ACTING TOOLS FOR TERPS: A CRASH COURSE IN SOUNDING HUMAN
You take someone else’s words, thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and intentions, and you express them in your own voice. Are you a professional American Sign Language Interpreter working with a consumer or... are you an actor working with a script? Actors and interpreters have similar challenges; they want their “audience” to have an emotional response to their words, and that will never happen if they seem mechanical or robotic, or simply reciting a text without appearing to have a motivation and history behind it. Instead, actors and interpreters must strive to create the “illusion of the first time,” when the words expressed appear to be alive, original, and backed by intention. This workshop, presented by actor, director, and interpreter Alek Lev, examines the overlap between these two professions, and presents acting tools that interpreters can use to better express the content and spirit of a message, including character study, text analysis, physical presentation, and vocal control and power. Interpreters have long debated whether or not interpreting is acting. It is. It just shouldn’t be bad acting.
ALEK LEV is an actor, writer, director, and American Sign Language interpreter. He has interpreted in Los Angeles and New York City since 1999, receiving his NIC-Master in 2010 and his Certificates of Interpretation and Transliteration in 2001. He has interpreted for three presidents, two Broadway shows, and one Beatle (Paul). As an actor, Alek has performed with the National Theater of the Deaf and Deaf West Theater, and outside the Deaf community in theaters in New York and Washington D.C. Alek co- stars in the Independent Spirit Award-winning feature film Conventioneers, and is the director, writer, and co-star of the feature-length horror film Ready or Not. From 2010 to 2014, Alek produced new media content for the CBS show How I Met Your Mother.
Alek received interpreting training at the Juilliard program Interpreting for the Theater, film training at New York University's Filmmaking Intensive, and theater training at both The National Theater of the Deaf and Wesleyan University, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater and English and graduated Phi Beta Kappa.