Help with an accent… please I’m really stuck?
Here’s the deal: At the minute my school is putting on “Beauty and the Beast” and I’ve been given the role of Cogsworth (the clock). The only problem with this is they have told me that I need a British accent and I need to sound like an “Old British/English army general”. This has really stumped me, so has anyone got any suggestions about how I can nail this kind of accent. Please answer properly cause we’ve only got a ten week turn around (the show is on in ten weeks) and there are heaps more people the director needs to be worried about then me. =)
Ten weeks is lots of time.
One method is to look up dialect tapes on Samuel French website. Sometimes libraries carry tapes also for dialects.
Another alternative is to choose one British actor you like, like Maggie Smith, and rent a few of their movies to copy the sound. Ask your director for some examples.
You should become aware of some general vowel sound changes and mark those in your script. Also, the rhythm and speech patterns are as important as the vowel changes. Your mouth needs to become accustomed to speaking this way, so practice on tape and throughout the day if you can.
Start now and you will be fine. Have fun.
Remember there are many types of British sounds, so choose the sound to emulate carefully.