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Acting with an accent

A friend of mine recently bought a CD made by David Alan Stern - a guy who works as a full-time accent trainer. The goal of the CD is to teach you how to speak English in various accents, such as Scottish, Boston, German, etc, presumably to make you a more versatile actor. Problem is, the guy who teaches it doesn't sound very convincing. In fact, his attempt at a Scottish accent is almost unparalleled in its awfulness - has this chap even met a Scottish person before, or seen one on TV? By the sound of it, I think not.

Make up your own mind: here's a 15-second clip from the beginning of the CD. It's here as fair use (used for critique; a very short clip; doesn't remove value from the original work). Do you think that's someone qualified to teach other people how to speak in a Scottish accent?


Your comments

truly atrocious, he sounds

truly atrocious, he sounds like half north walian half Irish and complete tit :roll:

Ho Ho, nice try Linux

Ho Ho, nice try Linux Format, you're not going to catch me out with your blatent April fools day japery!

What's the problem here?

What's the problem here? I've been to Scotland a few times, I've seen "Braveheart", and I've watched Star Trek on several occasions. He's clearly basing the accent on Montgomery Scott and does a pretty good job, IMO.

As David Alan Stern is an

As David Alan Stern is an anagram of silvan data nerd, this is obviously an April Fool. I notice that the posting was left perilously close the the midday cut-off though. Is that because it took a long time to get Mike to make a recording without giggling? ;-)

The scary thing is that

The scary thing is that David Alan Stern appears to be a *real* person, not Mike (who isn't a real person - I've never seen him, not even on Antiques Roadshow). Googling turns up Daivid as an author/accent specialist. If he's a specialist, I've obviously missed my vocation as an accent coach... Perhaps if we mention him loads of times in this blog, we'll out-google him and show him for the charlaton that he obviously is :-)

Crumbs! So he is. What's

Crumbs! So he is. What's more, he has even managed to get a professorship at the Dramatic Arts department at the University of Connecticut. I'm staggered. Still, it does go to show that there is still a place for the type of accent we all got to enjoy watching Mary Poppins.
Good grief!

Rhakios: it's completely

Rhakios: it's completely real, and definitely not Mike. Maybe we'll record Mike's attempt at the same tomorrow so you can compare ;)

Since posting this, someone else has let me listen to part of the equivalent course in "British Cockney", and it is indeed like listening to Dick Van Dyke.

Rhakios: "Crumbs"..."Good

Rhakios: "Crumbs"..."Good Grief"...? have you been reading too much Charlie Brown?

Crispibits it's impossible

Crispibits it's impossible to read too much Peanuts

Paul: I thought, just for

Paul: I thought, just for one moment, at the very beginning, that it sounded not entirely unlike Mike as we hear him on several of the videos he has done. Obviously I was completely wrong: Mike could manage a much better Scottish accent.

Crispibits: I am using web-safe exclamations. They are likely to offend only those who really ought to be offended. ;-)

As a Scot can I say that I

As a Scot can I say that I never, ever use a "Scottish Berr"

It's got to be an April fool. Even Mike Myers did a better Scottish accent on Shrek.

It sounds like Groundsman Willie crossed with Geordie - and Groundsman Willie is pretty bad.

At first I thought as per a

At first I thought as per a couple of earlier submissions: it's got to be April Fool.
But no, this is real.As Crispibits remarks:we're missing our true vocation.
To think i've been going out to work all these years when I could be on a nice earner doing accent coaching. The funny accents we do for nothing over a few beers.
One thing that does come into focus: why so many American actors/entertainers have trouble doing (for them) foreign accents. I thought it must be the shape of the head or something. Turns out it's probably just bad (paid) advice. Makes you wonder about the advice they get on foreign policy etc.



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