I’m auditioning for a play called Scapino and I need to have a good Italian accent. Any advice on how to do a good one? The competition is a bit tough this year there are only three roles for girls and sixteen girls auditioning. Please pray for me too.
or any acting advice at all?
I’d find some videos of girls in Italy speaking and just kind of minic the accent out loud until you have a general idea of the cadence and rhythm of their speech.
And don’t sweat it about the accent - they’re looking for you and your unique personality. If you get cast, the director will work on the accent after the fact. And with that many people, as long as you have your audition material prepared and show up on time, that’s all you can do. If you don’t get it, that’s no knock on you.
St. Genesius, pray for us and all actors.
What nationality are you, that accent will shine through over the others.
My race is Indian, but nationality is American, so I have an american accent.
Actors learn accents from voice coaches and from accent tapes.
Years ago, my husband tried out for and won a role in a local production of “Our Town,” which requires a New Hampshire accent.
He did do some research and incorporated a little of the accent in his audition, e.g., he pronounced the word “route” as “root” instead of “rowt.” The director actually praised him for this after the audition.
After the entire show was cast, the director gave all the actors tapes (back then, there were no CDs!) and told them to get busy learning how to speak with a New Hampshire accent. Before rehearsals, a coach would work with the cast to help them with the accents.
My daughter is a professional stage manager working in NYC. (We are a theater-mad family!)
My advice is that unless you have a grandmother who was born and raised in Italy who can help you out, you should NOT try out with an Italian accent because it might end up sounding insulting to Italians. Over the years, there have been a lot of comedians who have made Italian accents a centerpiece of their comic routines, and you don’t want to sound like you are making fun of Italians. Also, without a coach to help you, your Italian accent might really be a German accent! Oops!
If you can listen to tapes (there are some online), you might want to try one or two little things that you hear over and over again on the tapes.
But I suggest that rather than worrying too much about the accent, you concentrate on the following:
Projection–make sure you can be heard all the way to back seats in the upper balcony! A lot of plays are miked nowadays, but not all, and occasionally, theater sound systems in amateur productions go belly up!
Articulation–make sure that you over pronounce every word so that it can be understood even by the elderly woman who really needs a new hearing aid!
Slowing down! I used to tell children who were in plays that I directed that if they feel like they are talking way too slow, they’re doing it right. If you listen to good stage actors, they are speaking soooo slowly compared to how we would talk in real life, and yet it doesn’t sound slow when we see the play.
Listening to the other person and picking up their cues. You will probably be asked to read with another actor, and it is important to appear to be listening to their line and then responding to them, like real life.
Stillness. This is a trait of really good actors. They have an economy of movement. They don’t wiggle or rock back and forth or do any movement unless it is part of their portrayal and advances their character development. Be very aware of your body position on the stage.
If you are cast in the show, you and the other cast members will be coached in the accent,by a CD or online tutor, or possibly by a voice coach or local personality who has an Italian accent.
Break a leg!
Thank you for the advice and I love Our Town!
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