Accents and Dialects for Stage and Screen

Overview

Paul Meier is a leading dialect coach for theatre and films. This is his best-selling stage-dialects manual for actors. With 350 pages and 12 accompanying CDs, this teaches the following: Afrikaans (South Africa), American Deep South (Mississippi/Georgia/Alabama), American Southern (Kentucky/Tennessee), Australian, Cockney, "Downeast" New England, French, General American, German, Hampshire, Indian, Irish, Italian, Liverpool, New York, Northern Ireland, Russian, Scottish, South Boston, Spanish (Castilian & ...

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This item is new and ships directly to you from author/publisher, Paul Meier. It mails on the same or next business day and contains all 12 CDs, bound into the book. Accents & ... Dialects for Stage and Screen, an easy-to-follow yet incredibly detailed 370-page book, is the industry standard. A proven system of instruction used by drama schools around the world, its 12 CDs containing the author’s own recorded instruction are bound right into the book. Paul Meier is a leading dialect coach for theatre and film, and this acclaimed publication coaches 24 of the most often called-for accents and dialects in the business. Dialect-coaching many famous actors (Tobey Maguire, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Ruffalo, etc.), Meier has taught dialects at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), The London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA), Webber-Douglas, the North Carolina School of the Arts, and other famous institutions. At the conclusion of each chapter’s instruction, Paul coaches you in two great monologues (one male and one female) from a well-known play or film – a ready-to-use audition piece for 24 different accents! Meier also links you to the hundreds of online recordings of native dialect speakers on his International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA). Further enhancing the book’s amazing value are Meier’s online interactive IPA phonetics charts; information on his unique show-specific dialect CDs; details of his Skype-coaching services; and directions on earning a Paul Meier Certificate of Proficiency in each accent. Easy enough for the beginner, yet rigorous enough for the experienced professional, Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen, with its 12 CDs, belongs in the tool kit of every actor serious about success. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Paul Meier is a leading dialect coach for theatre and films. This is his best-selling stage-dialects manual for actors. With 350 pages and 12 accompanying CDs, this teaches the following: Afrikaans (South Africa), American Deep South (Mississippi/Georgia/Alabama), American Southern (Kentucky/Tennessee), Australian, Cockney, "Downeast" New England, French, General American, German, Hampshire, Indian, Irish, Italian, Liverpool, New York, Northern Ireland, Russian, Scottish, South Boston, Spanish (Castilian & Colonial "Spanishes"), Standard British English (Received Pronunciation), Welsh, Yiddish, and Yorkshire. Coaching many famous actors (Tobey Maguire, Tom Wilkinson, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, etc.), Meier has also taught dialects at RADA, LAMDA, Webber-Douglas, the North Carolina School of the Arts, and other famous schools. In addition to his easy-to-follow practice material, for each dialect Paul coaches you in two monologues (one male and one female) from a well-known play or film, and links you to the hundreds of online recordings of native dialect speakers on his International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA). Further enhancing the value of the book are his interactive IPA phonetics charts, unique "show-specific" dialect CDs for hundreds of plays and musicals, custom CD-recording, and phone-coaching services. Easy enough for the beginner, rigorous enough for the experienced professional.

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Editorial Reviews

Krista Scott
Paul Meier, a leader in the field of dialects and accent training and the founder of the International Dialects of English Archive website (IDEA), brings dialect study into the 21st century with his practical training system, Accents and Dialects for Stage & Screen, 2007 edition. This IPA based instructional text and CD compilation is a much-welcomed addition to the existing publications on dialect and accent training. Accents and Dialects for Stage and Screen combines the best aspects of other popular dialect training methods into a succinct, comprehensive and affordable training tool. Sentence drilling similar to that in Jerry Blunt's Stage Dialects, modeling of the dialect in David Alan Stern's Acting with an Accent series, and authentic speaker samples similar to Gillian Lane-Plescia's compilations are all incorporated into Meier's "Seven Step Method" of learning an accent or dialect. Using John Well's familiar lexical sets in each study, Meier lays out the phonetic "signature sounds" prior to the sentence drills, and the specific phonemic adjustments are adroitly described and modeled by Meier in the recording. Additional features (particularly unique linguistic characteristics) are described next, followed by an explanation of the rhythm, stress, intonation and tone. Coordination exercises and sample dramatic texts include full IPA narrow transcriptions and references to the sound change lessons. Like Stern's recordings, Meier's is the only voice providing instruction on his CD's; however, he stresses that listening to authentic speakers on the related IDEA website is "central to the study," and provides concise descriptions of pertinent characteristics of the particular onlinesamples. This combination of internet technology and phonetic drilling promotes authenticity and precision in pronunciation for actors and instructors, and increases awareness of the specific articulation adjustment needed for accuracy. In his footnotes, Meier also graciously references Lane-Plescia, Stern and other dialect specialists who suggest alternate pronunciations or approaches. The compact disc compilation and accompanying manual are extremely user-friendly for a self-learner: since all of the instructional text is spoken on the discs, one could easily brush up a dialect in the car on the way to an audition or rehearsal. The length of each lesson is also well constructed, with ample pause time to mimic the sentence drills, coordination exercises and monologue lines. The sequence of twenty-three dialects and accents is particularly comprehensive in its survey of Anglo-European dialects of English, and also includes Indian, Spanish and Yiddish among the foreign language accents, which are absent from the 1967 Blunt publication. The large pages and print, spiral binding and CD pouches make this a very attractive and practical instructional package. Having adopted this as the main training tool for my dialects course for the last three years, I couldn't be happier with the improvement it has made in the students' comprehension and accuracy, and in my own ease in class preparation and execution. My students also give this practical training manual and method an enthusiastic two thumbs up!
Voice and Speech Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780615461502
  • Publisher: Meier, Paul Dialect Services
  • Publication date: 6/1/2011
  • Edition description: PAUL MEIER DBA PAUL MEIER DIALECT S
  • Edition number: 21
  • Pages: 354
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Meier is a leading dialect coach for theatre and films. This is his best-selling stage-dialects manual for actors. With 350 pages and 12 accompanying CDs, this teaches the following: Afrikaans (South Africa), American Deep South (Mississippi/Georgia/Alabama), American Southern (Kentucky/Tennessee), Australian, Cockney, "Downeast" New England, French, General American, German, Hampshire, Indian, Irish, Italian, Liverpool, New York, Northern Ireland, Russian, Scottish, South Boston, Spanish (Castilian & Colonial "Spanishes"), Standard British English (Received Pronunciation), Welsh, Yiddish, and Yorkshire. Coaching many famous actors (Tobey Maguire, Tom Wilkinson, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, etc.), Meier has also taught dialects at RADA, LAMDA, Webber-Douglas, the North Carolina School of the Arts, and other famous schools. In addition to his easy-to-follow practice material, for each dialect Paul coaches you in two monologues (one male and one female) from a well-known play or film, and links you to the hundreds of online recordings of native dialect speakers on his International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA). Further enhancing the value of the book are his interactive IPA phonetics charts, unique "show-specific" dialect CDs for hundreds of plays and musicals, custom CD-recording, and phone-coaching services. Easy enough for the beginner, rigorous enough for the experienced professional.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

ACTING IN A DIALECT OR AN ACCENT

For actors, their chief delight and most solemn duty is to "disappear" inside their character's story, and to take on the character's behaviors, value system, fears, and dreams. By this act of mimesis, actors hope to penetrate a truth not their own, and to reveal that truth to an audience. A hard job!

To see one's own culture as one among many, and to don another as a cloak, is an immensely difficult, but hugely rewarding task. Adopting the linguistic peculiarities of that culture is perhaps the biggest challenge. For the way characters speak reveals much: where they are from, where they have been, and who they want to be. And their speech changes moment-to-moment too (linguists call it code switching) depending on who they are talking to, the mode of the moment, and so forth. When two sisters, although sharing almost identical backgrounds, sound quite different from each other, we learn that each of us has an idiolect—a personal way of speaking.

Does every role that actors play require them to modify their dialect/accent/idiolect, then? Perhaps so.

A word about terms: the terms accent and dialect are almost interchangeable; in popular parlance they mean much the same thing. But some distinctions may be useful. In its scholarly sense, a dialect is a legitimate variant of a language, telling us about the regional and caste/class origins of the speaker and more. We refer to the Lancashire dialect of English, or the Parisian dialect of French. A dialect has its own vocabulary and grammar, as well as its own distinctivepronunciation. We are all dialect speakers, then, even if we happen to use the prestige "standard" dialect of our own language. For it, too, is a dialect. An accent, on the other hand, is simply a feature or attribute of dialect or language, referring to its pronunciation.

Although the distinction quickly breaks down, I and my North American dialect coach colleagues find it useful to talk about English language dialects in contrast with foreign language accents. Though my British colleagues and the linguistic community use the terms differently, we find it useful to emphasize the difference between native speakers speaking their dialect, and people for whom English is not their first language speaking it in the accent of their first. It is useful to consider the dynamic and unstable process of improving pronunciation and language usage. This process creates a different psychological state, I maintain, and should be conceptualized differently by the actor.

Though a dialect may have subtle, idiosyncratic variations in each speaker, it is generally more consistent and predictable than an accent. Accents may involve mispronunciations, hyper-corrections, and mistakes in stress, rhythm, etc.; and, of course, when we speak a language not our own, we may, at first, make all kinds of other mistakes too—in vocabulary, grammar, etc. But whether we call it acting in an accent or a dialect, doing it accurately, credibly, and without ostentation is partly a science, partly an art, and wholly challenging. I hope you enjoy investigating this fascinating process with me.

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Table of Contents

Hampshire
FOREWORD5
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS6
I. BEFORE WE BEGIN
 
Acting in a dialect or an accent9
International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)10
International Dialects of English Archive 12
Standard lexical sets13
Comma Gets a Cure, special diagnostic passage15
Paul Meier Dialect Services16
For Instructors17
The 7-step method18
Glossary of terms19
II. BRITISH AND IRISH DIALECTS
 
Cockney27
39
Irish49
Liverpool61
Northern Ireland73
Scottish85
Standard British English (Received Pronunciation)97
Welsh111
Yorkshire123
III. DIALECTS OF THE USA
 
American Southern (Kentucky/Tennessee)137
Deep South (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi)149
Downeast New England165
General American175
New York191
South Boston 203
IV. OTHER ENGLISH LANGUAGE DIALECTS
 
Australian219
Indian231
V. FOREIGN LANGUAGE ACCENTS
 
Afrikaans245
French261
German275
Italian289
Russian303
Spanish317
Yiddish331
VI. WORKS CITED
 
Works cited347
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