Accents, Act-Sense

Guest Post by Goh Nakamura

Aloha! I'm on vacation, taking a much-needed break from blogging for a bit. But it's all good, because I've enlisted the help of some great guest bloggers to keep things going around here. Here's San Francisco musician Goh Nakamura on auditions and accents.

I was hanging out by the JANM about a month ago and was approached/suckered into "auditioning" for a Vonage commercial by a lady with a clipboard. She said there could be some money involved. I had just come from a bar after a few beers and figured "why not?"

She explained the premise of the commercial to me: A conversation between a Japanese musician calling his friend in Japan from his tour bus, explaining how great Vonage international calling is.

She had me read some lines from a script:

"Hey, how's Tokyo?"

"Just kicking' it on the tour bus"

"I'm still using Vonage, but now I can call you from my cell phone with my International Rock Star Plan!"

"Yeah, you hear that? Just some groupies..."

"Yup, loving it. Every night. Bright lights, Big City!"

The lady seemed nice at first, but the more I read, the more annoying she got.

I have to admit, any enthusiasm I had dissipated after reading it the first time, but she got more and more aggressive and bossy each time. She somehow got me to read it about 5-6 times, recording each take.

I was trying to be a good sport about it, until I saw the top of the page: "to be read in an accent"

I stopped her and said "Woah. Accent? Sorry, this is a deal breaker. I'm wasting both of our time if I have to do some horrible accent in the actual commercial."

She apologized, and said that she understood.

My friend, who had been watching from afar and heard the whole thing go down recently sent me a link.

"Hey, remember that annoying Vonage lady and the commercial?"

I have a lot of thoughts about this commercial, you can probably guess them.

The whole thing reminded me of the hilarious movie, Hollywood Shuffle by Robert Townsend. It came out in 1987 and blew my mind as a kid... and with that, I'll leave you with this clip:

Goh Nakamura is a San Francisco Bay Area based singer songwriter. He recently made his acting debut in the David Boyle film Surrogate Valentine, and is about to start filming the sequel to be released in 2012.


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