September 14th and 15th V.O.I.C.E. Inc sent staff interpreters Colleen and Karen to the Trix Bruce workshop in Livonia. Sponsored by My Hands Your Heart interpreting agency, we girls learned some valuable lessons in classifiers and had a lot of fun.
Patricia Bruce, called Trix by the Deaf community, is a fabulously talented performer and interpreter educator. She travels the country sharing her knowledge of classifiers and storytelling techniques through entertaining performances and interpreter workshops. Trix actively involves her audiences by asking for topics to lead her impromptu ABC and Number stories as well as to join her on stage where hilarity undoubtedly ensues.
Saturday’s workshop analyzed the details of classifiers. Trix reviewed classifier hand shapes and provided lists upon lists of what they might be used to represent. She also provided video of native signers telling stories and examined the details of their production with the audience. Participants were asked on several occasions to practice a minute detail and perform it for the audience; for example the flaring nostrils on a bull preparing to charge, or the personification of a microwave popping popcorn.
Trix’s workshop challenged its participants to think on a much more visual level and to take the time to consider the details of a story. She was well received by her audience of interpreters and the Deaf community alike. Obviously enthusiastic about ASL linguistics, Trix was an extremely knowledgeable workshop presenter and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!