These actors don't just talk in an American accent. They talk in accents that are specific to different regions, using quirks that reflect character traits, etc.
That's a whole other level.
author of "Acting In Hollywood: A Newcomer's Guide"
Yeah, I guess so.
I think this point gets missed a lot.
Enigma_UK, for what it's worth, my daughter is contemplating going to college in the UK before relocating to LA, because of the quality of training there. (Though she has a lot of research to do first before making that decision.)
Def do the research. Americans have been accepted to the top 3 year programs in the UK but it is rare and the ones that got in already had a lot of training from the top performing arts schools. Even the British sometimes try to get in for years before it happens and some of them have a one year preparatory school to get people in a position where they even have a chance. Some of them do auditions in the US but the one person I know about that got accepted to RADA did her audition in London. I think I've heard that the average age of a first year class in a British drama school is about 20.
One that routinely accepts Americans is the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. I got accepted there from a walk in audition in Chicago but decided not to go because it was going to be much cheaper to stay in the US and I caught wind that they were having financial problems and might shut down. They didn't and I sometimes wonder where I would be now had I gone.
I just looked and they have changed their name to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Check me on all that because my info is four years old.
I just saw something that made me go back to find this old thread.
Here is an example of this. It is short film made using 3rd year drama students at LAMDA:
I have had to spend sleepless nights slaving over my my own scripts, scrounge money, scratch, claw, herd cats and pray that nobody flakes to get anything approaching the quality of this while in school and in no way would I think about attempting to shoot an ensemble piece like it with more than four characters.
Yet they got to do it as a prescribed part of their training. Yes I am jealous as hell but hats off to LAMDA and some of the other British schools for keeping things up to date. Also understand that any one of those actors could just as well be playing a young role with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
You don't need drama school. You DO need a good acting class, with a good teacher. You could be the most naturally talented actor in the world, but, without some training you'll have no idea what to do with your talent. so, you can't wing it COMPLETELY. However..no, you don't have to do the 2-year or 3-year "program" at all. some actors can work almost right away. you don't have to "pay your dues" this way at all. If you're right for something, you can book it and work with no shame.
acting is a "wildcard" profession. You can be studious, do everything "the right way" and still not work. You can meet the right circle of people, work with them on their stuff, and end up in Judd Apatow's "stable" of actors. you follow? there is no one right path.
except the one you make yourself.
There's really no such thing as one true "American" accent. Here in the US, accents differ by region, city, and cultural background. For example, a character described as a Brooklyn Jew would be expected to have a certain accent and manner of speaking, and that would be MUCH different from for instance a character who is Southern farmer.
"Here in the US, accents differ by region, city, and cultural background."
I think this is the case for a lot of languages......
There is something called General American speech and classical american speech - both really good to know for an actor who wants to have as many possibilities as possible.
I believe it's every country, every language. The larger the country's land mass, the more variety. I've yet to find an exception. I'll hypothesize that a small island also has variations due to education, class, ethnicity, etc.
True. The differences still exist. Yet in the metropolitan cities, due to global education and interaction, accents have largely become the same-- from New Orleans to NYC -- at least among some educated people. The differences you describe have faded, albeit not entirely. It's mostly for old school, working class, or those less traveled.
Years ago, when learning IPA for acting in SF, I focused on NYC. The common varieties of strong accents are increasingly a cliched stereotype... often portrayed by actors onscreen.
I worked on a NYC accent only to find out it's largely from a bygone era.
Well, yeah... I know. I'm not the one who made a comment as if America's the only country that has different accents and dialects...
Australia, Canada, Russia are the three that come to mind. You'll here some variations, but really they're rather minor compared to other places.
Anthropologically (Or Sociologically) I'd say size has very little to do with the diversity of accents. Cental and South America have relatively minor variations on accents compared to England where you walk ten feet and its a new accent.
I believe it's possible. Normally, education level, travel, and location (rural, suburb, urban) effect accents everywhere.
A big chunk of Canada tried to secede just 10 yrs ago. Quebec has a different accent. Not the same.
You might be right about Australia. They differ from New Zealand, a different country. But the same sound in the countryside and city? Poor or rich? I'm not so sure. Maybe.
Guessing the locals will say there IS a difference. Gonna ask my kiwi friends...
Waiting for my friend's reply. According to that blog, there are few AU accents (dialects). 3 are categorized, but based on that read, as an actor, I find there are 2 AU accents that are useful. Only 1, however, is what is usually heard in film by non-Australian actors.
The difference is socio-economic, not location (rural vs urban). You're right that there are few variations. Wow! And you're right about land mass not correlating to accent diversity. Double Wow! But you're wrong in (implying) that one accent fits all for AU or CAN.
This leaves Russia...
Quebec is different, but I mean a different language will do that to you.
I can only go on what I have personally heard from Australians, which would be Sydney, Perth and Tasmania...but I do think its also still kind of a subset of the UK accent (for obvious reasons).
What I would be curious about is how much is familial and how much is societal. For example, a child of a high-born British person and a working class New Yorker (we'll say), would the accent solely depend on where they live?
I couldn't find too much about Russian, there's a little bit about regional dialects, but I could only find out about two accents, basically a Moscow accent and a Volgda varient, nothing more.
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