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May podcast tackles dialect coaching

Edda Sharpe

For the May 2022 edition of his In a Manner of Speaking podcast, Paul welcomes dialect coaches Edda Sharpe and Jan Haydn Rowles, authors of How To Do Accents and leading figures in the world of voice, speech, and dialects. The three discuss dialects in the English National Opera revival of My Fair Lady (coached by Edda) and the film Belfast (coached by Jan). They also engage in a larger discussion of dialects and accents, including the ones featured in those productions: Received Pronunciation (RP), Northern Irish, and Cockney.

Jan Haydn Rowles

To listen, go here or search for the podcast on your favorite podcast channel or index.

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A “Window” into Shakespeare

Following the successful launch of the iTunes ebook (Apple Book) version of Paul’s Voicing Shakespeare earlier this year, we’re pleased to announce an updated edition of the original Windows version. To purchase the ebook, go here. (Mac users will need to purchase the iTunes version.)

The ebook, which sells for $29.99, features embedded audio and video. You will enjoy seven major sections, all divided into short and easy-to-read chapters, unlocking all the secrets you need to perform Shakespeare’s great work with confidence, clarity, and power. The ebook thoroughly explores verse; prose; voice, speech, and dialect; physical performance; musical dynamics; and Shakespeare’s rhetoric. In addition to readings by Paul, the ebook includes performances from 17 well-respected actors and theatre professors: 76 performances in all.

A big thanks to Curt Ford for the ebook’s development.

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March comes in with ‘The Power of Voice’

Denise Woods

Paul’s In a Manner of Speaking podcast guest for March is Denise Woods, successful Hollywood dialect coach, theatre professor at the California Institute of the Arts, and author of the recent book The Power of Voice, published by HarperCollins.

In addition to the two dialect coaches discussing the finer points of their profession, Paul and Denise talk about the contentious terms “accent reduction/modification” and how to help clients who believe their accent is holding them back socially or professionally. They also discuss coaching Black actors and delve into the changing landscape of audiobooks and how a single narrator can respectfully voice scores of characters who differ in age, gender, dialect, nationality, and ethnicity.

You can find the podcast where you normally go to listen to podcasts, or just click here.

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‘You Are What You Speak’

Lane Greene

New month, new podcast! And February’s episode of In a Manner of Speaking features Lane Greene, language columnist and Spain correspondent for The Economist. The podcast episode takes its title from one of Lane’s books, You Are What You Speak (2011), and Paul and Lane tackle a variety of topics related to linguistics, accents, and the myths, fears, and politics surrounding language. Go here to listen to the podcast, or look for it on your favorite podcast channel or index.

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New Zoom masterclasses to begin soon

Paul’s new series of Zoom masterclasses will begin soon, and spaces are still available! The first two courses, covering voice-over and Shakespeare, begin February 5 and 6, respectively, while three more courses begin in early March. Topics for the March classes include British and Irish dialects, accent modification, and foreign-language accents.

For more information, go here. Or e-mail Paul at paul@paulmeier.com.

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Start the new year on the right ‘pitch’

Gillyanne Kayes
Jeremy Fisher

Happy New Year! To start 2022, Paul is welcoming Jeremy Fisher and Gillyanne Kayes of “Vocal Process” back to the In a Manner of Speaking podcast. The three discuss pitch, specifically the extremes of the human voice as it relates to both speaking and singing. Listen to the episode here, or find it on your favorite podcast channel or index.

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Ring in the new year — with Shakespeare

Party like it’s 1599

In spite of the date on the calendar, on this New Year’s Eve we here at Paul Meier Dialect Services are going to party like it’s 1599! That’s because we are celebrating the release of Paul’s Voicing Shakespeare ebook on iTunes (Apple Books). The ebook was first published in 2008 for Windows, and now we have finally released a new and improved iTunes version compatible with Mac, iPhone, and iPad. For more details, go directly to iTunes. And for the original Windows version, go here.

The ebook, which sells for $29.99, features embedded audio and video. You will enjoy seven major sections, all divided into short and easy-to-read chapters, unlocking all the secrets you need to perform Shakespeare’s great work with confidence, clarity, and power. The ebook thoroughly explores verse; prose; voice, speech, and dialect; physical performance; musical dynamics; and Shakespeare’s rhetoric. In addition to readings by Paul, the ebook includes performances from 17 well-respected actors and theatre professors: 76 performances in all.

Happy New Year!

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Dialect and grammar equality?

Willem Hollmann

All dialects are equal, but are some more equal than others? Find out the answer to this tongue-in-cheek question on the new episode of Paul’s In a Manner of Speaking podcast. Click here to listen, or search for “In a Manner of Speaking” on your favorite podcast channel or index.

Paul’s guest this month is Lancaster University Professor of Linguistics Willem Hollmann.

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Holiday discount and free Christmas gift!

Looking for a great gift for an actor this holiday season? Or looking to save money while improving your own dialect and accent skills? My book, Accents and Dialects for Stage and Screen, makes the perfect stocking-stuffer for the actor in your life! He or she will love mastering its 27 accents and dialects, using the book’s fun exercises and accompanying sound files.

And to make it more affordable, from now until New Year’s Day, I’m offering a 10% discount on both the Deluxe Streaming print edition AND the iTunes ebook (Apple Book) version. That’s just US$67.45 (or US$67.99 on iTunes) instead of the usual US$74.95.

The Deluxe Streaming edition is a printed book with the sound files available via streaming audio from any internet-connected mobile device or computer. It’s available for this discounted price on this site (select Deluxe book w/streaming audio) until January 1. (The iTunes ebook must be purchased directly on iTunes by the account holder who wishes to use the ebook, but what a great inspiration for an iTunes gift card!) The original CD version of my book is still available for its usual price of $99.95 but does not contain Jamaican, Estuary or Birmingham.

Please note that the discount is not available on Amazon. However, if you are outside the United States, you will still find it cheaper to order the book through your own country’s Amazon, such as Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.ca.

And now … my gift to you: my audiobook reading of Charles Dickens’ beloved A Christmas Carol. Just click the link to start listening absolutely free. (The link will expire January 1.)

As 2021 draws to a close, may your holidays bring peace and joy to you and all your family.

 

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Read me a story, Elizabeth Wiley

Elizabeth Wiley

Please welcome professional audiobook narrator Elizabeth Wiley to Paul’s In a Manner of Speaking podcast. Paul and Elizabeth discuss everything related to the art of audiobook narration and even read excerpts from a couple of books. Go here to listen to this month’s podcast, or find the podcast on your favorite podcast channel or index.

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Learn about heightened language and Black playwrights

Jacqueline Springfield

Join Paul and his guest, Professor Jacqueline Springfield, for a discussion of heightened language and Black playwrights on this month’s edition of Paul’s free podcast, In a Manner of Speaking. Go here to listen to the episode and find out more about the topic, or find the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or the podcast index of your choice.

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Voice, speech and the law

Pamela Keller

“Law Talk” is the title of this month’s In a Manner of Speaking podcast, and, appropriately, the conversation centers on the spoken word as it relates to the law, specifically courtroom procedures and presentations. Paul’s guest is Professor Pamela Keller, of the University of Kansas School of Law. You can listen to the podcast here or on your favorite podcast channel or index.

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Interactive IPA charts back online

Good news! The free Interactive IPA charts are finally back online. These interactive charts of the International Phonetic Alphabet — which have always been the most popular pages on PaulMeier.com — are voiced by Paul Meier and designed by Eric Armstrong.

Originally built in Flash, the charts had been offline for the last few months following the demise of that now-extinct program. But with some recent software adjustments, we are glad to have them back. Even better, they are available on ALL computers and devices. (They had previously not been available on Apple mobile devices.) Nevertheless, we strongly recommend visiting the charts on a larger device, such as a large tablet or computer.

If you only have a small mobile phone, the charts will still work. But for a better display, we recommend purchasing the app version, for just $3.99. For more information, visit the charts page.

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Problems with ‘Interactive IPA’ app?

We’ve received reports recently about problems with Paul’s Interactive IPA app on some Android tablets, specifically Samsung. After extensive testing, we’ve discovered that an Android update earlier this year corrupted the swiping function of this and similar apps, making it impossible to move from screen to screen and thereby view the phonetics charts. We apologize for this, but as we have no control over Android updates, this problem was unavoidable. But the GOOD NEWS is that a new update seems to have fixed this issue.

We strongly suggest updating your software, which should automatically update your apps. Nevertheless, we would still suggest deleting and reinstalling the app. If this doesn’t solve your problems, we’d welcome your feedback. Thanks!

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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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February podcast addresses ‘secret’ language of Polari

Paul Baker

Paul’s February edition of his In a Manner of Speaking podcast tackles Polari, the “secret” language used primarily by gay men in Britain during the 19th and 20th centuries. This month’s special guest is Paul Baker, an expert on the language. Go here to listen to the podcast, or search for In a Manner of Speaking on your favorite podcast channel.

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Welcome the new year with a new podcast

Jan Gist

Happy new year! Paul is proud to welcome in 2021 with a new episode of his In a Manner of Speaking podcast. The guest this month is Jan Gist, and Paul and Jan discuss “Shakespeare’s Shapely Language.” The conversation is not confined to Shakespeare, however, as they discuss the “shapes” of language in modern contexts too.

You can listen to the podcast here, or on your favorite podcast channel.

 

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Looking for a last-minute Christmas gift?

Are you looking for a last-minute holiday gift for the actor in your life? We kindly suggest Paul’s new and improved Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen Deluxe Streaming Edition. If you purchased Paul’s previous edition (with CDs), please keep in mind that this new version (which replaces the CDs with audio files that are easily streamable from any internet-connected device) contains three more dialects than that older edition (Jamaican, Birmingham and Estuary) and costs less ($74.95 instead of $99.95).

IMPORTANT: The last day to order and be guaranteed delivery before Christmas (in the United States, with priority mail) is tomorrow, December 18. You can order through Amazon.com or from this site (by selecting option #1 on the drop-down menu). If you’re outside the United States, the book might not arrive before Christmas. We suggest checking your own country’s Amazon for availability.

You can preview the book here.

The book is also now available as an iTunes ebook (Apple Book.)

Happy holidays from all of us at Paul Meier Dialect Services!

 

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New dialects for the holidays

Just in time for the holidays, my new and improved iTunes ebook (Apple Book) version of Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen is finally here!

This ebook has the same content as the new print version: Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen Deluxe Streaming Edition, released earlier this year. That means it now contains my two newest British dialects, Birmingham and Estuary (the modern sound of southern England).

Both the ebook and the printed book (with sound files delivered as streaming audio via a website link) are just $74.99. That’s a $25 savings from the original book (with CDs) and the previous edition of the ebook. So now you can save money AND get additional dialects.

You must buy the ebook directly through Apple on your personal iTunes account. But if you prefer the printed book, I recommend Amazon.com if you’re in the United States. If you’re outside the U.S., I suggest purchasing it directly from this site (option #1 on the drop-down menu) or checking your own country’s Amazon. (Because of COVID, Amazon.com’s shipments to outside the U.S. can be delayed.)

More good news: If you’re an instructor needing five or more books for your students, that’s easy to do on Amazon. Bulk purchases earn a 15% discount! (The ebook can only be purchased singly, and Apple provides us no mechanism to discount.)

The ebook can be viewed on a Mac and Apple mobile devices. On a tablet, we recommend viewing the ebook in vertical scrolling mode. (The ebook is NOT compatible with Windows computers or Android devices. If you have an Android device, we recommend the Deluxe Streaming Edition of the printed book, as you can read that hard-copy book while listening to the audio on your Android device.)

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A historic podcast

Patrick Feaster

Paul’s In a Manner of Speaking podcast is devoted to the spoken word. And, of course, our understanding of the spoken word changed in the 19th century with the invention of recorded sound. This month’s podcast travels back in time to that invention and features a discussion with Patrick Feaster of FirstSounds.org and film critic/historian Cameron Meier.

This podcast marks the debut of one of Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville’s earliest recordings, from 1857.

Listen to the podcast here, or on your favorite podcast channel.

 

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Revised ‘Interactive IPA’ app now for sale

Paul has just released an updated version of his popular Interactive IPA app for Apple devices. This update fixes some sound files that some customers said were not playable on certain new devices, and it improves the overall visual display. It also guarantees great functionality into the foreseeable future.

If you already have the app, it should update automatically, depending on your device settings. Or you can simply go to the app store, search for “Interactive IPA” and download the new version (free of charge if you already have it). For new customers, the app is $3.99.

For more information on the app or to purchase the CD-ROM version, go here. A similar demonstration of the charts of the International Phonetic Alphabet are also available here for those of you who still can run Flash.

The app is also available for Android here.

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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 https://www.stacykeachzoomtheater.com.

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Happy International ‘Talk Like a Pirate’ Day

Robert Newton

It’s “International Talk Like a Pirate” Day. (For more on this holiday, see Wikipedia.)

Did you know that the modern stereotype of “pirate speech” was actually invented by English actor Robert Newton in the 1950 Walt Disney film Treasure Island? Newton used his native West Country dialect as the basis for the speech of Long John Silver.

Would you like to learn this dialect? It’s remarkably close to the Hampshire dialect, which Paul teaches. Check it out here.

 

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‘ADSS: Deluxe Streaming Edition’ on Amazon.co.uk

We’re happy to announce that Paul’s new edition of his Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen (with sound files available as streaming audio) is now available on Amazon.co.uk. Because of the mail delays associated with COVID-19, this will be the best place to buy the book if you are in England or the rest of Europe. But if you’re in the rest of the world, the best place to get it is either here or Amazon.com.

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Welcome Jerome Butler to the podcast

Jerome Butler

The September edition of Paul’s In a Manner of Speaking podcast is now online here (and everywhere you listen to podcasts). Paul’s guest this month is renowned dialect coach Jerome Butler. Paul and Jerome discuss a variety of topics related to dialect coaching but pay particular attention to accent modification (or accent reduction), for non-actors wishing to modify their native dialect.

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New masterclasses start July 29

Paul’s summer Zoom masterclass series will resume on Wednesday, July 29, with three new courses: Dialects of the British Isles, Approaching Foreign-Language Accents, and Teaching “Accent Reduction.” While Dialects of the British Isles is currently full, we encourage you to e-mail Paul at paul@paulmeier.com if you’d like to be added to the waiting list. The other two courses still have a couple of spots left.

For more information, visit our main Zoom Masterclasses page.

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Masterclasses begin tomorrow

Paul’s new Zoom masterclasses begin tomorrow (July 1). To find out details of the classes and to sign up, visit our Masterclasses page. Courses include audiobook narration, British dialects, foreign-language accents, and Shakespeare.

Participants get a free copy of Paul’s new edition of Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen. This new print book contains three new dialects and delivers the sound files by streaming audio. (The streaming audio is available on any internet-connected device or computer. Details of how to stream the files are found on the inside back cover of your printed book.)

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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 PaulMeier.com, 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 LinklaterVoice.com.

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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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Sale on ‘ADSS’ continues for another week

During the COVID-19 pandemic, with most of us sheltering in place, it’s essential that we find new ways to learn at home. With that in mind, we’re continuing our sale on Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen through the end of this month, on both the printed book with CDs and the iTunes ebook (Apple Book). The sale price is $64.95 instead of the normal $99.95. (The ebook has the same content as the printed book, plus an additional dialect: Jamaican.) The sale will end April 30.

Though we often recommend purchasing ADSS through Amazon, at this time, because of the slight delay in Amazon shipping, we recommend purchasing the printed book directly from us at the link above (or the ebook directly from iTunes). By doing that, you get the sale price, and we ship within one day of receiving your order.

Best wishes to you all. Stay safe.

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Zoom masterclasses with Paul

As we transition to learning from home during the coronavirus pandemic, Paul Meier Dialect Services is here to help. With that in mind, Paul is launching a series of reduced-price masterclasses, including one free class. Topics will include dialects and accents, Shakespeare’s verse, voice-over, and audiobooks. Classes being April 18 and are expected to fill quickly, so we suggest booking as soon as possible.

For full details, visit Zoom Masterclasses with Paul.

 

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Sale on ‘Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen’

During the COVID-19 pandemic, with most of us sheltering in place, it’s essential that we find new ways to learn at home. With that in mind, Paul is offering a sale on Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen through the end of this month, on both the printed book with CDs and the iTunes ebook (Apple Book). The sale price is $64.95 instead of the normal $99.95. (The ebook has the same content as the printed book, plus an additional dialect: Jamaican.) The sale will end April 30.

Though we often recommend purchasing ADSS through Amazon, at this time, because of the slight delay in Amazon shipping, we recommend purchasing the printed book directly from us at the link above (or the ebook directly from iTunes). By doing that, you get the sale price, and we ship within one day of receiving your order.

Best wishes to you all. Stay safe.