Why you do not need a perfect American accent

american accent american character perfect american accent Mar 01, 2022
Katherine Beck, The All American Actor’s Podcast

Today we are talking about why you DO NOT need a perfect American accent to book a U.S. role. Instead if you think about your American accent practice in a different way, you'll stand a much better chance of booking the role.

In today's episode, I'm going to show you why striving for a perfect American accent is getting in your way of booking roles.

Using this method you'll notice a difference in your American character development and your American accent will sound more authentic too. 

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

  • Why you don't need a perfect American accent.
  • What to do instead.

    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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    SHOW TRANSCRIPTYou're listening to the All American actors podcast, episode eight. In today's episode, I am going to share with you why you do not need a perfect American accent 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. You're 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 say a big thank you to you for listening to the show. Your support means so much to me. And if you are loving what you're hearing, please leave us a review. And when you leave us a five star review for this podcast, you may just get featured as our start listener of the week, where I will give you a special shout out right here on the show. So if you liked this episode, go ahead and leave us a review. Now I am a true creative type. And while I would love to say that I'm a perfectionist, I love the idea of being a perfectionist and having everything perfect. Everything I do being perfect the way I look, you know looking perfect in perfect outfit and perfect hair and perfect makeup. Well, I realized that that's just not me. So I've given up the pursuit years ago, that I'm just not perfect. And I am okay with not being perfect. But I do remember a time in my life. And I recall I was watching Martha Stewart and I so desperately wanted to be just like her, because I loved her idea of everything being so simple and so easy. And so perfect. I was like everything she did was magic was magical. And everything looks so nice and fun and easy and organized. And I so desperately wanted to be just like her. The problem was is anytime I tried to cook one of her recipes, well, it just didn't look the same. It did not look like in the picture. And I guarantee you probably didn't taste as good as hers either. Or, for example, you know, I remember I was trying to make this household organization binder with different to do lists and checklists that I printed out from her website. And I was so excited and ready to go. But I failed big time. Why? Well, because I'm not that organized. I am not Martha Stewart and I was trying to be a version of myself that I just am not. And while I would like to strive to cooking really nice home cooked meals for my family or being more organized on top of spring cleaning and my to do lists and and really mapping that out for myself and a really organized and detailed way. Well, that's not who I am. I would like to strive to be that. But at this present moment, it's not. And I realized that that was me trying to be a cookie cutter version of Martha Stewart who was not me. You know, I can strive to be elements and characteristics of how she is I find it very admirable. You know how she makes things seem so easy and effortless, but in trying to duplicate and be exactly like her because I wanted to be perfect. I was wrapped up in this world of being a perfectionist that I wanted to be perfect, do everything perfect. It just didn't work for me. And it was too hard as well, because I felt like if I wasn't doing things 100% then I was a failure. And I wasn't looking at the bigger picture. Because in that so called failure, I was learning and i was growing and I was developing. And the idea of being perfect is hard to achieve. And it was putting too much limitation and pressure on myself. So the moment I gave that up and I said you know what, I'm just going to do what I can do, and be okay with that. It made life so much easier. And I could still strive and notice that I was achieving results that I wanted in different areas, whether it's cooking or organization or whatever. But I wasn't putting that extra pressure on myself. And it made it so much easier. And I think we do that often as actors with the American accent. I often see actors trying to seek for perfection within the American accent that there's this right way to sound American that there's this one way to sound American, but I got news for you. There is not one way or a right way to sound American. There is no perfect American accent. Now you might be thinking but my agent said that, you know I have to have a perfect American accent or that casting director said you need to have a perfect American accent. accent, okay, yes, there is some truth to what they're saying. But I think we have to dissect. Anytime you are given information or an opinion within this business, you need to sort of break it down and go, Okay, well, what are they saying? What do they mean behind what they're saying? When it comes to having a perfect American accent, you need to realize that nobody has a perfect American accent, it doesn't exist. Because if you've ever traveled to the United States, you would have heard a variety of differences to the American accent, you know, and that can go from region to region, town to town, suburb to city, you know, there's so many different varieties of the American accent. Are you telling me that one, just one of those variations is perfection? And everyone else in the United States is imperfect? No, of course not. It sounds silly, doesn't it? So striving for a perfect American accent is only going to get you trapped, confused, and quite possibly frustrated, because you're trying to achieve something that in a sense is unachievable. Instead, I think a better way to think about your American accent is this, look at your character, do the research on who they are, how they grew up, their background, their education, their status, their family history. Now ask yourself, what makes my character unique. This is going to give us clues on how the character speaks your character's voice. And from there, we can layer in the American accent and get real specific on that. But it's that true connection to your character. That's where we're going to believe in your American accent. Not if you're trying to do this cookie cutter perfect accent that chances are, you're going to be focusing more on the sounds, then really enjoying the performance and being that character. Yes, there are rules and guidelines on how to sound American and how to sound as authentically American as we would strive to be. And that's where you want to begin by understanding the foundations of the accent. But every time you develop a new character, they will have their own voice. And in order to inhabit and create authenticity for your character, you need to find their voice, not this cookie cutter accent that you think is the flawless American accent that you can just plug into each American character because they won't be genuine, therefore your character won't be genuine. And us as the audience won't feel connected to you as the character because you are not connected to the character, you're focusing on the accent being perfect. So the question is, well, what do you do? You learn the accent, you learn the rules and the guidelines to the accent. But then you cater them to your character, let the character's voice come through. But what if I drop out of the accent, you might be thinking, I'm worried my accent won't be authentic. And that's a valid question. That's a valid worry. But that has nothing to do with perfection. That only has to do with time. If you are putting in that time each day to work on your American accent, you're practicing your accent effectively, then all you need to do is enjoy each moment living truthfully as your character. So don't spend useless time and energy worrying about being perfect, because perfect is boring to watch. If you are putting in the time your accent will be there. And then all you need to do is enjoy the moment living truthfully as your character. So my advice to you is don't worry about being perfect, because perfect is boring to listen to. I hope this episode has helped you out to understand why you do not need a perfect American accent. And remember, I'm going to be doing a five day all American accent challenge on January 11, you are going to get a chance to work with me for five days. And this is going to really give you a kickstart into the new year on working on your American accent. So to get more info and to join the challenge, make sure you head over to Katherine beck.com slash challenge. And if you ever have any questions about today's podcast, or the American accent in general, or maybe you have some topics you'd like to hear on the podcast, join me on Instagram at Katherine underscore back underscore you can find me there send me a DM and let's chat. And coming up next on the show. We are going to be talking about how to master the last minute us audition. I'm going to talk about sound identification and how that can really give you that authenticity you're looking for with your American accent every time you need to audition. And don't forget to make sure to share this 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 Actor Make sense and I'll see you back here next time.