Podcasts Mission Audition How to Spot (and Do) Authentic Australian Accents with Toby Ricketts
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How to Spot (and Do) Authentic Australian Accents with Toby Ricketts

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Stephanie Ciccarelli
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Australian accents are captivating, yet challenging. Many North American actors think they can do an Aussie accent, but often miss the mark. What does it take to do it right? Special guest Toby Ricketts, a New Zealand-based voice actor and voice over coach, has mastered various Australian accents and knows how to spot the real McCoy. Can you? Learn how to spot telltale signs of an authentic Australian accent as Toby, Stephanie and Julianna talk accents, dialects and so much more in this episode of Mission Audition.

Hosts: Stephanie Ciccarelli, Julianna Jones, with special guest, multi-award-winning Voice Over Artist, Toby Ricketts,

About Toby Ricketts
In the last 20+ years of his career, multi-award-winning voice over artist, Toby Ricketts, has managed to create a global client base of big-name brands and loyal customers.

From his roots working on Pirate Radio in the UK in the early 90’s, through to the New Zealand Broadcasting School in the 2000s, Toby has gone from strength to strength, mastering four different accents and voice over technique to lend his voice to brands from across the globe.

Just a few of his impressive clients include Facebook, Netflix, Samsung, BMW, Audi, Spotify and Google – to name but a few. As well as lecturing on Voice over at international conferences, Toby has been nominated for two SOVAS awards, and at the One Voice Awards held in London, he won 7 awards, including Male Voiceover of the Year in 2018 and 2019.

Visit his website to learn more: www.tobyrickettsvoiceover.com

Inspired? Get your practise on with voice over scripts: https://www.voices.com/blog/category/tools-and-resources/sample-scripts/

Mission Audition is presented by Voices.com. Produced and Engineered by Shelley Bulmer and Cameron Pocock; Scripting by Voices.com.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Hi there. I’m Stephanie Ciccarelli.

Julianna Jones:
And I’m Julianna Jones.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Welcome to Mission Audition. I’m so happy. We’re always happy to do the show, I must say. But today we have a guest from the other side of the world. And it’s early in the morning where you are, well, not too early, but early enough. Toby Ricketts, welcome to the program.

Toby Ricketts:
Thank you so much. Pleasure to be here.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Toby, you have the best possible backdrop for doing your voiceovers. You live in New Zealand. First of all, that’s awesome. That’s just like-

Julianna Jones:
Beautiful.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
I want to go there just to see Holly town, I want to do all kinds of… I know we’re not talking about that today, but what we are doing is actually doing an episode about authentic or as close to authentic as we can be Australian accents. So Toby, you’re an expert in this area because you can do a lot of accents, including the Australian accent. So why don’t you share a bit about yourself, how you got into this voiceover thing, where you’re from originally, and all the places you’ve lived, and the accents you’ve picked up as a voiceover artist.

Toby Ricketts:
So I’ve been a professional voiceover for, full time it’s probably about five or six years. I’ve been in radio for about 20 years before that. I started when I was eight years old making little radio shows on cassettes with my friends. And since then I’ve gone on to win a few big awards. There was the One Voice Awards. I won four awards in 2018, including voiceover of the year, and won voiceover of the year in 2019 as well as a few other awards as well, which was amazing, and nominated for few Sovaz awards as well over that time.

Toby Ricketts:
But a little bit about my accent background, so I was born in England in Brighton on the South coast. And I lived there until I was about 14 years old, then my family immigrated to New Zealand, which is about as far away from England as you can get. So I moved over here with this little South Coast British accent.

Toby Ricketts:
And it was the first year of high school when I moved over, because I was 14 years old, which is a very challenging time socially. And of course I had this accent that was different from everyone else’s. And within two weeks my accent became like a New Zealand accent like it is now, but the strange thing was whenever I talked to my relatives on the phone it would go back to a British accent, and I wouldn’t even be conscious of it. So I realized that there were two accents stored away and I could do both.

Toby Ricketts:
I do a lot of my work in a British accent, and that’s probably where I’m most comfortable, because I do about probably 80% of my work with a British accent, but also there’s some New Zealand work that needs doing. And then I thought, well, Australian accent is pretty close to a New Zealand accent. There are some quite big differences, but they’re all quite… It’s not a completely different accent. So I decided to branch out into Australian and started getting Australian work.

Toby Ricketts:
And then after that I thought, well, the accent that’s most cast in the world is North American. And so I thought, well, I’ll start working on my North American accent. And that’s evolved into this interesting new phenomenon of trans-Atlantic, but also trans-global accents where corporations are starting to cast for someone that comes from nowhere because they want a video that they can send to their sales team and they can sound like they’re from nowhere, they’re not favoring any particular branch. So my current thing is offering this accent from nowhere.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Wow. To be from nowhere. That is awesome. So just give us a little flavor here. So you have all those accents that you’ve mentioned, obviously you’ve learned the American accent, can you give us one short sentence, I don’t know, like hi, my name’s Toby in all of the accents that you can do.

Toby Ricketts:
I’ll do a short sentence. And this is one I like because it covers most of the vowel sounds. Okay. So in my native kiwi accent, I’d say, because this is my normal speaking voice, I had John fix the car. So I had my friend John fix the car, right? Now let’s switch to American. I had John fix the car. Like that.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Oh, yeah. That’s good.

Toby Ricketts:
And then let’s do Australian. I had John fixed the car. Subtle difference between the kiwi, notice there. I had John fix the car. And let’s go British. I had John fix the car. So again, it’s quite subtle, but they’re all slightly different accents there.

Julianna Jones:
I see all my favorite TV shows in each of the different accents.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yeah. South African is another accent that fits in that world of, wow, that sounds really neat. It’s not British, it’s not Australian. So how is that accent different from everything else? Have you tried that one?

Toby Ricketts:
Yes. Well, the South African accent is very clipped. It’s got very strange vowels that fall in different places, a little bit like the Kiwi accent as well, except the main thing with the South African is you hear that it’s very staccato. It’s very clipped like this. There’s a movie about Prawns, which I took a lot of inspiration for this from. If you know it, then you know it, but yeah, that’s my take on the South African accent.

Toby Ricketts:
Once you start getting into accents you realize that there’s no Australian accent, or American accent, or South Africa. There’s different regions, and the accent can diverge quite a lot from the classic standard accent. So in South Africa there’s the transvaal accent and there’s… There’re all different kinds in America. There’s a huge plethora of different accents, right? From Southern right up to the Canadian border where you’ve… They’ve got their Minnesotan, and then the Canadian.

Toby Ricketts:
And I’d love to paint a map with a spectrum, because they all start to bleed into each other as well and you get these interesting halfway accents. So, I mean, accents is one of those fascinating things that you can use in everyday life as well. I really love that you can practice this stuff on strangers and they have no idea that you’re actually working hard, but you’re pretending to be from somewhere else. And even if you muck up, people won’t necessarily point it out. You’ll know that you made a mistake, but they won’t know.

Toby Ricketts:
So, yeah, I think it’s one of those really interesting things. England as well is a great example of a place where you can walk two miles down the road and have someone that talks completely different. There are all these little where an accent’s developed over years, because accents usually develop where there’s some geographical border or there’s some social difference. So there’s a strata either geographically or socially, which just meant that people don’t mix and they form their own way of talking. And I find that fascinating.

Julianna Jones:
So fascinating.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yeah. Toby, obviously there are regions in different parts of the world and in every country. We shouldn’t just say, yeah, they have an accent, and there is only one. So in Australia, for the purposes of this show and from what you can remember, right now, what are the different dialects in Australia and how do they change from region to region or even from province to province?

Toby Ricketts:
So there is a central Australian accent, but it does vary from the South to the North. So right down in the South where Melbourne is in Victoria, it’s a very soft form of the Australian accent. It’s almost kiwi in some ways, like what I’m speaking now is the Victorian accent, and then as you go up the coast you get into more… New South Wales, Sydney, that kind of thing, and gets a little bit more pointed in the eyes. And then you get the Central Coast and Northern territory mate and it gets pretty wild up there, country, and the accent, and everything goes a bit crazy.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
I guess, when we’re listening, if you do hear some regionalisms or you can spot, I don’t know, an Aussie in the mix somewhere, and of course we’re not going to say if there are authentic aussies or not in this that’s, that’s up to Toby’s ears to figure out today. Yeah. We’re going to be listening for all kinds of things, but absolutely a great point. There’s all kinds of different dialects and accents within regions. Yeah. We have a very distinct accent actually in the region that we live in, Southwestern Ontario.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Before we talk anymore, because I’m telling you, we need to stop, we need to get to these auditions. I know you want us to get there. We’ll talk about the job. So this is a… It’s basically a narration, just putting that out there for you. It’s a documentary. We’re looking for an authentic bright voice. Of course the accent is Australian, whatever that means to us today. And we’re looking to hear from male and female voice artists, but Juliana, I’ll let you get into those details.

Julianna Jones:
Sure. So for the artistic direction we said, this piece of nonfiction should be read in the style of a narrator. These passages are from a work documenting the life of astronomer Galileo and should be read in a bright and engaging way in a fully voice narration style.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Well, that’s quite a job I’d say. All right.

Toby Ricketts:
And just before we go, I think it’s really important to state that if you’re not ready to do accents at a professional level, an authentic level, then don’t just put yourself out there and try and do accents and not know whether you’re any good. Find a mentor, find someone you trust, and practice your accents on them, and ask when you’re ready to take this accent to market.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Well, here we are. Everyone tune your years. We’re about to hear audition number one.

Audition 1:
Like many other philosophers who greatly extended our knowledge of nature, Galileo had a remarkable aptitude for the invention of instruments designed for philosophical research. To facilitate his practical work we find that in 1599 he had engaged a skilled workman who was to live in his house and be constantly at hand to try the devices, which were forever springing from Galileo’s fertile brain.

Julianna Jones:
All right. Toby, what do you think?

Toby Ricketts:
I’m listening a bit less to the accent and more to the delivery. It’s one long sentence and not broken up. So I’ll comment on the delivery and also bits on the accents too. So in terms of delivery there’s no real journey letting me know where I’m supposed to listen to in the sentence. There’s music in there in terms of the music of talking, but it’s all over the place so it’s a little bit distracting.

Toby Ricketts:
In terms of his actual Australian accent some parts are quite right, but there’s interesting areas where it’s a bit of a giveaway, like aptitude. Australians would almost always say tude rather than just tude, like a flat tude, aptitude, aptitude. So yeah, just little differences like that can give away. But on the whole, the accent was pretty good. But like I said, the delivery threw me a bit. And often when people try and do accents, they start focusing so much on the accent that the actual delivery goes out the window.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yeah. I was thinking back to my days in diction class in music, and we had the IPA, international phonetic alphabet, and we had to learn how to spell out words in the languages that we were singing, so Italian, French, German, Latin, whatever. And we also had to learn how to do it in English too, which is kind of cool.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
And I can’t remember for the life of me, Kevin McMillan, if you are listening to this, you comment and you let us know who the author of this book was. But anyway, this woman in the United States, she had written this really great book that talked about just simply for English speaking. And yeah, sometimes when you have attitude, it could be attitude, but it is so cool to think that we could dissect an accent through how it looks on paper-

Toby Ricketts:
Right.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
… phonetically.

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah. Phonetically.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
You could learn an accent any number of ways too, right? Not just listening.

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah, that’s true. One of my goals in the future is to, I don’t know about phonetics or how to write them, and it would be quite useful in what I do, probably.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Definitely one way. I know that hearing and shaping the vowels and all that is totally its own beast. But just thinking, as you said that it took me all the way back into music ed, and I’m like, oh, that is such a neat thing. I wonder if anyone else is into linguistics and hearing this, because they’ve got some ideas of their own probably on how to teach themselves an accent.

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah. And things like diphthongs. I find diphthongs really fascinating, how in one accent there’s just a single note and a single sound, and in others that sound will turn on… they’ll become two vowel sounds on the same note. I’m trying to think of an example, but dip in a Southern American accent, D-I-P, whereas in British it’ll dip, and in Southern American dip, like it’s two different noises that happen on the same vowel.

Toby Ricketts:
And there’s a funny story that in New Zealand we’re the only accent that has something called a quadrathong, we call it. This is very jokingly. And in New Zealand there’s, we’ll find this hilarious, there’s this is thing in the New Zealand accent where we say, no, and it’s like a quadrathong, because it’s like, no, but we turn it into four different sounds, no.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Oh, wow.

Julianna Jones:
It’s like a great warmup exercise.

Toby Ricketts:
Exactly. It does sound like a good warm up exercise.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yeah. That gets into the resonators. No.

Toby Ricketts:
No. Yeah.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
It’s like stretching the face abit there. Yeah. That’s cool. Sometimes you can spot something, it will stick out like a sore thumb to a native speaker. Like if you don’t say to tude when you should be saying it or something, it’s a giveaway. So and that, I guess we’ll move to audition number two and we’ll find out what this auditioner has brought to the table.

Audition 2:
Like many other philosophers who greatly extended our knowledge of nature, Galileo had a remarkable aptitude for the invention of instruments designed for philosophical research. To facilitate his practical work, we find that in 1599 he had engaged a skilled workman who was to live in his house and be constantly at hand to try the devices, which were forever springing from Galileo’s fertile brain.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Wow, what do you think, Toby?

Toby Ricketts:
Very nice. I’m going to award the Dick Van Dyke award for bravery to this one. As you know, Dick van Dyke, which has been voted the worst accent in history, and Mary Poppins trying to play Cockney on The Streets of London. This one, I feel like it had its feet in so many different accents. It was like this amazing blend of all these different things. There was a bit of South African in there, a bit of Cockney, and lots of sub Saharan Africa.

Toby Ricketts:
And I would put money that this person, because it’s very uncommon to hear some of those African vowels and African sounds coming through, and I definitely heard that, so I would put money that this person is a voiceover in sub Saharan Africa somewhere, possibly Nigeria.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
The mental picture of the Dick Van Dyke award for the accent that he did. But I thought, well, since you mentioned all these different places, and you also said earlier to be the voice from nowhere, to have belonged to nowhere, how do we distinguish between being a voice from nowhere and sounding like you’ve been everywhere, but we’re not sure where you’re from.

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah, it’s interesting. Because, I mean, with this one it sounds a little unsettled because it keeps going into different accents whereas someone that has, say, lived in England and then lived in the United States will smoothly flow through them and borrow from each rather than just steal this bit and steal this bit. There’s a smoothness-

Julianna Jones:
Like it was-

Toby Ricketts:
… to how they sound.

Julianna Jones:
… very choppy where one was… versus the other.

Toby Ricketts:
Exactly. Yeah. And there is an obvious point at which you start throwing vowels around, which you know that that doesn’t come from anywhere in the world because it’s completely foreign. It starts to get into the realms of comedy at that point, and then no one’s taking you seriously and you’ve lost your believability. So it’s a very fine line between, I mean, the exit from nowhere is not just any old random valves put together, it’s got to be considered, and you’ve got to have the knowledge of what language is in English and what accents generally sound like in order to start breaking the rules.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Just thinking of people who invent their own accents, won’t name them. Won’t name them now. It is something that you don’t construct your own accent. Well, I mean, you could try, but I’m just thinking, people do construct languages though. There were in groups on Facebook where they do this. They create their own languages.

Toby Ricketts:
Absolutely. Like Dothraki and Klingon. They go back and they make a whole culture behind it as well. And culture is a really important thing, which we’ll get into a little bit later, but how culture influence accents.

Julianna Jones:
Well, there are certain words or vowels that gave away different accents that you picked out.

Toby Ricketts:
I think so. Definitely with Australian there’s the I in the middle of words like think. There’s not too many other accents which would say think, apart from South African as well, that’s think. They have that. They share that in common. It’s interesting when you see accents borrowing from each other, as well, there’s elements of the kiwi accent and the boston accent which share a very uncommon expression.

Toby Ricketts:
It’s said in a North American some and you hear a Boston accent and think, that’s a kiwi, and then it’s not, but it’s just, they’ve said a little thing that’s exactly the same as the kiwi accent, which is unusual.

Julianna Jones:
Well, I’m almost wondering if when you have, well, until you’re at the point where you’re able to fluidly be a voice of the world, that maybe when you’re doing accents it might be better to stick with animation voiceover jobs that are asking versus something that’s a little bit more serious like a documentary.

Toby Ricketts:
Absolutely.

Julianna Jones:
What do you think?

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah, exactly. Because when you’ve got a voice that requires some authority and believability and has that gravitas, the last thing you want is to see doubt in the minds of the people that this person doesn’t know what they’re talking about. And if they’re doing something that’s like, I’ve never heard this before so why should I believe them kind of thing with the accents. With things like documentary you do want to stick with things that people are used to and comfortable hearing so they can concentrate on the content rather than the delivery.

Julianna Jones:
Versus if you flip that with cartoons and that’s no problem, you can have fun with the-

Toby Ricketts:
Exactly.

Julianna Jones:
… voice. Yeah.

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah. It’s all about the funny voice.

Julianna Jones:
That makes a lot of sense.

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah, exactly.

Julianna Jones:
Well, and maybe for some other people who are listening, you can use that when you’re applying to auditions, just think a little bit critically about what it is that you can accomplish on the job.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Okay. Well, let’s listen to audition number three.

Audition 3:
Like many other philosophers who greatly extended our knowledge of nature, Galileo had a remarkable aptitude for the invention of instruments designed for philosophical research. To facilitate his practical work, we find that in 1599 he had engaged a skilled workman who was to live in his house and be constantly at hand to try the devices, which were forever springing from Galileo’s fertile brain.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yeah. I must admit, I did try to almost speak three or four times because I thought she was done, amazing voice.

Julianna Jones:
So pretty.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
So, but it’s like, well, I don’t want to say I’d be fooled. I don’t want to say fooled, but I could believe that this is someone who is from Australia, because I’m not from Australia, she could fool me enough. But something about the delivery was a little too slow. I just wanted to talk about how great she was, but every time I did I had to exhale.

Toby Ricketts:
Exactly. Yeah. No, I had exactly the same reaction. It was a really nuanced accent, it was, I believe that she has lived there for a long time or does live there, because there were things like nature. We’d go nature in New Zealand, and there’s a bit of a ah there, but when they end something with like nature, they literally go C-H-A, cha, nature, like gotcha. It’s an open mouth finish, which you don’t get with many accents.

Toby Ricketts:
So little indicators like that indicate to me that she’s lived around Aussies or something like that. But as you say, it wasn’t a voiceover, it was a series of statements. They didn’t connect. The sentences would sometimes stop in the middle and no connection at all between them in the script. So you keep thinking, what’s she actually talking about, what’s she actually talking about? This is just a series of statements.

Toby Ricketts:
So if she worked on the delivery, then that would be very good. But yeah, unfortunately the delivery let it down abit there.

Julianna Jones:
So when you are taking a look at a script, how do you make sure that you’re not too staccato?

Toby Ricketts:
I think it’s very important to keep in mind that you’re not reading words off a page. You are trying to communicate a concept to the people who are listening using the words on the page. So you’ve got to read it and understand it first, basically tell the people what you’ve just understood on the page.

Toby Ricketts:
When you’ve been doing this for a number of years, you get in the habit of reading up to a sentence or two ahead, and then you put it into your back brain and you’ve got this… You become a machine that eats words and expels meaning I like to tell my students, but it’s all about the meaning in the words. It’s not about actually just saying the words on the script, so it’s understanding them and then communicating the concept with them.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Is it possible that this voice artist might have been thinking, I’m reading for a documentary, there’s stuff going on in the screen, I can’t see it, no one’s telling me in a storyboard what’s going on, so I am going to leave pauses, or I’m going to stop, or I’m not going to connect these ideas because I honestly don’t know if it all is supposed to be together. That could be what it was, but what do you think? If someone’s auditioning for a documentary, Toby, should they be thinking as in like what we would normally think, is to just connect the whole thing, or should they be thinking in terms of splitting it up a little bit?

Toby Ricketts:
Well, I think documentary is a really interesting form of voiceover because it’s one of those art forms, a bit like sound design, where if you notice it then you’re not doing your job. It can’t be attention grabbing, because the important thing is the story that’s going on on screen. You got to leave room for the pictures.

Toby Ricketts:
It’s importxcant to not be noticed, but I think she went so far the other way that it was very noticeable by saying, “Like many other philosophers who greatly extended our knowledge of nature.”

Toby Ricketts:
Those sentences are intimately linked because it’s basically like you’re saying like many other philosophers, and then you’re going off on a sidetrack saying who greatly extended our knowledge of nature, Galileo had a remarkable… So it does have to flow in order to keep that meaning, to keep it rolling forward as opposed to just being a series of there’s this, and this, and this.

Julianna Jones:
What’s your auditioning process like when you sit down in front of one?

Toby Ricketts:
It’s very important to think who you’re reading too. I mean, you get a very good sense once you start doing 20, 30 auditions a day about how to approach scripts. When you first start out I’d say familiarize yourself with lots of different forms of media, documentary, TV shows, trailers, and just see how those scripts sound, how they come out of people’s mouths and what words are used, because then when you start reading sample scripts, you can be like, this sounds like that genre that I know.

Toby Ricketts:
And then you have to conjure up in your head, what does a documentary voice sound like? Oh, it sounds like I’m sitting down, it’s very serious. And just start to construct what you would hear in your head if you’re watching a documentary, and then do that. Rather than try and think about the way you’re going to deliver each word, just try and make your voice sound like the voices on TV doing documentaries. That’s my way of doing it, which is more an intuitive way than an instructive way of doing it. But I think lots of stuff about voiceover is intuitive.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Curious, just because we’re talking about documentaries, but, say, a nature documentary that would be different from, say, a historical documentary where you’re talking about someone and it’s more biographical, that sort of thing, what is the difference between the approach someone might take in, say, Sir. David Attenborough comes to mind as the guy we all look to for the nature videos, but how would approaching a nature video documentary be different from, say, what we’re reading right here?

Toby Ricketts:
David Attenborough really defined that genre. He created it, and he has been the voice of it. And I cannot believe how many auditions every week come through for a David Attenborough sound like. It’s literally about 10% of jobs. So it just shows how much influence his delivery has had on the industry.

Toby Ricketts:
And I think people are somewhat trying to get towards the read that he does without sounding like they’re taking the mickey or trying to do an impersonation of him. I think with historical documentaries it can be a bit more narrative, I suppose. Yeah, it’s difficult trying to exactly find where the line is between that. When it’s human drama I think it’s different from animal drama because there’s a level that we can get involved with human drama, with animal drama we’re spectators to it.

Toby Ricketts:
I did a documentary for National Geographic about Changi Singapore terminal four it was, and they described this amazing building and how they’ve got all these amazing systems. And I think with that one you were trying to get people enthusiastic, you were saying, isn’t this amazing, look at this terminal they’ve built. They’ve got this amazing baggage handling system, and it was this… It almost got into a commercial kind of thing that you were trying to get people excited about, this thing that had happened, not to sell something to them, but just saying, look how amazing it is.

Toby Ricketts:
I mean, the documentary genre is so wide now where you’ve got mega machines and stuff up one end and then the other end you’ve very quiet, historical, or academic documentaries which require a completely different approach. So there really is a very wide gamut of styles appropriate within documentary.

Julianna Jones:
Do you find you do a lot of coaching for documentaries with your students?

Toby Ricketts:
Not specifically. I think it’s an easier genre for someone that’s completely new. I think it’s probably an easier genre to get your head around rather than promo, or radio, or TV ads to start with, because we’re trying to focus on a natural delivery. It sounds like someone just talking, whereas some of the commercial reads don’t sound like normal people talking. They sound a voiceover’s talking.

Julianna Jones:
Yeah, definertely.

Toby Ricketts:
So I think it’s quite an accessible genre. And I think there’s going to be more and more work online, because people are making mini documentaries about everything now, it’s not just the BBC and the ABC or, I’m not sure who in America makes it, and the… What’s it called in-

Julianna Jones:
Well, even on-

Toby Ricketts:
… well, Canada?

Julianna Jones:
… Netflix you have a bunch of not homemade ones but people who never would have had this kind of an audience now have access to them through platforms like streaming services, and it’s just so cool to see what people are making and things I’d never would have had access to-

Toby Ricketts:
Exactly.

Julianna Jones:
… without it.

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah, exactly. Very good point.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yeah. There’s a lot of opportunity. Absolutely.

Julianna Jones:
Definetely.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
So we’re going to move to audition number four.

Toby Ricketts:
Right.

Audition 4:
Like many other philosophers who greatly extended our knowledge of nature, Galileo had a remarkable aptitude for the invention of instruments designed for philosophical research to facilitate his practical work. We find that in 1599 he engaged a skilled workman who was to live in his house and be constantly at hand to try the devices, which were forever springing from Galileo’s fertile brain.

Julianna Jones:
So, if I had listened to this one without having listened to the other ones I would have thought, oh yeah, this is an Australian guy, but now that I’ve heard your critiques for the other ones, I’m picking this one apart, and I’m like, oh, he’s not Australian. Would you agree?

Toby Ricketts:
Absolutely. And I can hear his American accent shining through behind it. You can just hear. I bet he does a great commercial US read though, because you can just hear that he’s got that real commercial flow sound to his voice. And this is a really interesting example of one of the other things about accents, that it’s not necessarily about the sounds you make, but the rhythm that you say them in as well. Because one of the big things I learned when I was trying to do an American accent for the American market and my dilate coach says, the words you’re saying have an American flavor. They have the right sounds, but your rhythm is all wrong.

Toby Ricketts:
Because Americans, rather than speaking in a British accent, and you say, I’m going to go out and get something from the car, and you say every word with equal weight, and I’m going to go out and get something from the car, whereas if you’re talking in an American accent it’s more in concept, so you’ll say, I’m just going to go out and get something from the car. All those little words in the middle don’t matter at all. I’m just going to go out and get something from the car. It’s more of a conceptual speak.

Toby Ricketts:
So you’ll pick out the words which carry the sentence, the actual meaning of the sentence, and emphasize those, and everything else doesn’t really matter.

Julianna Jones:
Huh.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Wow.

Toby Ricketts:
That’s my experience anyway. So that’s an extreme example, but it’s more like that. So you have to actually change the rhythm and the way that you talk as well. And I feel like that last audition started really well and straight off I was like, wow, we might have a genuine Australian here, but then a couple of slip ups, and it was the rhythm as well that was going on.

Toby Ricketts:
They big give away was fertile, the word fertile, when Australians would say be fertile like that, but Americans say fertile, and that’s one of those classic… It’s almost a different word, but it’s little things like that, fertile versus fertile, that will give it away.

Julianna Jones:
Like the attitude.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yeah. Attitude, or…

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah. Exactly.

Julianna Jones:
Tude.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
I think there’s another topic here, Toby, we were talking a little bit earlier about this, but just the idea that culture informs how an accent might sound or where you’re from. And so obviously that was likely an American trying to be an Australian, but what is it about history and culture that informs how an accent is either made or how someone sounds and how that belongs to that community is distinct to them.

Toby Ricketts:
That’s a very good question. It’s a very big part of accents, is that the accent starts to reflect the culture and the people. So it’s really interesting, for example, when you hear tonal languages, Asian accents are tonal, so for example in Indonesia, and Thailand, and China, you can say exactly the same thing, but if it ends at a different place then it means a completely different word.

Toby Ricketts:
So they’ve got a lot more emphasis in their cultures about their music and the notes on which you start and where you end, because it can mean completely different things, whereas in English, apart from when we ask a question, we don’t really pay that much attention to the tonality, not as much anyway, because it doesn’t mean completely different words.

Toby Ricketts:
And you get really interesting results when tonal languages meet non tonal languages. For example, you get Chinese trying to do British accents. And all of the accent is all over the place like this because they’re used to speaking in certain music, and it just doesn’t work when placed into the voiceover context.

Julianna Jones:
Very general here, but maybe British people are a little bit more dead pan and that’s why there’s no tonality to it, maybe people who come from an Asian culture, the subtleties, the art, the music, maybe that plays a role in it. I don’t know. I’m just spit balling here, but it is really interesting to start to draw those comparisons and those… What’s the word I’m looking for?

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
I don’t know, but I think-

Julianna Jones:
Similarities.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
… we need an ethnomusicologist to come join us, someone from anthro.

Toby Ricketts:
Exactly. Yeah. I’ve got another example of the culture there, because the question that you asked. So culturally if you look at Australia or the United States versus the United Kingdom, which typically has got a very stiff upper lip and the RP, the ruling class, very, very much detailed focused and very formal way of speaking because you don’t want to lose any detail, dotting the t’s and crossing the i’s or whatever the way around that should be.

Toby Ricketts:
But when you look at the American culture, it tends to be a lot more confident and a lot more relaxed about things. It’s got this relaxed confidence, like walking into a room and saying, hey, everyone, I’m here, okay, let’s get going, whereas a British person would creep in and say, excuse me, am I in the right place, stereotypically of course. You can see how the accents reflect that attitude.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
So would it be fair to say that we bring our own cultural nuance to an accent when we’re learning something, and that could hinder us, we’re just unaware of it, we have to learn the music of another culture?

Toby Ricketts:
Absolutely. I think it’s very important to not exactly spend time in a country, but listen to lots of voiceovers from that country and think, how are these people talking in a general sense, not in a specific sense, but in a general sense. What’s their attitude, and what’s their posture, for example. Like with Australians I always tend to lean back in my chair and just think, oh, it’s a lovely sunny day, maybe we’ll go down to the beach. Just get those pictures in your mind and then think, why are these people speaking like this?

Toby Ricketts:
And generally we’re talking about, in voiceovers we’re talking about the stereotypical accent. And there’s going to be people that say, I’ve got an Aussie friend who’s very angry or a British person that’s slurs, but that’s not the cultural zeitgeist that we’re trying to project when we’re doing accents to be believable.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Everything you’ve said is really cool.

Toby Ricketts:
Cool.

Julianna Jones:
It’s almost like you have to learn what your natural accent is and then unlearn it to do an accent, but you have to be aware of it so that you don’t do it-

Toby Ricketts:
Totally.

Julianna Jones:
… when you’re trying to replicate somebody else.

Toby Ricketts:
Absolutely. Yeah.

Julianna Jones:
Yeah. So cool.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Okay. Well, that’s all so fascinating. Now we’re going to move to audition number five.

Audition 5:
Like many other philosophers who greatly extended our knowledge of nature, Galileo had a remarkable aptitude for the invention of instruments designed for philosophical research. To facilitate his practical work, we find that in 1599 he’d engaged a skilled workman who was to live in his house and be constantly at hand to try the devices, which were forever springing from Galileo’s fertile brain.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Oh, she made a contraction in there. Did you see that? I was just reading the script and I’m like, oh, oh, oh. So it says here he had, but she turned it into like he’d. So with an Australian accent, would someone say he had, or would someone jump to he’d?

Toby Ricketts:
I think they would say he had, depending on the formality of the level of things going. So, I mean, yeah, I wouldn’t have a problem with the way she did that. She started so well and I thought this is the clear winner. She’s absolutely nailing everything, and then about half way it got a bit Scandinavian. Her accent just started to end a little bit like this, just get a bit almost Dutch or Scandinavian somehow. And then the second half had this strange way she was finishing words, and it didn’t sound Australian for the second half, but the first half sounded absolutely Australian, which was really interesting.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
The voice from nowhere.

Toby Ricketts:
Exactly.

Julianna Jones:
Yeah. I really liked her delivery. I felt like she would be a good audio book narrator because it was easy to follow along with the… My thoughts were easy to follow along with what she was saying.

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah, absolutely. Yep. So yeah, there was a tiny bit of Northern England in there as well, so I wonder if she is based over there somewhere, is really good at accents, but maybe based in Europe or something. There was definitely some kind of European flavor that came through that. I’d be very surprised if she was American.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yeah. I really liked her voice. I really did. And because I’m a stickler for words, that’s why I caught the contraction, and I’m like-

Toby Ricketts:
Right.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
… oh. In some voiceover that is a forgivable thing to change the words a bit, but in other forms of voiceover, it’s like, no, no, no, you write what’s written.

Toby Ricketts:
Exactly. It’s like-

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
So it’s whoops, there we go. Dotting my t’s and crossing my i’s and know am I, right? It’s late and early on both sides of the world right now where we are, so we’re all forgiven. But that said, I did love her. I thought that was a great read. But as you say, sometimes it’s the little things that happen that were… It might start to fall apart, from a great read can go somewhere else.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
How can an artist make sure that, well, maybe they don’t know it’s a great read at first and then it just falls apart, but how can someone be consistent, and to really, if they’re coming in strong on that first part, to continue to be that same voice or that same person throughout?

Toby Ricketts:
The way that I approach accents is, and I think the way that you have to do it when you start doing it professionally is you start doing accents and you listen back to your recordings and then think, what am I getting right, what am I getting wrong? Listen to a native speaker again, listen to the recording you just did, go back and then you try and undo those things.

Toby Ricketts:
And I think as part of that process you start to be voicing in an accent and then you’ll hear when you get something wrong, instantly, as opposed to having to listen back. You’ve got enough brain space to be talking and then going, oh, I didn’t get that right, and you go back and do it. And then if you do it even more, you start to be able to preempt the way you’re going to talk stuff.

Toby Ricketts:
And I think the other thing that’s worth really mentioning is about feeling in your mouth. Accents come from a completely different place for different accents. The kiwi accent is all in the front of the mouth here, it’s like this, whereas the Aussie accent comes from a bit further back and it’s a bit more relaxed, it’s in the jaw here, American is, you can go a bit slack jaw and get the American thing, because you don’t really have to move your mouth much. Whereas English, you have to really widen your mouth, and it’s all very precise. So it comes from different parts of the mouth really.

Toby Ricketts:
So yeah, feeling, I think, is the thing to focus on, is that once you start really getting into accents, listening back to making sure you’re sounding authentic is the feeling that you have in your mouth so that you can get into different accents quite easily, but also maintain them. Because if you start hearing it come from a different place, you can feel that change in your mouth and it doesn’t feel right so you can keep an eye on it-

Julianna Jones:
The muscle memory.

Toby Ricketts:
… and get back in. Yeah, exactly. Muscle memory. Yeah.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Well, it’s like creating just all the characters that you might do. Right? In this case though, their accents, and where do they live, and what do they feel like, or a language even, how does it feel to speak this way? I know that certain languages for me, when I would sing in German, for instance, that felt very different than, say, speaking or singing in French or Italian. It’s just where it lives. Right. And so if you can write it down or watch a tutorial, or like…

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
I wish that we had video for this podcast sometimes, because Toby, let’s just all sit down together and see where these accents live.

Julianna Jones:
Watching you is fascinating.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yeah, exactly. Because you’re like, this is here, this is there. And English is spread.

Julianna Jones:
Body language changes too, it’s not-

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah.

Julianna Jones:
… just your mouth.

Toby Ricketts:
It does. Exactly.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Absolutely. It’s a whole body experience really when you’re doing voiceover as we know, or singing, or anything, acting, but for an accent, yeah, that is really cool. That is really, really neat. We’ll have to see if there are any resources out there that actually describe in visual terms what you’re talking about. Do you know of anywhere where people could go?

Toby Ricketts:
I know that there are these international voice libraries where ordinary people from different countries say where they’re from and what their accent is, and they go and record the same sentence. That’s quite commonly available the internet, but there’s nothing that actually talks about the feeling and where it is in the mouth, for example, which would be quite interesting.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
There’s a lot that goes into the voice and how it comes across and how it can be perceived by other people.

Julianna Jones:
When you see a poorly translated or poorly written script in an audition, do you correct it or do you read it as is?

Toby Ricketts:
That’s a very good question. I will usually make minor corrections to a script that is badly translated for an audition, and then I’ll mention it in the script. This doesn’t sound like a native wrote it, I’m happy to correct the script, because I know what you’re talking about, but this isn’t the way a native would say it. I’ll offer that service as separate to my voiceover fee. So basically like a-

Julianna Jones:
Do you write that-

Toby Ricketts:
… script correction.

Julianna Jones:
… in you proposal?

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah. In my proposal. So I’ll basically say this doesn’t sound like a native wrote it, I’m happy to correct the script and voice it for you, but it’ll be this much extra. And usually they’re happy to pay because they’re like, oh great, thanks for pointing that out.

Julianna Jones:
Sometimes on voices.com if you see a script that’s been poorly translated generally it’s because we’ll use Google Translate just for a sample of the script while the full script is being translated by one of the translation companies we work with. So sometimes it’s necessary if you’re working on a self serve job, sometimes if it’s a full serve job it’s not always necessary. That being said, it’s always good to bundle things. So if you do have that ability, do what Toby does, write it in your proposal.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yeah. Well, what you’re doing is you’re localizing the sprint. It doesn’t have to be an entirely different language for someone to localize a script.

Toby Ricketts:
Exactly. Yeah.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
It can be to a dialect or a region or just anything like that. So, awesome. Well, very, very cool. I think we’re going to move on to audition number six. We’re just having so much fun, we better keep going here.

Audition 6:
Like many other philosophers who greatly extended our knowledge of nature, Galileo had a remarkable aptitude for the invention of instruments designed for philosophical research. To facilitate his practical work, we find that in 1599 he had engaged a skilled workman who was to live in his house and be constantly at hand to try the devices, which were forever springing from Galileo’s fertile brain.

Toby Ricketts:
Really interesting on this one. I found this one fascinating to listen to because I was trying to pick where… I’ve been trying to pick wherever these people are actually from, underneath the accent they’re trying to put on, where are they actually from. And again, this one’s a bit European, but a little bit of everything, I really couldn’t pin it down, and possibly like the great neutral global accent, because while it didn’t sound like a specific accent, it did sound like an accent. She sounded comfortable speaking like that. It wasn’t put on, I don’t think. That much and sounded quite natural to me.

Toby Ricketts:
So while it wasn’t Australian, it wasn’t authentic Australian at all, I think it’s got potential as one of those global accents.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yeah. It sounded a bit British to me. I heard fertile. I picked that out. So not an American, didn’t say fertile. But there is the word work, and that’s why, one of the words that I thought was more British was work.

Toby Ricketts:
Work. Yeah.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Work. How would an Australian say work?

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah. Work. Yeah. It’s work.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Same way?

Toby Ricketts:
I’m going to go to work. It is. Yeah. Just work. Yeah. So that was perfect.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Okay.

Toby Ricketts:
It was one of the words that I picked out that was like, yeah, she’s possibly lived there, hung out with Aussies, something like that. Definitely not a native, but close.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
What about research versus research or research or something like that?

Toby Ricketts:
Data, data?

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yeah. Data, data. Any number, like potato, potato, but there’s also these little words that, I delight in you versus I delight. Delight, delight.

Toby Ricketts:
Interesting. Yeah. Right.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yeah. There’s different ways of putting the… It’s either a schwa sometimes, or is it’s a… Now I’m in IPA land, so forgive me, but there’s other little telltale signs that someone is favoring how they say a certain vowel, the way it falls.

Toby Ricketts:
Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, and some, I think the language is somewhat toward that the accent is somewhat ambidextrous, like research and research are used interchangeably, I think, like in Australian and New Zealand context definitely. Possibly in other accents like UK it would be more research, research. Yeah. I think it’s actually… Words like that can go both ways. You have to go back to the client and say, which way is it? Or usually I just voice both close together so give them an old take, which saves you a lot of time and hassle as well.

Julianna Jones:
That’s a great idea. All in the final file that you’re uploading?

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah. Yep. Or even in the audition that you’re doing. If you do two passes, do one one way, do one the other way,

Julianna Jones:
Do you let them know that you’re doing two takes at the beginning?

Toby Ricketts:
I’ll generally just put my best foot forward first and then just say, and here’s an alt on data, data or something like that to indicate that that’s the change.

Julianna Jones:
If they like you, they’ll listen all the way through anyway.

Toby Ricketts:
Exactly. Yeah. Yep. That’s my theory. Yeah.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
This is just so much fun, Toby. Honestly, you got to keep us going because we will have a two hour long podcast if we do not. Yes. So here we go, audition number seven.

Audition 7:
Like many of the philosophers who greatly extended our knowledge of nature, Galileo had a remarkable aptitude for the invention of instruments designed for philosophical research. To facilitate his practical work, we find that in 1599 he had engaged a skilled workman who was to live in his house and be constantly at hand to try the devices, which were forever springing from Galileo’s fertile brain.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Is there an American in there somewhere?

Toby Ricketts:
I think he is American. Interesting that we were just talking about the classic hip burn mid Atlantic, because he sounded like that. He was like, 99, and radada. It was like they had that real music of the mid Atlantic accent that was coming through. He did identify some of the classic markers, like 99, 99, which is an Australian sound. So there were some classic markers in there, but it was the stuff in between that let him down.

Toby Ricketts:
And I think it did tend towards a mid Atlantic. So it had this fusion of American British something in there as well as having the Aussie markers. But again, it didn’t sound cohesive as a global accent, but there was the fertile in there again I noticed, lots of Americans.

Toby Ricketts:
I think also because it’s right at the end of the script, people are like, oh, I’m nearly done, I can relax, I can stop doing the accent now. So you get towards the end of the script and you’re just like, Galileo’s fertile brain instead of Galileo’s fertile brain and really finishing on that high note. People tend to give up before they get to the very end. So yeah, fertile and fertile as a classic marker.

Julianna Jones:
Are there any other ones that you notice happen quite often for a non-Australian doing Australian?

Toby Ricketts:
With words like workman, in American you’d say more workman as opposed to work, there’s this work thing that goes on with Australian, New Zealand.

Julianna Jones:
More like W-E-R-K.

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So that can be a little pitfall.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
How about the word house?

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah. I was just looking at the word house, because you guys go house, house, how do you say house?

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Is that how we do it, Toby?

Toby Ricketts:
You do. Yeah. Say it again.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
House, house.

Julianna Jones:
House.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
It’s coming across Scottish from you to me.

Toby Ricketts:
Exactly. Yeah. It’s interesting. So the further North you go, because there’s a house and your standard American house, house, house, but it goes house. The further North you get, goes straight over to Scotland as well, and they go house, I’m going to go have whiskey in my house, and that’s kind of… The Canadians maybe borrow that, and then you go down South and it’s more like house, but then in Australia it’s house, house, house. I’m going to go-

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
House. Is there a diphthong in there?

Toby Ricketts:
… chill in my house. House. House. Yeah.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
My gosh, what does, okay, tell me, what does this word sound like to you? Oatmeal. How did I say oatmeal?

Toby Ricketts:
Oatmeal.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Oh, that doesn’t sound very Scottish.

Toby Ricketts:
No.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Because usually someone says…

Toby Ricketts:
No, they’d say-

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
You sound like saying-

Toby Ricketts:
… oatmeal.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
… oatmeal. Yeah.

Toby Ricketts:
Oatmeal. Yeah. It’s more of like oatmeal, whereas you’re like oatmeal, oatmeal.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
The other one that people say we sound differently is out and about.

Toby Ricketts:
Oh, yeah. Out and about in my boat. Hang on, boat. Out and about in my boat. No, I’m going Scottish again now.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Well, there were a lot of Scottish settlers here in Canada, that is true, especially in this area that we live in, so that would make absolute sense. My goodness. Again, too much fun’s what we… We’re having too much fun.

Julianna Jones:
Yeah. How many of these characters live up in your brain? You can just see the wheels turning as you’re trying to figure out all the different like, mouth, this, that. It’s really neat.

Toby Ricketts:
And you’ll notice that I do it out loud because you cannot think this, it’s entirely… It’s making noise is how you learn this. It’s not doing it in your head. You can listen a certain amount, but then it’s about doing it, and then listening back to what you’ve done. That’s the key thing, and you just need to repeat that.

Julianna Jones:
Is there maybe a resource that has kind of like when you go to Merriam-Webster, it says, this is how you pronounce something, but this is how you pronounce something in Australian, and this is how you pronounce something in Scottish. Is there something that exists?

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Well, I think you were talking about this a bit earlier, Toby, but the website that we may both be thinking of, I’m not sure, it could be a different one, the International Dialects of English Archive, IDEA, is that a place you’ve been?

Toby Ricketts:
That’s it. Yeah. The IDEA archive. Yeah. That’s what Im thinking. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
I know we wrote about this years ago on the blog of voices.com because it was really, really cool, and we just wanted to know, well, if I want to sound like this then how can I, and you could find samples of people of various ages. You would have a 33 year old woman in Boston, and this is the region that she’s from, and then she’ll read out some sample for 30, 60 seconds, maybe longer.

Julianna Jones:
All right. Well, we are now the last audition. This is audition number eight.

Speaker 11:
Like many other philosophers who greatly extended our knowledge of nature, Galileo had a remarkable aptitude for the invention of instruments designed for philosophical research. To facilitate his practical work, we find that in 1599 he had engaged a skilled workman who was to live in his house and be constantly at hand to try the devices, which were forever springing from Galileo’s fertile brain.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
He nailed fertile. He is not American. Good stuff. Something else, the word engaged, that sounded very Australian to me. He didn’t even do it, but it sounded like it belonged there. Is that-

Toby Ricketts:
Engaging.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
… that way of… However we said it.

Toby Ricketts:
Engaging.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Yeah. Like that.

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah, nice try. I feel like there was a very good go. Again I’d like to go one layer deep and try and guess where they’re actually from. There was a bit of Dutch in there. I think they were from… I think so, yeah, it was really interesting. But some of the stuff he really nailed, but then lost me on other bits and then came back into the fold. So it was very interesting to hear how that evolved. He got lost on the complex bit, so to facilitate his, which is quite a mouthful is to say, to facilitate his. There’s lots of consonants right next to each other there.

Toby Ricketts:
Sometimes when you reach a part in the script that you need a bit more brain power to divert to the actual reading you’ll lose a bit of brain power for the accent. So it’ll be those bits, the complicated bits where your eye gets taken off the ball that it’ll slip back to whatever your native tongue is. So I think that happened a bit there. But he did great for engaged. Yeah. Engaging, that was done really well, and skilled as well.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
And the 99, that-

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
… came through.

Toby Ricketts:
99.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
99.

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah. Exactly.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
99. 99.

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah. Did a pretty good go there.

Julianna Jones:
I thought the first part of his read was really smooth, but then the second part it lost me. I didn’t feel as engaged with his read. What do you think, performance wise?

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. When it started, I thought, oh, this guy’s got it, but yeah, then some of the language in it is fairly wordy. It’s not a completely simple script, it’s not too hard, but there are some bits in there that a bit harder and perhaps just, yeah, took us off the ball a little bit for those bits.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
My goodness. That’s eight. That’s eight auditions.

Toby Ricketts:
It is.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
I don’t even want to try to do it in an accent, but I thought about it. Anyway, we are now done everybody. We’ve got all the auditions in. We have to pick a winner, and right now, Toby, you need to pick a winner in fact. So what do you think?

Toby Ricketts:
So I thought that the last one that we heard there, number eight was pretty good, but just got lost a little bit in there and didn’t ring true in the end like a authentic local, number three had that very good start but then the delivery was a little bit off and it was a bit distracting. So I think on the whole in terms of tone and the accent and the delivery, I’d award number five as the winner. It’s very good.

Julianna Jones:
I love that one.

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah. Exactly. Just a little bit of Scandinavian in the middle, but if that was cleared up, I think it would sound good.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Absolutely. Well, that’s the show everybody. But before we go, I absolutely want you to know where you can find Toby, because Toby is awesome. He does-

Julianna Jones:
Wealth of-

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
… coaching.

Julianna Jones:
… knowledge.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Absolutely. Well, you’ve experienced it here today everyone, you have. So Toby, if someone wants to get ahold of you, how can they find you? What’s the best way?

Toby Ricketts:
Best way is probably go to tobyrickettsvoiceover.com.

Julianna Jones:
And that’s Ricketts was two T’s?

Toby Ricketts:
That’s right? Yep. T-O-B-Y-R-I-C-K-E-T-T-S.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
Awesome.

Toby Ricketts:
Yeah. And happy to give coaching and plenty of options there. And yeah, you can hear all the different accents, and all my work from the different marketplaces is up on the site. So have a listen. I’d love to know what you think.

Stephanie Ciccarelli:
As always, we’re going to hope that you subscribe, and go to the blog, and read all the scripts, this one is there too. Voices.com/blog. But until next time I’m Stephanie Ciccarelli.

Julianna Jones:
And I am Julianna Jones. We hope you have so much fun taking these tips into your studio. Happy auditioning everyone.

Stephanie Ciccarelli
Stephanie Ciccarelli is a Co-Founder of Voices. Classically trained in voice as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. For over 25 years, Stephanie has used her voice to communicate what is most important to her through the spoken and written word. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, Stephanie has been a contributor to The Huffington Post, Backstage magazine, Stage 32 and the Voices.com blog. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.
Connect with Stephanie on:
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Comments

  • Earl Thomas
    March 25, 2020, 4:16 pm

    I am enjoying & benefiting from Mission Audition, because in the last 2 weeks have rec’d 3 likes. 2 of them are deciding. When I see an accent I will play it in YouTube. For the African American Accent there is not a lot to go on. Yet 3 times I have been liked by clients & landed one & 1 is in deciding. I forgot to look up the British acent in my recent like & they liked anyway.

    Wondering if an accent is to difficult is it wrong to go ahead & try the audition? Some accents are more difficult & in YouTube sometimes they give you nothing to work with. The Armenian accent is one example. It seems that an accent there are several from one country & a lot of times the job does not specify.

    Thanks for this great MISSION AUDITION on the Accent.

    Reply
    • Oliver Skinner
      June 1, 2020, 8:37 pm

      Hey Earl,

      Thanks for listening to Mission Audition! I’d recommend checking out this blog post that instructs voice actors about learning new accents.

      I hope that helps!
      Oliver

      Reply