Alicia Ernand is a highly respected Spanish Dialect Coach and Language Consultant. Her degree in Psychology from Florida International University, coupled with her degree in Spanish/English Interpretation and Translation from UCLA, are instrumental to her success. She enjoys all aspects of her profession ranging from Casting accent assessment, to pre-production accent coaching, to post-production ADR.
In her private practice, she coaches a wide variety of actors: series regulars, academy award winners, telenovela stars, working actors, and commercial voice-over actors. Their common goal is to increase their English and Spanish accent expertise. Gone are the days where actors who spoke English with an accent were cast strictly in bit parts portraying immigrant characters in subservient positions. There is a tremendous influx of films and TV shows portraying actors code switching from English to Spanish, and Spanish to English. This is evident in both American and Spanish productions. After the infamous words, “It’s a wrap,” many dedicated actors continue working with Ernand to perfect their grammar and vocabulary skills in preparation for red carpet events, press junkets, and promo tours. They are inspired by her slogan, “Savor your accent with proper grammar.” The very funny Cuban comedian/actor, Alexis Valdes, worked with Ernand, as he prepared for his first American press junket for the upcoming HBO series, White House Plumbers, to be released in 2021.
Her TV Dialect Coaching career started 15 years ago teaching the late John Spencer to speak Spanish with a Cuban accent in his role as White House Chief of Staff on the The West Wing. On True Blood, she coached Kevin Alejandro, the late Nelsan Ellis, Fiona Shaw, and Paola Turbay to speak Spanish with the infamous lisp used in Spain. She joined Mayans MC for Seasons 2 & 3. Working with a predominantly International Hispanic cast including Carla Baratta, Guillermo Garcia, Ada Maris, Danny Pino and Emilio Rivera, she enjoyed assisting them with the rich variety of Mexican accents common to the Baja, California area.
In the commercial world, linguistically, the big demand is for a neutral Spanish whether the talent used is a celebrity, an employee, or an actor. Advertising agencies want to be able to air the spot in the more than 20 countries where Spanish is spoken. Even in productions where lip-synching is planned for the finished product, Ernand has to coach the actor to use his/hers articulators correctly so the lip-sync is flawless. One such project was a very popular L’oreal campaign. She coached Beyonce, Elizabeth Banks, and Eva Longoria Parker.
After two years of Covid restrictions, fall of 2021, came to an end with a magical project for Ernand. Encanto! It’s Disney’s new animated movie about a Colombian family. Disneyland’s Live Entertainment performers worked with Ernand to fine-tune their Colombian accents. She was impressed with the transformation of the entertainment team as they personify the characters from the film.
To date, Ernand’s most rewarding professional challenge was coaching Kaori Momoi, one of Japan’s leading actresses, in the film La Habitación. Momoi plays the role of a Chinese, Spanish speaking immigrant, who lived in Mexico in the late 1800’s. Through a Japanese interpreter, Momoi and Ernand worked in perfect harmony.
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