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01: Why a Standard American accent isn’t going to book you the U.S. role.

by Katherine Beck in The All American Accent
03/01/2021

Episode 01: Why a Standard American accent isn’t going to book you the U.S. role.

Today we are talking about why the Standard American accent won’t book you the U.S. role. Learn a better way to master the American accent.

In today’s episode, I’m going to show you a smarter way to learn the American accent so you can sound relatable and conversational like a REAL American speaker.


Using this method you’ll notice a difference in your American characters for your auditions.

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

  • Why a Standard or a General American accent isn’t going to book you the role.
  • What you should be learning instead.
  • A simple exercise to start noticing changes in your American accent.

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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LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Ready to master the ALL AMERICAN ACCENT? Join me for 5 days of in-depth training so you can stop wondering what’s wrong with your accent and finally start booking U.S. role. Join the challenge here. 


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SHOW TRANSCRIPT

You’re listening to the All American actors podcast episode number one. In today’s episode, I’m going to share with you why a standard American accent is not going to book you that us roll, lights, camera action, let’s get started.
INTRO
Now before we jump into today’s episode, I just want to thank you for joining me for the very first episode of The all American actors Podcast. I am the honor excited that you are here with me on this journey. This is something that I have wanted to do for a very long time, I had been asked by many of my students to start my own podcast. And so here we are. And it’s great because it ties in my love for voiceover in case you didn’t know that I’m also a voiceover artist. So here we are episode number one. And make sure if you enjoy today’s episode, please leave us a five star review. And when you do, you’ll get a chance to be featured as our listener OF THE WEEK spotlight. And I’ll give you a shout out right here on the show, which is pretty cool. Now as an American accent coach, and even if I go back to my high school years, and my college years learning about speech and accents and dialects, I was told you need to have a standard American accent or later on it was labeled a general American accent. Now I remember learning the Skinner method. And if you don’t know who Edith Skinner is, she wrote what is like a Bible for actors back in my day, which is called speak with distinction, the classic Skinner method to speech on the stage. Now the key word here is classic meaning this way of learning how to speak worked really well for classical theatrical plays on stage, but didn’t really translate so well to the day to day conversational tone that you would need for more modern day films and TV work. So that I think is why the general American accent was born and became a thing. It was a way of sounding more like the average American speaker. So basically, what a general American accent is, is an American accent of no specific region. And up until recently, that’s exactly what I’ve labeled how I teach, you know, is by teaching a general American accent. But then Lately, I’ve been thinking, why would we want to sound general? And is learning this way, or even labeling what we’re learning with the general or standard holding us back from what we really want to achieve? And what do we really want to achieve? When we’re auditioning for us role? Think about that. What is the one thing that might be holding us back from booking that us role? Well, for me, it comes down to being all American, sounding all American like you were born in the United States of America. So that is why you are doing yourself a disservice by learning a general or standard American accent, when we should really be striving to master an all American accent because really, who wants to be general or standard in your American character? We don’t want to be cookie cutter. When you look at real life people in the US we’re such a melting pot of all these different influences in our culture. So how can we possibly all speak the same? We can’t? It’s not possible. And so if we’re striving to be this, you know, very specific way of sounding, it’s not necessarily maybe not gonna resonate with the character that you’re supposed to be auditioning for, that you’re supposed to be portraying. So we’ve got to start thinking about it differently, being all American. And look, it’s not your fault. You’ve just been learning what you’ve been told to learn what you need to do to sound authentic and the American accent, but you need to start asking yourself, do you feel confident performing with an American accent? Do you feel like you sound like an authentic American speaker? And is your character a believable American character? If the answer is no to any of these, then you need to start
reassessing what you’re doing in your process, and figuring out what is holding you back. And what’s going to happen if you continue to do the same things you’re doing every time you audition for a role that requires a US accent. And then you’ll keep wondering, why didn’t you book that role? And then the next one, why don’t you book that one, and so on, and so on. And think about it, there’s so many factors as to why you don’t book a role, right? You know, it could be that you’ve got blonde hair, and they want to go with someone who’s got brown hair, or red hair, it could be that you’re too short, you’re too tall, you’re too this, you’re too that let’s not make your American accent be the one thing that holds you back from booking that role. Let’s not get that dreadful call from your agent that says, you know, they really liked you. But your American accent needs some work. So they gave the role to someone else. They said, you know, keep working on your accent, and maybe next time. Now, we don’t want that to we know. So if we can work on our American accent, and strive for it to be authentic, let’s not make that the one thing that gets in the way from you booking that role. So now what are we going to do, we’re going to work differently, we are going to start thinking differently. And that begins with this. Now let’s try an exercise I want you to repeat after me. In order to speak like an American, I need to be all American.
Let’s say it one more time. Now this time, I want you to really own it, really believe it. In order to speak like an American, I need to be all American.
Now this is going to be your motto, I want you to write it out for yourself, type it up, post it somewhere. And I want you to practice that every day in your American accent. Let that be your practice today. And when you start adapting this new way of thinking, you will start to see things differently, view your character differently speaking the accent differently, and that my actor friends is what is going to set you up for success. That’s what you want. And it starts with this. In order to speak American, I need to be all American. This is what I teach my students and this is what gets them the results they’re after. So I encourage you to give this a try to now as we wrap up our very first episode, I just want to take a moment to share with you some exciting news. I am going to be doing a five day all American accent challenge. So you are going to get a chance to work with me for five days to give you a kickstart into the new year and take action on your goals. So to get more info and to join the challenge, make sure you head over to www dot Katherine beck.com slash challenge. I did this challenge back in October. It was such a success with the actors who participated. So we’re doing it again in the new year. So you’re definitely not going to want to miss this. And if you ever have a question for me, feel free to join me on Instagram at Katherine underscore BEck underscore you can find me there, he can send me a DM and let’s chat. And coming up next time on the show. I am going to be speaking with a very talented actor William Mosley, who’s going to be sharing with us his insight on acting in the industry and what it’s like to work with the American accent on set. So make sure to share the show with all your actor friends. Let them know what’s coming up next week 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 go practice your American accent and I will see you back here next time.