When I tell people I am a voice actor, they usually respond with ‘oh cool—do an [insert country] accent’. To which I reply: ‘rack off Drazic’ (a somewhat obnoxious 90s comeback for those not familiar with Heartbreak High).
While I love character work—which can draw on elements of accents—I avoid doing straight up accents and impersonations. It takes a special kind of talent to get them sounding authentic and believable. Defo not my area of expertise.
My advice: if you want a specific accent for your script, hire a voice actor from that region. It’s also money well spent to have voice over translations verified by an independent source for foreign language work.
A dodgy accent can have a horrendous impact on your campaign. Case in point—this recent clip from a US lobby group about the cigarette plain packaging laws we have over here in Australia.
I’m assuming the voice over direction was ‘Australian accent’ but I’m not quite sure how best to describe the resulting read. Have a listen for yourself.
The clip drew thousands of not-so-supportive comments and a bucketload of not-so-flattering media coverage here in Australia:
But before we all get too harsh on the voice actor—just remember someone gave the direction, someone recorded it and someone else approved it. It was a team effort.
Oh, and if you are keen to hear what an authentic Australian accent sounds like, head to hear me.