Thanks to remarkably skilled American Sign Language interpreters, the hearing impaired can enjoy various forms of entertainment ranging from theaters to concerts.
But occasionally, an ASL interpreter's lively presence on stage can upstage the performers they're interpreting –– and we're not mad about it.
Kate Starr Fillingame posted an impressive video on Facebook after being captivated by Holly Mariatty, an interpreter who signed Eminem's performance of "Rap God" at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware.
In the video that has now gone viral, Maniatty is seen bouncing along to the beat of the music with animated expressions, distinguishing her as no ordinary signer. Her charisma is infectious, and she's a force.
The well-established interpreter already has a solid resume that includes signing for other reputable artists, a list which includes the likes of Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Wu Tang Clan, and the Beastie Boys.
She came to prominence after a previously viral video where American rapper Waka Flocka confused her for a dancer.
He's not that far off in his assumption. Maniatty is a performer in her own right.
Maniatty shared her experiences about her online fame and her notoreity for "performance interpreting" with CBC.
It's an interesting experience because, as a professional, you're up there totally focused on making sure that the show is accessible and the deaf patrons are having as great a time as everybody else. And then you go to sleep and two days later, you wake up and it's all over the Internet. So it's kind of a surreal experience. I had no idea somebody was filming me and I was fortunate that it was a super successful moment and people were really into it.
Holly Maniatty is best known for her #ASL interpreting at large festivals for rappers like Snoop Dogg & Eminem.… https://t.co/VA2HDyyqrE— ESCrossroads (@ESCrossroads)1495998017.0
After matriculating at the Rochester Institute of Technology and becoming a certified ASL interpreter, her big break came when she was given the opportunity to demonstrate her skills at a Marilyn Manson concert.
She described the preparation process for interpreting hip hop concerts.
There's a lot of cultural references references to the person who's writing the song their life and their experiences. So, I do a lot of research about if they're talking about a specific kind of car or an event. For example, when I was getting ready for the Wu-Tang show, they talk about riots in the street.
Maniatty associated the lyrics to the Ferguson riots which were starting to wind down at the time, but after taking a moment to research when the song was written, she realized the rapper was probably referring to the L.A. riots.
And then think about something that's more iconic about the L.A. riots in terms of visual accessibility and kind of build your interpretation that way to make it as as authentic and close to the meaning of the person who wrote it. You just want to make sure that you're providing the most authentic interpretation you can.
People are noticing her authentic interpretations and giving her props.
Eminem's ASL interpreter stole the show at Firefly https://t.co/OdDLRRNHh6— Mashable (@Mashable)1529603707.0
This woman officially set the standard for all ASL interpreters. Unreal. https://t.co/Qgb2b3KwZL— Brett Bartholomew (@Brett Bartholomew)1529610142.0
@ShadyFansite Seriously tho, she was on fire— 𝓢𝓾𝓶𝓾𝓺𝓱 (@𝓢𝓾𝓶𝓾𝓺𝓱)1529606706.0
@benhewis @jackthorne deserves a medal.— Nathalie Gordon (@Nathalie Gordon)1529570745.0
@benhewis @michaelbeddoes Wow!! And I’m super impressed @Eminem provided this at his concert. I’ve never, ever seen… https://t.co/Ms62XnhWYL— Sophia Mackie Ellis (@Sophia Mackie Ellis)1529581843.0
@laurawalker89 @benhewis Your welcome 🤣😂 wish I was at that concert girl. Be more entertained by her !— Sally Laura Kinsella (@Sally Laura Kinsella)1529609380.0
@benhewis Love how she’s dancing with it too! Guess it would be pretty hard not to. ❤️— Jamie Care (@Jamie Care)1529592587.0