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Old 04-25-2012   #1
Ringworm128
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Default How well do Australian voice actors do in America and Canada?

I one day hope to be a voice actor and a composer for games TV shows etc. I also plan to one day move to the US or Canada since they have a much bigger selection of media and since I don't see myself being content with living in Australia my whole life. So I was wondering how often does an Australian get cast (especially one with a thick accent)? Is it often or should I start working on losing my accent?
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Old 04-25-2012   #2
Foxwolf
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Default Re: How well do Australian voice actors do in America and Canada?

As someone born and raised in Australia (Adelaide), I moved to the US when I was 23 and was able to switch to an American accent instantly. Granted, I've been able to do an American accent for years and it's probably thanks to watching a lot of American shows on tv and the fact I'm able to do other voices and accents pretty easily.

Granted I don't have a thick Aussie accent so that only makes things a little trickier for you. As for losing your accent, assuming you're in your late teens, there's really no way to lose it. For most people, as we become adults, our accents harden and it becomes difficult to learn new languages and gain natural accents in those languages.
eg. Jackie Chan's English and grammar has improved dramatically since his early English-speaking movies. However he's not been able to lose his Chinese accent.

Anyway, I've kind of blabbed on. What I can suggest for you is learn to do an American accent. Mimic words the way an American would say them. Record them, listen back and see if it sounds like an American accent to you. Then you'll be able to work out which words don't sound right.
eg. To my ears, Hugh Jackman still doesn't do a perfect American accent. It just sounds too forced or unnatural. There's a lot of words that slip as Aussie.

As for how often an Aussie voice actor gets cast? I honestly don't know. I can't of any well-known voice actors that are Australian. And unless the role is specifically for an Australian character, I think it's standard that shows cast American accents.

Also, keep in mind, a true Aussie accent to a rare find in the voice acting industry. There's still not one American voice actor that I think can do a perfect Aussie accent. Even Dee Bradley Baker who voices the clones in The Clone Wars is often a mix of Aussie and American. So remember, your thick accent is a gift

PS - if you want an easy way to get into the US, submit yourself in the yearly green card lottery. That's how I got here. There's no guarantee of course but just keep doing it each year.
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Old 04-25-2012   #3
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Default Re: How well do Australian voice actors do in America and Canada?

Scott McNeil is from Australia and he's doing pretty well. Can't think of any others right now.

Otherwise, I think Fox got pretty much all the pointers down. Australian accents are pretty rare so the best bet would probably be trying to master an American one.
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Old 04-25-2012   #4
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Default Re: How well do Australian voice actors do in America and Canada?

You know, I've never seen Scott McNeil in an interview. Was he raised in Australia long enough to retain an Aussie accent as his natural accent?
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Old 04-25-2012   #5
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Default Re: How well do Australian voice actors do in America and Canada?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxwolf View Post
You know, I've never seen Scott McNeil in an interview. Was he raised in Australia long enough to retain an Aussie accent as his natural accent?
From what I've read on wikipedia (I know, not too reliable a source, but still) McNeil moved to Canada when he was four, so I doubt it.
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Old 02-20-2013   #6
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Default Re: How well do Australian voice actors do in America and Canada?

I've been eager to know the answer to the same question. It certainly isn't always an advantage, as we can't get into the scene very early on... Oh well. We'll see how us Aussies go.
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Old 02-20-2013   #7
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Default Re: How well do Australian voice actors do in America and Canada?

@Wolfie great to hear from a fellow Adelaide-ian. I'm originally from Adelaide myself but moved to the States like 10 years.

From what I've learned, voice over gigs in the US are generally looking for American accents. The audience is American so the same accent relates to them more. Obviously there are exeptions like say using an Aussie accent for the "Outback Steakhouse" restaurants here in the US or characters like the Clone Troopers from Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Having an authentic Aussie accent is definitely beneficial but it pays to be versatile.
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Old 02-20-2013   #8
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Default Re: How well do Australian voice actors do in America and Canada?

I spend a lot of my time trying to perfect accents. I don't know if I've gotten anything perfectly, but I like to think (and I've been told by my schoolmates) that I'm pretty good at holding an American accent.

Next week I'm doing a little challenge - 5 days 5 accents, Monday-Friday. Each day I'll be speaking in a different accent. It'll be tonnes of fun
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Old 02-20-2013   #9
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Default Re: How well do Australian voice actors do in America and Canada?

lol, nice. that sounds h*ll fun. care to share what accents you'l be doing?
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Old 02-20-2013   #10
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Default Re: How well do Australian voice actors do in America and Canada?

Sure!
Monday - Southern accent - haven't decided which one though
Tuesday - Russian (I have to debate as Aleksandr Kerensky, so it helps to put on an accent)
Wednesday - The name fails me at the moment, but it's the common sort of American accent.
Thursday - Irish or Scottish
Friday - British, like in this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UQFvqLGXVU (I'll be dressing up as an Ork from Warhammer 40k, so I need to sound like them )
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