The Science of Switching On

Steven Memel

Acting is and always has been a challenging profession with a great deal of competition for a limited amount of roles.
So if you want to work more, I see two options. One… you can reduce the competition. However homicide is truly frowned
upon in most countries that I’m aware of. So I would probably steer away from taking that course of action.

The second option would be to increase the amount of roles you can go out for. Being the less risky of the two options, it’s the
one I personally would suggest taking. And looking at the incredible amount of production that is done by the U.S., it seems like a “no brainer”
that perfecting a Standard American accent is a quick and direct route to expanding your chances of acquiring a part.

There is a lot of information out there about developing your American accent. However much of what I run across unfortunately
doesn’t carry enough of the “down and dirty” reality of what’s required as would benefit most people. The result of this half or faulty
information is that it leaves so many feeling as if there is “something wrong with them” for not being able to make it work. And what happens
is that people frequently give up on doing something that would incredibly help their careers and of which they are completely capable.

The truth is, it’s not about “just get the melody of the language” or “articulate more” or other such popular “quick fixes.” What it really
requires is a lot of detailed and focused work on learning the correct vowel and consonant sounds that are used in American. And
it requires extensive practice, so that it becomes automatic. You don’t want to be thinking about your accent while you’re acting. Or at
least as little as possible. And you can’t really do it yourself, because most people’s ears can’t hear the necessary differences between
their dialect and the dialect, American in this case, that they are trying to acquire.

However, the good news is, that it is entirely possible to achieve a brilliant American accent. And when you know what the real work entails
and you immerse yourself in it, it can be an absolute blast! AND there is nothing like the thrill of hearing yourself sounding more and more
like an American as your skill increases. People often feel like… “Who just said that? Was that me???” So get the right information, the right
guidance, dig in and enjoy yourself. You’ll be glad you did!