Dialect (and American plays) - (ENGLISH ACTING STUDENT)
Get the dialect right! - research the play. You must be true to the text. You can change some play texts into English dialects. There are conventions for this. Ask advice. (ENGLISH ACTING STUDENT) You CANNOT perform an American text in an English dialect. BECAUSE - there will (surely) be a cultural context to this that cannot translate so simply. Research! Ask American friends. AND - because there are rhythms and structures to the sentences that only make sense in American dialect. AND - energy! - most American dialect speakers put a lot more energy into speaking than English speakers in England. You have to explore that energy - and it only makes sense in an American dialect. AND - BE PRECISE - your American dialect work has to be precise. For example, there are four standard American dialects. Get an American dialect coach. There are great opportunities in American plays. I strongly recommend American roles for training actors. And especially because of the energy demanded. There is a similar problem in trainee musical actors - sometimes a lack of energy in singing and performing American roles, and a lack of precision in dialect.
Research for UK dialects and others
The British Library site, Archival Sound Recordings at http://sounds.bl.uk/.Then in the search option, type in dialect. This gives a collection of older clips from the Sound Archive. Search on the Internet for actors' down-loadable clips, offering voice-over.
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ADVICE FROM ALAN BECK - FIRST STEPS TO ACTING TRAINING
'ACTING 101' - FIRST YEAR ACTING TRAINING
BEFORE THE PERFORMANCE BEGINS - REHEARSAL AND PREPARATION
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