Dialect and Text Coaching
I offer dialect coaching for theatre productions, film, and television as well as for individual actors.
After many years of experience as a theatre artist and teacher, I have developed an efficient approach to coaching American and foreign dialects that works for both the beginning and the experienced actor.
Why work with me?
I bring to my work a strong professional background, having been a theatre artist and teacher for 47 years and having coached over 120 theatre and film productions while working with over a thousand actors. In addition, I taught courses in dialect acquisition for 25 years at Virginia Commonwealth University and have used dialects in my own acting career.
Being an actress, director and teacher has given me the advantage of looking at the acquisition of dialects from both sides of the ‘footlights’. I know from experience that learning a dialect takes time, practice and application. It is important for an actor to be able to speak in a dialect without thinking about the dialect. By the time rehearsals begin, the actor’s concentration must be on the text; ie. what s/he is saying…not how s/he is saying it. With this in mind, I like to start teaching dialects long before a show goes into rehearsal. This way, by the time rehearsals begin, the actor is intuitive with the dialect and can focus on character building.
PRODUCTIONS MOST RECENTLY COACHED
Productions that I have most recently coached in the Richmond area include
- Cadence Theatre’s productions of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People (South Boston),
- Bruce Norris’ Clybourne Park (Chicago),
- The Firehouse Theatre Project’s A Streetcar Named Desire (New Orleans and Mississippi)
- Cadence’s Sight Unseen (Brooklyn, Standard British, German and Standard American).
- Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind (Oklahoma, Montana)
In addition, I dialect coached on last season’s AMC series, TURN (Irish, Standard British.)
Individually I have taught dialects to hundreds of actors and students of acting.
What is a dialect coach?
A dialect coach is someone trained in dialect acquisition (ideally a theatre artist) who works with actors to teach them a particular dialect for a particular need. A dialect coach may be hired by a theatre company to coach a production of a play or film or a may be hired by an individual actor who wishes to learn a new dialect or accent or wishes to brush up on a dialect s/he has already learned.
How I work
I work one-on-one with an actor either in person, via telephone or via SKYPE. I introduce the actor to the sound changes required for a particular dialect as well as the kinesthetic or muscular changes that the actor can expect to experience while using a particular dialect. I employ the listen, watch, speak, listen, speak again process using sight, sound and sensation in the training.
The time it takes to learn a dialect varies from person to person. Most actors have been mimics all of their lives and learn dialects very quickly. It is helpful but not necessary if the actor has learned the International Phonetic Alphabet but this is not a pre-requisite for dialect coaching.
My rates are reasonable and competitive. Please contact me for a quote. My email is info@JanetRodgers.com.