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Voice Coaches Radio #466 – Should I Lose My Accent?

Voice Coaches Radio. Everything voiceover. And welcome to this week's edition of Voice Coaches Radio. I am Josh Heller. Delighted to have you joining me as I am each and every week here on the podcast. Hopefully everyone is doing well. It is February. It's cold. It is cold outside. Uh, I think I left this morning for work and it was six.

So that was, that was unpleasant. For sure. For sure. Unpleasant. Um. But enough about me, hopefully you all are doing well as we are, uh, moving our way through the month of February. Fe February. Apparently I can't pronounce the month. Um, but we are, uh, we are cruising through the, uh, the year 2021. Hopefully things are going alright for everyone.

We're all doing okay, staying warm. Uh, for those of you who are up here in the north, and for those in the south who are already staying warm. I'm not jealous. You're jealous. I'm not jealous. Whatever. So, so what I want to talk about today is, uh, is something, and, and the reason I'm bringing this up is because it's actually something that's been, uh, been asked to me a few times, and it has to do with accents.

And I'm, and I'm going to include this in the accents and regionalisms, right, regionalities. Um, I've had a few people that I've, that I've talked to, uh, recently who had British accents. And we're not sure if there was, you know, if that was going to be a problem for them, uh, you know, as far as getting work in the field.

And the answer to that question is, no, it's not. And it's not for, for a number of reasons. I mean, the first is that, you know, someone who lives in the States could absolutely do work, uh, for companies overseas. So let's throw that out there first. We've seen that, uh, obviously with people who have fluencies in other languages doing work.

for companies in other countries, even though they live here in the, uh, in the States. So, so obviously that's, uh, that's possible. But as far as work here, you know, in the country, uh, you know, with an accent, an accent is not an issue. It's not. It used to be. It used to be because they were looking for a very specific voice for the industry, right?

It wasn't so much looking for, are you going to be a good voice for this piece? Are you going to be a good voice for this job? You're going to be a good voice for this company. Noah, so are you, are you a good voice for this industry? And that was a very generic sounding voice. It was, it was that announcer voice, but it was very straightforward.

It was very flat. It did not have any kind of accent whatsoever, and that's what they wanted. But again, you know, as we've talked about numerous times here on the podcast, you know, the, the industry has changed. The industry has changed where now they are looking for voices. is that are particular to a piece or voices that are particular to a job or to a company.

And because of that, it is very possible that a company could be looking for that for a specific job. Now, again, does that mean that, you know, potentially you are going to be, um, you know, not considered for jobs that say me, uh, who does not have an accent in particular might be considered for sure. It could mean that, but it also means the other way around.

If there is a job that's looking for that, you know, accented voice. Probably gonna have a better chance at it than I would, right? And, and I'll go back, I mean, so for, for me, you know, as most of you know, I'm from, I'm from Boston. Uh, I'm from the Boston area, grew up there, and um, I had a, a, eh, I wasn't super thick, but I had a noticeable Boston accent when I was growing up, especially when I was in college, when I lived in the city.

Um, I don't anymore. I spent a good amount of time non regionalizing my dialect as best I could. It still pops out every now and again. There's still certain words that I tend to do it on. I used to say sister a lot. I used to say yesterday. I don't really do that so much anymore, but there are certainly still words.

And the fact of the matter is, if I'm hanging out with, you know, friends from college, especially if I may have been imbibing a bit, it will have a tendency to come right back out in force. But for the most part, I ended up... You know, getting rid of it, and I did that because I thought it would be best for my broadcast career, um, you know, as an on air, uh, uh, talent doing play by play, um, especially because I, I figured that I would be, you know, potentially bouncing around the country, which I did, uh, and, and I wanted to make sure that I had, you know, a fairly nondescript, non regionalized dialect, um, so for instance, my first jobs in, in, um, Uh, and play by play, we're down south.

Pensacola, Florida and Charleston, South Carolina. Well, I, I wasn't sure how well they would take to a, you know, a Boston accent talking about the, uh, the puck in the corner. Where, uh, you know, the, uh, I was with the Stingrays and, um, in Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina. And I was not sure, that was a terrible accent, by the way, but I was not sure how that would go over.

So I spent a good amount of time, some years, you know, attempting to non regionalize my dialect. In this, though, it's not necessary to do that. You certainly can, if that's something you want to do. There are ways to do that, and we can obviously discuss that more in depth, and how best to go about doing it.

If you are looking to reduce or eliminate a dialect, uh, you know, we have certain methods that we would, uh, recommend. But again, it is not necessary. It's not. Um, you know, uh, Because of what the industry is looking for, because they are looking for voices for a particular job, because they are looking for voices for a particular company, it's not about having that voice, right?

It's not about having a good voice for voice acting. There's no such thing. There's no such thing as a quote, unquote, good voice acting voice anymore. There are voices that are good for certain jobs, voices that are good for certain products, voices that are good for certain opportunities, but there is not a quintessential voice over voice anymore.

Right. And we talk about this a lot because that really has grown the industry or grown, you know, the amount of people who can be a part of the industry because you don't have to have that voice acting voice, those golden pipes. You don't need those anymore. There's still work for them, certainly, but you don't need that anymore, because that's not what the industry wants.

Right, and we've talked at length about this, about, you know, because of this options driven society in which we live, people don't want to be announced at, they want to be talked. And because of that, we want voices that sound like everyday, regular people, normal voices. Voices like yours, and like mine.

Alright, and so if that voice happens to have an accent, that's okay. Again, there are going to be certain jobs that, you know, you're not going to get considered for. There are also going to be jobs that you are going to get considered for that someone like myself would not. So, again, if you have an accent and that's something you're concerned about as far as getting into the industry, don't.

Don't. You know, 30 years ago, maybe. Maybe. But today? Don't worry about it. Again, if you do want to get rid of it, that's certainly something that can be done, and uh, like I mentioned, we can, we can certainly discuss that further, but I, I don't want people to think that, you know, just because you have, you know, an accent, whether it is, you know, and it just happens that the people who brought this up recently had British accents, which I love, um, but, um, you know, it doesn't, it doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter what the accent is. Right? It doesn't matter what the accent is, whether it is, you know, a British accent, or, you know, whether it's a Southern accent, or whether it's a Boston accent, or, or, you know, some of that, uh, you know, that upstate New York accent. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter.

So, I want to certainly point that out there to those who've been asking. And if anyone else has been wondering, if you are interested in doing this and you're worried that, you know, you sound a certain way, you have a particular, you know, uh, you know, you have a particular accent or regionalism, you know, uh, that's okay.

That's okay. Again, if you do want to look into get rid of it. Talk to us. We'll, uh, we'll certainly, uh, you know, get you the best way to do that, but, uh, but it's certainly not something that you necessarily have to do. It certainly does not preclude you from this industry. All right, so I'm gonna go pack my car a little bit, and, uh, see, I, even when I do it now, it sounds so weird.

It sounds so weird. My sister, my, my family still has a super thick Boston accent, but, um, I haven't in a long time. I haven't in a long time. So. And I'm drinking coffee, not, uh, uh, not alcohol, so I'm not gonna start dropping, uh, my R's today. Um, but, uh, but, uh, any other questions, comments, concerns, obviously, you let us know.

Josh at voicecoaches. com is the easiest way to get in touch with me. Alright, it's josh at voicecoaches. com. Any kind of topics, uh, any ideas that you want us to discuss, any questions that you have that you'd like us to discuss, certainly happy to do that as well, cause it is not just... Our podcast. It's yours, too.

It's yours, too. So, uh, hopefully everyone is doing well and staying warm, at least for those of us who are up here in the, uh, Arctic North, as it is right now. Um, staying warm and, uh, and doing well, and hopefully 2021 is, uh, is treating everyone well. Next week, we'll, we'll, next week, we'll have, we, wow, let me try that again.

Next week, we will have passed, uh, the, the line of demarcation, as I've grown to call it now, and that is the, uh, the third week of February, where the. Overwhelming majority of people who had, uh, New Year's resolutions will have given them up. I think it's 80% of people who have had New Year's resolutions will have given them up by the, uh, the mid of February, and next week we're gonna talk about it.

We're gonna talk about it. I'm gonna keep you guys, uh, keep you guys on task, keep myself on task, I'll let you know where I'm... Um, and, uh, and I'd love to know how you guys are doing. I'd love to know how you guys are doing with your New Year's resolutions, especially as they pertain to voiceover. So let us know.

Josh at voicecoaches. com. Best way to get in touch with me. Or you can just give us a call right here. Voicecoaches. com is the website to find us. And again, I am Josh at voicecoaches. com. So thanks so much for tuning in this week. We will be back next week. And until then, so long everyone. Visit voicecoaches.

com for more voiceover news and information.

In this week’s episode of Voice Coaches Radio, Josh discusses the issue of accents. The former Bostonian got rid of his Boston accent after college, but is that really necessary to succeed in voice over?