While the majority of my interpreting work remains confidential, there are select occasions when my work has been showcased publicly. I’m proud to share these with you through to give you a glimpse into the breadth of my work.
Building an Ark: A Conversation with Pioneering Artist Laurie Anderson on Innovation and Storytelling, Cornell University
September 26, 2023
Laurie Anderson is a multi-talented artist whose work has spanned decades. Interpreting her dialogue and selected videos of her work was both fascinating and challenging. In the first few moments of the video, you’ll spot me and my team interpreter, seated in front and to the right of the stage. If you fast forward to the 28:30 mark, you'll see an interaction between Ms. Anderson and myself—an interaction I wasn’t fully aware of until viewing the recording afterwards. Given my position below the stage, facing the audience, my visual access to her and the screen was limited to brief over-the-shoulder glances.
While watching the music video for her song "O Superman," Ms. Anderson was excited to see it translated into ASL and was closely watching my signing. She then shared that she incorporated ASL into the music video and tried to recall the signs. It wasn’t until half the audience suddenly had their eyes on me that I realized she was also signing on stage. At first, our signs mirrored each other, but we fell out of step at the end. While Ms. Anderson said that our variations in signing were differences in dialect—an impressively astute assumption—the reality was I misheard the words with the overlapping video and spoken audio. This offers a glimpse into some of the challenges that come with the dynamic and spontaneous nature of live interpretation.
I have the honor of working with Christen Szymanski, the director of BU's Services for Students with Disabilities office. I admire the dedication of Dr. Szymanski and her team in promoting and enhancing accessibility on campus, and I continue to learn more each time I’m there. Recently, their exceptional work was highlighted by a local news channel, showcasing their successes, challenges, and ongoing efforts. I invite you to watch the video below to learn more about their impactful work.
During my practicum at RIT I had the opportunity to serve as one of the interpreters in the production of ‘Cabaret’ which featured a blend of deaf and hearing actors. Typically theater interpreters are dressed in all black to blend in and positioned in a corner of the stage, visible but out of the way of the action. This production uniquely created characters out of the interpreters, seamlessly blending them into the ensemble. With full costumes, dance numbers, character interactions, and inclusive positioning, we showcased how accessibility can become a part of the storyline.
The first link is an article describing the innovative approach to the show. The second link is a photo gallery where you can see me featured interpreting in photographs 8 and 20 and as an ensemble member in the background of 4, 7, 10, and 27.