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Her Name Was New York

Jason: my first proper client. For a few years I made it known to friends that I was a budding accent coach, and while I read all the books I'd been recommended, and relearnt phonetics, and paid attention to and recorded every authentic accent I could listen to, and tried to work out where people were from originally, and what made actors' accents inauthentic in plays and films; I practiced on those friends when they needed help with an audition or job. Then one day my friend Natalie, who is an agent, sent me my first proper student. I offered him mates' rates and I'm still charging them to him as we have so much fun whenever we have a session.

Jason is Bermudan but opted, when he trained, to convert his transatlantic melange of an accent into RP. He ended up with the poshest Mary Poppins-style voice I've heard in a long time. He's adapted it over the years and now he just has an interesting mix of RP, London, and the odd flat A and rhotic R.

We've worked on Mulitcultural London English, Cockney, Yorkshire, Italian, and latterly just on standardising and modernising his RP. For Jason is moving to New York with his husband in about three weeks. I think I can count him as a friend now. I hope we'll do some Skype sessions when (or before) he gets a work visa. But I'll understand if he finds a good coach over there - face to face is my preferred method of teaching after all.

C'est la vie. He says the sofa's free when I want to come and stay.

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