13 April 2006

I Can't Even Fake My Own Accent Anymore...

I haven't been giving my accent much thought, but apparently living outside of the US for the past 6 years has given the old pronunciation quite a beating.

So the other day, I got called in to make a voiceover demo, here in Gent, because apparently they sometimes need British and American voices for various things. They had me read this copy. First I did it for them in sort of a middle-of-the-road Standard British. That was fine, but I needed to be more expressive, the guy said. (Since when are the Brits ever expressive??).....Then he had me read the same copy in an American accent. I got maybe 2 sentences in and he stopped me; "I'm sorry, can you possibly make it sound more natural please?"...And, GOD, I was trying, but to my astonishment the best I could do was something nearing how Jane Seymour sounds in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. It sounded forced....Why???

"Never mind" The guy in the booth said, "It's just a hard accent to do if you're not a native speaker"

"But I am a native speaker!!" I screamed in my defense.

"Ja, ja." He said. Then he just looked at his watch.

1 comment:

sven said...

That's a really sad and funny anecdote at the same time!

I hate my english accent, it sounds weird to me. I love making voices though. And singing in the car (but who doesn't?)

When Amanda is here we can go for drinks and compare accents too, if you'd like. I reckon it's a hoot :)