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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

3 Sources for Perfecting Tricky Accents

Let’s be honest here, certain accents just don’t come easy for some voice actors. However, there are probably going to be times during  your career when you’ve got to do one, or at least give a passable attempt at one. If you’re an actor who struggles with the nuances and inflections of regional accents, here are 3 sources to help you find that sound.

  1.         YouTube - Naturally, YouTube tops the list here. This is easily the world’s largest resource for online video content, and the site includes hundreds of thousands of educational videos as well. Simply plug keywords, such as British Isles accent or New Jersey accent, into the search tool, and voila - videos featuring your specified accent will appear. A note of caution, however, for anyone using YouTube for educational purposes - the YouTuber isn’t always going to be an expert. In fact, most times, it’s just a regular person like you and me who thinks they know what they’re talking about. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. The point is to take that under advisement and don’t rely on just one or two videos to teach you everything you need to know.

  2.          Videojug - Videojug is another decent source for accent help. There are a number of great tutorials on there, including American accents, Welsh, Spanish, Russian and more. There are also videos to help you practice other skills, such as deepening or disguising your voice convincingly. While Videojug doesn’t have the range that YouTube does,  you can pick up some helpful hints about lip and tongue movements and how these affect accent.

  3.          Accent Help - Unlike YouTube and Videojug, Accent Help isn’t a free resource. However, the fee is fairly nominal, and it provides an excellent resource for voice over actors. In fact, that’s who the program was designed for. Accent Help downloads tutorials and other resource materials directly onto your computer, many of which include sound files of people speaking in their native regional accents.
An advantage we have as voice actors is that is doesn't matter HOW we look as we perform with our learned accents. We can scrunch up our faces, tilt our heads, hold our noses or posture anyway we choose to produce the we want to achieve. Unfortunately, for on camera and stage actors they do not have this luxury.

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