Accent Reduction/General American
SUMMARY OF SERVICE
* Note: For individual coaching in-studio, those under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
WHAT IS ACCENT REDUCTION?
Accent Reduction is the process of understanding how a person’s spoken English differs from General American speech. General American is a term for the way the majority of American’s speak. It is an accent which does not have any distinct regional or ethnic characteristics.
Whether from another country, or from another region of the United States, some people wish to sound closer to the accent that most American's speak. This can be for reasons of employment opportunities, basic understandability, or for other personal reasons. It can also be for an acting role.
THE PROCESS OF ACCENT REDUCTION
After the individual vowel, diphthong and consonant issues are addressed, drills are given for the client to work on. It takes a great deal of practice to change the physical muscle memory of the way you’ve spoken all of your life. It also requires patience.
American intonation is the next thing to address. This involves:
Listening and Imitation
We learn speech as children by listening and imitating sounds. It is important not to forget this as a tool for learning. Clients are given recordings and/or directed to sources of listening and imitating. This is especially important for American intonation and flow.
How long will it take to sound more American or to lose an accent?
This is difficult to answer because each client is an individual and there are many variables, such as:
Much of the outcome depends on your goal:
Whatever your goal, I can help you learn what you need to work on.
JAMES BOND ACTRESS, HONOR BLACKMAN, CHOSE ACCENT WORK OVER NEW BIKE
When she was young, the late actress, Honor Blackman's father gave her a choice of a brand new bicycle or lessons to change her Cockney dialect. She chose the lessons. The rest is history as she became a "memorable James Bond adversary" in the film Goldfinger. Here's a link to the full article. (New York Times, April 6, 2020)
Non-American Actors Who Have Learned American Accents
Here are just a few:
Daniel Craig (British)
James McAvoy (Scottish)
Christian Bale (British)
Colin Farrell (Irish)
Damian Lewis (Welsh/British)
Robert Taylor - Longmire (Australian)
Kelly Reilly –Yellowstone – (British)
Nicole Kiddman (Australian)
Eddie Marsan – Ray Donnovan – (British)
Toni Collette (Australian)
Jamie Dornan (Northern Irish)
KJ Apa (New Zealander)
Katherine Langford (Australian)
Alfred Enoch (British)
Yael Stone (Australian)
Rosamund Pike (British)
Margot Robbie (Australian)
Catherine Zeta-Jones (Welsh)
Dominic West (British)
Ruth Wilson (British)
Daniel Day Lewis (British)
Rose Byrne (Australian)
Hugh Laurie (British)
Matthew Rhys (Welsh)
Millie Bobby Brown (British)
Kate Winslet (British)
Idris Elba (British)
Florence Pugh (British)
Daniel Kuluuya (British)
Alan Cumming (Scottish)