I take pride in clear and effective interpretation, not in myself. If I am messing up don’t bother whispering in my ear, just take the microphone from me, fix the issue and keep going until I am ready to take it back. I will not be offended, I will be grateful.
(I give this speech to interpreters with whom I am working for the first time. The trick is, if you say it, you have to mean it.)
When a hearing person says “if you will not volunteer to interpret, you will leave this client without an interpreter,” the proper answer is:
No. You will.
I’m not refusing to interpret. I am ready, willing and able to interpret, but you are not willing to hire me.
The moment you are ready to pay for my services, I will provide them.
Interpreters! Go for gold medal work, always! But, realize that somedays your best effort earns a silver or a bronze; and accept there will be days when, if you are lucky, your sweat and tears earn a medal ranking somewhere between chewing gum foil and dental amalgam.
Monochromatic is the new black.
There is a thin line between fame and infamy, however, if by the end of an appointment you have achieved either, you’re doing it wrong.
When working from ASL to Spoken “Hearing” for a Deaf performer remember: 90% of the audience is Deaf, 9% are interpreters, interpreting students, or hearing spouses and parents who sign and won’t really need your services, almost the entire remaining 1% are ASL students or parents who kinda sign-all thrilled to see ASL and hear any interpretation. Your actual audience are the handful of Sign-Impaired people dragged here by their ASL/interpreting student dates, and they just want this over so they can get to dinner or the making-out part of the evening.
No sweaty palms needed.
One interpreting error does not become thirteen mistakes just because thirteen different interpreters in the audience choose to tell you that you screwed something up.