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Episode 4: How cramming for your U.S. audition won’t book you the role.

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AS FEATURED ON
by Katherine Beck in The All American Accent
04/01/2021

Episode 04: How cramming for your U.S. audition won’t book you the role.

Have you ever tried to learn an American accent the night before a big U.S. audition? Acting with an accent isn’t easy if you’re cramming in your accent training the night before your U.S. audition.

In today’s episode, I’m going to show you a smarter way to prepare so acting with an accent can be enjoyable and not such a struggle.


Using my tips you’ll notice a difference in your U.S. acting because it will be so much more enjoyable and easier. 

By the time you finish listening, you’ll know:

  • Why trying to learn the American accent the night before a U.S. audition isn’t going to book you the role.
  • How you should prepare for U.S. accent auditions.
  • How to practice your American accent if four easy ways.

If this episode inspires you then I’d love to hear from you! Take a screenshot of you listening on your device, post it to your Instagram stories and tag me @katherine_beck_ !

Then follow me on Instagram to go ‘behind the scenes’ with me and my own journey as an American accent coach and Voiceover Actor.


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SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Katherine Beck 0:00
You’re listening to the All American actors podcast, Episode Four. In today’s episode, I’m going to share with you why cramming for your audition the night before isn’t gonna book you the role that’s coming up next.

Ready to go behind the scenes and learn what it really takes to build a sustainable career as a working actor in the US film and TV industry. Join me Catherine back. You’re all American accent coach, as I give you the insight and inspiration to take action on your career, learn my best tips and tricks to performing with an American accent and hear from working actors and other industry professionals. To give you a comprehensive overview of this biz we call show them.This is the all American actors podcast.

Welcome back, everyone. And before we jump into today’s episode, I just want to give you a special thank you for listening to this podcast. And also to let you know that when you leave a five star review for this podcast, you’re going to get a chance to be featured as our star listener of the week, and I’m going to give you a special shout out right here on the show. So if you like this episode, go ahead and leave us a review. Now I have a question for you. Have you ever crammed for a big exam? Now, if I think back to my high school years, gosh, we had so many tests, we had so many things to learn. And back then I was not a good student. I was okay. But I had difficulties processing information. So when it came to things like for example, US history where you have to, you know, learn and memorize all these facts and dates and historical events, I really struggled to retain the information. So often I would put off studying until the night before the big test. And every time I’d get to that test the next day, I would feel nervous, I’d feel overwhelmed. And I was just hoping for the best but not really feeling confident as to whether or not I would do good on the test. Not sure if I was gonna pass or if I was gonna fail, kind of like I was just getting by. Now I bring this up because it was a thought that came into my head recently. As you know, I often have actors who I’ve never worked with before, contact me to help them prepare for an audition. And when I asked them, well, when is your audition, it’s usually within the next few days, which is fine. But then when I ask, so what’s your previous American accent training? Well, more often than not, the answer is very little or no training at all. So it seems like a lot of actors are seeking my help kind of like a quick fix, you know that they think that they’ll be able to get their accent to where it needs to be for the audition. But the harsh reality is, is that most actors are going to fail at this scenario. Why you might ask? Well, it’s very simple. It’s because without the right training, the hours of practice leading up to the audition, and a solid foundation for your accent training, there is only so much I can do to get you sounding authentic in that short period of time. And that is why cramming for that big us audition the night before is one of the biggest mistakes you can make and is actually preventing you from being the working actor that you want to be with that sustainable acting career. So let’s break down why this is and tell me if you can relate to any of this. Now most actors make the big mistake of taking a group class or a private coaching session with a dialect coach and thinking that they have the tools to create an authentic American accent and authentic American character. Most actors think the accent training they did years ago, or that one day masterclass they did last month, or the one on one dialect coaching session they did yesterday is enough to actually book that role. Well, it might be enough to get you buy in the audition, but it won’t be enough for you to actually book the roll. And chances are you are probably already feeling that in your last audition that it was okay. But he could have done better. So not only will you not book the role, but you may miss out on future us auditions as well. What What do you mean? I’ll miss out on other auditions. Well, let me explain why. Because what happens when the casting director watches your audition, and they hear and see flaws with your American accent and your American character? Do you think they’re gonna see you as the working actor? Or as the amateur who’s just starting out who’s still green, who still has things to learn? You see, they want a working actor that’s ready that can sustain that

accent and create an authentic character on set. So we don’t want to give them any reason not to bring you in for future roles. And what about your agent? Will they have confidence submitting you for other US auditions? Think about it, their reputation is on the line. So they only want to send out actors who are ready and can authentically perform in the accent. They need to have faith in your ability as an actor to put in the time put in the work instead of cramming the night before, otherwise, they won’t be as inclined to submit you for other US roles. And even worse, you may even start to doubt your ability to sustain the accent, doubt that your accent is flawless. So if you’re starting to doubt yourself, well, then we as an audience, the casting director, the agent, we start to see that doubt, doubt in the character and doubt in you the actor. So instead of cramming your us accent training the night before, like you’re cramming for a high school exam, we’re going to start doing things differently. And it’s going to start with this, we are going to practice more often, we are going to implement our practice into our daily routine, we are going to practice a little bit each day in a very effective way. Now repeat after me because this is what you are going to do from now on. I am going to practice more often. I am going to implement my practice into my daily routine.I am going to practice a little bit each day in a very effective way. How does that sound to you? Because think about it. Do you really think actors like Hugh Jackman or roseburn who have these amazing American accents, you really think they craft that American accent training the night before their big break? Now, they understood that inhabiting the accent is just as important as inhabiting the character, in fact, the to go hand in hand. And when you decide to put in the time to practice, you will be creating the muscle memory you need to sustain the accent and sound like an authentic American speaker, you will start to feel confident not only in yourself, but with your accent, your American character, and your work in general, you will feel confident in yourself, your accent, your character and the work, you will be able to create truthful and engaging performances so you can book the roll. And in this podcast episode, I am going to show you how to practice more effectively in four different ways. So go ahead, grab a notebook and a pencil and let’s get ready to take some notes. Okay, so step number one is to warm up. And that means preparing your body and your voice for the American accent. Now your two goals should always be to increase space and release tension. So what do I mean by that? Well, in terms of increasing space, we’re talking about creating more internal space within the mouth when you speak. And in terms of releasing tension, it’s relaxing your articulators so that you can create that space more effortlessly. So to effectively prepare for speaking in the American accent, you need to warm up your movable articulators, which are the lips, the lower jaw, the tongue, and the soft palate. And doing warm up exercises each day for these areas is going to help you sound authentic in the American accent and be able to sustain the accent in performance, you’re not dropping out, so you’re not losing the accent when you perform. Now moving on to step two, you are going to speak in the American accent. So that means no script. It means having a conversation with someone. Now, it doesn’t have to be a long conversation. In fact, it could just be one sentence 123 sentences where it could be, you know, ordering your cup of coffee in the morning, just enough to get over the feeling of speaking in the accent without a script that that sense of fear or nervousness or awkwardness of, oh gosh, am I going to get the accent wrong? Or is somebody going to find out that I’m not American? Will they hear a mistake in my accent. That’s the whole point. The point is for you to get over that that feeling of judgment or insecurity and I know this from example for me trying to do the opposite when I moved to Australia and I was learning the Australian accent. The biggest leap in my authenticity in the Australian accent was when I would go out every day. And I would explore speaking in the Australian accent. And it was the one thing that helps me connect myself connect my voice to the accent. So it felt like me speaking in the accent, it didn’t feel like a put on version of me, or that the accent was living in a different part of my normal vocal register my normal range, it now felt like it was a part of me, it was the Australian version of me. And that’s what you’re going to be finding in doing this and having conversations in your American accent, you’re going to be discovering the American version of you, you’re finding your American voice. So step number two is crucial. It’s super important. And it’s really going to help you go to that next phase in your accent training. Step number three, you’re going to cold read for five minutes a day. Now this is where you want to pick up a script something new every day. And it doesn’t always have to be a script, a scene a monologue, it could be a magazine article, it could be a newspaper, it could be medical journal, it could be anything really. But it’s got to be something you’ve never read before. But definitely you do want to be looking at new scripts every day, because that’s really going to help you out in terms of the acting. So this skill is not only going to help you feel and sound more natural speaking in the accent, but it’s also going to help you bring the words to life much quicker. And that’s why grabbing a script and reading it out loud for five minutes a day, that’s going to help you when you get new pieces of copy. And you have to learn it in a short time frame, being able to bring it to life and understanding how to break down that script in a short timeframe is going to be really helpful if you’re doing your five minutes of cold reading each day. So you know, you could keep something by your bedside table and read it just before you go to bed or first thing in the morning. But make sure you’re doing at least five minutes of cold reading each day. And finally, step number four and this is a fun one is watching us TV series and films. So the only difference here is we have to do some homework. And that is this time when you’re watching, you’re going to be observing how the actors speak, and you’re going to mimic them. So you’re going to try and copycat what they’re saying how they’re saying yet. So looking at their melody, intonation, the rhythm patterns, how they’re stressing words, and you’re gonna try and match it even see if you can try and match the range, their vocal range, all of this is going to be really helpful in identifying the way Americans speak and seeing if you can duplicate that. So it starts to become a little bit more comfortable and normal and not feel so detached and foreign to you. So things that you want to do just to reiterate, you’re going to try and match their voice, you want to try and match their intonation, match the rhythm and match their stress. And adding this to your practice, you’re going to start noticing more things about American Speech as well. It’s such a powerful way to practice. So there you have it. Those are my four easy and very effective ways to practice your American accent. So you’re not just cramming your training in the night before your big us audition, you are doing it a little bit each day in a very effective way. Now if you’re ready to start taking action on your day to day practice, then make sure you download my free guide. That’s the seven steps to mastering the all American accent where I break down my process for how to bring your American accent into your performance. So you can feel confident and ready for that next us audition that comes your way. Just head over to Katherine beck.com slash accent to grab your free guide today. And if you ever have any questions you’d like to ask me, you can join me on instagram that’s at Katherine underscore back. underscore, you can find me there, send me a DM and let’s chat. I would love to hear from you. Or if you’ve got any questions or topics you’d like to your on this podcast. Go ahead send me a DM and let me know. And coming up on our next show. I am going to be speaking with la actor Amir to lie who’s going to give us some insight into what it’s like to be a working actor in LA in today’s industry, that’s coming up next, it’s going to be a good one. So make sure to check that out. And make sure to share the show with all your actor friends. Let them know what’s coming up next, and invite them to tune in with you and learn how to become an all American Actor so you can be the working actor you dream to be until then what are you waiting for go practice your American accent. And I’ll see you back here next time.

GET MY FREE GUIDE

These are the EXACT steps I use to teach Actors (from all over the world) how to bridge the gap between process and performance.

Get my free guide!