VAM 020 | Interview with J.B. Blanc, Accent Coach, Part 2

VAM 020 | Interview with J.B. Blanc, Accent Coach, Part 2

Welcome to episode 20 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:

This is the second part of my interview with my fellow voice actor and accent expert, J.B. Blanc. In this episode we explore the difference between having regionalisms in your natural speech patterns versus actually having a physical speech impediment.

We also discuss the psychological aspects of accents. Your accent is the survival technique you adopted when you were young in order to survive in your surroundings. For some people, being asked to modify the way they speak can feel very threatening. J.B. shares with me the techniques he uses when coaching A-List celebrity actors with their accents.

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

We’ll finish up our discussion of accents in the next episode!

Thanks for listening!

Download Voice Acting Mastery Episode #20 Here (MP3)


19 Responses to “VAM 020 | Interview with J.B. Blanc, Accent Coach, Part 2”

  1. Angelican Marcos says:

    Hello Mr. Freeman this was a wonderful podcast about the accent which I understand where’s coming from but instead of accents it is always language you speak first i mean when I was little I spoke Spanish then when my mother started speaking American English i started speaking English and my father thought it was wrong like I was losing my Spanish language even though I still have it but I have to learn the language all over again but when started speaking American English i had a wonderful time speaking accents that I never even know they existed so I started speaking them it was great and this podcast really helped thank you
    Angelican Marcos

  2. Meg says:

    Hi Crispin. I hope you had a nice St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Thank you so much for this second part of interview. I really love it. It is very helpful to me 🙂 I had very trouble to pronounce of any words sometimes. For example, I accidently said to my mom, “what is ‘dee-der-mind’?” instead of “what is’de-ter-mined’?”- my family couldn’t stop laughing about it;but, I felt really embrassed. I have a question if you have time. Have you ever trouble pronouncing words of your dialogue or accent like foreign languages/names before?

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m glad you like the interview.

      It takes practice and effort to learn how to pronounce things in another language. Dialects take focus and practice as well. So yes, I’ve had to work to study my own dialect and learn how to control it.

  3. Jamie Smith says:

    Hey there Crispin!

    Thanks again for yet another brilliant Podcast. Although I’m only mediocre in the Voice Acting business, these Podcasts have all been incredibly helpful and have tought me many lessons, plus things I should and should not do in this area of work. The interviews are really informative as the interviewees explain how they broke into the business and also explain things from their own experience in the areas they specialise in. From part 1 and 2 with J.B. Blanc, I finally know that i’ll need to not only listen, but pay close attention to how people pronounce words in their own accents, though I know there’s much more than just this.

    I do have a quick question I’ve been wanting to ask, if you have time now or at a later date:

    What steps would you advise a begginer to take in building up to their career in Voice Acting?

    Everyone has different backgrounds and so take different steps when they learn, as you’ve previously said. I’m currently saving up for the begginer AT Mic and Popfilter you advised in the toolbox section, and i’m trying to find certain things to begin practicing but i find myself becoming involved with different things( I need to focus on one or a few things at a time). It would be nice to know what basic things i should start with and build up to.

    Thanks for the time and effort put into reading/commenting on the replies and also on the Podcasts. I cannot fully express how thankful I am for these podcasts and for your advice in general, take care!

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the podcast!

      As far as steps for a beginner, I’ve tried to organize the podcast so that if you start at the beginning episodes, those questions will be answered for you. I tried to address those questions in the first 3 episodes of the podcast, the 7 most common questions about voice acting. You can listen to episode 1 here. I also elaborate on this topic in episode 10, How to practice voice acting anywhere. Is there something you feel is missing? What specific advice are you looking for?

      • Jamie Smith says:

        Looking back on the question I asked, I think this is something that only myself can answer, I re-listened to the podcasts and know that everyone has different ways to go about starting off their career. I have to find my own starting block and also to stop taking the words “voice actor” lightly. I think this message came to me while I was reading “voice-over voice actor”, a very useful resource, as are the podcasts.

        So then, this isn’t something that can be gained overnight; what i’ll need is to practice, and if I’ve done practicing, I’ll practice some more. I’m gonna work hard for this dream and push myself to join, what I believe is if i work hard enough, i’ll make it no matter what the obstacle is.

        Went abit overboard there, but anyhow, keep working hard on those podcasts and in your career, i think i finally know what I’m supposed to do now so ill start with perfecting my reading skills while improving my confidence (hopefully soon i can join an acting course up in London) , you take care crispin!

        • Crispin Freeman says:

          Not a problem. I was just wondering if there was something specific you were looking for. If there’s something in my podcast that you feel is missing, I’d like to know about it so I can improve it.

          Like any artistic craft, voice acting is not something you become masterful at overnight. No one expects someone to be able play piano overnight. The same goes for acting.

          I wish you the best in your voice acting endeavors.

  4. Caitlin says:

    It is amazing how J.B. can do so many dialects. I’m not a traveler so I’m not exposed to different dialects or accents that much, but this interview is very helpful in understanding the approach. I was wondering if you spoke Japanese, since you travel to Japan. I know few words in Japanese, do you think it is better to know the language? I was also wondering about pre-lay vs dubbing, is the difference in pay significant? I’ve heard that dubbing pays a lot less even though it is the tougher of the two.

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      Yes, JB’s mastery of accents is very impressive.

      I do know a little Japanese, but just enough to get me in trouble. Knowing Japanese does not help your acting ability. The two are not really connected.

      Pre-lay work pays far better than dubbing work. Pre-lay you get a session fee, usually around $800 and there is the possibility of residuals. Dubbing pays $64.25 an hour for the SAG contract and there are no residuals unless the project goes to network TV. And yes, I think dubbing is the more difficult of the two.

      • Caitlin says:

        Thanks for clearing that up. I hope your recent trip to Japan was nice. I also look forward to the next podcast.

  5. Kalyn McCabe says:

    I never would have thought a person would be threatened by changing their accent or way of talking. I guess it would take a psychological effect of “My tongue is unpleasant, and they’re an influential person!”

    I met a woman at SETC that was from Africa, though she was Caucasian, that moved to England and learned to speak in a Standard English accent, Just like Hermione in Harry Potter. It was quite amusing to have her give lecture in an over-the-top prim-and-posh lady-of-high-society accent.

    Double edged sword to that is, it comes off as fake since no one really talks like that anymore. Comes off as comedic also.

    But it’s all in good fun with accents. It’s fun to experience different dialects!

  6. Andy Hopkins says:

    Dear Crispin,
    I have few questions for you if you have the time to answer. First off I’m aspiring to become a voice actor but I’m almost in my last year of high school and I’m in the northeast Ohio area as well. I have taken steps from your podcasts, which by the way thank you for making them it answers a lot of questions I’ve been wondering about. The steps I have taken are that I’m in my drama club, I participate in a interactive media class(video production basically), I’ve been reading Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Platt’s brilliant book “Voice Over Voice Actor”, and I’ve been approached by another high school to do a voice over and some on camera stuff for a dvd that helps students with ADD and ADHD trasition better into college or the work force. I’m also going to college to get a degree in media production so I have degree in my background. Based on your own success what courses/workshops would you suggest that I persue in my “infancy” of becoming a voice over actor? Also have youhad any experience with The Edge Studios for voice over training? I look forward to your reply please continue to share your knownledge in your podcasts, people such as me are out there listening.
    Andy Hopkins

    • Crispin Freeman says:

      It sounds like you’re lining up many wonderful opportunities to learn about voice acting! Drama club is a wonderful idea! So is working on media production. Congrats on being approached to already do some voice over work. Every opportunity helps you build up your experience and confidence.

      As far as workshops I would recommend, obviously I recommend my own voice acting workshops. Other than mine, I have taken Pat Fraley’s workshops in the past. He certainly has a lot of experience teaching voice acting. I’ve also taken some wonderful voice over classes at The Voicecaster in Burbank, CA. I don’t have any experience with The Edge Studios so I can’t personally recommend their classes. They may be very good, I just don’t know myself.

      As always, you have to trust your instincts when it comes to coaches and teachers. I’m sure you’ll find just the right people to help you grow your artistry.

      Best of luck to you!

      • Andy Hopkins says:

        Thank you Crispin for replying so promptly. Your suggestions are very helpful. It’s encouraging to know that there are professionals such as yourself that care enough to respond to aspiring young artist like myself. You mentioned your workshops, do you have any that are online or via Skype? I would be interested in knowing more about them if you do. It would be an honored for me to learn from you.
        Thanks again for the reply.
        Best regards,
        Andy Hopkins

        • Crispin Freeman says:

          You’re very welcome. My responses were a little delayed because of my recent trip to Japan.

          I am planning on offering online classes in the near future. I’m still putting together all the elements for the online class. You can be sure that I’ll be announcing it here on the blog whenever it’s available!

          Thanks for your interest!

          • Andy Hopkins says:

            Oh what a wonderful trip, hopefully I’ll go there someday. I myself am going to Disney World with my high school band all week. As for your online classes that’s wonderful news to here, I’ll definitely keep an eye on the status of that. Until then I’ll keep practicing and studying.
            Best regards,
            Andy Hopkins
            P.S. If have any more questions I’ll be sure to ask your advice.

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