Course Description: 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 seems 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.
Understand and identify “The Voicing Problem” and “The Acting Problem”
-Define and use “given circumstances” to understand the context of a message
-Define and use “objectives,” showing that without them, a message is nearly meaningless
-Examine how objectives changes “beat” by “beat”
-Identify physical habits and learn to make healthier choices
-Recognize sign production habits and take control of sign production
-Recognize vocal production habits and learn how to use the voice with power and control
-Use script analysis, finding beats, choosing superobjectives, scene objectives, and moment-to-momentobjectives, while locating obstacles and determining given circumstances
We will have recorded version of every webcast available. If for some reason you cannot attend the webcast at the scheduled time, you may watch the recorded version later. Because of this, we cannot offer refunds. If a webcast is cancelled, you will be given credit to view another webcast, either live or archived.
Working Sign Language Interpreters
ALEK LEV is a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter (NIC-Master, CI, CT), a director, actor, and writer, and a political organizer. He has interpreted for three presidents, two Broadway shows, and one Beatle. Over the last twenty years, he has worked freelance in New York and Los Angeles, has taught translation at California State University at Northridge, and has presented CEU workshops to interpreters all around the country.
Alek trained at The National Theatre of the Deaf’s Professional Theatre School, and stage managed, interpreted, and performed on to tour with their children’s theater, The Little Theatre of the Deaf. In Los Angeles, he has worked with Deaf West Theatre, appearing in Romeo and Juliet and Flowers for Algernon, directing their Much Ado About Nothing worshop, and rehearsal interpreting for Spring Awakening, At Home at the Zoo, and American Buffalo.
Outside of the world of sign language, Alek is also a television and film writer, actor, director, and editor. He served all those functions in his feature film, Ready or Not, amd co-starred in the Independent Spirit Award-winning film Conventioneers. He has appeared on television in How I Met Your Mother, Miami Medical, and I’m Dying Up Here. For four years, Alek was the New Media Director for How I Met Your Mother, where he produced and hosted their official podcast.
Alek also worked on several presidential campaigns, functioning as a campaign surrogate, congressional district team coordinator, city-wide training director, precinct captain organzier, and special project assistant to the State and Field Directors. He also ran – alas, unsuccessfully – to join his local community council.
And when he can find a 25th hour in the day, he is the vice president of the International Buster Keaton Society.
Alek graduated Phi Beta Kapa from Wesleyan University with a BA in Theater and English.