Photo by Robert Bellospirito.
Today my guest on Hometown to Hollywood is The Actor’s Dialect Coach, Scott Alan Moffitt.
Scott teaches both an introductory and an ongoing class in dialects at the Young Actors Space, which is located in Los Angeles. He is also available for one-on-one coaching via Skype or here in LA.
We had a fun and fascinating conversation around how Scott teaches actors dialects and accents, and the importance of accents and dialects as special skills to increase an actor’s chance of booking roles. We even got into the social implications of certain dialects, which is something everyone experiences, whether they are an actor or not. Scott uses the International Phonetic Alphabet, also known as the IPA in his classes and coaching.
Some of my favorite quotes from our conversation:
- “The IPA is like music theory for dialects.”
- “Your acting needs to be good, or you’re not going to book that role no matter how good your dialect is.”
- “When you’re studying a foreign accent, go listen to that NPR station.”
- “There are as many dialects as there are people on earth who speak.”
- “General American English is the most understood dialect of English worldwide.”
- “I do not, and never will, aim to remove someone’s native dialect.”
- “If you really are the best actor for the role, and your dialect’s not quite up to snuff, they’re going to work with you.”
- “There are so many opportunities for dialect and accented actors… we want that variety for our ears, because it’s beautiful music.”
- “At the end of the day, the acting’s got to come first.”
- “That’s my whole goal. To teach actors how to teach themselves dialects.”
- “Don’t try to fool casting. Be honest with who you are.”
- “Do the work, be confident in the work, then let it go.”
Follow Scott Alan Moffitt HERE:
There are so many universal truths in this interview, and one of the biggest is the importance of talent and being right for the role. You can’t know if you’re right for the role, but you can work on your talent. Similarly, you can’t know what opportunities will come your way, but you can do your best to increase your odds by understanding how the industry works, and being as well prepared for success as you can.
If you need help getting your young actor started in the industry safely and successfully, or moving through a stuck spot, book a consultation with me online or in Los Angeles. One session can save you thousands of dollars and months or years of time.