Mulholland Academy

Cultivating your actor's voice

We hope to offer this class again June 2020.

Cultivating your actor’s voice

with William Sutton

We all know that when someone does an accent it’s good or bad. If it’s your own accent then it sounds bad, or at best, okay! 

What happens when the target accent is in another language? 

Here we are forced to deal with interference. 

We define interference as the sounds that you bring from your own language into the new accent. Think of a stereo-typical Dutch person (Italian, Russian, Spanish, German, Indian, Korean, etc.) speaking English. That’s interference.

Some people are good mimics and imitate accents and speech patterns easily. Mimicry is a great way to learn an accent. We listen and imitate. Thinking is left out of the equation.

Sound is the primary language sense yet we always approach it from the point of view of grammar and the written word. Describing sound in this way leads to interpreting words as letters and not as sounds. And that leads to thinking and remembering parts of speech, grammar rules and syntax. Aaaargh!

Our approach teaches you the basic 44 sounds of Standard English. 
These sounds are separated into continuous voiced elements (the vowels) and those with a specific place and manner, voiced or voiceless (the consonants). 

Be aware that vowels and consonants alter in different situations.
Accents and dialects are littered through each language system.
Each language has a standard accent that defines its social and cultural elite.  

We focus on Standard British and General American; the two default accents used in film and television. Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Australian and Kiwi actors know this reality. 

Our class goes back to the basic phonemes that make up a given language, dialect, or accent and explores how we use those sounds. We develop your ears to listen for the sounds that you make and if necessary alter them. You will also find as an added benefit that you speak and listen more consciously and clearly. 

Class is 3 hours and divided into a warm-up session with sticks.

Work on the sounds of English vowels  (long & short vowels, diph & triphthongs) and consonants (4 groups: continuants, fricatives, plosives, approximants)
Followed by application of the sounds in speech.

Each student prepares a 1-3 minute monologue.

The process is not fast. You need to identify your own interference. 
The burden is on you making the work effective. 
The benefits are immediate and used as an industry standard.
Not to mention your singing will improve.

Tuesdays, 7pm – 10pm
Dates: Jan 28th, February 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th, and March 3rd. 
Cost: €475


William Sutton

I am a creative labourer. I endeavour to keep learning daily.  I do it because I want more work derived from my creativity. My USP is approaching language from the speaking of it. This approach builds on my last 30 years experience. I am not famous. I am a niche player.