In my first blog post I said that often people thought I was an actress because that it was what the word “interpreter” suggested them. Unfortunately, we don’t get the chance to wear stunning dresses and walk the red carpet, but albeit being a bit less glamorous, I can see some similarities between the professions- yes again!
1. We are creative The funniest part about interpreting is finding the right communicative key- we cannot depart from our script, but we definitely create something exceptional- we can say we are artists, in our own way.
2. We need an audience What’s the point of acting if there’s no one in the theatre? The same goes for communicating when there is no one to interact with. Without being self-centered, we need someone that listens (paying attention would sometimes be too much to ask, I know). Once the lights go out and the curtains close, the actor’s job is done. Same is for us- when we switch off the microphone and put the notepad down, everything we said it’s gone. Words stay, obviously, but our performance is evanescent.
3. We are voice professionals Both actors and interpreters rely very much on their voices to give the right nuance to the message. However, if we’re in the booth, we can’t use the body language to get our message across as actors do- in consecutive that is much easier as we can reinforce our speech with gestures and facial expressions.
4. We are someone else Like actors, for a definite period of time, we are not ourselves- we are someone else. Their voice, their representative, their go-between. We need to forget who we are and just put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, completely. Funnily enough, in the same communicative act, we may take on the role of several participants rather than only one, like most actors would (they say that ours is an “intrinsically schizophrenic profession”, after all).
5. We work in a codified setting A theatre, as a conference, has a determined, codified setting : the lights go out, the performance commences, various acts, a break (or more) and then the curtain call. Obviously not all shows or interpreting acts have the exact same structure, but you can see a pattern here. Have you ever thought of these similarities between interpreting and acting? Next time you go to work, get your best frock on and remember we are real stars! 😉
[Photo by Bahman Farzad (https://www.flickr.com/photos/21644167@N04/)]