Hello, Internet. I hope you’re having a good week, and spent your Father’s Day doing something fatherly like checking the air in your tires or boning your mom.
OK, point taken, Ziggy, you pathetic little pantsless bastard.
I tried very hard to provide Brad with a nice Father’s Day, and — after a day of sleeping in, blueberry pancakes, and a massive sausage-and-beer rich meal at Hofbrauhas — I think he was quite satisfied.
Thankfully, he left room for some after-dinner tea.
As an update on the last post, I’ve decided to go ahead with the audition. I got the sides I’ll be reading, and it seems I’m going to be auditioning for the part of a young Australian woman. And I’ve been asked to read in dialect.
I’ve had a fair amount of dialect training, and will take this opportunity to brag that I can fucking tear it up in a British or Southern American accent, but this will be my first time attempting Australian. I guess chances are slim I’ll be saying something like “shrimp on the barbie,” “This is a knife,” or “No rules, just right.”
I still cannot get over the fact that Outback sells a dessert called “Chocolate Thunder from Down Under.” AND PEOPLE EAT IT.
Much to my surprise, I’ve found that I’m already quite adept at the Australian accent, thanks to the fact that I worked for two Australian bosses for a year back in New York (who pronounced my name GYE–ull), and I once spent months transcribing interviews with many a heavily-accented Aussie. And — as I mentioned — I have a nice bit of dialect training to my credit, the most helpful portion of which I completed during my first (and last) semester of grad school. We actually didn’t learn any dialects in particular, just the phonetic alphabet — which, conveniently enough, is like a key for decoding any dialect that uses the Roman alphabet. Hi, I’m a dork who really enjoyed learning this shit.
The weirdest part of this particular class was having to re-learn the pronunciation of basically every damn sound in the English language. Our goal was to sound as neutral as possible, accent-wise, and to learn how to correctly enunciate our consonants so that we’d totally fucking nail that voiceover audition for Fancy Feast in the future.
Seriously, you guys. Next time you’re watching a commercial for cat food or tampons or whatever the fuck, keep in mind that the actor you’re seeing has probably spent upwards of ten years being trained as a Shakespearean actor. And then weep/mock accordingly.
That class was a total mindfuck in an overthinking-what-you-presume-to-know kind of way. After a lifetime of, you know, SPEAKING ENGLISH, it’s pretty messed up to be told that you (and the entire English-speaking population, basically) produce the “s” sound from the wrong area of your palate. And this results in an entire 90 minute class of listening to the teacher say “sss” and then you saying “sss” in exactly the same manner, only to have her say “Close, but not quite.”
Actually, way at the beginning of the semester, the teacher pulled me aside and asked if I could tape myself reading a few paragraphs from a book. “You have an interesting mix of dialects that I’ve never heard before,” she said. “It’s very hard to place.” I suppose this should have made me feel exotic or special in some way, but instead I just assumed it was her way of saying “Put that east coast hillbilly shit on record because you are the Eliza fucking Doolittle of Rutgers University, ho!”
The rain in Jersey falls mainly on the turnpike!
Anyway, that class was one of my favorites of all time, even though it gave me the inconvenient habit of becoming SUPREMELY annoyed whenever I hear someone replace an internal “e” with a short “i” sound (“pen” becomes “pin”), and I damn near want to slap a bitch whenever I hear someone pronounce the “t” in “often,” mostly because the individual involved is usually attempting to sound intelligent and well-spoken and GODDAMN IT’S PRONOUNCED “OFFEN!” “OFFEN,” you uppity whore, “OFFEN!”
Perhaps having this particular pet peeve makes ME the uppity whore? Fine, then. I’ll just put on my Uppity Shoes and be done with it.
Another kind of useless piece of information I learned from that class: the “ou” sound in “nourish” is supposed to be identical to the “u” sound in “nut.” Go ahead, say it like that. You sound like you’re on a fancy face cream commercial, don’t you? With goat’s milk and vitamin E nuh-rishing your skin? Fancy!
Anyone still reading?
OK, I’ll mercifully stop the rambling now. I need to go work on this dialect shit anyway.
Entry filed under: And you KNOW THIS!.