5 Tips to choose the right accent for your auditions this Episodic Season
Updated: Aug 23, 2022
Episodic season can be a wild time for actors. Fast turn-around times with outlandish requests are the norm. Can you put 7 pages of sides on tape in a new accent by tomorrow morning? Sure...
But before you spend your whole evening recording this audition, take a couple minutes to make sure you're prepping the right accent:
Tip #1 - Read the Breakdown and Stage Directions. A few times.
As an actor, it's easy to skim the breakdowns to make sure that you can see yourself in the role, but there are often clues hidden either in the character breakdown or in the stage directions of the scene.
E.g. "biblical scholar who studying in his home country of England" means you're likely to need some form of UK accent.
Tip #2 - Check the Time Period
Accents and dialects change over time. That means if you're auditioning for a character from 1970s Brooklyn, they're not going to sound like your favourite barista in Bushwick.
"Time changes all things..." – Ferdinand de Saussure
Tip #3 - Google the writers/EPs
On the breakdown blurb it will usually mention who is already attached to the project (often the writers/producers). Is this a story about the writer's own childhood? If so you are going to want to sound as authentic as possible to win them over! Is this is a parody movie? You probably have a little flexibility...(but don't do a "bad accent" and then blame me!)
Tip #4 - Look up hashtags on TikTok
There are 1.1BILLION (with a B) videos with the hashtag #accents on TikTok. Now a lot of those aren't useful BUT you can get more specific. Search the country, region even the town and see what results you get...you may even find a hashtag you didn't know existed. #glasgowbanter
Tip #5 - Work with a Dialect Coach
Even after all of your investigating using the above tips, sometimes it takes the skills of a professional to help find a target accent. A trained dialect coach can help you translate what you are hearing and help you apply the new sounds of the accent to your sides.
Don't waste time learning the wrong accent!
Yes this can be a hectic time, but take a few minutes to decide what accent you need. Still need help? Contact me at email@example.com.
If you've ever learnt the wrong accent for an audition leave a comment below your post.