Holly Maniatty of Portland, Maine has a cool job. Thousands of concert-goers use her skill as a certified American sign language interpreter to follow along to the lyrics of artists like Phish, Wu-Tang Clan and Bruce Springsteen.
Maniatty has been an interpreter for 13 years with a certificate of interpretation, a certificate of transliteration and a national interpreter certification – master level, but she just recently gained national attention when a video of her signing along to a Wu-Tang Clan performance at this year’s Bonnaroo music festival went viral.
She admitted it took about 50 hours of prep work for the Wu-Tang show because she tries to embody the artists in her movements. In order to prepare for each show, she does a lot of research, like where the artists grew up, where they were born, what their background is and what political affiliations they have.
She also watches as many taped performances of the artists as she can to see exactly how they move and communicate.
Now that word has spread about Maniatty and her interpreting services being offered at venues and shows, bigger deaf audiences have started coming out to enjoy the concerts.