A Standard American Accent Won’t Book You The U.S. RoleMay 30, 2022
Today we are talking about why the Standard American accent won't book you the U.S. role. Learn a better way to master the American accent.
In today's episode, I'm going to show you a smarter way to learn the American accent so you can sound relatable and conversational like a REAL American speaker.
Using this method you'll notice a difference in your American characters for your auditions.
By the time you finish listening, you’ll know:
• Why a Standard or a General American accent isn't going to book you the role
• What you should be learning instead
• A simple exercise to start noticing changes in your American accent
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
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Then follow me on Instagram to go 'behind the scenes' with me and my own journey as an American accent coach and Voiceover Actor.
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You're listening to the All American actors podcast a today's episode, get ready to learn why a standard American accent isn't going to book you that us roll 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 I dive into today's episode, I want to give a huge shout out to my special guests. Last week on the podcast Susie Porter, it was such a great episode. I know both her and I we both received so many wonderful messages about it. And so if you have not yet had a chance to listen to it, make sure you do so after listening to today's episode, of course, because Suzy shares so much wisdom and insight into what it is to be a working actor. And I just know that you're gonna really, really benefit from it. And I'm sure you're probably noticing that, well, my voice is not 100% today, and that is because I've been sick all week long. And unfortunately, it has affected my voice, the voice coach has lost her voice. And so instead of taking the week off, it inspired me to go back into the podcast archives and bring out my very first podcast episode because it is a good one. And chances are some of you out there may have not listened to it. And maybe some of my OG listeners have listened to it. But this is a really good reminder. So I thought I'd bring back one of my original episodes that I think is really going to be great for you. So let's roll that episode. Now as an American accent coach. And even if I go back to my high school years, and my college years learning about speech and accents and dialects, I was told you need to have a standard American accent or later on it was labeled a general American accent. Now I remember learning the Skinner method. And if you don't know who Edith Skinner is, she wrote what is like a Bible for actors back in my day, which is called speak with distinction, the classic Skinner method to speech on the stage. Now the key word here is classic meaning this way of learning how to speak worked really well for classical theatrical plays on stage, but didn't really translate so well to the day to day conversational tone that you would need for more modern day films and TV work. So that I think is why the general American accent was born and became a thing. It was a way of sounding more like the average American speaker. So basically, what a general American accent is, is an American accent of no specific region. And up until recently, that's exactly what I've labeled how I teach, you know, is by teaching a general American accent. But then lately, I've been thinking, why would we want to sound general? And is learning this way, or even labeling what we're learning with general or standard holding us back from what we really want to achieve? And what do we really want to achieve? When we're auditioning for us role? Think about that. What is the one thing that might be holding us back from booking that us roll? Well, for me, it comes down to being all American, sounding all American like you were born in the United States of America. So that is why you are doing yourself a disservice by learning a general or standard American accent, when we should really be striving to master an All American accent because really, who wants to be general or standard in your American character? We don't want to be cookie cutter. When you look at real life people in the US we're such a melting pot of all these different influences in our culture. So how can we possibly all speak the same? We can't? It's not possible. And so if we're striving to be this, you know, very specific way of sounding, it's not necessarily maybe not going to resonate with the character that you're supposed to be auditioning for, that you're supposed to be portraying. So we've got to start thinking about it differently, being all American. And look it's not your fault. Well, you've just been learning what you've been told to learn what you need to do to sound authentic and the American accent. But you need to start asking yourself, do you feel confident performing with an American accent? Do you feel like you sound like an authentic American speaker? And is your character, a believable American character? If the answer is no to any of these, then you need to start reassessing what you're doing in your process, and figuring out what is holding you back. And what's going to happen if you continue to do the same things you're doing every time you audition for a role that requires a US accent. And then you'll keep wondering, why didn't you book that role? And then the next one, why don't you book that one, and so on, and so on. And think about it, there's so many factors as to why you don't book a role, right? You know, it could be that you've got blonde hair, and they want to go with someone who's got brown hair, or red hair, it could be that you're too short, you're too tall, you're too this, you're too fat, let's not make your American accent, be the one thing that holds you back from booking that role. Let's not get that dreadful call from your agent that says, you know, they really liked you. But your American accent needs some work. So they gave the role to someone else. They said, you know, keep working on your accent, and maybe next time. Now, we don't want that too. We know. So if we can work on our American accent, and strive for it to be authentic, let's not make that the one thing that gets in the way from you booking that role. So now what are we going to do, we're going to work differently, we are going to start thinking differently. And that begins with this. Now let's try an exercise I want you to repeat after me. In order to speak like an American, I need to be all American. Let's say it one more time. Now this time, I want you to really own it, really believe it. In order to speak like an American, I need to be all American. Now this is going to be your motto, I want you to write it out for yourself, type it up, post it somewhere. And I want you to practice that every day in your American accent. Let that be your practice today. And when you start adapting this new way of thinking, you will start to see things differently, view your character differently, speak in the accent differently. And that my actor friends is what is going to set you up for success. That's what you want. And it starts with this. In order to speak American, I need to be all American. This is what I teach my students and this is what gets them the results they're after. So I encourage you to give this a try to thank you so much for tuning into this very special edition podcast. And remember, if you love this episode, go ahead and let me know take a screenshot of the show. Share it with me on your Instagram story and tag me in it at Katherine underscore Beck underscore you can find me there. And if you've got any questions or topics you'd like to hear on podcast, just let me know. And coming up next week on the show. I am going to reveal three key reasons why you may not be booking us roles. That's coming up next week. 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 to 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.