Thursday, August 4, 2011

And Your Definition of "Limited View" seating is?

We interpreted the show tonight and overall, it went pretty well. There were a couple of glitchy moments, translation-wise, but I thought it went very well.  The interpreter's light burned out within the first seven minutes of the show, so they had to jury-rig something for the first act. By the second act, they had a new lamp in our usual light and all was well.

The real issue - which always comes up when there is an "add-on" show that isn't filled with regular subscribers - was that *some* of the people didn't really think that their $27 limited view ticket meant that someone/something would actually block their view. This is somewhat ironic because the person who complained the most a) sat in a seat where the only thing the interpreters were blocking were the gigantic black speakers and b) he fell asleep for most of the show.

If I'm being gracious, I would say that sleeping is a natural reaction to listening to beautiful, relaxing music and I hope he had a restful sleep.  This happens to me in the symphony, but I don't generally sic the ushers on the conductor for not having more to look at.  Mr. Snooze had one of the ushers come and CALL MY TEAM OFF THE PLATFORM DURING THE SHOW to ask us to move. Pardon my shouting, but it was a better option than swearing. Um. We're kinda busy up here, in case you hadn't noticed.  I don't really know what people are thinking. Do they actually think that we just jumped up there, started signing and then someone thought, "Hey, let's turn a light on those cool folks who are signing down front!"  It doesn't really work that way.

Once this happened, we spent all our extra energy (there wasn't a lot - we were interpreting "Les Miserables", after all - 3 hours, 85 degree day, packed house) trying to figure out when we could move off the platform to accommodate the people in the audience who were sending hate-rays** in our general direction. That's all fine and good until the end of the first act, when I didn't see that the platform was not butted up against the pit wall and my foot went in between. Thank goodness, I didn't do more than a minor twist - it hurt for a minute, but more than anything I just realized that it is really kind of dangerous to be jumping up and down off the platform in the dark while trying to make sure our timing is correct, etc.  At intermission, we moved the platform so that my team was standing on it and I was on the floor. It is a compromise for the Deaf audience - we level the heights off - I am as tall as my team when I'm on the floor and she's on the platform. It just felt safer and smarter.

Standing on a wooden platform is easier than standing on the cement floor, in case you were wondering. My feet hurt.

Anyway, I felt good that we tried to be as accommodating as we could while still meeting our obligations as interpreters. I know folks were upset.  My advice to any one thinking of buying "limited view" tickets is to ask for a definition. "When you say 'limited view', what do you mean for this show?"  They will tell you.  Sometimes limited view seats are outstanding and much less expensive for basically the same view as anyone else. Sometimes, you get what you pay for.

**I must include the fact that some of the folks were incredibly gracious and kind. They knew that we were doing our best to give them a better view and at the same time, were aware that even if they were frustrated, we were just doing our jobs.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Blog Widget by LinkWithin