Need some help understanding the "transatlantic accent"

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When the client asks for a transatlantic accent, does that mean they want something that sounds pre 1960's (like Orson Welles and a ribbon mic)?  Ladies, what examples did you draw from when you learned this accent?  Katherine Hepburn?  Also - how would you approach this if the script is written in a way that seems more modern?

Daring to try new things...
asked in Technique by genjonesgenjones (200 points)

1 Answer

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As a speech and dialect coach, I agree with your understanding of Transatlantic.  Ms. Hepburn is a classic example.  However, I don't think that most clients who post that description are thinking of that.  I think they are looking for a clean-sounding American accent without regional influence (what is often referred to as a General American accent today).  Americans will often ask for a British accent, totally unaware of the dozens of accents that fall under that title, and both American and other clients who want an American accent, aren't sure what to call that thing we can do that sounds like you're from nowhere in particular.  If anything, I'd skew toward the East Coast back vowels if a client requests Transatlantic - for example, the word "awful" would be more rounded than normal as would the word "coffee" (but not so far as New York - ie: Cawfee Tawk).  If it's requested, I recommend you keep it clean and decently, but not overly articulated.  If you have any questions, feel free to message me!
answered by deborahsalebutler (17,190 points)
Wow, so many subtleties...
Relieved that I can just use my natural non-accent!
Thanks for taking the time to answer, Deb.  You're a huge help on these forums.

Cheers,

Gen.