Convincing and correct accents are an incredible way to expand your potential as a performer. However, where do you even start? With around 6,500 languages in the world and each with their own dialects, it is pretty overwhelming. Don’t let that stop you. Here’s how to do it!
What roles are you landing? What roles are you auditioning for? Chances are there’s a through-line. Isolate that and you can isolate the accents that will serve you best. Do you do a lot of Shakespeare? Aim your sights at the dialects of England. Are you a fan of Chekov? It’s time to finally master your Russian.
Next, find out the most widely spoken dialect of that language. The more common the dialect, the more likely it is someone from that country will speak it, meaning the accent is far more valuable in the performance sphere due to its high percentage of usage.
Now it’s time to start practicing. With language, the best teacher is immersion. Watch videos of native speakers. Listen to their songs. Mimic how they say things. Do this every day. In addition, find your trigger—a word or phrase that helps you immediately jump into that accent.
Find a Teacher
Once you’ve nailed the accent as best as you can manage on your own, find professional help. This is typically in the form of a coach but can also be someone you know who has the dialect you’re aiming to master. Either way, you now have immediate feedback from someone able to hear the flaws you don’t. After that, it’s all about repetition. The sooner you can speak the accent without thinking about it, the sooner you can add it to your list of talents.