A few days ago, I saw The Producers as performed by O.U.’s drama club in Lancaster. I bet you didn’t know I was an accent trainer! Well, neither did I! Back in April, someone from the drama club e-mailed me and wanted to know if I’d train him in a German accent for the role of Franz Leibkind in The Producers. I had about 15 hours working with him, 1 hour each time, and we aimed for a Bavarian accent, which I approximated, and he imitated flawlessly!
I was amazed at the production. I went to the last show, and they performed their hearts out for a full musical. My client did well and maintained the accent. The show was funny, and of course there were two levels of performance you have to maintain; exaggerate for humorous effect and yet keep the accent authentic. Especially because it’s a funny Nazi stereotype like Franz Liebkind. It’s a hard job to do and I give the guy credit for learning all he did in such limited time!
I enjoyed the show! I was impressed by all the cast, and even more surprised that some were just out of high school! They served little treats…cupcakes and cookies, at intermission! I’m so proud of all the work my client did. It just goes to show a little cultural knowledge goes a long way, and you can have fun with learning a new language/culture too! Mel Brooks does parody, so you can also teach the accent in a parody-type matter.
I spoke with the actor afterwards who said that he couldn’t of done it without me, which was nice. The cast was energetic, and met people afterwards! I suppose old dogs can learn new tricks! I’ve only had one semester of German linguistics, but maybe my personal contacts with Germans paid off! It was a fun production, and I’m glad I contributed! My congratulations to all the cast and crew! I sure had a blast!