How to master the last minute U.S. audition

acting jobs usa learn phonetics master the american accent Mar 01, 2022
Katherine Beck, The All American Actor’s Podcast

Today I am going to share with you how to master the last minute U.S. audition. Your American accent practice isn't effective unless you are working this way.

In today's episode, I'm going to share with you how to actually master the American accent by learning the basics of phonetics so you can actually book acting jobs. 

Using my method you'll notice a massive difference in your American accent!

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

  • The key to mastering the last minute U.S. audition
  • Why it's so important to have a process for learning the American accent
  • How phonetics can help you master the American accent

    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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    Okay actors, we are back at it here in American accent freeway. And so exciting because we have reached module number nine performance preparation, bridging the gap between process and performance. So let's have a look at the roadmap for today. So today is all about prepping for your performance. This is your rehearsal process to get you to the next step, which is performing with your general American accent. So this is the most playful and free of the stages of practice. And you should feel comfortable being able to play and explore and stretch your boundaries to get you fully ready and confident and feeling free to perform with your general American accent. So in this module, we're going to talk about finding your process, which covers how to get you ready to perform in the accent, and I'm going to give you my process step by step. Next, it's all about roadmapping the accent, so we're going to cover all the things you need to do to prepare for your next audition, or that next performance with your general American accent. And last, we're going to cover my accent exploration exercises. These exercises are designed to help you overcome any issues you may have when performing with your general American accent. So before we get started, let's review briefly what we covered in the last module, which was practice, we went through suggestions for your daily practice. We then covered additional practice suggestions with American phrases, locations, text and songs in the accent. And we identified alternate pronunciations for this accent. So now let's talk about a possible Roadblock, you may hit along the way. And that is this skipping over the process or not having a process at all to help you prepare for an audition or roll with a general American accent. Whenever you get an audition, or even if you book that job, it is so necessary and beneficial to have a system to follow when you're working in a different accent. Each new audition or script new role opportunity will have new words, new sentence combinations, new challenges for you. So why not make things easier for yourself by having a system to follow along so that you can perform freely and confidently in the accent? So that means you can focus on the performance and not the accent? Another roadblock? Is this giving into our fears. Fear to be bold fear to play fear of getting it wrong, let's face it, we've all got fears, but it's what we do with that fear. Are we going to let fear win? Or are we going to work past it and know that it's going to be all good. And that reminds me of one of my favorite quotes. The greatest risk is not taking one. So don't let fear win. Remember that this is your rehearsal process. This is the time to be bold to explore the character and the accent to take risks. Allow yourself the time to play. You can always real things in if it's too big. But if you don't allow yourself that time to play, you may fall short with the accent, you have to remember that this is a big bold accent. So allow yourself to be big and bold. So with that, let's get started. Now, aside from just practicing the accent, having a process for your performance preparation can be so helpful, especially when you're working in another accent. So here's my process and we're going to go through the steps. Use whatever works for you don't use whatever doesn't because it's your process, you got to customize it for you. So here's my process. Let's break down the steps. The first thing I would do is read the text and really enjoy your first read aloud the imagery and the feelings any discoveries to drop in and have an effect on you. Also, make sure you read everything on the page including any directions, any notes from the writer, this is all going to give you clues about your character. So make sure you don't miss a beat. read the text. Number two, analyze the text. So once you've had your first read now go back and reread the text again. But this time you can feel like a detective. So put your detective hat on and analyze the text as you would for anything you would perform in your natural accent. Be really specific about your given circumstances. Look for information about your character's background, your social status, financial status, religious beliefs, whatever. This is all going to inform the choices you make for the accent. And then any locations that are in the script, research those locations, the time it takes place, your profession, you want to research their ethnicity, their religious book, leaves the school they went to their neighborhood, even what type of music they might listen to. So be really specific with your character analysis and challenge yourself to make big choices. Remember to think like an American, the act of speaking and the delivery of information could be so different to you, and how you would deliver the scene in your natural accent. Now, what I've learned from coaching others in their performance is it's really important in the stage to separate your emotions from the analysis. So what I mean is, don't worry so much about getting it right or wrong, or best or different from everyone else, separate your emotional investment and expectations from the work. roadmap, the text. Now this is part of your process where you're going to implement the American accent into your script. So things that you want to look out for, you're going to mark your pronunciation changes, the sounds that you know, you still struggle with and have to look out for in the American accent, your intonation patterns, your rhythm, your stress in the accent, your changes of thought, this is your technical accent work. There's no performance at this stage. That'll happen later on. But for now, in this stage, you just want to roadmap your American accent choices into the script. Listen to your accent, this is where you're going to record yourself during the dialogue and listen back. So this is where you're going to develop your ear for the accent and listen out for the pronunciation changes, are they correct or something not quite right? And if it's not quite right, can we troubleshoot and figure out what we're not doing right, you know, is that our placement, so what's happening with the soft palate or the tongue or the lips, the jaw, so by recording yourself and listening back, you're going to help yourself, shift that accent to the next level, you're going to finesse, you know, little sounds or intonation hiccups you've got so that the next time you perform, it's much stronger record an American speaker. Okay, so if you can find an American that is happy to record your text, ask them to speak your text with or without any sort of performance, it doesn't really matter. As long as you can just hear their natural flow, how they would naturally say things, this recording is going to be an excellent guide for you, because you can hear their natural rhythm and intonation patterns. So see if you can record an American speaker, memorize the text. Again, this is more technical than performance. So once you memorize the text and you're clear on the accent, then you can feel free to explore the character and the accent in rehearsal. But for now, when you're memorizing the text, try not to include any emotion in that process is you may inadvertently imprint a pattern of how to deliver the lines, you want your lines to be able to flex within the moment of performance so that they have mobility, you know, and it comes out from that connection with the other person instead of Oh, this is how I memorize the line in the accent. And this is how I think it should be said in the American accent. That's boring for us. We want to feel like you're really connected to what you're saying and connected to the other person. So keep the performance out of your memorization. Listen to your accent, again. So now you're going to re record yourself to see where you're at with the accent. Now that you have the lines memorized, review any sounds that are incorrect, or any intonation patterns, or rhythm patterns that are not quite right, go back and see if you can finesse those. So you sound a little bit more authentic in the accent. Improvise, you're going to improvise your text in the American accent. And this is going to help you explore the emotions in the scene and test your skills to see how freely you can speak in the accent without thinking about your accent work or your lines of dialogue. So you understand the given circumstances you understand what's going on. Now you're just going to set everything free connect and let it come out. However it wants to come out in the American accent but no actual lines of dialogue Are you going to follow rehearse the text. So this is the time to rehearse, explore and play. Allow yourself the opportunity to not be perfect, make mistakes and make bold nonsensical choices. Now I've provided you with a whole list of accent exploration exercises. And those are there to help free up any issues you may have with your accent. Tech run the accent. Okay, so perhaps there's still something not quite right with the accent or there's a disconnect in the performance. So we've got to put that detective hat on and notice where those pockets those areas. Within the scene where I feel like I lose that connection, you want to go back there and see if we can figure out what it is, is that a really tricky line to say in the accent? Do you feel like your projection is still too soft or pulled back, so you're not really fully connecting the accent for word, do you feel like your delivery is still too monotone. So do some tech runs in the accent. So you can work out any kinks. So that means, you know, maybe take a little bit of the performance out and walk through the scene like it was a technical run, and see if you can figure out where you're getting stuck perform in the accent. Now, by this time, you should feel confident and free performing in the accent. And if you're not, that's okay, but just remember this, you've done all the work. So now all you need to do is set the accent free, have a little faith that the work you've done is going to show up in performance. So allow yourself just to connect and go along for the ride. So that's it. That's your performance preparation process that's going to help you implement the accent into your performance. Again, feel free to restructure the process to work for you. So now let's have a closer look at a couple of areas of performance preparation in greater detail. roadmapping the accent and accent exploration exercises roadmapping the accent, make sure you've got your accent roadmap checklist handy, as well as the practice monologue. So we can roadmap the monologue together. So roadmapping the accent basically just means mapping out the accent into your text, so that you're feeling confident and ready to perform in this accent roadmapping your accent can be incredibly useful as well in last minute auditions because each audition each scene, and each character has new challenges. So when you roadmap it helps you work through your weak spots in the accent. So as you get more comfortable, you won't have to map out as much. But for now, let's make a checklist of all the things you should look out for in your text. So make sure you download your accent roadmap checklist as we go along. Let's have a look at what's on your checklist. pronunciation, all those sounds in the general American accent, your syllables, marking your stressed syllables, your stressed words, identifying the purpose of each sentence. So looking out for the most important information you need to send over to your audience. intonation, looking out for those American intonation patterns, linking words so finding ways to unstressed some of those words, those connecting words. So we put the spotlight on the important information and your Americanisms as I call it, so making sure that you're developing your character as an American character. Okay, so as we look at everything that's on my accent roadmap checklist, I want us to put into practice. So I've got a little monologue here on the screen that we're going to use as we go through our checklist. Now, in this process of roadmapping the accent I would first start out with pronunciation. marking your scripts phonetically can be incredibly useful because it helps the brain remember all the pronunciation shifts that need to occur. Now, when I first learned phonetics, we were taught to transcribe every single sound phonetically. If that works for you, and you find that helpful, go right ahead. But for me, I find that the text starts to look more like hieroglyphics. And I feel like I get too caught up in my head thinking about the symbols and not the sounds. So instead, I like to look out for just some major pronunciation shifts from my accent into the general American accent, and any additional sounds I feel like I'm struggling with as well. So as an example, let's look at the major pronunciation shifts from the Australian accent into the general American accent. So we have a few we have e as an shi. So in the Aussie accent, it's more of a dip song. It's a A, A, A Shea. And in the American it's just one sound. He she another pronunciation shift is you might say in the Australian accent or clause, but in the American accent, we say air class. So I would look out for those two sounds for sure. When you're first starting out roadmapping your pronunciation into your text. Another one to look out for and Mark is ooh as in who in the Aussie accent again, it's a tip song. It's a Ooh, up. Ooh, ooh, hoo. But in the American it's just one sound. Ooh. So I would mark that one. I would also look out for the liquid use sound. So in the Aussie accent, we might say. tune. Tune you But in America, we take out the liquid you and it becomes Ooh, too soon. And then in the Australian accent, you may say, oh, job. But in the American accent, the sound is a little bit more open and turns into ah as in fathers, so it sounds more like our job. So for every scene for every monologue for every piece of text you've got in these beginning stages, it's useful to mark the phonetic symbols above where you hear it within each word. So you can start to get more familiar with finding these major pronunciation shifts from your accent into the American accent. And I find it really helpful to go sound by sound really slowly so you can hear all those different sounds. Now I also like to look out for one sound at a time, so I don't get confused, or may miss a sound somewhere in the text. So if I'm looking out for E as in SHE, I'm going to sound out each word within that monologue and just look for that e sound first, then I'm going to move on to my next sound, and just focus on looking out for that sound, next, and so on, and so on. So for all the sounds that I'm looking out for, I'm going to make laundry lists of all those words, so I can practice those on their own. Now a really good tip with the R is for example, if you've got a section of a sentence that's got lots of Rs, I would put those all together in your laundry list to practice that to see if you can get those R's nice and sharp. And again, remember that is a sign that you need to slow down your pace. So for example, at the end of this monologue that we've got as the example, never forget her, so you've got never forget, and her so you want to make sure that you practice those all together. Never forget her. So write those all together on your laundry list. Now, as you get more familiar and confident with your general American sounds, you won't need to mark them as much and as many sounds, but for now, this is your process. So as you get more advanced, you can start to relax on how many sounds you're looking out for because you know them now, just remember, though, that each new script each new scene, new monologue comes with new words, new challenges. So make sure you're roadmapping your pronunciation. marking your trouble sounds can help you overcome the possibility of dropping out of the accent. So there's probably going to be some sounds that you're still struggling with that aren't quite sounding as authentic as you would hope them to be. And that's okay, we just want to make sure that every time we're building a new scene for an audition that we're looking out for those sounds. So for example, if the sound is air as in the word atch, I would go through the monologue and I was sound out each word sound by sound and look out for that sound. So let's have a look at the monologue here. Okay, so if we look at this monologue, and we're going to look out for the AV sound, I would sound it out slowly, word by word. It was my first night in Hollywood and air. And so I'm going to put the symbol above where hear it and and I got invited to a movie premiere. I was so excited to be there. blinded by all the lights, I nearly ran and ran. There it is, again, into the lead actress. Actress in the film. There she was, stare air, again, put the symbol up above the app in standing just inches away from me. She was wearing the most mag ad there it is, again, magnificent gown with Maroon sequins all over it. She looked nervous as as this was her first major red carpet appearance. Her diamond necklace sparkled so brightly. It nearly blinded me. I saw her again. At app. There it is again at the app app. There it is again after party. And again. PS The food was amazing. They served nachos, pie, a petite filet steak, tomato basil soup, strawberry tarts, and again at key lime pie. She looked too nervous to eat. So she just sat at It is again, sat there, quietly sipping herbal tea to calm down. I went over and asked and asked, so again there, her for her autograph, she was so nice air, and hat happy. Happily, there it is, again, took the time to speak with me. I'll never forget that at first night in Hollywood. And again, I'll never forget her. Okay, so that is what I would do. So for any sounds that I still feel like I'm struggling with, I'm going to mark that phonetic symbol above where I hear it within the word. And then I would make a laundry list of all of those words. So for example, here, all the add words, I'm going to list them out. And then I'm going to practice those outside of the scene and make sure that my placement is right. So I feel really confident speaking those words. So then I can bring them back into the scene for performance. And so you know, you can do that with any of the sounds that you still find are tricky. So maybe it's i. So I'm just going to mark all the i's exactly where I hear them within each word. And then again, I'm going to make a laundry list of those words. The other two sounds, I think are really key that you should mark in your script for now is your ELLs, because ELLs tend to be a tricky sound. So what I tend to do is I highlight them in my script. So I'll highlight all the ELLs. And then again, I'm going to make a laundry list of those words, and then your RS because there's a lot of them. So what I like to do is I just like to highlight the RS. So those words stick out for me when I'm looking at it all together within the script. And then once again, I'm going to make a laundry list of those are words, so I can practice those outside of the scene. Now I would focus on syllables, so marking your stressed syllables. So you want to go through the scene and make sure that you mark the stressed syllables, so you're properly stressing the words. And if you're confused in identifying any of the stressed syllables, in these words, go to Merriam Webster dictionary online and use that as a reference. So for example, in the first sentence, so we're looking for all the words that have more than one syllable. So the first one is Hollywood, there's three syllables there, Hollywood, so you want to put the stress on the hall, de emphasize the Li, and then put a secondary stress on wood, Hollywood. Next one is invited the stresses on the vite. So we're going to de stress the N and the EDD invited. Next one is movie stresses on the first syllable. And premier stress is not on the pre it's on the mirror premiere. So you want to make sure you mark that in your script. And so you'll see here I've marked all the stressed syllables in the multisyllabic words as a reference for you, so you can follow along with those. Next, we're going to look for our stressed words. So the most important word or words within each sentence. So if you could sum up each sentence in one word, what would it be? So let's use this first sentence as an example. It was my first night in Hollywood, and I got invited to a movie premiere. So what do you think is the most important word what sums up this first sentence, it could be a bunch of different things. It could be about it being the first night, it could be about Hollywood, it could be the invitation, it could be the movie premiere. So I'm going to choose premiere. That sounds like it's the most important thing that kind of sums up this sentence for you. It could be something different. Now my secondary stressed words are going to be movie invited Hollywood, and first night, so I'm going to put emphasis on those words, but the strength is going to be in Premiere for me. So then that means that all the other words are going to be my unstressed words and you're going to find your rhythm there. So we're always trying to pace up to get to that next key information. So instead of it being It was my first night in Hollywood, and I got invited to a movie premiere, it becomes It was my first night in Hollywood, and I got invited to a movie premiere. Okay, so it can flow it can flex depending on the words that you choose. Remember to think like an American search for the strongest, boldest choices every time and remember with your stress Words that you're either going to go up and pitch or get louder. And also, when you're identifying those key words, you want to circle them or highlight them, identify them in some way. So you remember that these are the most important words. So what I like to do is I put a square around the primary stressed word, and I circle the secondary stressed words. And don't forget that my choices might not be the same as yours. These are just suggestions, their choices, they're not set in stone, they can change. And you'll discover that in your rehearsal process, your intonation, so looking at your punctuation to identify your intonation, so every time you've got a full stop, let's put a downward arrow there. So we can try and focus on bringing that pitch down at the ends of our statements. If you have any questions, you can use an upward arrow, there's no questions here. And when you've got those commas, so you want to put sort of like a sideways arrows. So you remember that you haven't finished your thought yet, you still have something else to say. And then once you get to the full stop, you go down in pitch. So we could try here where we say they served nachos, pie, a petite filet steak, tomato, basil, soup, strawberry tarts, and key lime pie. So we want to feel like I haven't finished my thought yet, I still have something to say, I've got one more thing to add. And now I'm finished. linking words together, identifying the rhythm patterns, and using the Schwann to help link those unstressed words together. So this is where you start to identify the rhythm of the character of the scene and start to find that more conversational speech. So one thing I would note, for example, there were a lot of ads in this monologue. And because those ads are usually connecting words, they're not stressed words, meaning we don't want to put a lot of attention on them, I would change it to the SRA. So I'm going to speed up the pace and condense that sound. So I get to that next bit of key information sooner. So for example, in the first sentence, it was my first night in Hollywood, and I got invited. So instead of saying, and I got invited, I'm gonna condense it to the SRA. So I say it quicker. And I got invited. So I put the attention on the invited instead of, and so you'll see that a lot for the connecting words. So instead of to a movie premiere, it becomes too. So we've got that Schwab, again, to a movie premiere. And so here, I'm going to list all the different places where I would change to the SRA. And so you're going to also look at linking that word to the next key bit of information, and putting the spotlight on that key word. Don't forget to also mark your changes in thought, and I use this line. So you can see specifically where there's a new change a new shift happening within the scene. And then last, you're going to look out for your Americanisms your American ways of speaking, and with your American character analysis, culture is going to play a big role in how you break down a script, you need to be able to identify where and how qualities of American Speech come up in the text. And we're going to look out for a few different things we're going to look for where is my character speaking, direct or being direct? Or where's my character speaking with confidence? Where's my character being competitive? Where am I giving my opinion or point of view? Where is my character being confrontational? So any of these American ways of speaking that are different to you, and how you would naturally build a character in your own accent you want to look for in the script. So in this monologue, you know, it's all about telling a story. And so we're really living through the imagery and this moment where this person first made it to Hollywood. So maybe overall, there's a bit of confidence to telling the story and enjoying telling the story to somebody. So maybe you can use that in layering your American character. Okay, so then once you've road mapped your American accent, then you want to go through everything you've added into your text. So I'm going to say the monologue for you so you have it as a reference when you go through it on your own. It was my first night in Hollywood and I got invited to a movie premiere. I was so excited to be there. blinded by all the lights that I nearly ran into the lead actress in the film. There she was just standing inches away from me. She was wearing the most magnificent gown with Maroon sequence all over it. She looked nervous as this was her first major red carpet appearance. Her diamond necklace sparkled so brightly. It nearly blinded me. I saw her again at the after party, and PS The food was amazing. They serve nachos pie, a petite fillet steak. tomato basil soup, strawberry tarts, and key lime pie. She was too nervous to eat. So she just sat there quietly sipping herbal tea to calm her down. I went over and asked her for her autograph, she was so nice and happily took the time to speak with me. I will never forget that first night in Hollywood. And I'll never forget her. Okay, so now I'm going to jump in front of the screen as we go through my accent exploration exercises. So let's have a look at those. Hi actors, let's have a look at my accent exploration exercises. Now, these exercises are here to help you connect to the accent, as well as connect to your American character. So any sort of issues you might have in the scene or with the character, you can use any of these exercises to help you out. Now the goal of these exercises is to play to have fun to make mistakes, to explore boldly and bravely. So don't worry about getting it right or wrong. Just have fun exploring the accent in these exercises. The first exercise is the American archetype characters. Now this is all about connecting to different types of American archetype characters that might be really different to you, to characters you naturally portray in your own accent. So I've got a nice long list of different types of characters here that you can choose. So if you don't have a scene or a character that you're working on right now, explore one of these arc types, maybe it's the all American football player or the cheerleader. So what you want to do is, if you are in America, see if you can find a real life person to observe, notice their physical traits, their behavior, their mannerisms, the way they walk, the way they talk. You can easily do this online, it doesn't have to be in person. And you want to watch those videos, and just make notes of what you observe. Then what you want to do is you want to inhabit those characteristics and use that in developing that character, and bring it into your scene and see what works for you see what helps attach you to that character or to the accent, some will work, some won't. But it'll help you elevate that accent even more by giving yourself permission to be all American and super American with how you speak, chanted out is all about freeing up the text. So if you feel like and this happens a lot when you're working in another accent, like you've developed a pattern of speaking the line a certain way, and you want to really free it up, chanting can be really great. So what we're going to do is we're going to do monotone stretching of the sounds, and then we're going to go into a natural delivery of the line of text. So it goes like this. Unknown Speaker 32:59 to free your mind, Dan can add to the text Katherine Beck 33:11 to free your mind and connect to the text. So without hesitation, you want to jump back straight into the line right from the start without allowing that brain to think and you'll notice that it really frees up the text. Slow motion. This is all about slowing down your pace. So if you tend to be a really fast speaker, and you're having difficulty slowing down your pace, give this exercise a try. So what you're going to do is you're going to take a line of text and you're going to say it as if you're in slow motion so it goes like this. Unknown Speaker 33:48 If you are fast talker, this exercise will help you to slow down your pace. If you're a fast talker, Katherine Beck 34:19 this exercise will help you to slow down your pace. So as soon as you finish that painfully slow delivery of the line, you're going to jump back to the start of the line and allow that pace to flex and flow however it wants to go speak like Jim Carrey. Okay, so this is all about allowing yourself to be a little bit more expressive in the face. So we know if you've observed American speaking or performing especially in broad comedy that we can really be expressive with our articulators, the lips, the jaw, creating space in the mouth, you Using the face. So I want you to imagine like your Jim Carrey in a comedic movie, and allow yourself to be really expressive with your face. So it goes like this, to learn how to speak with more space in the mouth, so I'm imagining I'm Jim Carrey as I speak the line, and then I'm just gonna let it go to learn how to speak with more space in the mouth. And I can feel that I'm using my articulators just a little bit more, which is really great. So if you feel like you're not really doing anything, you're losing that expression, give it a try. Body overt. Now, this exercise is all about exploring the accent physically. So we can really live in this accent, not just with our articulators inside the mouth, but with our whole entire body. So if you feel like there's a disconnect to your body, this is a really good accent exercise to try. So as you go through your dialogue, I want you to use your body and allow your body to move however it wants to move, it's nonsensical. It doesn't suit the scene, you're just allowing yourself to live in the moment, allowing those sounds to travel in and out of your body. So I'll give you an example. I'll do this short line of text here that says the goal of the exercise to inhabit the accent not just vocally but physically, to inhabit the accent not just vocally but physically. So I do the same thing, as I've been doing in previous exercises that I allow myself to be big and bold with this direction, allow it to go wherever it wants to go physically. And then I go straight back to the start of the line, and allow my body to move however it wants to move. So it won't be as big and broad as before, it'll be a little bit more contained. But I'll feel much freer and connected to the body with the accent. mouthing the words. So this is all about building clarity in your speech and in your accent. So you're going to mouth the words without any sound. And you're going to really use those articulators, the lips, the jaw of the tongue, the soft palate, creating space, exercising those muscles, then you're going to go back to the start of the sentence and add sound goes like this. As you mouthed the words, you will open the mouth. Give it a try. Last word swordplay is all about helping you finish your sentences with energy. So if you find that you tend to fizzle out, lose energy lose volume at the end of your sentences, you're going to want to give this a try. So what you're going to do is you're going to choose a line of text, or a monologue or even your whole scene and you're going to walk around the room. And when you finish the sentence at that very last word, you're going to imagine you've got your imaginary sword, and you're going to lunge it forward. So your walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, lunge, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk lunch. So if my sentence was to sustain your voice to the end of your sentence, I'm going to walk to sustain your voice to the end of your sentence and lunch. So you'll notice that it does, it helps build that flow and that energy all the way to the very end of the sentence. And make sure you let that last word be nice and strong use volume shouted out, okay, let's be honest, Americans can be loud talkers. Now, if you tend to be a soft talker, or even if you're working in a really intimate scene, and you feel like you're losing that intensity, that volume, it's too laid back, you know, we can't really hear or understand what you're saying, I want you to imagine that you're speaking to that person all the way across the room now, or maybe all the way across a football field. So you're going to really send your dialogue farther than you would naturally in the scene, you're going to project your voice, you're going to project the energy the sounds outward. So you're going to do that with your line of dialogue. And you can even use a physical gesture to send that sound all the way to your reader. Okay. Now, once you've gone through that, you're going to go back to the start of the scene with that intimate proximity and see if you can notice a difference. Of course, you're not going to be projecting like you were before but Hopefully the intensity that energy that directness is still present. Speak like Tarzan. Okay, so this is all about embracing your key information in your seed, your stressed words, what is the most important word or words in each sentence. So if you were just to say the stressed words within your scene, we would understand exactly what the scene is all about. And Tarzan is a really great representation of that, because he got his message out without using those connecting words all the time, he didn't have to, he just said exactly what he wanted to gain his objective. So you're going to do that you're going to identify your key words, your stressed words within the scene. And I want you to do a run of that scene, just saying those words without the connecting words, and really delivering your message to the other person, then you're going to go back to the start of the scene and add those connecting words in and see how that shifts your connection to the accent, and into the scene. Dancing the rhythm. So this is all about exploring the rhythm within your lines of dialogue. And this is really going to help identify your character's heartbeat as well how they like to communicate. So what you're going to do is identify your key word, what's the most important word within that sentence that's going to be your Crump, then the secondary stress words, that's going to be your jazz hands, and the connecting words is going to be your tap. So you're going to use those three movements to find the rhythm in your scene. So for example, in this goal sentence, to bring rhythm into your speech, so maybe my primary key word is rhythm. So that's going to be my krump, then my secondary key word would be speech, as well as brain. So that's going to be my jazz hands. And then the other words to into and your is going to be my tap. Okay, so I'm going to first speak the rhythm, which is tap, jazz, krump, tap, tap jazz. And then you're actually going to do the movements to bring rhythm into your speech. Now, it's a bit weird. It's a funny little exercise, but it helps you find a different rhythm and flow to how you would naturally say the line to bring rhythm into your speech, sing a song. So let's say that you have great difficulty finding the intonation patterns of the American accent, perhaps your delivery is a little bit more monotone. You can play around with the intonation patterns, by singing to a song. So choose a song that's got some melody to it, and see if you can sing your dialogue to the tune of the songs, you're going to listen to the song, as you sing your lines. Then once you finish the scene, you're going to go back to the start of the scene, allow the music to play, it's going to be like your soundtrack, as you do the scene in your natural speaking voice in the accent, and see how that changes your intonation patterns. The final time, you're going to turn off the music, you're going to allow that soundtrack to still play inside your head as you perform the same confidence superhero. So if you're playing a really confident person, a confident character in the scene, and you're not really feeling connected to that character, or not really feeling confident about the accent, give yourself a chance to do some power posing. So I like the Wonder Woman pose the hands on the hips, standing proud and tall, I would stand in this position for two minutes, then I would do my scene performed in this position. And afterwards, I would allow myself to move around the space maybe keeping this position maybe not. And seeing if that power posing allowed me to boost my confidence, or find the confidence within that character a little bit more. So allow yourself to be the most confident superhero you can be you know, super American, super confident super superhero. And then let it go perform the scene again and see what it does. super competitive Jones. So this is an improv exercise. And it's really helpful if you're having difficulty boasting about yourself or your character. Let's say you're playing somebody who is the best and loves talking about themself but you're really different to that and it feels kind of weird playing a character that is so different to you. Let's try an improv exercise then where you're the character and you're allowing yourself to boast about everything and Anything. So you can do this with a friend say, whatever comes to mind, you just want to one up each other. So I just bought a new dress, and it's so pretty. And maybe the other person says, Oh, really well, I just bought a new hat. And it was on sale, it was supposed to be $100. But I only got it for 50 Oh, then you would continue? Well, I just got my hair done by the celebrity hairstylist in Los Angeles, and he was only seeing a few extra clients that aren't slabs, and he chose me, oh, really well, I just got a free dinner the other night, you know, whatever it might be, you know, that's just off the top my head, it's not very good. But you see what I mean. So each person just wants to one up the next person, the next person and it keeps going keeps going keeps going. So it takes you a little bit out of your comfort zone of not really feeling like you can boast about yourself, but might help attach you to the character who does like to boast about themselves. Creating confrontation. This, again, is an improv exercise to allow you to work out of your comfort zone, to remember that Americans embrace freedom of speech and allow ourselves to speak our mind. So if something's not quite right, we're going to speak up. So if this is kind of uncomfortable for you, this is a quality that isn't very familiar, but is really familiar for your character. Try an improv exercise with one of your friends, to see if you can explore being a little bit more confrontational. So it could be anything, pretend that you're in a restaurant and you ordered a steak and it was supposed to be medium rarer. But it came well done. So develop the scenario and an improv exercise in the American accent of you speaking your mind and saying, hey, this isn't right, this isn't what I ordered. And see where it takes you layer in your character and see how would your character handle that situation. And hopefully, it'll help you attach to the accent a little bit more celebrity voice match, one of my favorite exercises to do, and a really good learning experience for the accent. So what you want to do is you want to choose a celebrity, choose an actor who's got a voice placed similar to yours, American, of course, and you want to find something that you can watch, and duplicate. So maybe it's a monologue from a film they were in. Or maybe it's an interview, you want to listen to their intonation patterns, their rhythm, where they place those sounds, how they speak, and see if you can duplicate it word by word sound by sound, you're going to record yourself and listen back and see if you can go just that extra little bit to actually sound like that actor, it's a really good exercise for building your awareness of how you form sounds, as well as developing your ear for the accent to see if you can duplicate that actor. observation and physical embodiment is kind of sort of something we've already targeted in the American arc type character exercise. But this is really helpful. If you feel like you're focusing on the accent and not really living in the character, you want to find a mannerism, something you can use to attach yourself to the character and see if that helps you get out of your head, focusing on the accent and be more connected in performance. So do some research, do some observation, find somebody that's similar to your character, and find a mannerism or physicality that they use and keep that consistent throughout your performance. And that should hopefully get you more connected in the performance. And in each moment than thinking about oh, what's going on with my accent, did I lose my accent is it still there? You know, so see what you can do over melodic. So this is all about if you tend to have a really flat monotone delivery and you're having difficulty getting out of that delivery, you're going to allow yourself to do the exact opposite and be really melodic. So might sound kind of like this, instead of monotone. To discover the melody of the accent, it might sound like this, to discover the melody of the accent to discover the melody of the accent. So again, without a moment of hesitation, I'm going to jump back to the start of the line and allow that line to go wherever it wants to go. Lazy lizard tongue is all about creating space in the back of the mouth. So if you feel like you're losing that space, try this exercise, you're going to hold the tongue as you say your line to quit says the back of the mouth to create fifth in the back of mouth to create space in the back of the mouth. So after you finish the line, you're going to let the tongue go and say the line like Again, right from the start, and you'll notice some difference in space in the back of the mouth, cork space. So again, that cork is going to be really helpful in helping create space, getting that jaw to open up when we're going into our scene work. So you're going to use that cork, you're going to pop it in just right at the front of the teeth, say your line. Whoa, great, or no owl. To create more space in the mouth, take that cork out, say the line again, and you will feel and notice a difference in space. vocalize the vowels, so this is going to help you embrace those vowels. If you find that you're shortening your vowels, or that you're losing the emotional connection to what you're saying, you can try this exercise and see how it goes for you. So you're going to take a line of text, and you're only going to speak the vowels. So you're basically going to link one vowel to the next to the next, then when you finish that sentence, you're going to add in the consonants into a natural speaking voice. It goes like this. Oh, hey, oh, a Li, E, vowels carry the emotion. And Americans have a tendency to be expressive in speech. Thoughtful breath. So this is all about embracing moment, by moment. So if you feel like you're racing through your scene, you're losing those changes in thoughts. I want you to slow down, I want you to pause, I want you to breathe, and I want you to mark those changes. So every time there's a new change in thought, I want you to pause brief, and then say the next line. I really want you to be specific with this, especially with short sentences. So a sentence might just be one word, you know, so watch that you're not bleeding it into the next line. So goes like this. Read your first line of dialogue to yourself. Next, take a breath and speak the words. Pause. Read the next line of dialogue to yourself. So at every punctuation, I'm stopping, I'm breathing. And then I'm moving on to the next bit. Give it a try. emotional journey. Now this is probably one of the toughest things to do in another accent is to keep your accent consistent, while in an emotional state. So I like to work in baby steps. Allow yourself to lie down on the ground, put your feet up in semi supine position and just allow yourself to breathe in and out in your own time. Put your hands in your belly and just gently feel that breath is a drops in and out. Then when you're ready, I want you to think of an emotional time. So it could be a sad moment, a happy moment, an angry moment, whatever moment might be appropriate for the text that you're working on. So let's say it's a sad moment. So I'm going to think of an emotional time in my life where I felt sad, and allow those thoughts, the images to come through. And then when I'm ready, I'm just going to breathe in. And I'm gonna allow myself just to gently touch on sound as I think of that emotional time. So I'll do that a few times, just gently touching on sound. Then when I'm ready, I'm just gonna say one word. Sad. Sad. And then when I feel comfortable with that, I'm going to then layer in a short phrase or short sentence again still, while thinking about that emotional time. I am sad. I am sad. Then when you feel comfortable, maybe allow yourself to explain or talk about the scenario even further and just a few short sentences as you allow those thoughts and imagery to come through while you breeze. So see how you go with this exercise. See if you can keep the accent consistent as you bring in the emotion. Okay, so wrapping up what we talked about today we explored performance preparation by putting together a step by step process to get you ready to perform with your general American accent. We went through roadmapping The accent and we went through my accent exploration exercises to show how you can free up your accent. So now in the last module, we're going to be talking about performing with your general American accent. So very exciting is it is our final module and we have reached the end of our road trip together on your American accent journey. More great stuff in the very last module and I look forward to seeing you there on American accent freeway.