VAM 019 | Interview with J.B. Blanc, Accent Coach, Part 1

VAM 019 | Interview with J.B. Blanc, Accent Coach, Part 1

Welcome to episode 19 of the Voice Acting Mastery podcast with yours truly, Crispin Freeman!

As always, you can listen to the podcast using the player above, or download the mp3 using the link at the bottom of this blog post. The podcast is also available via the iTunes Store online. Just follow this link to view the podcast in iTunes:

http://www.voiceactingmastery.com/podcast

Many of you have asked me about the subject of accents or dialects. I usually get similar questions from my listeners:

  1. How do I learn an accent?
  2. How can I remove or lessen my own accent?
  3. How can I overcome a speech impediment?

I thought the best way to address these questions was to interview a wonderful friend of mine and fellow voice actor: J.B. Blanc.

J.B. and I first met working on the anime show Hellsing. Since then, both of us have gone on to work on many important and influential anime, video games and American animated series. J.B. is not only a fantastic actor, but he has an amazing facility with accents. I think you’ll really enjoy what he has to say!

You can find out more about J.B. at his website:

http://www.jbblanc.com/

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #19 Here (MP3)

 

17 Responses to “VAM 019 | Interview with J.B. Blanc, Accent Coach, Part 1”

  1. Angelican Marcos says:

    I already have a British/Australian & Southern accent they’re mostly common. But J.B. Blanc is right it’s not removing an accent you have your just adding more accents to your voice it’s like monkey see & monkey do this podcast really helped thank you Mr. Freeman
    Sincerely,
    Angelican Marcos

  2. Meg says:

    Amazing interview, Crispin 🙂 After I listened this interview, I know that my voice is not really a southern accent at all, I’m quite French-Canadian descent and sound very normal. Eventhough, I’ll be 24 soon; but, my voice sounds so very young.
    While I’m still enjoying Hellsing (both series and OVA) in dub along with J.B. Blanc and Victoria Harwood, it sounds like a Golden Globe or an Ocsar in this show. Don’t you think?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Glad you enjoyed the interview!

      I’m not sure I completely understand your last comment. If you’re saying that the Hellsing dub deserves a Golden Globe or an Oscar, then that is high praise indeed! Thank you!

  3. Eric Rivera says:

    Huh, I don’t think I have much of an accent. However, I’ve been told that my voice sounds “earthy.”
    I’m not exactly sure how that helps though.

  4. Jess says:

    Very interesting interview. I have always loved accents so it was great to hear J.B’s command of them (Top prize goes to the Indian one – exactly my own opinion on the deadpan Indian humour).

    However I found his technical breakdown of accent placement and observation the most useful as it gives you a practical tool to pick up accents. Learning different accents can seem intimidating and while I’ve had some success with classes it was interesting to note J.B’s comment about understanding your own native accent first and then the accent you are trying to acquire.

    I look forward to the next episode about accents as identity and part of your defence. This is quite personal for me as I have quite a well spoken ‘posh’ British accent, which I found I had to change as a child growing up in the North of England, to fit in. It means my accent is quite malleable now but I’m quite proud of both aspects of my voice as they represent different parts of my personality and upbringing. So like JB said, I wouldn’t agree with wanted to remove your original accent all together. That used to be the case in British drama training years ago but they have changed their outlook and a regional accent is now a commodity.

    At the risk of going on for ages, I also wanted to say that I really enjoyed the last several episodes too. Your advice on having the right artistic, financial and psychological states for moving to a new city was as always direct and insightful. I am still finding things hard having moved to London years ago to pursue acting so I have to hold off on my dream to move to LA for a while. However I always find your practical tips to improve very helpful to set me on the right track.

    As always best of luck and please continue this wonderful resource for actors.

    Jess

  5. Kalyn McCabe says:

    I once heard on TV at the best disguise in the world is an accent. And it is so true.

    I slip into an English accent occasionally for my own amusement. I once even met a Welsh woman that was questioning whether I was from the UK as I spoke to her in my English accent. Which means I was pretty convincing.

    I’m also at a theatre con right now, and there’s a panel for Standard English accents/dialects, so I’m really excited.

    Can’t wait till the next podcast!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Walking around town and speaking in a different accent is actually an assignment that one of my vocal coaches gave me. It’s quite a challenge! Good for you for taking it on!

  6. Dylan Spencer says:

    It’s fantastic to hear from J.B. Blanc about accents. Thank you, Crispin, for making this happen.

    As a small aside, you guys mention that you work (worked?) on Hellsing together. However, you’ve also both played the same anime character. Crispin voiced Joseph Carpenter in the Read or Die OVA, while J.B. Blanc was cast for that role in R.o.D. -The TV-, the 26-episode series that followed. I just thought that was interesting.

    I can’t wait to keep hearing from Mr. Blanc, and whatever’s next for this podcast. So far, it’s been excellent.

  7. Benjamin Garza says:

    I have very much enjoyed this episode as well the show as a whole. Hearing Mr. Blanc’s great words of wisdom on this show’s subject, as well as the show itself, has been quite eye-opening. Learning how accents are involved physically is certainly a great solution to understand them.

    Also, Mr. Freeman, I must say how much I truly appreciate your show. Feeling slightly lost in getting the know-how and knowledge to chase a VA career has certainly been alleviated. I feel I have a path now, one that I never thought would manifest.

    So I must say that I truly cannot express just how greatful I am for your more than generous contributions. Thank you so much, and if my dream is further realized, I hope that I can study under you.

    Thanks again,

    Benjamin

  8. Eric Rivera says:

    Today is my birthday!

    http://i.imgur.com/flRWu.gif

    After Spring Break is over I’m gonna focus 100% on this semester to pass all my classes. Hopefully I’ll be able to take Acting I and Speech for Stage and Screen in the fall. Until then the most I might be able to do is study. I wanna make sure I pass all my classes this semester.

  9. Stephen Hamby says:

    A good point was made in this podcast. When I was in Drama class in high school I realized my southern accent could hold me back if I wanted to make acting a job. I attempted to rid myself of it, and while I managed to do that I also upset a lot of family members who thought I was trying to be someone else, or not proud of where I am from. Our voice is like a costume we use for a show, when the show is over we have our own clothes waiting for us.

    My life took a different route, but with a changing economy now I am thinking back to old ideas. Your podcast has been helpful and inspiring. At the very least you have me doing voices for friends again and I am doing a lot talking to myself again too…

    Thank You, I look forward to your future work and podcast!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Thanks for sharing your story about trying to modify your dialect! I’m sure others appreciate is as much as I do!

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