The Word is Out.
Across the country and around the world, people have been spreading the word about the value of the Sam Chwat Method.
“He took the South away from Julia Roberts. He exorcised New York from Robert De Niro’s speech… He teaches senators how to drop their regional accents when they are in Washington, and how to pick them up again on the campaign trail… ‘I have a great deal of job satisfaction because people show results very quickly,’ [says Sam Chwat, founder of the Sam Chwat Speech Center].
“It’s a challenge few would undertake: Erase all traces of actor Tony Danza’s heavy-as-lead Brooklyn accent for his current four-episode stint as a smooth-talking lawyer on ABC’s The Practice. Even the former Taxi star, who has made a career out of saying ‘don’t bodder’ instead of ‘don’t bother,’ knew it wouldn’t be easy. ‘PEOPLE Magazine once called me the preeminent dese, dem and doser,’ Danza, 47, admits with a hearty laugh. ‘I was looking for someone to take that out of my speech, so it wasn’t the only thing I was known for.’
“When actors come in to learn a dialect, the sessions can last anywhere from a few hours to a few months… More often than not, he knows the accent from memory. ‘Sam has a command of every accent,’ says English actor Alan Bates, who went to Chwat for the villainous Viennese purr he uses in The Sum of All Fears. “It’s a bit of magic…”
“… [Scott Hirsch’s] speech became an issue again as he worked his way up the ladder at Forest Electric Corp., a major Manhattan electrical contracting firm. As he rose from electrician to vice president in charge of sales, Hirsch began to worry about what kind of image his dese’s and dem’s were projecting, especially when he had to speak in front of groups.
"In every culture, your verbal expression is considered an index of how smart you are,… Your speech pattern, your word choice and your grammar are all considered indications of your intelligence and sophistication. It's a false assumption, but it's a popular one."
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