Dialect Coaching: Online or in Person? (Part 1 - Actors)

Welcome to the future!!!

It may come as no surprise to most of you, but we live in an age of technological innovation that has made the world much smaller than it was even 10 years ago. And because of this awesome technology making the world smaller, we are no longer bound by the ways of thinking and working that we used to be.  

What does this mean for you and your dialect coach?

You no longer need to be in the same room, neighborhood, city, county, state, or country are your dialect coach to reap the benefits of having a dialect coach on your team!!

Now the big question is: "Can we really do the same kinds of work over Skype as we can face to face in the same room?"

The short answer is: Yes! (Almost always). 

Let me break this down.  You'll typically (if you're lucky!) know what dialect you need to learn a couple of months before you need to be on set or in rehearsals.  Aside from the fact that It's much more convenient for you to work from the comfort of your own home, the work that you need to do with your coach before bring on set or in performance can easily be done in an online webinar or one on one format.  Learning the sounds of the dialect, practicing the sounds, deciding on and making specific sound choices for your character, running your lines, practicing improv in the dialect to prep you for rewrites and in the moment changes on set, and integrating your dialect into your acting from start to finish can all happen online.  Last minute touch ups before an audition or a class presentation can all happen online.  

Basically, everything can happen online!

So when do you need to be in the same room as your dialect coach?

It's my belief that the best time to be in the same room as your dialect coach is just prior to when you need to be on set, and then, of course, on set.  The in-person care your dialect coach can provide will be invaluable to you on set!  We'll check in with you early, go over rewrites with you in your dialect, be on hand to touch up the dialect between takes, be listening to the sound on each take to ensure that there is always good audio of you doing the dialect.  We can address any acting challenges you're having in terms of your dialect in the moment and can make sure that the storytelling that the dialect adds a layer to is always supporting the director's vision.  We can even be on hand to provide a hit of chapstick or breath freshener if needed!

Conclusion: at the end of the day, the bulk of your initial work with your coach can absolutely be provided in a remote or virtual fashion.  But when the rubber meets the road, you'll be thankful to have your dialect coach in the same room and on set with you!