Dialect coach

dialect coach is an acting coach who helps an actor design the voice and speech of a character in the context of an on-camera (movie, television or commercial), stage (theater, musical theater, opera, etc.), radio gold voiceover animationproduction. The dialect coach often does original research on dialects and speech patterns, prepares training materials, provides instruction and works on lines with the actor. A dialect coach will give the actor feedback focusing on issues of credibility, consistency, and clarity. A dialect coach may also be helpful to help you understand your voice, or to help you improve your voice. language.


The term dialect coach persists as the primary designation for an accent or language coach in the US and Canadian entertainment businesses. However, other designations may also be used. Some dialects coaches will refer to themselves as dialogue coaches (or, occasionally, by the historian designation, dialogue directors ), especially when working on a second language

In the opera world, coaches who help opera singers with articulation of lyrics (often in a unfamiliar language, such as Russian, German or Czech) are called diction coaches. In the United Kingdom, we are coach coaches and we are not acting coaches .

The term voice coach is applied to those who work in the UK, but this use is not common in the US film and television business where the term “voice coach” would be understood a singing coach (aka, a vocal coach ).

Likewise, on US stage productions the term coach is also avoided to prevent confusion with a voice (singing) coach or someone who coaches actors in techniques for inducing a state of heightened relaxation On the contrary, it is intended to promote effective placement of resonances in the upper body, the actor ‘s availability of expression and appropriate projection. [1] [2] [3]


In some cases, voice warm-up coaching integrates full-body work in yoga , movement or balance. Many actors believe that such warm-ups and exercises reduce the likelihood of vocal damage, especially in the absence of electronic amplification (eg, microphones and a PA system). [4] A coaching dialect can also be coached to coach voice issues in this latter sense in conjunction with theatrical dialect coaching. Not every dialect coach has the training and knowledge to also do vocal coaching in a singing sense.

Hiring and management

On-camera productions

One has film or television production, dialect coaches are typically hired by the line producer during pre-production to begin preparing for the main photography . The main production manager , production manager , production supervisor , production coordinator or, in some cases, executive producer who is likely to interview prospective coaches on behalf of the production. Only during post-production, the coach may be hired directly by the post producer. In advance of being hired, coaches can be interviewed by the showrunneror a staff writer in the box of episodic television or by the film director in the box of a feature film. Dialect coaches may be used in the past, but they are often brought to a place where they are often played by actors in their own right. Therefore, frequently, the filmmakers themselves will ask Production to hire a particular coach.

However, the coach is going to be hired, the creatives will often speak to coaching early on in the process. become fully integrated by the actor prior to the actor’s first shoot day. Once hired, the coach will typically prepare actors for a number of sessions, either on the production floor, at the Production Office or in the actor’s own home. Coaches who work in a serialized manner are expected to be flexible

During production, the second assistant directortypically schedules coaching sessions. Many creatives will be asked to be present at read-throughs or story conferences, at production meetings and at least some first-team rehearsals. While a shot is set-up, the coach will be kept in close proximity to the actors to be coached. Often, the coach will be assigned to a dressing room, or, on rent, a room in the honeywagon, double-banger or triple-banger near the actors’ trailers. On set, the dialect coach will be issued to the headset and given a chair (exclusive, if on set regularly) on pronunciation and clarity, particularly if the dialogue is in dialect or language unfamiliar to the post-production team. An on-set coach may also work with an actor between takes if needed, especially on last minute changes to the script. Later, the coach may be brought back to the post-production process, sometimes via a feed of a remote studio when the actors are no longer available in person.[5]

Stage productions

Internship production, dialect coaches are typically brought together by a director or artistic director with a general manager. Coaches work with the production stage manager who coordinates meetings with the director and coaching sessions for the cast collectively or individually. The coach will also be present to give notes to the actors at some rehearsals, partial runs and full runs. Coaching typically takes place in the rehearsal process, but especially before the actors begins memorizing their lines and again after the show is loaded into the performance space. Understudies may be coached alongside the main performers or after the show goes into previews. Coaching may continue in a limited way during a run.

Status and compensation

In the film and television businesses, dialect coaches are very well paid. Coaches are customarily given on-screen credits for their work on films and for substantial contributions to serialized television. The wording of the credit may vary with the specific requirements of the production. On some shows, dialect coaches may be asked to contribute to the production of, for instance, dialogue polishing in English or other languages. They can serve as technical consultants in the areas of culture and written language. They often guide, or engage with, the casting process of creating and consulting the voice design for the production. Consequently, the deal memos for coaches mayabove-the-line nor below-the-line , but on-the-line.

In the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the UK and the US, dialect coaches remain among a very small minority of production staff who are not unionized; their deals may differ in substance from production to production in these jurisdictions. In Australia and New Zealand, coaches who are employed on a film or theater are covered under the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance . English-language Canadian film and television productions, dialect coaches are affiliated with the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists . Coaches are not affiliated under the Union of Artists for French-language productions in Canada.

In the theater, coaches who help actors honeymooners or characters voices typically seek compensation on by coaches, dialect designers or voice and speech directors. Dialect coaches are not organized for live performances in Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the UK or the US.

There is no membership branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that incorporates dialect coaching, nor is there a peer group of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences that agreements active membership status to coaches.

Cost-cutting for low-budget productions

Due to budget constraints, producers of student films and stage plays, showcase theater and slimy directed independent films and web series may avoid hiring a dialect coach, and instead substitute the services of a low-paid or volunteer native speaker will be able to learn to learn, retain the focus and act in it without expert guidance or monitoring. In some such cases, members may themselves pay a fee, sometimes in consultation with the director, In other cases, actors may attempt to self-study the dialect using commercially available training materials or web-based voice archives [6] [7] [8]which host native speaker of oral histories interviews or other scripted speech. [9] The majority of such records also provide native-speaker recordings of phonemically balanced narrative passages, especially Comma Gets a Cure, [10] which is structured around the lexical sets of English and other phonological patterns of interest to the student of dialect . [11]

Job prospects

While there are Many Hundreds of voice and speech trainers connected with drama courses Throughout The English-speaking world May Who has control of stock internship dialects for general use, far Fewer specialize in dialect coaching. A web search of dialect coaches with the Internet Movie Database listings of less than 100 film and TV coaches worldwide, the majority of recent, few jobs, credited or uncredited. Most of these dialects coaches work on an ad hoc basis on individual productions. However, in some cases, a coach may be attached to a company as a resident voice and speech director, especially if the coach has a second specialization (esp. Shakespeareor voice). As with many aspects of the business entertainment, entry into the field of dialect coaching is very competitive. Because coaches are not always called for a day of a shot, many coaches find their way to coaching, often by acting, directing (including animated voice directing), teaching in related areas (public speaking, etc. .) or taking on private students, especially for auditions. [12] Outside of the entertainment business based in English-speaking countries, dialect coaching is less common, and opportunities more rare.

Professional societies

Dialect coaches, especially those who teach in theater education programs, may become active in such professional societies as the Australian Voice Association, the British Voice Association, the International Voice Center and the Voice and Speech Trainers Association.

See also

  • Acting coach

Notes and references

  1. Jump up^ Fitzmaurice, Catherine. (1997). Breathing is Meaning. In Hampton, Marian and Acker, Barbara (ed.),The Vocal Vision,247 – 252. New York: Applause Theater & Cinema Books. ISBN 978-1-55783-282-5.
  2. Jump up^ Rodenburg, Patsy. (2002). The Actor Speaks: Voice and the Performer. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-31229514-6.
  3. Jump up^ Linklater, Kristin. (2006). Freeing the Natural Voice: Imagery and Art in the Practice of Voice and Language, Revised Edition. Nick Hern. ISBN 1854599712.
  4. Jump up^ These claims have-nots-been rigorously tested in controlled clinical trials.
  5. Jump up^ Blaise, Cynthia. (2003). Coaching dialects for film. ‘In R.Dal Vera (ed.),Voice and Speech Review: Film, Broadcast and e-Media Coaching and Other Contemporary Issues in Professional Voice and Speech Training, 26 – 32. New York: Applause Books. ISBN 1557835225.
  6. Jump up^ International Dialects of English Archive. [1].
  7. Jump up^ Visual Accent & Dialect Archive, University of Maryland
  8. Jump up^ BBC Voices
  9. Jump up^ The Speech Accent Archive
  10. Jump up^ McCullough, Jill & Somerville, Barbara. (2000). Comma Gets at Cure(Honorof, Douglas N., ed.). [2]
  11. Jump up^ Honorof, Douglas N. (2003). Reference vowels and lexical sets in accent acquisition. In R.Dal Vera (ed.),Voice and Speech Review: Film, Broadcast and e-Media Coaching and Other Contemporary Issues in Professional Voice and Speech Training, 106-122. New York: Applause Books. ISBN 1557835225.
  12. Jump up^ Kopf, Ginny. (1997). Dialect Handbook: Learning, Researching and Performing a Dialect Role. Orlando, FL: Voiceprint Pub. ISBN 0965596060.

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