This is not that kind of audition story. Yesterday, I went in for a diversity training video for the finance industry that takes place in London. The conceit was about subtle forms of discrimination â€“ an Asian who grew up in London gets promoted over her more qualified counterparts who are fluent in Mandarin, because sheâ€™s more like the white big boss. (Um, really? If thatâ€™s the kind of discrimination youâ€™re facing, can I move to your company? And not to stereotype Europeans, but some of the ones Iâ€™ve met feel perfectly comfortable pulling the corners of their eyes to convey â€œAsian.â€ Just saying.)
The part I read for required an English accent, which I cannot do. At home, we speak in a really bad Cockney accent. Itâ€™s really stupid, but Husband and I yell at each other like weâ€™re Michael Caine selling luxury jaguars with every English slang word we can think of. So Iâ€™m doing the dishes and Iâ€™ll yell out â€œBLIMEY! ITâ€™S BECKHAMâ€™S CORNER! JAGUAR! SCONE!â€ My friend Mike who can actually sound English said I ruined his handle on it by yelling at him in my fake-Cockney.
It actually takes time and work to master an accent, a true actorâ€™s skill and itâ€™s something Iâ€™ve never attempted. (Mom says I sound like an American trying to do an English accent, but when I asked her to try one, she said she could only do her own. Huh.), but what the heck, I had the time to go, so I played Husbandâ€™s English accent CD, went over the copy, lined Dad up to watch Baby, while I went in and did my thing. We lined up four at a time and I lost before I even opened my mouth. They had actual English people there, so when the camera rolled, I stood next to the dude with the booming, beautiful, real English accent, and my voice kind of died in my throat. I mean, I did my sad imitation, but it was just no contest. It was like auditioning for American Idol next to Kelly Clarkson. Slaughter.
Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!