Accents are often used as a kind of character shorthand. Though accents can help differentiate who is speaking, they should never be the totality of a characterization. They are a simple place to begin, to shape your journey as an actor.
Changing the “shape” of your voice can bring different physical shapes into other parts of your body. These shapes create a physicality for a voice actor. And that physicality can become the key to switching between characters during a read. Small physical cues create a muscle memory. And, when you need to jump from criminal psychopath to hero to innocent bystander and back to hero, physical cues can facilitate that process.
In my current project, chapter 3 sees our hero (Ted, the title character in Ted Saves the World by Bryan Cohen) face off against a gang of baddies — much to his own shock and amazement.
The accents range wide in this YA/Sci-Fi adventure. Here’s a bit from the end of the chapter for your enjoyment…