Hi Bonnie,

Thanks so much! That’s an awesome idea: my own Character History!

Quick question for you: I recently had an audition for an African character who is a nurse! The dialogue was mostly medical terms. The casting director still wanted improv! This was tough due to the medical terms and accent required! Any suggestions for next time? My final result was just decent! If I had been able to follow script it would have been good/excellent!

I look forward to your thoughts!

Blessings,
Crystal Howard

So glad you liked last week’s column, Crystal. Yay! 🙂 Try it out and let me know how it goes. Remember to be dispassionate about it (don’t take anything personally as you “interview” yourself as a character). 🙂 Excited!

Okay, so let’s first talk about the accent: You TOTALLY control how good you are at an accent, right? You just practice. If you’re likely to be called in for roles where you’ll need to use an African accent, perfecting one becomes part of your job, as an actor, so it’s ready when you need it. 🙂

As for the medical jargon, two things: If you are regularly called in for medical roles (nurse, doctor, hospital admin, etc.), it’s a great idea to start adding some of the medical terms to your vocabulary. Read medical journals. Watch hospital procedurals on TV and rewind segments of dialogue to GET the sound of these words, write them down, commit them to memory, and be ready to pull them out should you ever need to, in the future. Second thing, you can always just use the same medical terms that were in the original sides for your audition! Just improvise the other stuff, but work in that language you already learned, as you prepped for the initial read. Cool?

Hope that helps, and congrats on the audition! Keep ’em comin’! 🙂


Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!


Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001505.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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