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Dialects & Accents in Acting-You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato

Updated: Oct 14, 2023

Accents are FUN!

Actors love to play with accents, alone or around close friends. But sometimes, when it matters, we tend to clam up thinking it's not good enough and professionals might judge us unfavorably.

In 2020, I decided to encourage my actors in a Wildcard exercise to embrace an accent, any accent that was foreign to their natural one. I am NOT a dialect coach, let me be very clear on that, but I do have a good ear for accents, (and we were Zooming and I was desperate to come up with new exercises we could do on Zoom, lol). The result was pretty amazing, and we carried it on to let it sink in for the following four classes.

Now, each year, my students who hated it at first, are exploring new accents and feeling more empowered, so I think that is everything! Many are even consistent enough with the new accent to add it on their Special Skills on their resume. This makes them more searchable for Casting Directors.

Below are my favorite Go-To's for accents. These are buttons for them but if you are looking for a specific accent, then google their name and the accent. Most important, have FUN! Play with the accent at home, in the car, and then brave it in front of a cashier, or waiter. The more you play, the more consistent it becomes, and you build the muscle. Keep checking back in with the original accent so you don't accidentally learn inconsistencies, or merge two accents. Or three. It happens, lol.

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