Saturday, May 1, 2010

Expert, Me?

I got an email today from an interpreting student. They were referred to me so that they could do an interview about theatrical interpreting - specifically musical theatre. I was struck by some of the questions that they asked and I was left in a pensive mood.

I can clearly remember the first artistic signing I ever saw. A woman (unfortunately, I don't know her name) came to our ITP class and interpreted "Grandma's Featherbed" and "The Eagle and the Hawk". I had never seen signing like that before and had never seen signing combined with music. I was fascinated and at the same time, I never thought I would ever do anything like that. When I was in the interpreter training program, I was voted "Least Likely to Appear Onstage for Any Reason, Including Sweeping". I hated being in front of the class, I hated doing the improv acting class (although I loved watching the others do it). Strange how I ever managed to become an interpreter. When I took ASL and Process tests where I was videotaped, my arms would get these purple splotches on them and my hands would shake. I was always so nervous and afraid of making mistakes.

Tonight as I answered questions about working as a performance interpreter - my passion and motivation - I was struck by the idea that someone actually wanted to know what I had to say about the topic. Don't misunderstand me...I have been asked about performance work and theatre for many years - I have presented about it and I have taught a few workshops. I KNOW that I have a ton of experience. It was just one of those funny moments when you realize - "this person might quote me in their research paper. How weird is that?"

I think this is one of the issues surrounding leadership in the world right now - a group of us coming up in the world who NEVER IMAGINED ourselves taking on the mantle of responsibility, leadership, ownership, expertise, etc. I always steered away from Boards and running for things because I have never felt "ready" - I still don't. But then I realized that you are never "ready" until you are doing whatever it is you need to learn how to do. My generation is now approaching (if not arriving) the place where we need to step up and mentor, teach, take responsibility and pass along some knowledge.

Fascinating. If I had only known, I would have paid more attention to how the leaders led me. I was so fortunate in the mentors and leaders who had a hand in my career and life and I wish I had paid more attention to that part of their involvement.

1 comment:

  1. We are now the generation that has the soon-to-be-graduates looking to for inspiration, guidance, expertise... It is indeed an exciting place to be--too bad I'm nearly paralyzed with fear and insecurity to enjoy the excitement.

    This post has been an on-going dicussion topic with AMcF. I understand this post in such a deep way that I have no words to explain it.

    WE have grown up to become the THEM that THEY once were.



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