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Learning accents

PostPosted: May 23rd, 2011, 5:05 pm
by AmyA
I'm not so good at creating foreign accents and holding on to them during shows. Does anyone know of a download or CD full of accents for actors? I think it would be fun to listen to and talk along with while sitting in traffic. Then I can give the other drivers a polite Minnesota chiding or a full Bronx cheer...

PostPosted: May 23rd, 2011, 5:06 pm
by SarahMarie
http://web.ku.edu/~idea/

This is the website I use. ;)

PostPosted: May 23rd, 2011, 5:07 pm
by Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell
lol...i was just joking about dialect tapes with a friend at the pub yesterday. this makes me giggle. ;)

PostPosted: May 23rd, 2011, 5:19 pm
by Matt
android lady wrote:http://web.ku.edu/~idea/

This is the website I use. ;)


IDEA is the best. I love it.

PostPosted: May 23rd, 2011, 5:20 pm
by SarahMarie
I sure would love some easy to use "Listen and Repeat" tapes. That's for SURE. Especially after watching Kevin Miller go through 10 accents without batting his robot eyes in False Matters on Saturday.

PostPosted: May 23rd, 2011, 5:25 pm
by kbadr
Whatever you do, avoid this book unless you want to learn stereotypical, possibly bigoted, accents: http://www.amazon.com/Accents-Manual-Ac ... 420&sr=8-1

I rather like this book, coupled with the link SMC posted for audio reference.

http://www.amazon.com/Foreign-Dialects- ... 420&sr=8-6

First trick to accents is learning to listen differently. Differentiating between the letters in the words and the actual sounds you are hearing.

PostPosted: May 23rd, 2011, 5:33 pm
by Brad Hawkins
android lady wrote:http://web.ku.edu/~idea/

This is the website I use. ;)

THANK YOU! This link made me leap for joy. This is exactly what I need!

PostPosted: May 23rd, 2011, 5:33 pm
by SarahMarie
THis one looks like it might be good: http://www.amazon.com/Accents-Dialects- ... _hu_m_6_dp

PostPosted: May 23rd, 2011, 5:45 pm
by Brad Hawkins
How much thought do you guys, as improvisers, put into the authenticity of your accents? Do you find yourself shooting for "Dammit, my character is from southern Tuscany, not northern Tuscany," or "anywhere in Italy is fine," or "Ey! I'm-a make-a you pizza!"

PostPosted: May 23rd, 2011, 9:16 pm
by dancrumb
Brad Hawkins wrote:How much thought do you guys, as improvisers, put into the authenticity of your accents? Do you find yourself shooting for "Dammit, my character is from southern Tuscany, not northern Tuscany," or "anywhere in Italy is fine," or "Ey! I'm-a make-a you pizza!"


As someone who has an accent, I derive great enjoyment of people doing shitty versions of my accent (I also enjoy doing my own rubbish accent).

For me, what's important (and what I'm struggling with, of late) is maintaining the accent. My accents tend to drift as my concentration focuses on whatever else is happening. It depends on what you're trying to convey with the accent. Maybe it's just a bit of colour to your character. Maybe it's integral to your character.

If it's colour, just some variation in vowel shapes and dialect phrases may be sufficient. If, however, it's crucial that your character be identified as a Southie, then you're going to have to work a bit harder.

PostPosted: May 24th, 2011, 8:50 am
by Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell
Brad Hawkins wrote:How much thought do you guys, as improvisers, put into the authenticity of your accents? Do you find yourself shooting for "Dammit, my character is from southern Tuscany, not northern Tuscany," or "anywhere in Italy is fine," or "Ey! I'm-a make-a you pizza!"


if it's an accent or dialect i have some familiarity or training with, i like to strive to be as authentic as possible. if it's something i'm not as familiar with, i try to give a passable impression without angering any anti-defamation groups. :P it also depends on the style and tone of the show...something broader and more playful, i'll tend to go a bit broader with my accent.

the thing i struggle with is if i start doing an accent and someone else starts doing an accent, my accent will start to bleed more towards theirs and i have to make a conscious effort to remember what i'm doing. i don't seem to have this problem when i'm just using my own voice.

PostPosted: May 24th, 2011, 9:29 am
by Marc Majcher
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJyTA4VlZus[/youtube]

PostPosted: May 24th, 2011, 4:37 pm
by karenjanedewitt
What a great video! Thanks, Marc. I like how she compared speaking with an Australian accent to chewing on the words. Perfect.