Daily Archives: July 8, 2010

Oh, Hollywood… Why You Done Us So Wrong?

Learning a dialect well enough so that you can blend it seamlessly with your acting work takes research, preparation and targeted practice over time. It takes commitment, awareness and the drive to step outside of your own experience into something new and different. It takes the will to follow through to the finish line, despite unforeseen challenges, dips and plateaus.

It takes the very same things to learn a new dialect as it does to give a great performance.

Most professional actors are chomping at the bit for opportunities to give great performances.

Why is it then, that the idea of learning a dialect intimidates so many actors, from aspiring artists to Academy Award winners?

Is it something about the way dialect coaches are portrayed in film and other media?

Is it because of this?

And this?

If you’re hesitant about the idea of incorporating dialects into your acting career because you think it might involve something like what you just saw in these videos, please allow me to set the record straight.

(Feel free to click your heels three times and repeat after me…)

These Hollywood portrayals… are related to the real-life experience of learning dialects… in the same way a capuchin monkey whacking on your head with an inflatable toy hammer… is related to constructing something like the Disney Concert Hall.

Yeah. About that much. Seriously.

Okay?

If you want to bring a new dimension to your acting career, learn a new dialect.

If you’ve got what it takes to give a great performance, you’re already halfway there.