Photos of Conan in Movies

TV Series Auditions For Conan - Learn An Accent Overnight

Tuesday, 07 June 2011

2 new auditions for ongoing TV series this week?

Well not really. One TV series contacted me directly and asked if I was available but unfortunately being on the opposite side of the world and working (for a really nice change) prevented me working on that TV series just now, maybe something will eventuate later.

The other TV series I made contact with quiet a while ago after an actor friend gave me a heads up about some castings they were holding last year.....

I recently got in contact again to see how things were going and I happened to contact them just at the right time this time, there were several roles that I might be suitable for.

After speaking with the casting agent I decided I would like to try for the more prominent speaking role, and push my career as an actor, rather than the other role that was more physical and a lot less demanding.

"Oh, by the way can you speak XXXXXXX?"

It wasn't Russsian for a change, a language I can order beer and vodka in and say cheers and little else, but an accent I can do reasonably well.

Luckily for me I was able to speak some of this XXXXXXX language as a child, just as unluckily I have not spoken this language since I was a child and cannot remember any of it.

"Could you do the parts where you speak to your countrymen in that accent then?"

"Uhhmmmm, yes I am sure I can do that."

Audition was next morning, great, several pages, foreign accent that I am not familiar with tomorrow morning. OK can do!

How the heck was I going to do this? I read the sides (extract from the script) and was running through ideas, how could I impress the casting director and the TV series Producers, what could I do different?

Come in with the all the lines in a heavy authentic XXXXXXXX accent and actually speak some of that language was my conclusion. I wanted to go beyond expectations, to deliver more than any other actors that might be auditioning and to maybe surprise the Casting Director and Producers. In short I wanted my audition to stand out. Remember it is not always about your acting.

As I was told many times as a child:

If a job is worth doing it is worth doing well - Australian Proverb

My options were to email a friend from that country ask him to read the lines and email back the recording but there was a pretty good chance that I would not get the reply in time. Second option and I started on this was to watch a mixed langauge movie (that I fortunately had) that featured that accent, after 15 minutes of watching I decided this was to be my last resort as I was getting random words, not the lines I needed.

There had to be something better. Where could I find a foreign national?

So I headed down to the backpackers hostel I had walked past a few times in my wanders around the city. I spoke to the manager of the backpackers and plonked down a reasonable sum of money for 1 hour of tuition.

They thought I was mad, but that was beside the point.

With the money I offered there was no problem getting someone to drop their current schedule and come and help me with my lines.

I got the young fellow to speak my lines with a heavy accent and I copied him, he helped correct my accent until he thought it sounded authentic then we taped it on my Nokia N8 superphone. He also spoke some of the lines in his native tongue and we recorded that too.

Come to my audition and I blundered the first few times through and then finally got a decent take where I spoke my lines with a reasonably authentic accent and even yelled out a couple of lines in this foreign language that I had only started learning 15 hours before (minus 8 hours sleep time as I was still exhausted from filming the day before).

The result?

I think it was one of my best speaking auditions yet, with less than a day I picked up a new accent, with practise I can refine it, I blasted out (well I stumbled over) a paragraph in a foreign language I am not proficient in, got my lines right and mostly acted out parts of it passably? and a few parts really hit the right emotions (my opinion only).

So the real result?

As always in the film industry again I am waiting......

Hopefully I will get an answer fairly soon for this one, then I'll let you know what I am allowed to let you know, when I am allowed to let you know it :)

(UPDATE: Spartacus - acheived, the other TV series opportunity? fizzled out)

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