Saturday, December 20, 2008

Day 20: Julie Gebron

On Day 20, I want to thank Julie Gebron. She and I met when I was still in my first year of interpreting. She was one of the interpreters working on "The Signal Season of Dummy Hoy". I don't really remember talking to her back then - she had just come back from a trip to Australia and I thought she was the most exotic interpreter ever.
The next fall, she and I interpreted "The Hot'l Baltimore" together and thus started a long and illustrious professional relationship.

Julie even recruited me for my first turn interpreting in Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We did "Julius Caesar" and I'm pretty sure I was AWFUL. I had spent all my rehearsal time trying to translate everything on paper - I wrote out 90 pages of translation and I couldn't remember a lick when I was there. Funny story with that show...the night before we left, I had a bout of sleepwalking. I think I remember going to the bathroom, but I fell back asleep. Instead of returning to my bedroom, I went upstairs to a "bonus room" where there were a bunch of boxes and things. The door always stuck on the top and bottom, bowing in the middle, so I must have had to pull on it...went into the room and woke up when my head hit the floor as I tripped over a box. Disoriented, I woke up and the only part of my body touching the carpet was my forehead...everything else was draped over a box somehow. I ended up with a giant piece of rugburn on my forehead...the night before I was to go to Ashland for my debut! When Julie picked me up from school (I was interpreting in K-12 then), she looked immediately at the big oozing rug burn on my head and raised her eyebrows like, "What the heck?"

Julie also gave me the opportunity of a lifetime in asking me to team with her when we got a last minute request to interpret "Les Miserables" - my favorite show of all time! We had 3 days notice and we did an amazing job of it...and we continue to do Broadway touring shows together. We have argued and worked and laughed a lot over the last 18 years working together.

More importantly, Julie is a good friend. She is sensitive, kind, attentive. I was priveledged to be asked to attend the birth of her son and am an "official aunt" to him. Julie has been with me through thick and thin (Roby and Dad dying, changing jobs, illness, birth of her son, her family embarking on a new business - "St. John's Coffee Roasters", you name it). Any time I have ever needed her, she has been there for me - helping me laugh, asking me thoughtful questions. She is artistic, creative, funny and thoughtful.

When Roby went into the hospital, she and I were working on a show together - "Grease". We interpreted 10 days after Roby died...I had missed rehearsals and was not in good shape, but the show went ok. I had a black out of kinds...I don't remember any of the show except standing up on the platform when the show opened, wondering where I was and what show I was doing. Julie reports that I actually picked up my hands and signed what I was supposed to. She never seemed upset - just understood what was happening. Later, when we were supposed to do "Urinetown", I ended up in the hospital and she came to visit me and worked with a different team and they had a great time. When my dad died, another show given up at the last minute - no complaints. She came to the memorial service with her family. Her son brought me "Jesus Rocks" for comfort (long story I may tell another day).

Julie- I don't know if you will read this, but thank you for all that you have done and given me over the years. Your friendship has been an amazing gift to me. I have gained much from your perspective, from your guidance, from our work together, from our laughter and from our tears. I am blessed. Thank you.

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