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Remembering Tom

Image copyright Larry Busacca/Getty Images

The sudden, unexpected death of Tom Wilkinson has hit me hard, not simply because he was one of the finest actors of our generation, but because our friendship goes back to our college days.

I dialect-coached both Tom and his wife, Diana Hardcastle, in several films and plays over the years. My wife Marilyn, our son Cameron, and I had been guests at their London home. He left us far too soon, for I am sure he had even greater performances to add to his astonishing 130 movie credits and untold number of stage performances. For me, his greatest role was Arthur Edens in Michael Clayton with George Clooney.

Our condolences to Diana and their children, Alice and Molly. Farewell, Tom.

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Fare thee well, Don Martin

Don Martin

I have just learned of the passing of Don Martin, my friend of thirty years, and the best voice-over director and engineer I have ever known. Many of my clients knew him well too, especially those of you who took part in my voice-over masterclasses at Don’s studio, Evolution Audio, and those for whom, with Don at the helm, we produced your first demo reel. I am sad to pass along this news.

Our deepest condolences to his wife, Ginny, and their children. And to John Blank and Bryan Nelson, who continue the work at Evolution Audio that Don began.

See this link for his full obituary.

And see my voice-over page for some of the fine work Don produced for my clients. I am confident that John and Bryan will continue to provide the same brilliant work for anyone taking their first step into the world of voice-over.

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Stacy Keach, Anna Mathias star in ‘Home’

Stacy Keach (image courtesy Wikipedia)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many actors and directors are switching to alternate performance methods. Among those is Stacy Keach and his Stacy Keach Zoom Theater. His new production of Home, by David Storey, stars himself, Alfred Molina, Juliet Mills, and Anna Mathias. I coached Anna in the Cockney/Estuary sound her character, Marjorie, speaks.

The production is viewable for free through October 28 at

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Introducing new Deluxe Streaming Edition of ‘Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen’

I have an important announcement that I hope will excite you just as much as it does me. Realizing that this type of announcement might seem insignificant against the backdrop of social unrest and the coronavirus, I am nevertheless proud of what I view as my most important product introduction ever.

My signature product, Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen, is now available in a new format: the Deluxe Streaming Edition! Instead of CDs, this new book contains links to streaming audio files, which are easily accessible on any computer or mobile device with an internet connection. The files are protected by a password that you will receive once you get the book.

Even better is the fact that the new book has THREE new dialects not contained in the original CD version. Those dialects are Birmingham (England), Estuary (England), and Jamaican. (Estuary, the modern sound of many people living in London and elsewhere throughout southern England, has been my top-requested dialect in recent years.) And to top that off, this new book is actually less expensive than the original CD book. It’s $74.95 instead of $99.95. (By switching from CDs to streaming audio, we cut costs. We then transfer those savings to you.)

We still offer the iTunes ebook (Apple Book) version of Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen. And we’ve just lowered the price of that to $74.95, to be consistent with the price of our new Deluxe Streaming Edition printed book. (However, please keep in mind that the iTunes ebook does not yet contain Birmingham and Estuary.)

To purchase the new book, go here and select option #1 (Deluxe book with streaming audio) from the drop-down menu. (This new product is currently available only at, but we anticipate selling it on Amazon and other outlets soon.)

SPECIAL OFFER FOR PAST CUSTOMERS: If you bought the original CD version of Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen in the past, we have more good news for you: We will be happy to sell you the new Deluxe Streaming Edition with FREE POSTAGE TO ALL U.S. LOCATIONS. If you wish your book shipped to a location outside the United States, we will take $20 off the cost of your postage. (Make sure to e-mail us in advance of placing your order with your e-mail receipt verifying your prior purchase. We will then refund your postage after you pay.) 

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Farewell, Kristin Linklater

Kristin Linklater

I was very sad to learn of Kristin Linklater’s death yesterday, in her beloved home in Orkney. She was a giant in the world of voice and speech. I never met her in person, but I am thrilled to have had a wonderful conversation with her on my podcast last May. Her influential books, her thousands of students, and the hundreds of teachers she trained will keep her memory green.

For information about Kristin’s life and work, visit

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Zoom-based drama: ‘Dial Q for Quarantine’

I have recently had the pleasure of working with my colleague Professor Eva Barnes, of the Theatre and Dance Department at the University of California, San Diego. She took my Audiobook and Voice-over Demo Production masterclasses on Zoom. Her theatre has just completed an interesting Zoom-based thriller called Dial Q for Quarantine. Catch it on YouTube at this link. Great work, Eva!

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Dictionary of American Regional English

If you haven’t heard of the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE), let me recommend it to you highly.

Joan Hall, DARE’s executive editor, will be my guest on In a Manner of Speaking in August. She has just told me that Harvard University Press is offering a 25% discount on the digital version of DARE until the end of June for all organizations and institutions. If your library has not purchased it, now is the time to urge that it do so. (There is a 30-day free trial.) Visit for details.

And an individual subscription to digital DARE is available for $49 per year. See

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Break a leg, Dylan!

Dylan Paul

Break a leg and best wishes to Dylan Paul (our wonderful webmaster) who opens in Broadway’s Moulin Rouge! Previews begin June 28. This is Dylan’s second Broadway outing; Cabaret was his first. I’m extremely proud of my former student and wish him a long run on Broadway!

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Listen to Paul’s new BBC interview

Please listen to my recent interview on accents and dialects with the BBC World Service at this link. My short segment begins at 17:37 , but there are several other interesting pieces in the show on accents from Scotland, Texas, India, and New Zealand. I was particularly pleased that they focused on the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA), which I founded 20 years ago, and chose to test the interviewer’s skill in accent detection by playing a recording from an old friend of mine from The Rose Bruford drama school in London, where we both trained.  See if you can identify his accent as you listen.

— Paul

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Returning the favor to Jamaica

jamaican-dialect-booklet-donationElizabeth Montoya-Stemann was a constant source of help when I was writing and recording my Jamaican Dialect last year. One of her students, Lemar Archer, contributed recordings of both The Lord’s Prayer and a speech from Julius Caesar in Jamaican Patwa. Elizabeth is IDEA’s Associate Editor for Jamaica, contributing many of the samples I cite in the book. She’s pictured here holding a copy of the book, which I recently donated to the library at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica, where Elizabeth is a lecturer. Many thanks, Elizabeth! (Click here for more information about the book/ebook.)

— Paul