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Why perfection is holding you back from a flawless American accent

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by Katherine Beck in American accent tips
26/08/2020

We all strive for that flawless American accent but is perfection actually holding you back from having a flawless American accent? Here’s the interesting thing about perfection and why I don’t think you should strive for a perfect American accent.

If you look up ‘perfection’ in the dictionary it says:

  • the action or process of improving something until it is faultless.

So that got me thinking…Why would you want to take out all the faults in the way you speak? No American has perfect American speech because we all make faults. If we strive to take out the faults then the American character we create loses it’s authenticity. We lose a sense of what makes that character unique.

Next let’s look up ‘flawless’ in the dictionary. It says:

  • without any imperfections or defects.

Again…why would we want to create a character that is lacking imperfections? Isn’t it the imperfections that make a character so interesting to watch on stage or on screen?

Now let’s look up ‘authentic’ in the dictionary which says:

  • of undisputed origin and not a copy.

This resonates on a whole different level.

1. Of undisputed origin means we cannot deny this person is an American speaker. They sound like they originate from the U.S.

2. Not a copy means it is not a ‘cookie cutter’ way of speaking. There is a uniqueness to the way the speaker speaks which is truthful to who the speaker is.

So maybe we should be reframing how we think about our goal. Do we really want to strive for a ‘perfect’ or a ‘flawless’ American accent?

Or…do we want to strive for an ‘authentic’ American accent accent? Even just changing the way we describe our goal can create a big impact on the outcome.

After all, perfection is boring but authenticity is truly engaging. Believability comes from you believing in yourself first and for most. If you believe in yourself and believe in your authenticity we can then truly believe in the authenticity of your American character.

So today I challenge you to re-write your American accent goals. Let’s see what happens to our outcome when we start to think about the process a little bit differently.

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!