My Accent in English is Not General American. Can I Still Have an Acting Career?
Today’s answer is provided by dialect coach and DCW founder Pamela Vanderway.
This is a great question, and I think you’re going to like the answer.
One thing you should keep in mind, though is that actors can dramatically increase their odds of being cast by mastering additional accents.
In the USA, many characters are still expected to speak with a 'General American' (sometimes called 'Standard American', and sometimes just referred to as an 'American') accent, even when the story structure supports better inclusion. With #TIMESUP and other social movements, though, producers are feeling emboldened to change this tradition, so things are starting to shift.
It's a complex topic, but bottom line: There are actors who do end up with lucrative careers without ever changing their accents for roles so don't let your accent stop you from fully developing your other acting skills.
On the other hand, if you want to have more opportunities for casting, consider investing the time and resources into getting complete training in several accents you know could be advantageous for your specific career.
For actors with General American accents already, this advice is for you, too. Accents will always increase your access to roles if you make the journey required to truly master them.
Last tip -- NEVER set out to LOSE your accent in any language you speak. Actors need to keep every skill they can get. Losing an accent is a hit to your career. Your best bet is to learn to communicate authentically in several accents, including the one you have right now.