I have a co-worker who's starring in a local play right now and I just had to go and see what she could do... outside of what I know she could do at work.
If you're familiar with Steel Magnolias (and I saw the movie once so I'm familiar but not all that familiar with it...) you'll already know that it takes place in Louisiana. I didn't remember that. I wouldn't have known that anyway.
My friend Debbie accompanied me to this play. Debbie is from Texas. Debbie is familiar with accents. Debbie has an accent. I'm from California. I do not. I don't think. Unless I speak 'valley'...
Anyway... the actors are pretending they're in Louisiana.
The play had just barely started when Debbie leaned over to me and said, "It's so funny to hear Texans try to speak like they're from Louisiana."
* blink blink *
How on earth could she tell? To me, a southern accent is a southern accent.
Let me rephrase that.... a bad accent is a bad accent. There's just no difference.