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How to stay focused on your American accent goals

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by Katherine Beck in American accent tips
10/03/2020

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt accent overwhelm? Meaning you’ve sat down to learn the American accent but started to feel overwhelmed by the accent. You weren’t sure if you sounded right or maybe you weren’t sure if you knew how to correct your mistakes. You watched a couple of tutorials online but you are still confused and feel like your goals of booking work with a US accent is a distant and fading dream. 

Are you feeling American accent overwhelm? 

It’s very common when learning the accent to feel like it’s all too much, too hard and you’re never going to be good enough to get a role with a US accent. 

I’ve got news for you. It is hard, there is a lot to learn. You will probably get distracted and maybe even lack some focus because you start thinking about too many aspects of the accent and how to be perfect starts to get in the way of learning. 

So here are my top tips to help you avoid accent overwhelm and stay focused on your accent goals.  

  1. Avoid the shiny ball

Have you ever heard of the shiny ball syndrome? It’s a very common problem, especially with us ‘creative types’ where we easily lose focus on the task at hand because something shiny and new takes our attention away. Getting distracted, losing focus, thinking about way too many things all at once could very well be getting in the way of perfecting your American accent.

Put your phone down, find a quiet place to learn and take it one step at a time. Don’t try to perform, develop the character, analyse the scene and learn the accent all at once. Meaning, don’t crash course the accent into an audition scene. Focus on the accent first. Watch out for distractions and don’t try to achieve too much in the moment. 

2. Take baby steps

Why must we rush the process of perfecting your American accent? Start with a strong foundation that will last you from role to role. Without a good foundation it’s nearly impossible to get to accent perfection. There are many steps to learning a new accent from placement of the sounds to pronunciation to intonation, rhythm, stress, etc. Don’t try to do too much too soon. Don’t try to perform if your foundations aren’t right. Go in baby steps.

3. Have a process

You may have a process for Acting in your natural accent but when it comes to acting with an American accent all of a sudden you lose sight of what to do. Make sure you have a process for building the accent into your scene and character development. This will help you find confidence in your accent, in your auditioning and in your performing. It doesn’t need to be over complicated but make sure you actually have a process. 

So those are my top three tips to avoid American accent overwhelm. Simple but effective. Take a little time today to re-focus on your goals and move yourself one step close to accent perfection and booking that dream role. 

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