I work at the Krannert Center ticket office as a ticket office supervisor.
This fall will make six years I've worked here.
I supervise the selling of tickets for performances, but the duties of the office are quite varied. For example, one of my duties is making tickets for the youth series -- an outreach program for schools. We sell tickets to the schools at a very low price so the kids -- from kindergarten through 12th grade -- can come and see a play or musical performance. I'm also in charge of updating information postings in various books and on the computer. If a patron at the desk has a question, [the cashier] can read from a file [on the computer] about a specific performance -- the date, time, prices, etc. All the information is right there.
I'm a professional sign-language interpreter. The two languages I work with are American Sign Language and English. I've been a professional interpreter for 10 years. I've used it in my job at Krannert to serve our hard-of-hearing and deaf patrons. I also train Krannert employees to use the TTY, a "deaf telephone."
It's a keyboard with a modem. You put the receiver on the machine and there's a little strip of a screen that shows the letters as you type. So instead of talking back and forth to someone on the phone, you're typing back and forth to them. It's hard for Deaf people to access the Hearing culture. Krannert tries hard to be as accessible as possible.
When I was a modern dancer and choreographer, the language interested me. So I took classes and found out I could be a professional interpreter. I have an associate's degree in interpreting from Seattle Central Community College. It's been a great profession for me. I love the cross-cultural aspects and facilitating communication. I'm negotiating between two different cultures.
It's just like learning any foreign language except that it's also spatially oriented and physical. [Like any language], you have to be involved in the culture of the people who use the language to use it proficiently.
We don't talk about our work in specific details because of a code of ethics. I've interpreted in the classroom, at weddings, funerals, business meetings, job interviews, court and surgery. I get to peek in on people's lives that I never would have access to. [I can't tell you about specific situations because] it would be an invasion of that person's privacy.
Yes, you have to interpret the meaning not just the words. I take the message in one language, have to understand what it is, and then change it into the other language. What I retain is usually something that strikes a chord with me. One thing I do pay attention to is language and how people use it. For example, one of my favorite idiomatic expressions is the translation of "You missed the boat." In American Sign Language, it's "Train gone."
I love all my jobs right now. I consider myself a professional interpreter.
I took the job at Krannert just to have a steady paycheck, but I love it.
The people are wonderful and Krannert does a great service to the community.
I come from a family of artists, so I appreciate what Krannert has to offer.
But, the interpreting is my favorite. It's always challenging. It's fast
and has to be accurate. It's exciting.