Monday, 3 October 2011


I've never been one for accents. I mean, in my head I am. In my head I'm pitch perfect but I realise that in reality, most accents I attempt will mainly come out sounding Welsh. Actually, that's not true because then that would mean that I do a good Welsh accent and I really don't. The only accent I can do well is my own and even that I can fluff up on a regular basis.

I was watching Nowhere Boy last night on TV and was astonished at the appalling accents. Now, John Lennon and I never had the pleasure of meeting before but I'm pretty sure he had a fairly strong Scouse accent, or even if it wasn't strong, I'm sure I've seen clips of him talking and I could tell what part of the country he was from. The accent in the film was totally baffling, it seemed to go to Liverpool via London, Dublin and New York with a quick stopover in Cardiff. Now Mr Lennon was a talented fellow but I'm fairly sure he wasn't capable of speaking in five accents all at the same time. However, Lennon's mother was even more confusing. We spent much of the 45 minutes (we couldn't cope watching past this) wondering where on earth she was from. Despite the fact that she had a considerable amount of dialogue in the film, a conclusion was never reached.

As I said before, accents are never going to be a great earner for me so I really shouldn't judge but I've never let that get in the way before so it certainly won't stop me now. There's no excuse for a poor accent. I find it more distracting than poor actimg and it's entirely unecessary. Unless someone is perfect at accents, then I see no reason for someone who is not from that region to be cast within the role. However, like the double-standard little thesp I am, that doesn't mean I'm not adverse to trying out an accent myself. Due to my 'funny colour' (see previous blog entry of a similar name) I often get asked to audition with a 'Middle Eastern' accent. I'm still not entirely sure what the accent should really sound like but this doesn't stop me from stating that I'm comfortable doing this. What often comes out of my mouth is some ugly little lovechild whose parents have travelled extensively around Wales, India, Australia, America and some countries that have yet to be discovered. What's even more worrying is that I've actually been cast on the back of these wild stabs in the dark. Either my meagre attempts are charming or I've been exceedingly lucky and have auditioned for only deaf or deluded casting directors.

For the mono-lingual accent, the worst is the surprise accent in an audition. If you know that an accent is going to be asked of you then at least you can practice a bit beforehand. I usually find myself making a vague attempt at the accent, realise I have no idea what I'm doing, try looking it up on YouTube, try copying them, fail and then get distracted by baby animals. But at least I've got some idea of what it should sound like. But the sudden request for an accent once you're in the audition is a horror. I had an audition a few years back for a character that they wanted to Mediterranean, but they weren't entirely sure which country. I was then asked to try out the script in Spanish, Italian and then in Portuguese. Now I've heard people from these countries and should someone speak to me in that accent, I'm pretty sure I'd recognise where they were from. But my voice box decided to deny all knowledge of these places and out came a sound not dissimilar to a confused Welsh person trying to go undercover in Russia. And that happened for each attempt, meaning that I managed to come across as a new form of racist, trying to show my feelings through the medium of accent. And yes, you're right to presume that I never heard anything back.

I don't have any auditions lined up this week so I should probably use this time to perfect my skills. I won't. Instead I'll just wait for the day it's decided that the whole human race should speak in a hack Welsh accent and then I'll wait for the job offers to come flooding in.

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