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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Honest, Hard Work

Having been a sign language interpreter for quite some time, I'd become really complacent about the work I was doing because I was confident in how well I can translate between the two languages I use and I generally worked in very familiar settings, so trying to get other work has been a challenge for me, not just in terms of proving to people that I've got transferable skills, but to remind myself what it's like to have to work for a living. So, when the National Gallery asked me to do a talk on Hogarth's The Graham Children for a joint event with the Wallace Collection, of course I said yes straight away without thinking how much work would go into it!

Anyway, yesterday, I delivered that talk. I'd been ever so nervous about it beforehand and it just got more exciting when I had to deliver the talk in BSL and have an interpreter doing voice-over for me. Add to that the fact they'd expected a dozen or so people and about fifty turned up and then that the other speakers would be interrupting me and arguing with me for theatrical effect and even if Hogarth had been a painter I was more familiar with, it posed quite a challenge.

Which, of course, I loved. Luckily, the interpreter was wonderful and put in a lot of time and effort to go through the talk with me beforehand and the staff at the gallery were brilliant at getting me access to dossiers and the like and were lots of fun to work with too, so I think it went pretty well. Hopefully, this means I can be more confident about trying for work like this in the future, eh? You know, bit by bit finding a new identity, new career, new path. Interesting stuff.

Of course, then I went out and got bladdered at Duckie, so it was a perfect day.

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