A mash-up of real conversations with directors, artistic directors, casting directors and stage managers of theaters and production companies both large and small:
Theatre/Production Company: We have an interesting issue and we’d like your advice.
Uncle Dale: Ok.
T/PC: We just had auditions for [Insert the name of a production, famous or new] and a girl who is hearing-impaired auditioned.
T/PC: Excuse me?
UD: Deaf, not hearing-impaired. You can say Deaf. You should say Deaf. It’s alright, she knows she’s Deaf.
T/PC: Riiight. But I’m trying to be, you know, culturally sensitive.
UD: Then say Deaf.
T/PC: That doesn’t feel comfortable to me.
UD: Do you say Negro?
UD: Then say Deaf.
T/PC: What? Really?
UD: Yes. Go on to the issue.
T/PC: Well this, um, Deaf? Heh. DEAF girl was, fantastic! Her audition was transformative!
UD: Ok. Waiting for the “issue.”
T/PC: We are not sure what to do.
UD: Cast her?
T/PC: But the character is not written as Deaf. We are not sure how to square casting her with the fact that the script and original story don’t say she is Deaf.
UD: Is there any thing that says she is not Deaf?
UD: Issue resolved. Glad I could help.
(Gave info on finding a good Deaf consultant)
Never set your bag down on a conveyer belt in order to interpret. Even if it’s stopped, because, funny thing, THEY START MOVING.
They “convey” things. It’s in their nature. In fact it’s right there in their name!
You know them. You’ve said them. Usually with the same vocal inflection employed by Bob the Tomato when he says, “like butter on a bald monkey.”
Interpreterisms are always best when it is just possible that they are accurate interpretations.
Some of the best I’ve heard:
“It takes a mighty big dog to weigh a ton.” (It was said with such conviction).
(Misunderstanding a local sign for ‘prefer’) “aaaaannnnnd then a squirrel jumped up and bit me on the head?”
“I couldn’t wear the ice cream home or my mother would know I’d been with a boy.”
“It’s a kind of, it’s a thing where, it’s, it’s, it’s a, I don’t know what it is.”
“And then I wondered if I… swallowed the… Er… ate the… soap?”
What are your favorites?
Some companies have their “new hire orientation” down to a science. For others it’s more like alchemy.
My “interpreter kit” looks less and less like I’m ready for an all-night appointment and more and more like I’m prepping for the zombie apocalypse.
Another moment of gratitude for everyone. When I was not looking this happened:
That is the same number of visits and more visitors than the whole of last year.
To put it in perspective.
This is the total since I started the blog:
The blog is roughly 19 months old.
Thank you all for your support when I needed it.
Thank you for your feedback and critique.
Thank you for adding your wit and wisdom to this blog.
Mostly though, thank you for stopping by and enjoying with me the terrors and pleasures of what we do everyday!
I’m working on the book everyday. I would like to think it will be finished soon, but I will soon be entering the editing process-which I hear can feel like it NEVER ENDS.
Wish me luck!
Bizarre “field specific” acronyms;
Nonsensically named computer programs;
References to field offices in unusually named small towns in other states; and,
Client specific shorthand for things they deal with everyday on this job but that exist nowhere in the world outside!
Curse you and all your ilk!