NYC Accent Falls to 0.004% of Population, Most of Which are BFAs Doing Stephen Adly Guirgis Scenes
by Blaise Wopperer. @blaisewopperer.
NEW YORK, NY – Researchers say the New York accent is on its way out - and for filmmaker Heather Bingham, nothing makes for a better topic for her upcoming documentary film. That was until last week, however, when Bingham announced that she’s pausing the project, after repeatedly mistaking BFA acting students for real New Yorkers, while rehearsing their Stephen Adly Guirgis scenes outside.
“I’m on a quest to find those who keep these iconic ways of speaking alive in our increasingly ‘Middle America’ sounding New York,” stated Bingham while Ctrl+Alt+Deleting hours of now useless footage in Adobe Premiere. “That was, of course, before I misread Ohio native Tyler Rand for a Brooklyn-born teen the other day, while he was rehearsing his M*therfucker with the Hat monologue under a park tree.”
Natalie Hanson, a second-year BFA actor at NYU Tisch originally from Tallahassee Florida, sees these mix-ups, however, as a sign of encouragement.
“When I was outside the other week rehearsing my Our Lady of 121st Street scene, and Heather interrupted my work to ask if I was a real New Yorker, it confirmed that I, the actor, had a rich inner life, a strong physical activity, and an open instrument."
Nick Golarza, Hanson’s scene partner, also expressed similar sentiments.
“As someone who searches for that nuance in the vocal transformation process, it was flattering when Heather approached me as I was repeating the word ‘kawffee’ five hundred times in order to trigger my New York accent,” said Golarza between spinal roll-downs. “I feel like my toolbox got five inches deeper that day. As deep as the Mets' 1986 playoff run, ey!”
“This is a story that needs to be told,” expressed Bingham, who is also considering hiring all these actors to portray real New Yorkers for her documentary - a decision that interferes with the students’ contractual obligation to turn down professional acting work, mandated by the institutions that train them to secure professional acting work.