In a message dated 7/21/2007 10:14:26 PM Pacific Daylight Time, ndnlittlecrow@ writes:Hello Dr. Bill!
This is Roo reporting from SC! Today was my first conversation with a Deaf person! Despite my very large and very sudden onset of stupidity, it was a really cool experience.
I went to a Christian playhouse (Narroway, btw, just in case you wanted to know), and saw an awesome performance. At intermission my friends said that they saw a guy who was Deaf (they had asked him what time it was and he "made some motions with his hands"), so I was very excited. After the play when the actors started greeting people he went along person to person signing "JESUS LOVE YOU" (most people actually understood...one of my friends asked me to translate haha). When he got to me I signed "YOU DEAF?", he signed yes and the conversation quickly took off from there. I very rapidly learned the names, ages, and genders of all of his children and grandchildren. I also learned two new words "COOL" (not the "FINE" version, but an "F" near the lips and twisted) and "LAZY" ( i had to ask him to repeat 10 times before i realized that he was saying "MY SON LAZY"). I also found out that all of his grandsons are in the play, and that one of his grandsons is going into the army and that he is very worried about that. Later when i was talking to someone he came up and i greeted him and then the person i was talking to said that he had been talking about me in the backstage area. Well I completely forgot how rude it is for me to not translate when i am in a conversation with him already. So he asked me to translate and i told him...although i had no idea what i should sign for "backstage" (any ideas?), so i just signed "BACK" and "S-T-A-G-E".
Later the cast coordinator told me that no one in his family except him can use sign language (his daughter a little) and after talking to his son i can believe that. She said not even his wife knew sign language, and no one at the playhouse knew sign language either. I was wondering if that is common, or at least heard of, or if it is likely a rumor?
So overall i think it went really well...despite my inability to think while i was trying to sign. He was very understanding and very forgiving and seemed happy that i was excited to try and talk to him using sign language.
What a great experience you have had! Good for you!
Make sure to save your email in a journal somewhere so you can look back on it years from now and marvel at your progress. "Backstage" would generally be just a jerk of the thumb ("A" handshape) in the direction of the back of the stage while mouthing the word "backstage."
There are a couple signs for stage. Thus some people might choose to spell B-A-C-K and sign stage.
It depends on the situation, how formal or specific you need to be in your signing.
People who are involved heavily in a certain production or theater may have developed a specific sign for backstage that wouldn't be recognized by the general public out of context.