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Joined: 5/27/08
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bullet Topic: Acquiring an accent
    Posted: 7/09/10 at 2:43pm
I am 45 years old and have been cast to play a 80+ year old jewish man.  I am pretty good at picking up accents, but I simply cannot find a resource that teaches a New York Jewish accent! (Think Walter Mathau or Miracle Max from the Princess Bride.)
I found some CD/book guides for Yiddish, but that isn't what I need for this role. 
Can anybody point me to a resource, online or for purchase doesn't matter, that will help me learn a New York Jewish accent? 
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Joined: 9/13/06
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bullet Posted: 8/04/10 at 7:55am
HANG IT ALL - I just typed a bunch of stuff and hit the wrong button and lost it all.  SO HERE WE GO AGAIN!!! SHEESH!! FAT FINGERS!!!
ANYway, the best series of dialect tapes (now CD's) are by David Alan Stern, Ph.D. and you can find those at this link.....
The link to the listings are under the hyperlink LEARNING ACCENTS & DIALECTS
I've used these over the years and they are SUPERB.  Best series out there.  And the cool thing is you can buy individual CD's for specific areas.  Back in the day, you could buy whatever you needed on cassette tape (in your case now likely American, New York City Accents).  They are still available individually - and are available in 25 different patterns at about $19.16 each CD - one hour long and teaches Lilt, Stress, Muscularity/Resonance and Pronunciation, Speech Rhythm, Intonation. These are very academic and are the most widely used in college theater departments all over the world. I was going to buy the whole series at one time - many years ago it was expensive - likely much higher now than then but not bad at $396 bucks for the whole 25 pattern set - though they're 20% off right now.  Might just have to invest in those.
ALSO there is a pretty good ONLINE site that you can listen to that has an archive of accents - people of different nationalities and from different areas, READING a passage which you can listen to or even download (right click/Save As, I think) and they have LOTS of accents there.  There is a listing of NUMEROUS New York Jewish folks some from the Bronx, Queens, and of different ages and genders reading a passage. There are some good ones there such as those you mention.  THIS SITE IS FREE and online and pretty complete.
The link for that is as follows:
And the SPECIFIC New York Jewish ones are buried several links down ...
North America/USA/Dialects of New York  Look specifically for New York - numbers 5 - 9 - those are pretty good.
Here's the link...
Good luck. These are really good to work with.

Edited by TonyDi - 8/04/10 at 8:08am
"Almost famous"
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