19 August 2011

Thank you, Fin Dwyer!

I was recently asked to sub for another actress in a one-act at Silver Spring Stage.  A week's notice, okay, but really that just makes it exciting, right?  And besides, I'm playing a narrator, so I can consult my script while I sit in a chair.  Easy peasy!!  I can read! I can sit!  I can read and sit at the same time!


The play in question is the first act of Brian Friel's Lovers.  Brian Friel is Irish.  So are his characters.  That means that they have ... Irish accents.  And preferably not "Irish Spring" or "Lucky Charms" accents.*  I have long said that I had an Irish accent that would pass auditions but I'd never had to put that to the test before.

So I collected the script a few days ago and have rehearsed with the cast a few times. And the other night at home I re-loaded all of the Irish History podcasts that I had previously listened to back onto Smudge.  And I have been wandering around in my free time listening to the host, Fin Dwyer, tell stories that can be summarized as "As then things went very badly for the Irish"** and repeating what he says more or less phrase by phrase.***

No would seriously mistake me for a resident of the Auld Sod but I think I'm at least ... not jarring.

And I was, of course, no end of pleased when our director was giving notes one night and suggested to another cast member that their accent was wandering.  "Maybe you could listen to some Irish History podcasts," she said nodding at me.

Possibly more difficult will be to stop speaking that way when not in performance.

So this is my tiny effort to repay Fin for the assist.  If you have any interest in Irish history, I highly recommend his podcast and website. 

*Telling an actress that she has a Lucky Charms accent is the sort of thing that makes people go all slitty-eyed and resentful, though outwardly still smiling and charming.

**See, for example, the Vikings.  

***In the episode about the Spanish Armada, I got really good at saying the word "gun" with the proper accent.  Such a pity that word doesn't occur in the play.  Well, unless I work it in every so often.  "He carried his school-books *and a gun* in a leather satchel."  Like that.


Maureen said...

I was unaware of Fin Dwyer and his Irish history podcasts; thanks for the tip.

Laura said...

Magically delicious. I'm having to relearn me lilt, too.