The Wurst Audiobook Narrator Nominees #3
You can't fake accents. Well, that's not entirely true. I did. A lot of people do. Serious actors will train themselves with enough research, coaches, or audio lessons. Maybe even a trip overseas. I watched a lot of movies. In the end, my accent was inconsistent, occasionally wandering towards other regions, and becoming a copy of a copy of another guy's impression of Michael Caine.
I did an Aussie accent for "Dark Sanity." I did my best, but it wasn't great. I was watching Australian movies, listening to some of their local radio personalities, YouTube videos, and it helped a lot. Still, you can't nail something like that in a week. A lot of my performance was embarrassing.
Then I caught a break. I was only reading a couple chapters ahead at a time, so I found out that the "Australian" character was actually a traitor, and FAKING THE ACCENT! Phew, what a break! I could imagine my listening audience's compliments of, "OH, that's why his accent was kind of crappy, he really sold it! Had me fooled, I thought it was just a shitty narrator!"
Like an idiot, I didn't read the entire book up front, so I was surprised with another character in the 3rd act, this time a French woman! The author let me off the hook and I read it normally...with a hint of stereotype.
Maybe I should read the entire book up front from now on. I just wanted to be surprised as I made progress, but I guess that's just the excuse of an amateur being lazy.
I haven't learned my lesson yet. I'm doing an awful Southern accent in the next book. Sometimes I underplay it and other times it feels way over the top. It's as if I'm screaming to the audience for validation, "HEY, DOES THIS SOUND BETTER?" "HOW ABOUT THIS?"
How about neither! Just stop doing accents.
For the record, I'm not asking for any money up front. It takes me about 6 months to complete one of these books. I also auditioned for these roles, so the authors could've dumped me. They recognized my strengths and forgave my weaknesses. Maybe the author just wants their work out there, because not enough talented people are auditioning, so they're stuck with Marty Wurst!
MAKE IT SO...ACCENT BE DAMNED! It's just unfortunate that occasionally, a really bad accent will slip through the cracks.
This week's nominee goes to Lynne M. Smelser for her English accent in "The Diary of Lillie Langtry"