Well, this would have been fun to have found prior to I Do, I Do, I Do, but here it is nevertheless. It's both a nice set of quick examples of British regional accents, and a testament to the skill of the dialect coach who is giving the demo.
Many of us, but especially American student performers, occasionally need a reminder that other countries have regional dialects and accents just like we do. When developing your character for performance, it's important to consider the region in which they live, and the social context that surrounds that region.
Just like an American southern accent delivers both location and social information about a character to the audience, the same can be said with regional accents from other countries. It is a little more challenging to develop a foreign (to us) characterization to that degree of specificity, but thanks to the internet, we have a much wider pool of information available to us.
Beside Youtube videos, I strongly suggest the International Dialects of English Archive
, which contains a searchable database of English spoken around the world: sorted by country, region, gender, and age.
Here's a bit of a secret: everyone struggles with their own creative work.
It's hard -- really hard -- to create something that is both meaningful and aesthetically pleasing. Twyla Tharp, in The Creative Habit, spends a lot of time trying to dispel the myth of the "flash of inspiration" that many creatives think is just around the next bend. Most creative acts don't happen that way. They are the result of lots of hard work.... and lots of failure.
Ira Glass, host of This American Life on NPR, offers this inspirational heads-up to those of us who are starting out on a creative venture:
And it still continues even after you begin to create good work. You can cycle back down through mediocrity into "everything I touch is crap" territory very quickly. The secret, I think, is to know when to throw out the idea you are working on, and start anew. That, and the ability to let go without undue ennui.
If we can foster within ourselves the notion that it is perfectly normal to go through these cycles, we can more easily identify when we are at a low, and can be less sensitive about how we push through until we hit the upward slope once again.
I was all set to give this book a glowing review. However, as I was pulling up the Amazon page
for Jonah Lehrer's new book Imagine: How Creativity Works
, I was surprised to find both that the book was no longer available to purchase direct from Amazon, and that it had a relatively low two-star rating.
After reading a few comments, I found the reason for the commenters' ire. It appears that Mr. Lehrer, by his own eventual admission, fabricated some Bob Dylan quotes used early in the book. This admission cost Mr. Lehrer his job
at the New Yorker, and prompted his publisher to pull his book
Despite all of the above, I intend to review this book favorably nonetheless. Even discounting the Bob Dylan segment, the book is an interesting exploration on the nature of creativity. As a designer, I experience the emotional ups and downs common to the creative enterprise. I also find at times my production schedule at odds with my needs as an artist, and often question the seed of my own creativity.
The book seeks to explore the nature of creativity from both a philosophical and psychological / neurological perspective. It offers a view of insight as a process that requires stimulation of both cranial hemispheres, and describes both a period of struggle, analysis, and a moment of synthesis as necessary to the birth of a new creative idea.
As one who struggles with my own creativity, I find the ideas and suggestions in this book helpful, and the content inspirational as a whole. I plan to implement some of the suggestions outlined in the book, and will see if my creative output is better stimulated by it. And as the book is no longer being published, I will be happy to lend it to anyone who might want to read it.