Paul Meier is a dialect coach for theatre and film; a voice-over artist with many commercials and audio books to his credit; and a theatre professor specializing in voice, speech, accents and dialects, and heightened text. Paul also works with clients on accent reduction. This has been his calling for more than 40 years, in his native London, in the United States where he is now based, and all over the world. Paul Meier Dialect Services has been a leading Internet presence since 1998, attracting thousands of clients with its dialect books and CDs, and show-specific dialect designs.
He has coached many feature films, including Oscar-winning director Ang Lee’s Ride With the Devil, starring Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich and Jewel, and close to two-hundred plays and musicals for the theatre in more than a dozen countries. See his IMDB listing and Wikipedia page for complete details.
Paul is the founder and director of the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA), the internet’s largest archive of English-language accents and dialects as spoken by people around the globe.
With his wide range of character voices and dialects, Paul is much in demand as a voice-over artist and has been heard internationally in commercials for such clients as Ford, Coca-Cola, Sprint, Bayer, and Walmart — he was the voice of the Walmart icon Smiley in 2003. Listen to his demo:
Beginning in 1975 with his reading of Of Mice and Men for the BBC, he has recorded numerous audio books; Ayn Rand’s famous novel, Anthem, is his most recent. During his membership in the famous BBC Drama Repertory Company, Paul acted in over 100 radio dramas, working alongside such colleagues as Richard Burton, Derek Jacobi, and Paul Scofield. This body of work continues to be available today.
He has taught at some of the most famous theatre schools such as The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), Webber Douglas, North Carolina School of the Arts, and at the University of Kansas from 1988 to 2018, where he was Head of Voice in the Theatre Department. He is now professor emeritus at KU, and it was at that university that he founded the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA).
Read Paul’s account of his life’s journey here, in “My Journey to Now,” a 2017 article he wrote for The Voice and Speech Review.
On February 25, 2005, Paul was heard on All Things Considered on National Public Radio. They discussed the dialects of Hillary Swank from Million Dollar Baby, Don Cheadle inHotel Rwanda, and Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland. Hear his interview with Michelle Norris in the All Things Considered archive (Click on the red “Listen” button near the top of the screen.) This requires Real Player.
John Ales, Jonathan Brandis, A.J. Buckley, Jewel Kilcher, Jim Caviezel, Simon Baker Denny, Peter Coyote, Stewart Finlay-McLennan, Louise Fletcher, Bill Irwin, Gabrielle Fitzpatrick, Diana Hardcastle, Tom Hulce, Kris Kristofferson, Elizabeth Lackey, Tobey Maguire, Stephen Mailer, Terrence Mann, Dev Patel, Callum Keith Rennie, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kim Myers, Mark Ruffalo, Skeet Ulrich, Celia Weston, David Wenham, Valerie Wildman, Peter Wingfield, Tom Wilkinson, Jeffrey Wright.
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), London, UK
London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA), London, UK
Webber-Douglas School of Drama, London, UK
Department of Theatre, University of Kansas, Kansas, USA
The Drama Studio, London, UK
The City Literary Institute, London, UK
The North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), North Carolina, USA
Rose Bruford College of Speech & Drama, London; Dip.Ed., Honors in Phonetics and Dialects
University of Kent at Canterbury, England; BA (Honors), English & American Literature
University of London, Certificate of Proficiency in Phonetics (first class)