting to sound American and feel and be American as their characters, that the character is often not quite all American. Sometimes it feels like the character and the accent is soft, it's subtle. It's got the essence of American, but it's not fully All American. And when I think back of all that time that I grew up, and I lived in the United States of America, the term or the idea of being all American was a big thing. You know, what being all American represents to me, and this is just my opinion, is patriotism, to our country, that we really represent the country that we're from, we in general, as a nation have been known to be very loyal and patriotic, and really proud of where we come from. And so that is a massive part of crafting your character. And if you're not doing your research, and maybe doing a little backstory of crafting the All American part of your character, you're missing out on so much. And that could be the reason why you're not getting the auditions or you're not getting the callbacks, or you're not getting the jobs. So what makes us all American? Well, one of the basic reasons why we are all American is our freedom of speech, we are proud of the fact that we have a voice, and that we have the freedom to use it to voice how we feel. And we do it quite often with volume. We're very loud. We're not always loud. But you know, generally, you can hear a lot of volume from Americans. And that has a lot to do with how open we are when we speak. But all of that comes back to one of our basic rights as Americans, which is freedom of speech. And I think that's a beautiful thing. And I think that's something that we can all embrace all around the world is that when we have something to say it's important. So freedom of speech is number one. Number two, when I think back to characteristics and traits growing up of being American well another big one is competition. We are so competitive. And I remember so many examples popping up in my head growing up over the years of being competitive, and I still am to this day. So it's like this innate, instinctual thing within my DNA where I must win. And a lot of that has been instilled in me over the years of, you know, where I grew up and wanting to be number one, and wanting to be the best are so much competition in my high school, and all different areas, from sports, to theater, to dance, to music, to academics, to everything, competing about everything, what car you drove, who's your boyfriend, you know, just random stuff. We competed about everything. So when I think about how I am today, that's still such a massive part of who I am. I'll give you an example. So right now I'm doing the F 45. Challenge. If you don't know what f 45 is, it's functional training. It's a combination of high intensity interval training, as well as strength training, and we're doing a six week challenge. And I fully committed to this one, I was feeling it, I was ready and raring to go. And so we're just rounding up week one, and I am already shredding and shedding like nobody's business. And I am so focused in the head, I can't even tell you like nothing is getting in my way from being number one. And so I know when that happens, I'm like, Oh my gosh, okay, my American brain has kicked in, and I am in competition mode. So I don't even have to say it. I mean, we do like to vocally say it. But it's also an internal thing within us that it's like a switch goes on. And it's like, okay, we're competing. Alright, let's go game on. So there's a healthy bit of competition that comes with your character being all American. And that's to varying degrees, like everything I'm telling you take with a grain of salt, because as I say, with the American accent, there's no one way to sound American. There's no one way to be competitive. There's no one way to embrace freedom of speech, your character is your character is its own person. They are a living, breathing person. And in America, not all persons are alike. We're all very different. So with these ideas that I'm giving you for crafting your all American character, use it to what degree suits your character, right? So it's never a one size fits all sort of thing. All right, confrontational, we are so confrontational. And when I say confrontational, I always have to preface by saying it's not a negative thing, it can be a positive thing. Again, that goes out to voicing your opinion, it's linked to freedom of speech, but it's going okay, we are going to debate this out, we have differing opinions, you say one thing I say another and that's okay. And also, if something bothers you, it's okay to speak up, speak your mind, say what's on your mind, to what degree you speak up. And what attitude is behind that is a different thing. You can speak up and be pleasant about it, or you can speak up and be obnoxious about it. So it's really entirely up to the situation and the character you're portraying. But you really want to add that element of confrontation as well, that battle that wanting to win, see how it's all linked together. Fascinating, isn't it. And then when I think of other characteristics and qualities about being all American, we're all about opportunity. We are all about having a new idea and going for it very entrepreneurial in that sense. But we embrace, you got a dream, go for it. Anything can happen in America. And I think that's a very important part that you have to find and instill in your character is that inner spark, to want more, to do more to be more? And again, think about your character circumstances, to what degree that comes out, because it's going to shift. For example, if your character is depressed, well, they may not have the enthusiasm to think about anything is possible. But if your character gets out of that state of depression, and they're feeling good once again, well, maybe then their drive their desire that anything is possible is now ignited. Opportunity is another really big thing when it comes to being all American. And I think being part of a community. I think we embrace being part of a nation coming together. We don't always come together. And in fact, we have had a lot of diversity. And in fact, we've had a lot of instances and events in the past over many, many years in our history of being America where we have clashed and we don't all I always agree. But I think one thing we can come together in a community is that we are all part of one thing. And that is we are all from the United States of America. And is that one thing that unifies us in times, where we all need to lean on each other, and be one, if I think of one time, that comes to mind where it was as if time stood still, and it didn't matter, if you had a disagreement, or an argument with somebody, or you didn't get along with someone, it was 911. That was a time where I feel like the United States really came together. And was one because we are all experiencing something very tragic and traumatic, that we had never seen before. And we needed to lean on each other, and to be vulnerable. And so it's important to remember that we have that innate ability within us. Yes, we fight. Yes, we have the Democrats versus the Republicans and other you know, different oppositional parties, we're not always going to be on the same side. But the one thing that we do come together with, and form as a community is we are all part of the same nation, the United States of America. So those are just a few characteristics and traits that I want you to play around with in crafting your all American character, have fun with it, and use it to whatever degree works for your character. And when you do let me know why don't you send me a DM on Instagram, or if you're enjoying this episode, and he got some great value from it. Make sure you tag me on Instagram stories at Catherine underscore Beck underscore I would love to hear from you. I'd love to know what you thought of this episode. And hey, if you are loving this episode, please do so and leave us a five star review. It takes five seconds just head over to Apple podcasts. It would do me a lot of greatness because it helps me spread the word out to other actors all around the world as well, when you leave that review, alright, so that is it for this week. And until next time, make sure you 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 on, get out there and practice your American accent and I'll see you back here next time.