Marketing: Accents

Are ya ready ta tawlk? Pull up ah chaah. Cuz da Bowssess wanna speak ta youze! Don’t worry, you won’t need a translator for today’s episode, but you’re sure to get a laugh out of our accent antics. The Bosses are talking all about dialects and regionalism and how they can impact your voiceover business.


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. One of our staff pointed out that the Boss Ladies occasionally have some accented moments.

  2. As two women from the North East, this should come as no surprise.

  3. We all come from somewhere and accents are perceived and heard differently based on where you are from.

  4. It’s rare to completely lose an accent. It’s common to adopt speech patterns as well.

  5. In years past you had to be completely accent neutral in order to have a career in voiceover.

  6. It was believed that you had to be speech neutral in order to sell a product or service to a broad audience.

  7. Knowing where and how an accent can be fitting in VO is critical.

  8. Commercial buyers want something real and less than perfect. As do video games and Audio Books.

  9. You can reduce or modify your accent with therapy and speech training.

  10. Dialect coaches help you to hear and understand your accent so you can become aware of it.

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up

Hear more about the neutral accent with Monique Bagwell
Recorded on ipDTL


>> Today’s voiceover talent is more than just a pretty voice.

>> Pretty voice.

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>> BOSS.

>> A BOSS.

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Anne: [in New Jersey accent] Let’s talk, Gabby.

Gabby: [in New Jersey accent] Let’s talk, all right.

Anne: Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my cohost and BOSS bestie, Gabby Nistico. Gabby!

Gabby: Hey, how youse doin’?

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: Are you rolling? Hold on, are you rolling?

Anne: I’m rolling, I’m rolling.

Gabby: You sure? You’re sure you’re recording?

Anne: Are you ready to talk, are you ready to talk with me?

Gabby: I’m always ready to talk. To you, always.

Anne: I got my coffee – it’s always about coffee and talking.

Gabby: Always. I got some water, I got some water. I’m good.

Anne: [laughs] [normal accent] Gabby, we need to talk about accents today. So much fun. [laughs]

Gabby: [normal accent] We do. So here’s the deal. Dianna Conley, who works, you know, on the podcast, she’s one of our staff, also a voice actress, she, she pointed out to me not so subtly while we were at the VO Atlanta that periodically as Anne and I really get going –

[both laugh]

Gabby: The further we progress into an episode, the more likely it is that our original accents and speech patterns start to come out. And so I was like –

Anne: [New Jersey accent] We start talking faster.

Gabby: [New Jersey accent] Talking a little faster. We get a little BOSS.

Anne: Talking a little bit more – yeah, getting a little more –

Gabby: Little BOSS action going.

[both laugh]

Anne: [normal] I find that, yes, when I go back to Jersey as well, when I start talking, my accents come back. So let’s talk about accents and how they affect us in voiceover.

Gabby: I think it’s a great discussion. I don’t feel like it’s touched on often enough. So yeah, if you don’t already know, I’m a native New Yorker. I grew up on Long Island. [laughs]

Anne: Long Island.

Gabby: So my speech as a kid, I mean, I think about it, and I think about growing up with my friends and the way everyone – it was horrible. Absolutely horrible. These weird, very harsh New York affectations that when I was in radio in New York, by comparison to the general population, my accent was much less than everyone else. So it was interesting because living there, you know, people would say, “oh, you don’t sound like you’re from here at all.”

Anne: [laughs]

Gabby: But then you leave.

Anne: You know, Gabby, I’m originally not from New York City area but from upstate –

Gabby: Upstate, right.

Anne: For me, everything was very much like a flat A, like wahder, cahr, it almost sounded Bostonian in a little bit.

Gabby: Or Canadian.

Anne: What happened – or Canadian, exactly. What happened when I moved to New Jersey, and I started saying wahder, cahr and things like that, they just made so much fun of me –

Gabby: Of course, of course.

Anne: That I ultimately, after hanging out for 23 years like I did with Jerseyians, with New Jerseyians, I started to adopt a lot of the same accent. And then I, and then I went into voiceover and literally had to really try to neutralize, because back then, Gabby, and this is me, older – back then it was very advantageous to have a very neutral accent, especially because I did a lot of narration. And that’s what they call for, that’s what they like.

Gabby: Yeah.

Anne: It still is, but not as much, Gabby. There are some, there are some, some forgivings I think as of late because –

Gabby: Agreed.

Anne: Because of the whole trend to be inclusive and have to verse –

Gabby: Conversational, real.

Anne: Conversational voices. Mm-hmm.

Gabby: I agree. And I know, I know exactly what we are talking about. I think the same holds true for me. When I first got started, it was critical. You had to be accent neutral.

Anne: Absolutely.

Gabby: So we were all faced with this, no matter where in the country or in the world we were from as voice actors, we had to neutralize –

Anne: Mm-hmm.

Gabby: And just eradicate the cultural differences.