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Working with an interpreter

Working with an interpreter can be an interesting experience. I've had some practice in the past. Most of them have told me that it should be easy for me. They're the ones doing the work. It's still a little disturbing until you're familiar with what's going on.

Kiyomi, my translator, after a very
long and tiring day of work

Some basic things to keep in mind:

My last point above was one that I learned the first tiem I ever worked with an interpretter. But in the past, the only interpretters I ever worked with were sign language interpretters for the deaf. "Invisible" means something different in that case. Clearly, a sign language interpretter needs to be seen by the audience. When on stage, I have a habit of moving around a lot. If there's a someone on stage signing, I've made it a point of never obstructing the audience's view of that person. So, without realizing, I kept moving so that Kiyomi could be seen. She, on the other hand, kept moving so tha tshe couldn't be seen. She took her job as my voice literally. She did everythign should could to stay off camera and out of sight. We did a bit of a dance around each other until I realized that this was my error and that she was not like the people that had translated for me in the past.

At times, when the camera wasn't rolling, Kiyomi did more than just interpret spoken language. She would point things out to me when there were customs I didn't understand and help explain things that were new to me. Once she learned the basic balloon stuff, she spent a lot of time helping people and answering questions rather than having me answer the same things through her regularly. She also became an active part of the entire project.