An Individualized Approach to Coaching Dialects, Voice, Acting, & Creativity
Storytelling is my passion…my bliss; and as performers and creators we must be fully transformed to serve the stories we tell. In coaching privately for the past 10 years, and in the entertainment industry via Los Angeles for the past 4 years, I have developed my approach to coaching actors and consulting directors both from my experience in coaching on stage and screen and my experience as a performer.
As a basis, I use the International Phonetic Alphabet, as curated by Edith Skinner in Speak With Distinction, adapting the techniques and sounds to the specific needs of the story. However, my main goal is to help an actor achieve a consistency and ease in transforming into a character with the use of sounds, which may or may not involve the creation of our own phonetic understanding or even a completely approach. My eclectic experience, as an instructor, writer, performer, and speech coach all work in cohesion to individualize my work with every performer and director. I believe the use of IPA can help actors become self empowered in character development via language, but I have also seen it get in the way of the work, at which point I put the story first.
As I understand it, dialect and accent is not separate from character (or politics, or history, or class, or education, or anything else in our development as humans); consequently, my coaching also extends to acting, voice, and even creative development.
Claudia currently coaches students privately in Voice and Dialect specializing in Edith Skinner, Spanish Speaking Clients, and other accents. Claudia has coached a number of theater productions in dialects as well. She also teaches workshops in Voice & Movement – Please check the event site for information on upcoming workshops.
Many coaches have opinions about accent reduction, and some even believe it is not possible for an accent to be reduced completely. I do think there are many schools or coaches in a LA promising accent reduction that serve more for profit than to honestly serve their students. I do believe foreign accents can be reduced, and my students have accomplished that. It varies from person to person, and with different levels of dedication, how much that may be. But through this work, I put ownership and ease of language at upmost importance, so that an actor’s accent is no longer what is being heard over the story at hand. My work in Spanish has also given me an acuity to perceiving the sounds of other language, and I have much experience working with students in accent reduction combining and understanding of their native language with English Pronunciation.