AccentHelp Coaches

Our coaches have years of education coupled with invaluable hands-on experience with actors of all levels, from Hollywood to high school theater.

Jim Johnson

Jim is a tenured Full Professor of voice and dialects at the University of Houston. He coaches dialects professionally at a variety of theatres, and has worked with the Prague Shakespeare Company, Houston Grand Opera, Alley Theatre, Westport Country Playhouse, First Folio Shakespeare, Houston Shakespeare Festival, Stages Repertory, and Defiant Theatre, and for such actors as Aidan Quinn, Hal Holbrook, Dixie Carter, Ben McKenzie, Shawn Hatosy, Erin Dilly, Mia Dillon, Brent Barret, Monique Coleman and Connie Cooper. He has coached productions directed by John Rando, Scott Schwartz, Joe Brancato, Paul Barnes, Jackson Gay, Ken Ludwig, Judith Ivey, Anders Cato, Gregory Boyd, and Michael Wilson. He also recently coached accents for the actors in the SXSW live release of the final season of Game of Thrones.

Jim formerly served on the faculty of The Theatre School of DePaul University and taught at the Audition Studio in Chicago, Illinois. Jim got his MFA in Acting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework.

In addition to coaching and teaching, Jim works professionally as an actor and voiceover artist and is the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance where he teaches voice, speech, and dialects.

Read his interview in Back Stage Magazine about learning a dialect, or listen to his interview on Houston Matters on public radio.

You can reach him via email at He regularly coaches actors for dialects online via Skype and by recording their lines in dialect for auditions and performances on camera and on stage.  You can arrange coaching with him in person or via Skype by checking out our Private Coaching options here on the site.


Kate DeVore

Kate is a Voice/Speech pathologist specializing in professional voice, a theatre voice, speech and dialect trainer, and a personal development coach. She has an M.A. in Speech Pathology (also known as communication disorders) with an emphasis in professional voice, and a B.A. in Theatre with an emphasis in acting and voice. She's also a Reiki master teacher and am certified in Vibrational Healing.

Through her Chicago-based business, Total Voice, Inc., Kate work with clients ranging from actors to executives on voice, speech, and personal development. She has trained hundreds of actors in dozens of accents. She has also taught a Neutral American dialect (Accent Modification) to numerous individuals, including native English speakers with regional dialects as well as those who speak English as a second language. Kate presents and publishes her work on voice and speech nationally and abroad. She is co-author of The Voice Book: Caring For, Protecting, and Improving Your Voice (Chicago Review Press).

Kate has worked at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School), The Voice Center at The University of Illinois Chicago Hospital, Roosevelt University, Columbia College, Wellesey College, Brandeis University, Emerson College, The School at Steppenwolf, and numerous theatre companies and training programs in Boston and Chicago. She also served as board member and director of conferences for VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers Association).

Find out more at For information on private coaching, in person or by phone, e-mail her at


Michelle Lopez-Rios

Michelle is an associate professor of voice at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She also works professionally as a voice coach, actor, and director. Coaching credits include: Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks, Uprooted, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI); Houston Shakespeare Festival, Stages Repertory Theatre, Mildred’s Umbrella, Unhinged Theatre, Rice University, University of Houston, and Unity Theatre (Houston/Brenham, TX); Jersey Productions (Cincinnati, OH). She's performed at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, the Court Theatre, and Troy Rep, Ojai Shakespeare Festival and A Contemporary Theatre.

Michelle is a founding member of The Royal Mexican Player and has conducted performance workshops for Texas A&M University, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee United Community Center, Texas Educational Theatre Association, Mt. Mary College, and variousothers. Michelle is an associate teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework.

Find out more at For information on private coaching, in person or by phone, e-mail her at


Carolyn Johnson

Carolyn is a dialect coach, actress and singer. She has coached regional productions of Wolf HallCuttin’ Up, Oliver!, No Child, Awake and Sing, and Red Light Winter among others. Carolyn is an Equity actress, and she has performed for years, including leading roles in End of the RainbowA Picasso, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Johnny Guitar: the Musical, This, Translations, Mr. Pim Passes By, Talley’s Folly, Enchanted April, a year-long run of The Great American Trailer Park Musical, and three years with Chicago’s production of Flanagan’s Wake.  She also works as a director, including productions of Boeing Boeing, The Philadelphia Story and Last Train to Nibroc.

The Houston Chronicle named Carolyn the “Ultimate Funny Girl” of Houston in 2006, and in 2008, Chronicle readers voted her the “Ultimate Stage Actress” of Houston.

You can arrange coaching with her in person or via Skype by checking out our Private Coaching options here on the site.