On Doing Accents
I had an audition today! Shout out to Leta Tremblay for calling me in. Thank you!
Ok. Today was rough for me. I don't know if the audition panel noticed it, but I did.
I auditioned for an ensemble role in a play wherein I had three sides for three very distinct characters. Physical and voice work was crucial. Two of the three had specific accents. One was southern, the other was Russian. I haven't done a lot of accent work in the past, besides from a Filipino accent, because I don't get cast for roles with French/Texan/Irish/Scottish/etc accents. (more on that for another post) Today was a fun challenge. I had to learn a new skill.
I found myself quite insecure during the audition. Holding my breath. Watching myself and constantly judging if I sounded right. Which killed freedom and creativity in the room. I managed to turn out alright. It wasn't a complete disaster. I just wasn't consistent with the accents. My nerves got the best of me and I lost the accent I was working on.
But here is what I learned - next time I will write down the lines phonetically and memorize it that way. This way, I will memorize it with those sounds and have the new spelling imprinted in my mind. So even if my nerves kick in, it won't affect my accent. For example if I'm working on a Russian accent. If the line is "What are we doing here?" I will write down - Vwat arr vwee do-eeng heerre?" Now this is not the IPA's standard of phonetics, just my interpretation of the sound. A stereotypical Russian accent would pronounce w sounds with a v before it; r sounds have a trill, so I doubled the rr to remind me; i - as in hit sounds are an ee sound.
I learned a valuable lesson today. [Pat on the back]
How do you deal with accents? Share in the comment section below.