Two or three times I have been approached by actors for advice on auditions for parts requiring Newcastle, Tyneside, Northumbrian or Geordie accents.
Last year, actors auditioning for The Last Ship, a musical written by local lad Sting, asked for help. They found me either via my dialect monologues on YouTube or through my book ‘The Fairly Truthful Guide to Geordie’ I’m always pleased to help. I love hearing people attempt the Geordie accent but I can always spot an imposter!
So the service I can offer, rather than one-to-one tuition, is simple. You send me your script. I’ll record your parts in my home studio and send you an mp3 recording. It’s a pretty quick turn around. If you have the facility to record and return to me, I can spot the odd words that maybe need more work.
My fee is negotiable depending on whether you’re a student auditioning for a local theatre group - or you’re Russell Crowe up for a Ridley Scott film.
I was born and brought up in Benton, Newcastle upon Tyne. Our council estate was built to house workers for the recently opened Ministry of Pensions and so attracted people from all over the country. Our neighbours were from London, Yorkshire, Lancashire and a couple of Northumbrians. It wasn’t until the slum clearances in the West End that we started to get some proper Geordies living there. My dad was a ‘Jesmond Geordie’ and encouraged us to speak correctly at all times. My mother was a Lancastrian, with Scottish parents brought up in Carlisle so she was no help either! Although I did develop an ear for different dialects and became a bit of a mimic.
20 years in the motor trade brought the Geordie out in my voice and working in Gallowgate and the West End meant I had to be able to communicate. I have since researched the the origins of our language and written a book on the subject. I also write and record Geordie dialect material for monologues.
I also present The Geordie Hour on local radio so I feel suitably qualified to offer advice; if not as a well-read academic but an enthusiastic practitioner! First and foremost, I love dialects, especially Geordie and am passionate about maintaining regional identities.
As a result of writing a book on the subject, producing many Geordie monologues and cartoons AND presenting The Geordie Hour on radio, I was asked by the BBC to appear on a special Newcastle episode of Songs of Praise. I spoke about the origins and history of our language for a couple of hours - which was then edited down to a couple of minutes!
The Fairly Truthful Guide to Geordie A one-hour radio documentary based on Gary’s book of the same name