GUEST TEACHER | Eliminate the sweats from last-minute auditions that call for accents: this class will show you how to prepare an audition-proof accent. Watch her video tips below!
In this class, you’ll receive personal, one-on-one dialect coaching from Eliza Simpson. Then, Eliza will simulate a casting room so you can test-drive your new audition-proof accent skills in front of the camera with a preselected scene.
WHAT WAS A DIFFICULT CHALLENGE FOR YOU AS AN ACTOR?
I’m a dialect coach and a performer, and even for me, acting in an accent can be scary. However, accent is a physical skill. Like riding a bike, it just takes practice. So, for me, that fear goes away as soon as I get out of my head and into my body.
WHAT WAS A CRAZY OR SILLY MOMENT ON SET?
Once, while dialect coaching on a film set in Mexico, I pushed a nun off of a water tower. She had it coming.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT QUALITY OR SKILL FOR AN ACTOR IN THE AUDITION ROOM?
Leave doubt at the door.
WHAT IS THE MAIN THING YOU WISH YOU KNEW THEN BUT THAT YOU ONLY UNDERSTAND NOW?
Casting is not personal. Be kind to EVERYONE (including yourself).
WHAT FRUSTRATES YOU AS AN ACTOR IN THE CURRENT CLIMATE OF FILMMAKING OR OF THE BUSINESS AT LARGE?
I get frustrated by people saying there is only ONE CORRECT way to do things. When it comes to dialects, there is no one size fits all. The only measure of success is, “Does this accent help tell the story?” That’s why my coaching is always based on native-speaker accent models, real people who are unique and authentic.
WHAT MOMENT OR EXPERIENCE AS AN ARTIST DO YOU FEEL MOST PROUD OF?
I created an international storytelling platform called Mother Line Story Project to promote women’s stories in multiple languages all over the world. www.MotherLineStoryProject.com
WHO DO YOU REALLY LOOK UP TO IN YOUR FIELD AND WHY?
Erik Singer is a colleague and a good friend. I got to help him research the accent videos he made for Wired.com and it was a blast.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS CLASS TO TEACH?
Accent is a learnable, physical skill. It doesn’t belong to just a gifted few. It’s something every actor can and should have in their tool kit. I’m hoping this class can dispel some of the phobias around performing in accent, and at the very least, have each actor walk out of class feeling empowered with tools that they can use right away.
Eliza’s recent dialect coach credits include Netflix’s Tall Girl, the upcoming sequel to Fantastic Beasts, and Justin Chon’s new film Blue Bayou with Alicia Vikander.
Eliza is a dialect coach for production and private clients, as well as a certified teacher of Knight Thompson Speechwork. She coaches performers for film, TV, stage, voiceover, spokes-modeling, and corporate events. Her clients are from many countries, including the United States, Russia, France, Spain, Japan, Australia, UK, Columbia, Poland, Mexico, and China. Eliza is a proud graduate of Rutgers University and a member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association. When she’s not on set or at rehearsal, she works in conjunction with HB Studios, American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and Heidi Marshall Studio to assist actors in mastering accent skills.
I remember years ago when Eliza first said quietly to me, hey, I’m going to start coaching actors on accents because I really love it and have a knack for it. I’m always excited to hear when actors use their multiple skills! Since then, I’ve watched her take charge as an accent coach! Because she’s also a working actress, she understands the psyche and the skills required to deliver accents. And quickly. Her compassion and sensitivity to the process makes any actor feel confident doing accents.
This is a class for any actor who’s ever turned down an audition because it called for an accent. It’s ideal for those who want to go out for accent roles but don’t feel 100% confident in audition scenarios. Accent requests can be specific (e.g., Port au Prince Haitian or West Dublin Irish), or they can be broad and leave a lot up to the actor (e.g., South American Spanish accent). No matter what the accent request, Dialect Coach Eliza Simpson provides straightforward accent techniques designed to keep your performance authentic, respectful, and grounded in your body.
You’ll walk away from this class with skills that you can apply right away. You’ll also have a brand new scene put on tape, coached by Eliza Simpson, in the accent of your choice for your website. As extra swag, you’ll leave with the FIVE STEPS OF ACCENT SUCCESS: a crib sheet of performance notes. Plus, before the class, Eliza will send you a PDF on HOW TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT ACCENT MODEL: an essential prep guide for all your future accent auditions.
Full disclosure—please note that we do not guarantee that actors in these workshops will be hired for any project that we might direct or cast. We do guarantee my supportive honesty and my open sharing of knowledge. We teach and coach because we enjoy supporting actors as they develop their process of working within the audition room. We seek to build their knowledge about the business of auditioning.