The Standard/Neutral American Dialect, The Minnesota Dialect, The Southern Dialect, The British Dialect, The Australian Dialect, The New York Dialect, The German Dialect, The Texas Dialect, The British South African Dialect, and The Irish Dialect with Donald The Dialect Coach (www.DonaldTheDialectCoach.com)
In today’s video, Donald The Dialect Coach teaches you what to focus on when learning a dialect so that it will be believable. He also shows you how to keep your line delivery from being choppy while performing with a dialect. Part 2.
by: Donald the Dialect Coach
We all want to be engaging speakers.
Some people seem to do it naturally, however it is a skill that can be learned.
How can you make your voice interesting? How can you engage with material immediately? How can you make choices right away (even when cold reading)?
USE THE VERBS!
This trick alone will TRANSFORM your auditioning.
When you’re reading a sentence, find the action verbs and use them. A verb expresses action or a relationship between two things. Wait a minute – that’s what acting is all about! It’s no wonder that this tip will cause you grow as an actor immediately.
When we watch movies, what do we want to see? ACTION.
When we are speaking, we need to speak the action with our voice for the person listening. We can’t literally pantomime each thing we talk about, but we can milk our action verbs and make the audience feel as if they were there.
The great thing about verbs is that we can make them sound like what they mean. For example, The word trampled sounds like what it means. So does love, hate, fear, accept, deny, free, etc.
You get the picture 🙂
Your job as actors is to make these action verbs the star of each sentence that we say. All of the meaning and emotion in the sentence should be put into the action words.
Let’s use this sentence as an example: “I know they talk about me.” You may be tempted to use the pronouns, so that it sounds something like this: “I know they talk about me.”
Listen up, friends! Pronouns are an actor’s worst nightmare. Okay, that’s a bit extreme but you get the point 😉
Pronouns don’t deserve our attention 90% of the time.
Your best friend walks into your house, slams his car keys down and says, “I know they talk about me.” He doesn’t need to point to himself when he says, “me” in order for you to know that he’s talking about himself, does he? Nope, It’s understood. Likewise, he doesn’t need to point away from himself when he says, “they”. It’s understood.
When we stress a word it’s like we’re pointing at it with our voice. The meaning in the sentence is contained within the verbs.
“I know they talk about me.”The way he says the word “know” answers two important questions.
- How does he know?
- How does he feel about knowing?
The same is true for the word “talk.”The verbs are the meat of every sentence. Pronouns are just filler. Yes, you have to say the pronouns in a sentence, but you don’t have to use them.You will be amazed at how quickly using the verbs will impact your acting.
In today’s video, Donald The Dialect Coach teaches you what to focus on when learning a dialect so that it will be believable. He also shows you how to keep your line delivery from being choppy while performing with a dialect. Tune in next time for Part 2.
The one thing that you never want to be is burned out!
Dialects are complex things.
A word of warning.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re first learning a dialect. Trying to identify each sound change, making adjustments, and keeping it believable can be really tough without a knowledgeable coach.
How do you do it?
Learning a dialect is a BIG undertaking.
If a dialect were an animal, it would be an elephant. A really friendly and nice elephant that you’d want to hang out with.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
What I’m saying is this:
Do NOT try to do every sound change in a dialect right off the bat. That’s only going to buy you a headache
First, focus on the resonance (what part of your mouth the sound lives in). That’s 90% of any dialect. Become very comfortable with changing from your natural resonance to the resonance of the dialect at will.
Next, decide which two sound changes are most important. In other words, which two sound changes give the dialect its distinct sound? Study those sound changes. Become a master of just those two. Don’t worry about anything else with regards to the dialect.
When you have mastered the resonance and the two sound changes, you’ll notice something magical happening. The other sound changes will begin to naturally creep into your speech creating a full, round, and believable dialect.
Donald The Dialect Coach
As actors, a big part of your career is out of your control. You gain and lose roles for a myriad of reasons.
- * You can be: too tall, too short, too heavy, too thin, too young, too old.
- * You can remind a producer of their ex.
- * You can share a name with someone that they know.
- * It’s frustrating. It’s ridiculous.
- * The reality is, the decision making process is out of your hands.
If it’s out of your control, then what do you do?
- * You prepare.
- * You build your skills so that when the opportunity comes, you can pounce on it.
- * Once you learn a skill, it’s yours forever. Nobody can take it away from you. Skills are what separate you from the next actor. Skills cannot be argued. You either have a skill or you don’t.
You know the best thing about skills?
- * Once you learn them, they only get BETTER. For the rest of your life.
- * That’s a pretty incredible thing.
- * Dialects are a SKILL. Learning a dialect requires time and energy.
Training, a great attitude, and specialized skills beat talent every time!
Donald The Dialect Coach