Talk Like That Accent Acquisition Academy
TLTAAA ("TLT Triple-A") is an online program providing a skills-based approach to accent and dialect training for actors and other professionals whose success pivots on compelling an audience.
My lessons emphasize the development of the student’s awareness of—and close encounters with—speech.
My pedagogy is that—along with light-hearted, experiential exercises—thorough research of the physical actions of which speech is composed will guarantee a holistic learning experience while also avoiding being dragged down the rabbit hole of academic dogma.
TLTAAA lessons usually begin with a brief study of anatomy.
Playful and exploratory exercises are designed to encourage students to acquire and activate new skills while nurturing an introspective curiosity about their own speech and that of others.
The very idea of learning all the speech sounds that are used in the 6000 or so languages still spoken may seem quite intimidating. However, this journey of discovery is one that serves to shine a light on the entirety of what it is to sound human!
A restriction of one’s instrument is a limitation of one’s art. You wouldn’t learn to play the guitar using only 4 of the 6 strings available, even if you had only ever played the ukulele (which has 4 strings in case you didn't know).
Familiarizing oneself with how to physically articulate all the sounds of speech equips students to quickly perceive and reproduce the fine details of a hitherto-unknown accent.
By approaching characteristic speech sounds with regard to the word-category structure (lexical set) of the accent, the extent to which these sounds can vary, and the correlation of these to the vocal tract posture of the speaker, students may craft an authentic accent that can then more confidently be embedded into a character's voice.
Traditional speech-training strategies have concentrated on teaching students a range of Standard accents and dialects—such as General American and RP—still (incorrectly) believed by many to be superior to other varieties.
This outdated prescriptive model is essentially restrictive to the student, not to mention linguistically and academically unsound.
In contrast, TLTAAA seeks to enlighten the student to the realization that all dialects and their associated accents are equally valid systems in their own right, regardless of the subjective reputations and prejudicial stereotypes perpetually pinned to accents and dialects.
A deeper understanding of the various interwoven layers of speech systems and the ability to apply it, along with an intimate and practical knowledge of the vocal apparatus, is a sure route to the acquisition and embodiment of any accent and a clear path to career success.
The program lasts 12 weeks and comprises 36 lectures with a group coaching session and a Q&A every week. 1-on-1 coaching is available on request.