Are you an actor interested in learning dialects? Have you been unable to learn through typical “mimicry” techniques? Perhaps you have a pretty good ear for picking up a dialect, but would like a more technical approach to applying them to text? Look no further.
My approach to dialect coaching utilizes the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), which is a series of symbols that represents all the sounds used in language that the vocal apparatus can make. For instance, if I wanted to write “To be, or not to be, that is the question” in the IPA using a General American dialect, it would look like this:
/tu bi | ɔɚ̆ nɑt tu bi || ðæt ɪz ðə kwɛst͡ʃn̩/
Pretty funky, right? However, if you can learn how to read and write like this, then it gives you a tool. It will allow you to identify changes that are made when we switch from one dialect (our own) into another (our character’s). This is useful for an actor, because by the time you are done learning this method, you will be able to pick any dialect you’d like to learn, apply the steps I will teach you towards that dialect, and be able to have a truly academic approach to self-learning it. This means you will no longer need to rely on mimicry alone to get the job done.
My method is designed to give you the tools to learn any dialect or accent on your own.
I offer private coaching at an hourly rate. I can help you prepare for your audition, or learn the IPA over a series of several lessons.
All classes are held at Young Actors Space, located at 5918 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91401.
Dialects A: Fundamentals of the IPA (Ages 14+)
Jan. 10th – Feb. 7th (five weeks)
This Dialects workshop focuses on teaching actors the International Phonetic Alphabet, or IPA. The first in a two-part class, the aim of this course is to educate actors in the basics of the IPA to apply it towards the learning of dialects in Dialects Course B. This is not a performance class; rather, this is a scholarly approach that ultimately allows actors to teach themselves any dialect or accent through focused study. Ages 14 and up. This class does not offer make-up days. For more info, click here to watch a video of the IPA in action!
Dialects B: Application of the IPA* (Ages 14+)
Feb. 14th – Mar. 14th (five weeks)
Class B Focuses on using the IPA and my 7-step approach towards learning a dialect, using Received Pronunciation (British) as a stepping stone. By the end of this class, you should have the tools and confidence to learn and dialect you wish.
*Must have completed Dialects Class A to enroll.
To register for class, visit the Young Actors Space class registration page by clicking here.
“Before taking Scott Alan Moffitt’s Dialect and IPA class, I felt completely lost when it came to any sort of dialect. Now, I am able to use the tools I have been given to perfect a dialect the right way and in a short amount of time! I recently had a last minute audition for twelve pages of a French dialect (something I had never ever attempted before) and using what I learned from Scott, I was able to walk into the room with confidence and know that my dialect was spot on. The IPA is truly something that has not only helped with dialects, but has given me the ability to create interesting character quirks and more understanding of the how people speak around us. Not to mention, Scott’s class went above and beyond in making learning the IPA incredibly fun- I can now officially call myself an IPA nerd!! With whatever roles that may come my way, I am confident that Scott’s training has given me the tools needed to nail it.” – Ciara Wilson, Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark
“Guess what guys? Scott is a kick ass teacher! I’ve struggled with teaching myself dialects off and on for years using instructional CDs and was super confused as to WTF the IPA was or how to use it effectively because no one I was trying to learn from explained it in a way that I could wrap my brain around. With Scott’s help….in a matter of days… I not only now know WTF the IPA is, how to use it and even MEMORIZED IT. Not only that, more importantly, I now FULLY understand how to teach myself ANY dialect I might want to add to my lil’ ol’ acting skill set…. Yes, you heard me right…Scott taught me this in a matter of DAYS. Take this friggin’ class with Professor Moffitt. It’s well worth it. And you’re welcome.” – Shannon Ames, aka DJ Shortee
“Dialects were always very difficult for me, but such an important aspect of character development. My view on it changed once I met Scott and he taught me the right way to use IPA. It has added a whole other professional layer to my acting, and helps me add depth to certain roles. ” – Sean Russel Herman, actor, Tyler Perry’s The Have and the Have Nots
“Before finding this class, I did a LOT of research in an effort to find some course where I could learn IPA. Unless you are enrolled in a university, there simply is a void in this market. I feel extremely lucky to have the ability to learn IPA, not just in Los Angeles where I am based, but at a studio 15 min from home. I went to a top drama school, but the approach to dialects was entirely different there. I feel this is a more technical approach to dialects than mimicry is, and it satisfies my own need to feel like I’ve covered all my bases or done due diligence in preparing for a role. Also, I’ve been out of college for almost 20 years so— for me—it would have been hard to get this level of training outside of a university setting. This class is a hidden gem, in my opinion.” – Chante McCormick, voice actress