Eliminate the sweats from last-minute auditions that call for accents and learn how to prepare an audition-proof accent.
Receive personal, one-on-one dialect coaching from Eliza Simpson. She’ll then simulate a casting room so you can test drive your new audition-proof accent skills in front of the camera with a preselected scene.
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 will need to plan for homework time to research your assignment and prepare your materials. All studio classes are designed to stretch and support your complete prep process as an actor for self-tapes and in-person auditions. The more you put into the class, the more you get out of it!
WORKING WITH GUEST TEACHERS
Artists teaching artists is the inspiration for bringing Guest Teachers to the studio. This class is intended to expand your process as an actor and to reinforce your skills, confidence, and natural talent.
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.
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.
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.
WHERE CAN WE READ MORE ABOUT YOUR ACCENT WORK?
Check out these press links:
I really loved that she worked with each of us individually, and because our camera and sound was cut off, we could still work as the other person was working. I worked on the accents that the others were doing too. I really loved that!
Eliza is a very inspiring teacher, and the atmosphere she created felt safe and comfortable. I found this class online at the last minute, and decided spontaneously to sign up, since I had been thinking of working on improving my use of accents. I am very glad I found it, and if this is the level of teaching on Heidi’s website, I will definitely be back for more!
I LOVE Eliza! She is a fantastic teacher and so kind! She is an expert and very professional. My favorite moment was definitely when she chimed in with me doing the same accent as me but as the reader. It was super fun to play off of her! She motivated me to have fun with it and experiment. Ultimately, I got to a point where I felt super comfortable in the accent. Awesome all around! I will definitely take this class again in the future!
This class has empowered me to try on different accents and has demystified the process. I had a blast!
I now have a concrete step-by-step guide to learning a new accent. Eliza is a wonderful teacher!
Great class. [The format] was perfect.
I feel so much more confident/empowered when it comes to dialect work: I have specific tools to fix what isn’t working and to refine what is.
This was one of my favorite classes of all-time. So useful. Eliza was incredibly clear with her instruction and her style really resonated with me. 10/10 – highly recommended!
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.