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Alek Lev is a certified American Sign Language interpreter (NIC-Master, CI, CT), with 18 years in the field and more than a decade of experience as a workshop presenter. He has toured with the National Theater of the Deaf, performed with Deaf West Theater, and has interpreted for three presidents, two Broadway shows, and one Beatle. He has also worked in Hollywood as actor, writer, and director, and in politics as a local organizer. (Full bio below)
Combining these myriad skills and years of experience Alek will present three days of workshops to ASL interpreters in subjects as diverse as translation, election year interpretation, feedback, the history of the English language, and acting skills for everyday interpreting. Begin Friday morning, and (with minor breaks for eating and sleeping) leave on Sunday night with valuable skills, new professional connections, and 2.4 CEUs.
CLICK HERE to read attendee REVIEWS of Alek's past workshops.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf - RID - and about approved interpreting workshops.
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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
NOVEMBER 2nd - NOVEMBER 4th, 2018
Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness (GLAD)
2222 Laverna Ave
Glendale, CA 90041
MARCH 28th - MARCH 30th, 2019
Community College of Allegheny County
ASL-English Interpreter Training Program
8701 Perry Highway, Pittsburgh, PA 15237
APRIL 5th - APRIL 7th, 2019
University of Southern Maine
96 Falmouth St
Room location coming soon
Portland, ME 04103
MAY 3rd - MAY 5th, 2019
North Central University
910 Elliot Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
MAY 31st - JUNE 2nd, 2019
New York City, New York
WORKSHOP SCHEDULE: DAY 1
BACK TO BASICS: TRANSLATION
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
It's good to get back to basics, and this workshop allows working (and new) interpreters a chance to break down the essential process of taking thoughts and words in one language and rendering them into another. You know... our job. By definition, "interpretation" happens on the fly, while "translation" is done over time. While interpreters don't have this luxury of time that is available to translators, interpreters can benefit from slowing down, and experiencing the full translation process. This workshop covers text analysis (information, emotion, central ideas, intentions, meta-linguistic elements), collaboration, and self-analysis. Through lecture, discussion, and activities, participants will have the chance to imagine what it would be like to have a full day, a full week, or even just a full minute, to process language. By getting back to basics, interpreters will (re-)discover what parts of the complete translation process can influence and enhance interpretation.
INTERPRETING IS ACTING. IT JUST SHOULDN'T BE BAD ACTING.
2:00 pm - 6:00 PM
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.
WORKSHOP SCHEDULE: DAY 2
YOU KNOW THAT ENGLISH IS INTERESTING TOO, RIGHT?
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
American Sign Language interpreters spend 50 percent of their working day using or understanding ASL, and the other 50 percent using or understanding spoken English. However, do interpreters spend 50 percent of their training investigating the English language? How about 40 percent. 30? 20? In fact, interpreters think about the English language quite infrequently, relying on the confidence that they are fluent. But there is more to mastering a language than fluency, isn’t there? Interpreters know the history of ASL, its varieties across time and space, how it defines a culture, and how oppression has influenced the language and its users. We are better interpreters because we respect ASL and we strive to be experts in all its facets. Well what about… that other Language? Wouldn’t knowing the story of English — its usage and users, its history and cultural relevance — also make us better interpreters? Should we be English experts as well? This workshop tackles the previously unanswered — and unasked — questions.
walking and talking: acting tools practicum
2:00 pm - 6:00 PM
This practicum gives interpreters who have completed Interpreting is Acting. It Just Shouldn't be Bad Acting a chance to put their new tools to the test. We will interpret between ASL and spoken English (in both directions), with a close attention to given circumstances, beats, and objectives. We will also examine the body as the interpreter's "instrument," with exercises for clarifying sign production and strengthening vocal control.
VIEW THE FLYER FOR G.L.A.D. NOV 2-4, 2018
workshop schedule: DAY 3
PRimaries, caucuses, gerrymandering, and other words I hope I don't have to interpret
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Political campaigns brings with them democracy and democrats, the election and the electoral college, constituents, primaries, the commander-in-chief, and of course, gerrymandering. In short, the election presents unique interpreting challenges from the language of politics. This workshop is for interpreters who believe that if there are people willing to talk or teach about American politics, we should do a super-heroic job interpreting for them. This is a brief, but deep dive into elections, government, the constitution, ideology and parties, and presidential power.
Interpret - Feedback - Reflect - Rinse - Repeat
2:00 pm - 6:00 PM
It's MENTORING meets SPEED DATING! We establish a feedback rubric for interpreting feedback (including key ASL grammatical features, clarity of production, intentions, and more) and a protocol for delivering that feedback. And then: Go! Broken into peer groups and guided by the facilitator, participants will interpret (sign-to-voice and voice-to-sign), and receive feedback from the other members of the group. After everyone has taken a turn, the class will rearrange the groups and the process will begin again. By the end, each attendee will have a stack of notes from their peers, and everyone will be guided in developing a personal list of priorities and a plan of action for improvement. Interpreters always talk about how beneficial peer mentoring is, but opportunities are so few and far between. This workshop cuts through the excuses and dives right in.
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.
THE FOLLOWING WORKSHOP IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE "WHOLE LOTTA WORKSHOPS" WEEKEND
Let's read the americans with disabilities act. seriously. let's read it.
You've heard about the ADA. You've talked about the ADA. You’ve invoked the ADA. But have you ever read the ADA? It is written in English. Sort of. In this workshop, we will read through the portions of the ADA that are relevant to our work as sign language interpreters for deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers. We will learn how the law was enacted, what it actually says, how it is enforced, and how is had been interpreted by the courts.