How To Properly List The Accents and Dialects You Perform

Hey there!

Casting directors can smell fear, desperation, lying and newbie-ness. And one of the smelliest places on an actor’s resume is the Accents and Dialects area.

I shudder sometimes at what I see (and hear) – so let’s get that area squared away, and your resume nice and spiffy, shall we?

(Click/tap ↑↑↑↑↑↑ that red YouTube button to subscribe to my channel. You’ll get notified when I release new videos.)

diausaHere’s the full article, called the Dialect Map of American English, on Robert Delaney’s site so you can really dig deep.

Hope this helps!


All Episodes

One Step At A Time

Five Ways To Have An Excellent Coffee Date With Me

Five Ways To Have A Crappy Coffee Date With Me

Taking Advantage Of The Wisdom Of The Tribe

How To Be A World Class Complainer

The False Nobility Of The Struggle

Watch Out – The Rules Are Going To Change

“Show Me The Secret, Daddy!”

Coaching vs Consulting vs Facilitating

The Perils of Live Performance And Why Jeremy Kappell Should Not Have Been Fired

Let’s Welcome To The Stage…Failure!

Don’t Confuse Price With Value

Whiteboards In The Hallways

Go Wake Up Your Luck

Playing and Planning

The Two Things Most Talent Try to Accomplish Way Too Soon

10,000 Hours To Become Good At Something? Not Really.

The Curse of Knowledge

The Trick Charlie Munger Uses To Make Better Decisions

Everyone’s A Customer, Not Just Your Customers

“What do you mean, you’re a ‘process guy’?”

Pay Attention To Your Storytelling, Not Removing Your Breaths

How To Conquer FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

The Problem In Every Commercial Script

The Job In Every Commercial Script

The Secret In Every Commercial Script

How To Pick Your Stage Name

Voice Over Is REALLY Hard. Until It Isn’t.

Helping Make Resolutions Stick

ACX Jobs: They’re ALL SAG-AFTRA-Friendly

Non-Union? You Can Still Open An AFTRA H&R Account. What?

Who Says You Need To “Feel Like It?”

Are You Engaged?

Your Day Job Might Just Be Worth Keeping For A Bit Longer

Want To Learn Something Really Well? Teach It To Others

Don’t Confuse What Works With What You Like

The Lost Keys And The Microphone In My Elevator

My Insane Backup System Plus Two Helpful Tips

What Open Loops Are And Why They Work So Well

Two More Things For Which You Can Use Open Loops

Three Things Not To Say Or Do…When Trying To Learn Something New

Front Burner and Back Burner Project Management

How To Properly List The Accents and Dialects You Perform

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 1)

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 2)

A Simple, One-Word Decision-Making Question To Ask Yourself

Ready, Shoot…Aim

How You Can Use The MVP Model As A Performer

How Lazy Can You Be?

Avoid The Struggle Porn

The Robocall Equivalent Of Unsubscribe

Saying Goodbye To A “Failure”

Making Your Links Irresistible

HTTPS Is Not Just For Banks – It’s For You

The Threat That Made Me Create a New Page For LAME

The Resource You Must Guard Most Carefully

How New Media Is Using The Oldest Ad Model Ever

“You Could Be Hit By A Bus!”

Killing Customers With Kindness

I Found Out What She Was Podcasting About

How I Answered’s Inquiry

Turning Mountains Into Molehills

Motivation: Your Three Big Needs In A Cool Little Package

Go Ahead. Multitask. But Try It Like This.

The Prodigy Game Doesn’t Deserve This Treatment

I Don’t Want To Go Blind

What Fair Markets Are, And Why Isn’t One

Trevor’s Three A’s From Apple On Killing Customers With Kindness

Getting Ready vs. Getting Started

You’ll Never Believe Who Got Rejected By Harvard

There Is No Failure, Only Feedback

Who Is Your Most Dangerous Adversary?

73 Videos In, My First Hater Appears

If You’re The Smartest Person In The Room, Do This ASAP

Your Glasses And Crucial Laptop Positioning Info

One More Insanely Over-engineered Piece Of Gear: My UPS

The Crazy Backward Way IKEA Prices Their Stuff Complained To YouTube That I Violated Their Privacy

The Gig Economy: RIP?

For Your Health: Not Perfect. Just Better.

Celebrate Your Isolation!

Mr. Wonderful Is Actually More Wonderful Than I Thought

Let’s Finally Close The Digital Literacy Gender Gap

The Guaranteed Way To Completely Avoid Criticism

The Two Things People Judge About You Within Seconds

Prioritizing…Nashville Style

Are You Committed? Or Just…Interested?

Audible Retail Samples: Why They Suck And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter

How To Voice Copy That’s Set In Italics

Dyslexia, And The Palindromic Poem. The Wha?

Increase Your Chances Of Being Seen And Heard On Facebook

Jamie Has Some Thoughts About Fiverr

Is Simply Discouraging Distracted Driving Enough?

“Young People Are Just Smarter.”

The Real Purpose Of The “Can You Hear Me?” Phone Scam

Beware Of Overkill

Laying Down The Perfect Slate

An AMA Preview: The Word “Ethnic” – A Slur, Or An Essential Adjective?

10 Rules of Profitable Self Discipline from Napoleon Hill

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 1)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 2)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 3)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 4)

AMA Answers Part 5 Plus A Medical Warning

Last AMA Answers (#6): Gear, Services and Success

A 7-Word Reminder: “Don’t correct people when it matters little.”

Do You Have A Plan? And Is It The Right One?

What’s Your Next Big Move? Are You Ready?

Build Your Future On Your Own Platform, Not Someone Else’s

I’m Leaving Facebook: Why Groups and FB Live No Longer Spark Joy

Time To Accept That I’ve Failed At Something – Happily

Crowdfunding Without The Internet: Pulitzer And The Statue Of Liberty

The Amazing Power Of Recognition And Badging

Might We Have A Possible Cause For Alzheimer’s?

Why Podcasting And Radio Are Out Of Whack

Value Enthusiasm, But Value Persistence More

Ten Ways To Make Money With Podcasts Besides Ads

One Quick Question To Find Out How Important Something Actually Is

The Workflow For Producing These Videos (So Far) Part 1

Why Not Wade? And…Why Not You?

Audiobook Narrators: How Paymasters Work, And The One I Recommend

Why Gen Z And Millennials’ Love For Audiobooks Is Crucial

American Idol: It’s All About Story, Not Just Singing

Less Beating Yourself Up, More Talking Yourself Up

Resist Oversharing. Instead, Start A Dialogue.

Vocal Care: It’s All About What Works For You

3 Biases You Should Be Aware Of

3 More Biases You Should Also Be Aware Of

Wow. People Really Grokked Biases. Let’s Tackle Fallacies.

Three More Fallacies You Need To Watch For

What’s Your Imprint?

Fallacy Follies, Volume 3

Two Last Big Creativity-Crippling Fallacies

Fail Sooner To Succeed Sooner

A New Lead Source For Performers: Voice Assistants And Smart Speakers

A Great Way To Handle Trolls and Haters

Quantity Does Not Usually Equal Quality

Is Facebook Truly A Monopoly? No More Than Microsoft Was.

Fear Of The Unknown, Or The Day Before My Surgery

A Strange Aspect To Performing That Should Be Cause For Protest, But Isn’t

Want To Grow? Don’t Go It Alone.

How Am I Doing? I’m Gobsmacked. That’s How Am I Doing.

Why I Give My Agents 10% Of Everything

Not Just Explainer Videos, But Video That Explain Things Spectacularly

Mental Floss To The Rescue: Skills You Can Pick Up On YouTube

What’s Better Than Willpower? Grit.

Regarding Apple’s App Store: Be Careful What You Wish For, Pepper

Of COURSE You Wonder What Porter’s Five Forces Are. Who Doesn’t?

Don’t Waste Your Time: Talk Shows Aren’t Meant To Be Fair

Sooner Or Later, I’m Really Going To Tick You Off

Just Because You Can Do Something Doesn’t Mean You Should

Wait, What? Audacity Records In The Background?!

Enjoy Your First Booking. Pay Close Attention To The Next Three.

Pattern Interruption And The Musicality Of Voice Over

Do You Still Have A Landline? Is It POTS? Wait, What’s POTS?

Increase Your VO Accuracy, And You’ll Increase Your VO Profits

Age Range Isn’t Really A Valid Metric For VO

What Is The Overton Window?

How To Stop Jealousy From Killing Your Progress

Even The Bible (And Game Of Thrones) Has One-Star Reviews

How Much Is Enough To Make Per Hour?

With Royalty Share Plus, ACX Makes Hybrid Stipends Official

Wait, Vices Can Be Good For Your Health?

What A Lovely Thing To Discover: Praise From CourVO

I Figured Out What I Provide: The Onboarding Performers Don’t Get

You Don’t Need Permission To Care Or Contribute

It’s Not Just You. It’s The Superstars, Too.

Do You Sometimes Think Irrationally? Maybe. Here’s How To Stop It.

The Struggle Of Announcer-y Versus Non-Announcer-y Voice Over

How My VAs Support Me And My Team

What Exactly Is “The Cloud?”

The Often “Most Difficult” Concept I Teach

Please Unsubscribe From This List. But Don’t Do This One Destructive, Lazy Thing.

Don’t Mistake The Joy Of Knowing For The Joy Of Doing

Why Giving Yourself Some Simple Homework Can Be Life-Changing

One Weird Trick I Do That Makes My Note-Taking Superhuman

The Worst Thing About The Biggest Money-Making Entertainment Category

What Can We Grab From A Schedule This Strict?

Get Better At Executing Today’s Plan By Starting Last Night

How To Create Useful, Organized Audition File Names

Where To Find Related PDFs For Audiobooks on Audible

I’m Halfway Finished. What Have You Valued Most? What Can I Do Better?

Our Digital Attention Span Is Incredibly Brief

“Serves You Right!” She Actually Has No Idea How Right.

Create A Safe Environment For Self-Improvement

Why I Use One Single Channel For Crucial Communication

The Even Cheaper AT-2020 USB Plus Microphone?

Fred Willard (and Billy West) On Quickly Creating Authentic VO Characters

Leo Makes Your Searching Spectacular

On Asking For Things Performers Can’t Do

How To Battle The Urge of “Efficiency”

One More Best-Of-Breed Way To Brilliantly Complain

Changing Audacity’s Sampling Rate To 48,000 Hz

10 Words Of Encouragement When You’re Stuck

Seek/Give Mentorship That’s Appropriate To The Journey

Two Cases Where You Might Not Want To Simply “Follow Your Passion”

Having Fun With Headphone Volume

Please Stop Rushing To Perform

Something To Consider: Everyone’s Internal Menu

One Crazy Key To Creativity: Pure, Unadulterated Boredom

For The Sheer Joy Of It

The Most Commonly Consumed Media Is…!

What’s Dangerous For Us To Care About

Please, Clever Copywriters…Stop Using This Term

Wait, Wait…What? They Actually Listened?!

Why You Should Take The Same Classes Twice

How Your Character’s Menu Informs Your Performance Choices

What Shouldn’t Be Your Metric For VO Success

Someone Awesome Who’s Also Rising To A 365-Day Challenge

Union Or Not, Start With Union Rates

O. M. G. Look What Matt Zurbo Did!

So Where Will That Huge Facebook Fine End Up?

The Root Words of “Typecast”

Avoid That One Obvious “That Worked” Sound We Make

Why Union Members Can Audition For Non-Union Work

200 Auditions. 1 Booking. A Ghost. Really?

I Can’t Do One Thing I’m Asked To Do Every Single Day

One Of Your Secret Weapons: Agility

Do Networking Events Make You Anxious? Let’s Fix That.

Project X Is Just About Ready. I’m A Bit Giddy.

The Difference Between Mansplaining and Advice?

Too Late, Melissa. You Already Are.

Help Me Solve A Lovely Mystery!

Speeding Up The Playback On The Audible App

Why Those Other Casting Sites Usually Aren’t Worth It

Raw YouTube Captioning

hey there it’s David H Lawrence the
seventeenth and today I want to talk to
you about an area on our resumes that we
tend to kind of gloss over and it’s
really important especially in the world
of voiceover that you get this right so
casting directors look at our resumes
and they’re looking for truth
they can smell deception they can smell
fear they can smell like I’m not kind of
you know what I’m doing even though I
say I’m an expert they can smell newb
enos and one of the smelliest areas on a
resume performance resume is the accents
and dialects and it’s really easy to
tell whether somebody has paid a lot of
attention to this or not so much now if
you’re not good at accents or dialects
that’s okay not many people are as
expert as the biggest names in the
industry but if you claim to have an
accent or dialect don’t unless you
actually do and what I mean by that is
be sure that you’re like world-class
before you put it on a resume if you
can’t really do a southern Mongolian
accent don’t put it on your resume
because the southern Mongolian will walk
into the room and take the job from you
here’s how I can tell when somebody
doesn’t pay much attention to this area
of their resume so I’ll look at a resume
and it’ll say New York accent or it’ll
say British accent or it’ll say southern
accent and right off the bat that tells
me that the person that is composing the
resume trying to represent themselves as
a professional doesn’t really quite have
a grasp of what casting directors know
or expect from prose for example
if you say you have a New York accent
what New York accent do you have do you
have a Brooklyn accent you have a Bronx
accent Staten Island Long Island New
York City itself if you say you have a
British accent
I mean they’ve identified well over a
hundred and fifty different British
accents right you know East End cockney
Liverpudlian Birmingham Manchester
Scottish has Highlands Midlands border
Irish several different dozen variants
there so when you say you have a British
accent or a New York accent or a
southern accent so a southern accent in
Texas especially in Dallas is gonna
sound different than a southern accent
in Georgia it’s gonna sound different
than a southern accent in the Carolinas
or in Virginia and people know when they
listen to you if they’re from that area
for example I grew up in the Great Lakes
region and from Buffalo Rochester down
through Erie down through Cleveland
through Gary to Chicago Detroit that’s
all kind of a similar accent it’s a
Great Lakes accident where we park our
cars in the driveway and we deliver the
Plain Dealer and we root for the Browns
and the Indians and whatnot you know but
that’s an accent that someone from that
area would be able to recognize they
often you look at a resume and you go
what what do you mean by this do you
mean you can kind of do an accent and
you kind of have an idea of so I guess
what I’m trying to say is take advantage
of a link that’s on this page there was
a guy by the name of Robert Delaney from
CW Post campus out in Long Island would
have his own particular accent and he
created a map of accents all across the
country and if you want to look at it
it’s on the the page on the viewed agogo
website that this this video is on now
the list of accents I’m gonna run
through it so that you can hear all it’s
not just southern and northeastern at
Boston New York here’s here’s
the list general northern northern New
England eastern New England Boston urban
Boston central area Western New England
Hudson Valley New York City Brooklyn bow
neck which is Long Island inland
northern San Francisco urban upper
Midwestern Minnie Weejun Chicago urban
northern Midland this list goes on and
on the southern ones okay southern
Appalachian Virginia Piedmont coastal
southern gula Gulf Southern in Louisiana
there are four different accents Cajun
English Cajun French yak French Creole
it just goes on and on and on so what
does this mean for you when you put down
on a resume I do a British accent do you
mean receive pronounciation do you mean
Queen’s English do you mean presenter
British do you mean regional what region
so get a little bit more specific about
this and if you can’t then it’s okay to
just leave that off your resume because
what you don’t want to do is go to a
casting director and say on your resume
that you have a particularly to do it
and it’s not that good because it’s not
that specific right now if you’re doing
sort of caricature ish stuff for a
cartoon who cares but if you’re being
asked to do ADR work and they need a
specific type of accent you just don’t
want to put yourself in a position we
have to explain oh yeah well I thought
that was good I’m sorry I thought that
was good enough I didn’t I didn’t know
right so I just want to give you it and
check it out and there’s plenty of
resources on the web where you can do
that so why question to you is what
accents do you do fantastically what
accents do you do that
you’re native that you grew up with it
or you your family you had family in
that area and so you pick things up you
know do you do a a Pittsburgh accent a
Baltimore what do you do I’d love to
know put it in the comments below I’d
really appreciate it if you want to
subscribe to my channel there’s a
subscribe button somewhere below this
video if you’re on bo2 go go or you can
click on my head there if the head is in
there look for the subscribe button if
you want to see the latest video I put
out in this series of one-a-day just go
ahead and click on that frame and it’ll
play for you I’m David H Lawrence xvii I
thank you so much for watching and I’ll
talk to you tomorrow

5 Responses to How To Properly List The Accents and Dialects You Perform

  1. Joe J Thomas February 12, 2019 at 8:42 am #

    Interesting topic. It seems like a lot of the accent work is either very specific (as in a voice match for another actor), or pretty loose (as in a general Scottish dwarven accent for a video game).
    But there have been a few specific requests that I get. Just not many of them. When those auditions come in, I tend to go to the speech accent archive and youtube to find people from that exact area. If I’m in the zone or feel I can get there, I submit an audition.
    But generally, I don’t need to list specific regions on my resume. Probably because the casting directors I’ve already worked with know my work.
    Just my 2 cents…

  2. Michael Ehrenberg February 12, 2019 at 9:24 am #

    Great insights. I know from being a Texan, we have also variations of Texan accents, and I also know from Eastern European accents (my heritage) there are also specific accents/dialects etc (Hungarian vs Czech vs Romanian) although nuanced for most ears. The other accents I do well should be, as you have stated, David, should be clarified which also can lead to even more refinement of said accents.
    Thank you for your clarifications!!!

  3. Heather August February 12, 2019 at 10:00 am #

    David, I have always wondered what accent I have. I have spoken to many people in the Western US who say “I don’t have an accent.” To which I say, Hogwash. But, I spent my first 40 years in California north of L.A., south of Santa Barbara, and the next 20 years in Northern Colorado. I don’t know that my accent changed appreciably. And if I had to pick out one from the other, I might be able to, but to put my finger on exactly what I was looking for, I’d be hard pressed. Also, my mother was a speech/music major in college, so we always were required to use proper grammar, which often does not include the colloquialisms that may be part of many native speakers word choices, and hence, a dead giveaway to a CD. (wudderice, and all y’all, etc.)

    So, how do I tell? What are the cues that set my speech apart from Southern California (No, I don’t speak Val, at least not well) and Rocky Mountain? And when studying an accent or dialect, how does one pick up those little nuances?

  4. Chauna S. February 12, 2019 at 10:16 am #

    Hollis Queens, NY (native) and Raleigh, NC (transplant)

  5. Chris Buckner February 12, 2019 at 11:40 am #

    I’d like to say I don’t have an accent, but that’s probably not true. My mom has been asked where her accent is from when she goes on trips, so I guess that might happen to me too. I do accents for Dungeons and Dragons characters sometimes (German, French) but I can’t pinpoint a particular regional dialect. I’ll keep this video in mind if I think about putting one on my resume. Thanks for the video David.

Leave a Reply