Marlee Matlin dating

TIL that the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry dated a deaf women actually hired a deaf actor. Her name is Marlee Matlin, and she is the only deaf performer to win an academy award.

2020.07.15 13:07 SupremoZanne TIL that the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry dated a deaf women actually hired a deaf actor. Her name is Marlee Matlin, and she is the only deaf performer to win an academy award.

TIL that the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry dated a deaf women actually hired a deaf actor. Her name is Marlee Matlin, and she is the only deaf performer to win an academy award. submitted by SupremoZanne to CableTV_Memories [link] [comments]


2020.07.15 08:34 Know_Your_Shit_v2 [todayilearned] TIL that the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry dated a deaf women actually hired a deaf actor. Her name is Marlee Matlin, and she is the only deaf performer to win an academy award.

[todayilearned] TIL that the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry dated a deaf women actually hired a deaf actor. Her name is Marlee Matlin, and she is the only deaf performer to win an academy award. submitted by Know_Your_Shit_v2 to knowyourshit [link] [comments]


2020.07.15 07:39 unremovable TIL that the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry dated a deaf women actually hired a deaf actor. Her name is Marlee Matlin, and she is the only deaf performer to win an academy award.

TIL that the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry dated a deaf women actually hired a deaf actor. Her name is Marlee Matlin, and she is the only deaf performer to win an academy award. submitted by unremovable to unremovable [link] [comments]


2020.07.15 05:27 IanMazgelis TIL that the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry dated a deaf women actually hired a deaf actor. Her name is Marlee Matlin, and she is the only deaf performer to win an academy award.

TIL that the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry dated a deaf women actually hired a deaf actor. Her name is Marlee Matlin, and she is the only deaf performer to win an academy award. submitted by IanMazgelis to todayilearned [link] [comments]


2019.05.15 08:04 Wafflez13 switched at birth is off of Netflix! whyyyyyy

so every so often I like rewatching some of my favorite episodes of switched at birth before I go to bed. I mean its only the best show to ever exist. With the one and only icon marlee matlin who I adore and its not like I stalk her on instagram or anything. And I like definitely dont fantasize about dating Sean Berdy at all not even thought that I have ever thought. And I have never once referred to the cast as my besties who dont know that they are my besties. And dont even get me started on the fact that I mean who would ever even have a amazing dream where they went to Carlton with all those people. And no i have never ever reenacted the garlic knot scene around Christmas time with my best friend and forced our parents to play along because that would be weird. And its not like I actually remembered all the characters sign names or anything he he. IM HAVING A PANIC ATTACK!!! WHO DID THIS TO ME! IM CRYING MY EYES OUT SOMEONE PLEASE NO IM DEAD NOW. BYE
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2016.10.16 20:30 scandalstossacct In the spirit of the top post of all time, an attempt to compile all of Trump's scandals and controversies.

DONALD TRUMP SCANDALS AND CONTROVERSIES
Leaving out anything done by “supporters,” “allies,” or “aides,” but including some endorsements included at the end. Date, circumstance, and link.
I. PROVEN
I may have to edit this if formatting is wonky. I know it isn't totally comprehensive and may not be up to date on the last few days. I tried to be scrupulously fair although obviously I hate the dude.
submitted by scandalstossacct to EnoughTrumpSpam [link] [comments]


2014.07.31 01:16 tabledresser [Table] I am actor Spencer Garrett, you might know me from Mad Men, House of Cards, a voice on Legend of Korra, Masters of Sex, Air Force One, Public Enemies, Michael Mann's Luck, and currently on USA's Satisfaction. AMA!

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Date: 2014-07-30
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Questions Answers
Do you think that netflix oriented shows available for stream can take over regular television shows? Would you vote for Frank Underwood for president? If you could bend one element (earth fire water or air) what would it be and why? What was your big break that got you started acting? I don't think it's going to "take over" but I do think there is a new golden age of television. I think it started with The Sopranos, it kind of started there, and it's continued up with Breaking Bad, and Boardwalk Empire, and Mad Men, and certainly House of Cards & shows like OITNB - shows like that have proven that the kinds of platforms are limitless. I flew back across the country yesterday and saw people watching movies on their phones, their tablets, laptops - there's no limit to the possibilities of where streaming is going to go and what kinds of productions can come out of it. I mean, you see the production values of a HOUSE OF CARDS which has, twice in a row, been nominated for an Emmy for best television show and it's not even television! So that's really broken the mold, and you have shows like BOSCH coming out... So I think it gives writers and creatives a chance to really expand the horizons of what is possible. Wow - well I started acting in college, and it continued into, I worked in the theater in Washington DC and the NYC. I came out to Los Angeles in 1990, and I was just gigging, I didn't get too many breaks. I was happy to be getting work and fortunate enough to be doing work and projects that I really admired and working with people that i really respected. I've been very lucky. I've gotten to work with really amazing people - actors, directors, writers - you don't always get to choose, but I've been lucky. If I had a break, I would say it was probably was Reasonable Doubts, because I did a guest spot and then 6 months later they brought me back to do another one and then I became a regular - that was my first real job consistently going from show to show on a series, and that kind of put me on the map. And it was real on the job training for me.
I would say probably water as the element.
Hey there, Mr. G. Was a big fan of Star Trek TNG and I thought "The Drumhead" was one of the best eps of that series (even though we never find out what happened to your character). Anything you can say about working on that? That was maybe my second or third job! And for a couple of reasons I was nervous - one, because I had not been a student of the show or familiar with the lore of the show or how popular it was. The original one or TNG. And I was really coming in completely blind. And I was playing a Romulan, and I had no idea how a Romulan was supposed to act. So I went back and I looked at past episodes, my godfather (who's an actor named Liam Sullivan) was on one of the original episodes of Star Trek called Plato's Stepchildren, and I called Liam from the set and he was the one who told me what a Romulan was and how a Romulan should act. Of course I got lots of information from Jonathan Frakes, the director, with whom I've had a long association since that show - he's directed me since in several shows since The Next Generation - but I do remember being a little nervous because I was sitting there across from Patrick Stewart whom I had watched do Shakespeare over the years, and I was in the presence of a true artist. And he made me feel, once again, like Duvall, very at ease - I was maybe 24, 25, fresh out of drama school trying to act like a Romulan, I had little rubber ears glued to my head in a blue polyester suit, not really in my element, and Patrick Stewart said to me "My dear boy, it's all part of the fun. Have a good time."
And I got to see him recently in May at the White House Correspondents dinner in Washington DC this past may - I was right behind him on the red carpet at an event! I went up to him, tapped him on the shoulder, and he turned around and said "Simon Tarses, you've arrived!"
(That was my character's name)
He remembered from all those years ago, and it was like I was looking at Captain Picard, and I sort of took that in a couple of different ways - it was a long journey from being a nervous little kid on the set of Star Trek to being a guest at the White House Correspondents Dinner, a long strange trip but well worth it.
Anyone ever say you look like Beau Bridges? I get it all the time. And - you ready for a funny story? So Beau Bridges - I've heard that for the last 20 years, that i look like a younger, slender-er Beau and I've always taken it as a compliment because I'm a huge fan of his, and his brothers. And this past year I was lucky enough to work with him on Masters of Sex. And i went up to him, and I introduced myself, and he looked at me, and he said "Has anyone ever told you that we look alike? I feel like I'm looking in a mirror" and then he proceeded to tell me a story about when he was a young boy, he was at my parent's wedding, both Beau & Jeff, and their father Lloyd, and Lloyd's wife, were at the wedding of my mom & dad.
Beau, at some point during the wedding, bumped into my mom when she was leaning down, and gave her a bloody nose. At the wedding reception. And Beau was telling me this story, while we we were on the set of Masters of Sex. He said "Your mom bent down, and somehow I ended up bopping her on the nose, giving her a bloody nose, and my dad was mortified. Of course I was just a kid and it was an accident," and then Beau said "Would we mind if we called your mother? I'd like to apologize." So I got on my cell phone, we called my mom, she picked up, I said "Mom I have someone here who'd like to talk to you," and then Beau said "Hey Kathleen, it's Beau Bridges" and i Heard this funny laugh, my mother's funny laugh on the other end of the phone, and Beau said "I just wanted to apologize for giving you a bloody nose 50 years ago." And she said "All is forgiven, my dear, take care of my son."
Isn't that sweet?
Speaking of TV gigs, I was also a fan of the woefully short lived "The Good Guys". ("I'm no rat!") How was working in Dallas with Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks? Fantastic. That was another great experience with Jonathan Frakes, who directed me on Star Trek. He called me up out of the blue and said "Do you want to play an Irish mobster?" And I jumped at the chance, because Bradley is an old friend, and I was a fan of Colin, whom I'd met while working on Charlie Wilson's War with his dad, Tom Hanks. That was one of the most fun experiences I've had working as a guest actor on a show in a long time, one because Brad Whitford is always a good time, and is always fun to be around on a set - we worked together on The West Wing - and Jonathan Frakes makes it a party and a pleasure to come to work every day, so that was a good one, because it made working in the heat of Dallas a little bit more enjoyable. I miss that show. I liked it a lot. Wish it had stuck around.
Oddly enough, the executive producer of that show is a guy named Matt Nix, and he created BURN NOTICE as well. And when I got the job on the Good Guys, Matt reminded me that about 15 years earlier, he was an assistant at the agency that I was with, at the time, he was a secretary, and I always made it a point of being very kind to the assistants at the time, because today's assistant might be tomorrow's studio head or executive producer, and so when I got to the set, and Matt always used to wear suspenders and a tie to work. That was his thing. So when I got to set, to my trailer, there was a pair of suspenders & a tie in a box from Matt Nix with a little note saying "Welcome home."
What was it like working with the cast and crew from Supernatural? Do you have any off camera memories from filming Air Force One? Oh, I LOVE those guys, they're terrific. It was a great reunion for me with the executive producer from that show, Robert Singer, who gave me my first break in television on a show called Reasonable Doubts with Mark Harmon and Marlee Matlin, back in 1992 I think it was. That was my first lead role on a television show, not a guest star, I actually did a guest spot on that show & they made me a regular. And it sort of turned out to be one of the favorite characters on the show, and I had a blast with Jared and Jensen, they are real pros and true gentlemen.
What was your favorite role? Probably is Public Enemies, which was after years of playing lots of guys in suits, lots of lawyers and judges and politicians, Michael Mann (the wonderful director) took a chance on me and cast me as a gangster in the 1930's. And I got to do something completely different, something I had never been given a chance to do before. So that was a really special moment and a real turning point in my career, because casting directors saw me as being able to do something beyond what I'd been making my bread & butter at for so long, and said "you're a character actor, you need to play characters" - so I got to break out of the lawyer / judge / politician box. It was a wonderful role & a great filmmaking experience. I've been fortunate enough to work with Michael twice since then, on Luck and then last year i spent 3 months in Asia, in Kuala Lampur, Shanghai, and Jakarta, shooting alongside Chris Hemsworth and Viola Davis and a wonderful Asian actor called Lee-Hom Wang, who's the Brad Pitt and Justin Timberlake combined of Asia. He's American-born but went over to Asia and became a huge phenomenon, so he's one of the leads of Cyber as well. Cyber will be out in, I think, this coming November? It's going to be amazing, I think it will be one of his best films since The Insider.
What's the funniest thing that's ever happened on the set of all the shows and movies you've been in? Well about 7 years ago, I did a movie in Istanbul, Turkey, with Gary Busey (do I need to say any more?) and Billy Zane. I flew from Los Angeles to Istanbul, and I went from Istanbul to a place called Gaziantep, Turkey, about 23 hours worth of flying. I got to the airport completely jet-lagged off my face. There was a blackout at the airport, so it was completely dark, and my luggage was missing. I was informed that my luggage was in Cincinnati, so I somehow made it through the dark of this airport - and I arrived at like 3 o'clock in the morning, it's pitch black outside, I'm driving in a Turkish car with a guy who doesn't speak English, in the middle of nowhere, and they took me to a restaurant where Billy Zane and Gary Busey were sitting there smoking from a hookah pipe, and I've got nothing new to wear, and i remember thinking "This must be what Alice in Wonderland felt like when she went down the rabbit hole."
I ended up buying some clothes at a turkish Woolworth's. And somehow got through the 3 weeks of filming. My bags arrive the day before I left, just in time to avoid Gary Busey trying to bring the lord into my heart.
What was it like being a part of the cast of 21 Jump Street? Oh boy! Well, that was one of my first jobs too. I was only there for a week, and all of my scenes were with a very young Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise, and I think at that point Johnny - it was towards the end of his run on that show, i think his head was already in movie-star-land, he was a little checked out of the Jump Streetland and had already moved on - but interesting to work with nonetheless. And for me I was still young and learning, and it was wonderful to show up on the first day of rehearsal for Public Enemies twenty-some years later in Chicago, and we sat across from each other at the table read, and Johnny looked at me and he said "Jump Street?" and I said "you got it."
Last updated: 2014-08-03 23:13 UTC
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2014.05.31 05:54 tabledresser [Table] IamA Blind Redditor AMA!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2014-05-31
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
I don't care for a lot of popular actors because they can't act - or, at least, they don't emote through their voices. What are some of your favorite movies, post-blindness? I'm starting to get into Marvel films. All of their movies have an audio description track, it's quite.. well, marvellous.
an audio description track. A descriptive audio track describes the action happening on a visual media (ballet, play, movie, tv show) during the pauses in dialogue. Sometimes they're very helpful, other times they're very annoying.
XXCanXX XXyouXX XXreadXX XXthisXX? XXIXX XXCan'tXX XXUnderstandXX XXYourXX XXAccentXX?
Holy crap was that a Spongebob reference. Yes, yes it was.
I've always wondered, and maybe this is already asked, but, when you sleep... Do you dream? What are your dreams like? I do dream, everyone does. That's just a side effect from REM.
My dreams are a hodgepodge of things - sometimes how I see now & and sometimes how I used to see things & sometimes there are no visuals at all. Everything else is the same as how you dream: smells, sounds, random people you haven't talked to, bizarre situations that would never happen IRL to anyone, etc... And, sometimes when you sleep, there are no dreams or at least none that you remember.
Huh, I never have smells in my dreams, never even thought about it, do most people? Not to sound dismissive, but most people don't look for the details. They don't think about a lot of things until something provokes them to. The olfactory sense is the weakest sense, but most closely related to memory. So, you may have smelled something in your dream but not remember it later because your brain views it as unimportant data.
Have you learned braille yet? If so, what was the most difficult part? I learned Braille a year after my vision problems started. It was great, actually. I cried when I read my first Braille sentence - it was an amazing feeling.
The most difficult part is level 2 Braille, when they start reversing symbols and leaving some to represent entire words and then dot-5 and dot-6 can modify words and... it can get a bit overwhelming, at least at first. But it's amazing and worth doing.
When I was young, my mom knew a blind friend. I was introduced to him and he touched my face with both hands when he met me, to get an idea of how I looked. Do you meet people the same way? I don't do this to people I first meet. I'm a very touch-conscious person, and touching a person's face is very serious for me. I do it to my nieces and other family members, I sometimes do it to my SO, but it's not like how blind people shake hands or anything. A lot of them don't do this at all, I've discovered. I do it because I used to be a sculptor (and maybe I would be again if I lived near a kiln) so it's very easy for me to picture from the information a face, but not everyone has this background.
Did you ever see the video for Lionel Richie's "Hello"? I did not even hear about it until after I was blind, actually. Someone asked if it was my favorite music video... No. No, it's not.
Is it because of the creepy professor-student attraction, or something else? Creepy professor-student attraction, it's not really clear if she's into him. It's like the love ballad version of "Don't Stand So Close To Me"
How do you know when to stop wiping? Like I said to useTotty_Scone (and, essentially, anyone else who asks), when you feel clean.
Does your screen reader tell you if a link is marked NSFW, and then, do you still enter them in hopes of something to listen to? Usually it doesn't say if something is NSFW unless it says in the link text that it's NSFW. I tend to look at NSFW images with a friend and go to gonewildaudio for fap material.
Well that answers my question. Do you also just listen to audio on regular porn sites? Sometimes. I have a few favorites that I've saved. Most of my problems with porn stem from the fact that most porn is geared towards men & it's just not sexy to me.
The audio of most porn I came across makes me simultaneously want to laugh and hide my face in shame. You should compile a 'best of porn', ranked on the tolerability of the voices and dialogues! :) I'm sure I'd not be the only one to cheer you for it. LoL - if I do, you'll be the first to know!
Thank you, kind lady! Speaking of recommendations, have you read Blindness by Jose Saramago? It's the story of blindness suddenly spreading through a city like an epidemic and all the social chaos ensuing. I've heard much good about it, and it's been in my reading list for quite a while. I haven't read that, partially because I've heard there are no blind people in it and there certainly weren't any in the film. By that I mean, there must have been blind people (and other disabled people, too) BEFORE the blindness epidemic, right? Where are they? I guess there's no story if blind people start having adjustment classes for those who have lost their sight and everyone adjusts to their new situation.
How are your book-reading habits like, by the way? Do they have many books in braille? Do you get eBooks or audio books? Are there some books you really want to read but that the only copy is a traditionally printed book and do you ever force your boyfriend to read it out loud to you? I have a few books in Braille & there's a Braille Library that I borrow books from, I also have quite a collection of audiobooks, radio shows, and audiodescribed TV shows & movies on my iPod. So, I'm definitely not lacking in that department. My best galpal reads the Oglaf comic to me, though I've not asked my bf to read anything aloud to me yet.
Edit: also, also, if I have an inserted link, does your program notify you of this? does it read it as code? The reader finding a link sounds like this, "have you read beep Blindness by Jose Saramago?" There are different beeps for different things, such as a capital letter when I'm typing or for links.
Are there any things where you've forgotten what they look like, things that you wish you'd spent more time ingraining into your mind that you can't recall perfectly now? I wish I would have seen Van Gogh's paintings IRL, but I can't think of anything I consider important that I don't remember exactly what they look like. Then again, my entire family will always look to me as they did four years ago, and that can't be bad.
1) I know you went over learning Braille in another answer, but I'm wondering if you can expand on what the process was like for you. My instinctual reaction is that it would be harder than learning a second language, because you need to use a different sense to read the letters. But maybe that's wrong? 3) I noticed the tattoo in your proof. Have you gotten any since the blindness? What of, and why? 1 - I think it's like learning a different language, but on Easy mode. You know the grammar, the language, it's just being written in a different way. Like code! It's like learning a secret code to be an intelligence operative. 2 - Benedict Cumberbatch, Rosario Dawson, Jude Law, Tom Hiddleston, Robert Downey Jr, Natalie Dormer, Lucy Liu, Chris Evans, Peter Dinklage, Anton Yelchin... There's more, of course, but these are the ones that spring into mind from what I've been enjoying lately. Police procedurals I really like are Elementary and Almost Human (though it wasn't renewed) - they're off the beaten path, which makes them fun. For radio shows, I really like John Finnemore's work, especially Cabin Pressure. Welcome to Nightvale is another that's pretty good, and it's free on iTunes. 3 - The tattoo I have is meant to represent family & I, somewhat ironically, got it on my wrist so that I could look down and see it, no matter what I'm wearing. I haven't acquired any since then, though I am considering getting one of an owl on my ribcage near where a Vulcan heart would be to represent my best friend who is, essentially, my hetero lifemate. We're Trekkies & she's a bit of a hipster, but I love her anyway.
How bad is your vision in relative terms? Can you see outlines of people, but really, really blurry? Or is it limited to light perception? What about typing and writing things? Are you independent or does someone need to help you with certain things (other than driving...)? I'm independent, though I do know a lot of people who are totally blind and sighted alike who are just as independent as I am. I can see the outlines of people, generally where they are. If they're wearing a bright color like red or neon green, I can see that. There are not minute details in my life, just very broad strokes like an impressionistic painting up close. Dawn and dusk are the best/worst times for me because everything just turns gray for me except for the sun on the horizon.
Do you use a seeing eye dog? If not, would you ever consider it? I used to raise puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind and knowing those dogs went on to help people was very rewarding! Thanks for doing this AMA! I do not use a seeing eye dog and I'm not too keen on the idea, either. Don't get me wrong, I think they're very useful for those who have them and that it's a worthwhile endeavor to raise them, but I'm allergic to pet dander and I don't like the smell of dogs. It's like Miami - I like to visit, but I don't want it to be permanent :)
What is your favorite sub? nottheonion, probably. It never fails to make me laugh and simutaneously worry about the world we live in.
I like that one and /floridaman. Ah, Florida Man. Never disappoints.
What are things you have to do differently in your everyday life that most people wouldn't think of? Brushing my teeth is a little different. I wet the bristles, then put the brush on the counter, hold the head between pointer finger and middle finger of one hand while applying toothpaste with the other.
Most of it has to do with cooking, which is a lot more tactile and auditory when you're blind. I'm pretty good at knowing when a patty needs to be flipped simply by the sound of it, for example.
Getting dressed involves touching clothes until I find what I want to wear, then put it on. Laundry involves remembering how much it costs for which machine and what the buttons are.
Signing for things, including card purchases, involves asking someone to point where I need to sign and I sign in the general area. I can guarantee that if it's on the line, it isn't mine ;)
When watching TV, sometimes I have to pause it and ask a few questions about the action or for them to describe a montage as it plays.
Finding out how to cook things from the freezer involves going to a website and reading the instructions there.
Sometimes before going to a restaurant, I'll check out their menu online as most places do not have Braille menus.
My cane can let me know if I'm on a sidewalk or in a parking lot or on a road. It can tell me what type of room I'm in, all by sliding it across the floor and listening. Walking places involves constructing a mental map of wherever I am and navigating accordingly.
of all, I just wanted to say that you are such a cool person. My question is: Who has inspired you the most in life? Oh, well thank you. You're pretty cool, yourself.
Gosh, I don't really have just one person who has inspired me. My woodshop teacher, George Wurtzel, really taught me that sometimes things are scary but you gotta put your adult pants on and do them. He's an amazing wood-work artist and a definite inspiration.
My mom, of course, because she was always there, pushing me to be better than who I was.
Marlee Matlin taught me that you can be disabled AND an actress and be successful at it.
And then there's the lovely people of BLIND, Inc in Minneapolis and the NFB. They showed me a side to life I'd never considered before and inspired me to keep going. The most I want to be in life is an inspiration to someone else, to show them that complications arise but life goes on. I want to show people that being blind isn't a death sentence and it doesn't mean you're incapable, you just need to adjust HOW you do the things you were doing before.
I'm really curious about the changes in your hobbies, I mean, did you compensate the loss of visual entertainment with other kind of recreation? I'd like to ask specially on the subject of music. In your opinion, did your taste in music change in the last four years? To be honest, I think everyone's music tastes evolve. I don't really know if it has anything to do with my vision loss insomuch as me changing as a person. Classical music and classical covers of modern music as well as Pentatonix and Postmodern Jukebox and house music are some of my favorites.
Also, thanks for doing this AMA! Thank you for thanking me, it's my pleasure :)
How have your other senses improved since? Did they all improve, or just a few? I don't really think they've improved, more like you rely on them so you pay attention to them more. Without the distraction of sight, it's amazing what you notice.
Just wondering, man -- how and why did you copy this emoticon? I mean, your reader wouldn't have read it out loud (obviously). There's a list of emoticons on Wikipedia that was linked a LONG time ago on reddit somewhere. So, now I search for the thing I want to do, then copy-paste the result. Observe: (/◕ヮ◕)/
Do you go on /pics. Sometimes, with a friend who describes them to me :)
Have you had sex, and if so did you stick it in the right hole the first try? I have had sex, and yes. I'm pretty good with my own physiology.
Is it harder to tell if someone is trolling? What i mean by this is, if someone is trolling and they're saying nonsense to make people mad, do you have to listen to their full comment? If someone is trolling me, I usually respond wryly. If someone is trolling someone else and it's not amusing, there is a command that will skip to the next link (which would be the next user) or to the next piece of plain text, which sometimes can be the same commenter or the person's response.
This may be an unpleasant question, so I apologize in advance. Does the idea of losing your hearing, a sense you now strongly rely upon, fill you with dread? I'm more worried about losing my memory, actually. If I lose my hearing, I'll deal with it like I have losing my sight. Bring a dry erase board with me, talk as well as I can, buy shirts that say "Can You See What I Hear?" Read a lot more, probably become a bit more instropective... maybe it'll be the kick in the pants I need to become an author, though ;)
Losing memory, however, that's got to be the most horrible thing imaginable. Forget who your family & friends are, how to read, how to cook, forget all of your favorite places to go and favorite movies. It sounds terrifying, like your entire existence being erased right in front of you, slowly, methodically.
I saw your Twitter bio and had to ask about how you became a nondenominational reverend. Did you become one before or after you lost your sight? If before, did losing your sight alter some of your faith? If after, was it the catalyst behind the reason to become a reverend? I became a reverend last year, partially to annoy my grandma who is also a reverend and partially because faith is very important. I know that I do not know anything about the world at large other than that we're all in it together, more or less. Losing my sight actually lead me away from standardized religion for a quite a long time - and still has, actually. I don't think any structured religion has the answer, and becoming a nondenominational reverend is part of that. Being able to connect with a large amount of people on a spiritual level brings me peace and leading them towards something more tranquil and less distressing in their own lives gives me hope.
What do you miss most from before you were blind? Driving, always and forever. There's a level of autonomy with driving yourself somewhere that isn't covered by riding in a bus.
Where do you see this post going? Idealistically, I just want to clear the air a little bit. People are always curious about blindness, I get a lot of questions both IRL and online, so I just want people to feel comfortable asking. Get it all out there, you know? Seriously, ask me anything you've ever wanted to know about being disabled or blind and I will answer to the best of my ability.
Alright I have one. Have you ever experimented with LSD or mushrooms? If you have what was that like as a blind man? Well, I'm not a man, so I can't speak for the male brained of the blind and I've never done mushrooms or LSD. I had a friend in high school that went on a bad trip and started cutting open her thigh to "get the worms out" and that scared me into being boring with my altered state pursuits.
Thanks for coming on reddit - I hope you can achieve everything out of life that you desire :) It's comforting to know that bad trips are in the minority, but it has sufficiently scared me off for good. I'm glad to hear it has helped you, though. I hope you are well and acquire all that you desire _\ //
Hi, not sure if you're still answering questions. Do you find that people treat you differently since you lost your sight? My friends & family don't. Sometimes, they kind of forget because I'm so independant & they've known me as a sighted person for longer than a blind one. Strangers notice me a lot more and feel more comfortable asking me random questions and touching/moving my person, waitstaff tend to ask whomever I'm with what I would like to eat, little things like that. People are a lot more helpful, even when it's in a way that's unhelpful.
Do you think you'll be able to improve your ability to have blind sight? I don't think there is a way to improve blindsight, as it's a subconscious thing in my brain, like a loose piece of code. However, they're hoping that now the pressure has been relieved in my brain, the blindness will lessen. I probably won't ever be fully sighted again, but someday it may get better. Only time will tell.
I just feel like there's gotta be some exercises you could do to improve things. Like picking up your cane or something. Oh and another question: Do you notice if people turn away or leave the room when you see them face to face? It's not so much their head that clues me in that they're leaving the room, but other environmental factors. Turning involves moving feet, their shape changes. If we're standing very close and they're white or are very dark with blonde hair, the change in color from their face to their hair can tune me into that they're looking at something else.
My husband is going blind from a severe case of Glaucoma. He can be pretty angry at life or I guess I should say how his life is turning out. Do you ever get depressed and if you do how do you get yourself out of a funk? I try to get him to go places with me and do things outside of the house but it seldom happens. How do you keep such a positive outlook? I'm sorry that he's going through that and I'm sorry he's angry about it. A lot of people are, especially at first. Make sure he gets training at an NFB-certified facility (I can highly recommend BLIND, Inc in Minneapolis, MN ) so he can learn how to adjust in a healthy way and get the best quality of life he can. There's no reason for anything in his life to change, only HOW he does the things he enjoys will change. Pro-tip: saying that you're not disabled, doesn't mean you're not. It's okay to be different, that's the whole point of life is to grow and change.
I'm positive becausebeing blind isn't the worst thing I can be. I enjoy the challenge of confronting other people's perceptions of what they think blindness is and what it means. I enjoy my life because the alternative is to be miserable. I could sit on the floor, singing my Shoulda Coulda Wouldas, OR I could actually do something. Even if that's something is doing an AMA ;) You guys can PM me whenever, I'd be happy to help, commiserate, whatever's needed.
My mother has Glaucoma and her vision in her right eye is completely gone, She is also soon to be completely blind in her left eye and I would like to know how I could prepare for the moment when she does, What should I do around the house, to her routine and everything to get ready for this moment? Get her involved with the NFB and their local chapter. If she's willing, get her to an NFB-certified blindness rehab center (I can highly suggest BLIND, Inc in Minneapolis, MN ) to learn alternative techniques to the way she already does things. Invest in bubble-stickers for her oven and stove. Get involved with the NFB, yourself.
Remember - she's not helpless or hopeless, if she cooked, cleaned, dressed herself when she was sighted, she still can.
Is there any porn for the blind? I use gonewildaudio, but I know a lot of people listen to regular old pornography you can find anywhere online.
Have any of your other senses improved? If so in what way? Sorry if this question has been asked. Awesome AMA :) I have answered this before, so I'm just going to copy-paste what I've said :)
I don't really think they become heightened or improve with vision loss. Visual processing takes up a lot of space in your brain. Lacking that, your brain notices the other information coming in from the other senses more quickly and accurately. It's amazing what you notice when you're not distracted by what you see.
The damage is in the main office, thus resulting in what is colloquially referred to as "blind sight" - conciously, I am not aware of the majoritity of what my brain is seeing, but my subconcious can register things such as facial expressions and obstacles. Does the fact that your subconscious can still register images help in any way? What i mean is, do you find yourself aware of certain things around you on some level that you can't actually see or can you more accurately interpret images that you can barely make out? It's difficult to say, really. I'm unaware of it happening, and some things can be contributed other environmental factors. While shopping, I sometimes pick out something we needed without any help or I grab a flavor of yogurt that I like without assistance. The point is, I do it absently, so it's not in a way I can control. It could be coincidence, it could be subconscious.
Piggy-backing on this question: So can you tell if other people are happy, like just a gut feeling, even if you can't consciously see their facial expression? The brain is a crazy interesting topic, sorry yours broke. That's typically how it goes. I'll be like, "Why are you sad?" just out of the blue, it's instinctual. Plus, I have no tact and no brain-to-mouth filter (unrelated to brain being broken, just a motormouth) so asking people questions out of the blue is really easy for me.
So, how much time do you spend on Reddit, and which subs? It depends on the day, really. If I'm really busy with real life, I might spend a half hour on Reddit as compared to when I'm procrastinating, then I might spend a couple hours. It also depends on my patience, sometimes the voice of my screenreader gets super annoying.
I'm kinda all over the map, with browsing, hit the random button a lot and upvote a lot. I usually find myself in nottheonion, AskReddit, basketball, baseball, soccer, twoxchromosomes, sex... I mostly comment on Ask Reddit, though. Typically, I don't feel like I have anything special to add to a conversation.
How many fingers am i holding up? None, you're typing.
I have often heard that if one loses strength or total use in one senses (ie. sight) that other senses are heightened. Like I mentioned before, I don't really think they become heightened or improve with vision loss. Visual processing takes up a lot of space in your brain. Lacking that, your brain notices the other information coming in from the other senses more quickly and accurately.
How would you prioritize your other senses in terms of strength/usefulness and do you think this is consistent with most visually impaired persons? That being said, I think touch is the most important. It's how I use my cane, it's how I read, it's how I identify clothing... it's everything.
Any desire to have kids? I can't tell from your lead in if your condition is genetic. My condition is not genetic. However, I'm nearing my 30s & still haven't found someone who mutually would enjoy co-parenting with me. I'd like to be a parent, it sounds quite nice even though pregnancy sounds gross & uncomfortable, but only time will tell if that will actually happen.
How do you think? Like imagining images. It's pretty easy to make a mental map of things. My imagination hasn't suffered since losing my vision - if anything, I consider logistics more now than I did when I was sighted.
Also, I see you have a tattoo. How did you pick the design and how are you positive you are satisfied with the work? My dreams are a hodgepodge of things - sometimes how I see now & and sometimes how I used to see things & sometimes there are no visuals at all. Everything else is the same as how you dream: smells, sounds, random people you haven't talked to, bizarre situations that would never happen IRL to anyone, etc... And, sometimes when you sleep, there are no dreams or at least none that you remember. I do have a tattoo, I had it done when I was sighted. I'm happy with it. I've been considering getting another one done, I'm just waiting for the right tattoo artist.
Oh, I'm aware. I just didn't know if that's what the question was in reference to. Aaaand I feel like an idiot.
Kill, kiss, marry, kick: Brendan Frasier, The actual Frasier (Kelsey Grammer), Mark Marx, Danny McBride, or (wildcard) Jim Carrey? Mark Marx that started Healing on the Streets OR the Business Advisor at JVS, Chicago OR some other one? This is an important detail.
It has the head of the Healing on the Streets Mark Marx and the body of the JVS one. And it is not looking too happy. How does that even?? Whatever, okay -
Kiss: Brendan Fraiser, circa 1990 Marry: Mark Marx Kill: Danny McBride Kick: Jim Carrey AND Kelsey Grammer.
Mark Marx immediately divorces you and takes half your assets. I'm so sorry. Joke's on him, those "assets" are actually debts! Mu-ahahahaha!
Without sounding condescending in any way, how do you trust people? Im able bodied per se but when i see someone less abled i always keep an eye out. i dont trust people other able bodied people. This is going to sound really naieve, but it's true - everyone has their bad sides, everyone also has a good side. I prefer to believe in the good in people. Yes, some people are too self-absorbed to be much good to anyone (see anyone that went on a violent spree of one kind or another) but they're in the minority, most people are just... people.
NOTE: I left an edit at the end of my comment about 5 minutes later. What do you "see" now that the signal from your eyes no longer reaches your consciousness? EDIT: I should have read the other comments first. No worries :) Let me know if you think of anything else!
Do you dream in your sleep? I do dream, everyone does. That's just a side effect from REM.
My dreams are a hodgepodge of things - sometimes how I see now & and sometimes how I used to see things & sometimes there are no visuals at all. Everything else is the same as how you dream: smells, sounds, random people you haven't talked to, bizarre situations that would never happen IRL to anyone, etc... And, sometimes when you sleep, there are no dreams or at least none that you remember.
No, I see I was a moron for not asking him what he wanted to do. I am frequently a moron. No worries, these things happen :)
Similar thing to what you're describing, I saw a totally blind girl at my undergraduate campus in the middle of the parking lot, so I stopped the car nearby and walked up and asked if she needed help getting somewhere (she looked like she took a wrong turn). That being said, she was responding to your voice, not where you were. She didn't know WHY you stepped over there. You should have asked where she was going, if she needed to get back to the sidewalk, that sort of thing.
Oh I did. Sorry I cut out a bunch of intervening discussion. Also, you must not have understood or I wasn't clear but didn't turn her I swung around her I.e. I stepped 10 feet in the direction of the sidewalk. I moved, not her. Okay. Did you tell her that that's why you went that way? Granted, some people are rude or have difficulty expressing themselves when flustered, but she definitely had a destination in mind before you found her in the parking lot.
Sorry if I was a bit short with you, I've just had the experience of people spinning me around like a child at a birthday party, assuming they know where I want to go & giving me directions while pushing me, and taking my cane away - among other things. A lot of confusion and annoyance can be resolved by talking it through.
I am afraid of becoming blind.I think if i were to go blind everything i enjoy would be taken from me (reading,video games,sports).When you learned you were going blind what were your emotions. At first, I was terrified. I mourned the loss of my sight, I really did. Now, it's just a part of me, like having green eyes or liking Chipotle. It was more what I had thought being blind would be like rather than what it actually IS like. Things change. Things change for everyone. That doesn't mean it's a lesser quality of life. I don't play video games anymore, but I do play some games. There are scores of accessible games out there, most of them are free. What sports do you enjoy playing? I still get involved in a basketball game once in a while and soccer is my favorite. Reading changes - instead of looking at a page, you're reading the words with your fingers. This is excellent because it doesn't disturb the person next to you if you decide to get another chapter in before going to sleep. Reading Braille is the ability to read anywhere, at any light level. Sighted people need light - WEAK :P There are audiobooks, too, which are great for when you're doing other things and can't use your hands (just like sighted people.) Your life doesn't change for the better or the worse. It simply goes on. Whether or not it gets worse, stays the same, or gets better is entirely up to the individual. For example, I'm a better cook, a better listener, a better typist, but a worse driver. I like to think of myself as average, people only think I'm amazing because they see blindness as an insurmountable obstacle when, the reality is, it's merely an inconvenience. It's not so much the blindness that gets to you as the public perception of what blindness is and what it must be like.
Did your life change for better or for worst after becomnig blind.
Once a blind woman asked if someone could help here, I said " Yes I can help you, whats the problem" "... I am blind you retard" and then she walked away... I am still not sure if she was joking or was genuinly pissed off... -__- That sounds bizarre. She was probably kidding, but I wouldn't know how to deal with that, either. I'd probably shout after her, "Oh good, so am I!"
Links if you dont mind. I don't have any, sorry - I'm part of a local theater company and my first play isn't for another month!
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2013.12.28 23:19 tabledresser [Table] I am Alex Borstein, voice of Lois on Family Guy and Nurse Dawn on HBO's Getting On. AMA

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Date: 2013-12-27
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Questions Answers
How did you come up with your voice for Lois? Was it based on anyone, like Fran Drescher, or did you just try different things until one voice fit? Thanks for the AMA! She is based on my cousin in Long Island, but don't tell her.
How many voices, besides Lois, do you do in Family guy? and What's your favorite character? I usually do about 5 voices per show. Sometimes Tricia Takanawa, Babs Pewterschmidt, random women, random kids, babies, hookers, grandmas…whatever comes up. My favorite character of all is Jasper.
Hey Alex I'm a big fan. The Mad TV sketches of Ms Swan were freaking hysterical. Swan was always so much fun to do. The live audiences were so much fun to perform in front of. Also loved The Gap Troll sketches and You Are The Love Of My Life songs.
What's your favorite Family Guy or Mad TV bit that you were involved in? My favorite FG moment if "Who wants chowder?"
Hey Alex I've always wondered given that you Seth and Mila are all Jewish how you feel about all the Jew jokes on Family Guy? I am a fan of whatever makes me laugh my ass off. If it happens to be a Jew joke, then it's a Jew joke.
What's it like to work with Seth MacFarlane? Insane. He's a freakin' genius and one of the funniest people I know.
Is he pretty normal or does he always goof around? He's not a "goof around" kind of guy. Pretty serious most of the time, but always ready to laugh.
Serious question: do you believe Seth's moviemaking efforts and other ventures have reduced the amount of time invested by him in Family Guy? Don't get me wrong, I still love the show, but I am very curious to know if he leaves more Family Guy responsibilities to other staff now that he's expanding his creative resume. And if this is so, how do you think it is changing (or not changing) the show and your responsibilities on it? Of course, with Seth doing movies he has to split his time.
What is one interesting thing about the Family Guy studio people should know? The writer's room has a black toilet in the executive restroom that is attached. I have a fear of black toilets. During my entire tenure there as a writerI never peed in that scary black hole.
Hi, Alex! You make me laugh and smile all the time. Your voice as Lois in Family Guy is absolutely perfect. :) My question is, what was it like working with Hillary Duff in the Lizzie McGuire Movie? Hillary Duff was just a kid when we shot The Lizzie McGuire Movie and now we both have babies…how did that happen? She was very sweet during the filming and getting to shoot in Rome, Italy was HEAVEN!!! TRIVIA: On my new HBO show GETTING ON, one of the elderly women in our hospital (Birdie) is played by Anne Guilbert, whose real life daughter, Hallie Todd, played Lizzie's Mom in the show and movie
1 - I've always wanted to look into the life of being a voice actor, what would be the best first steps to take? I answer this on my website on the FAQ section because SOOO many people ask this question. www.alexborstein.com Quick answer: there is no "one way" to get into VO. Many pads lead to OZ.
2 - What's it like working with the cast of Family Guy for so long? Especially with seeing all the interesting people they get for cameos. I love my FG cast mates. It's been amazing to see everyone's career explode. And also fun to watch Mila grow up. She wasn't even driving when we first met.
What's your favorite Family Guy episode? And when is the Family Guy movie coming out?? Don't have a favorite episode really, but I have favorite moments: Who wants chowder? (the Ipecac puke sequence) Diarrhea (anytime Lois says it) Singing in the basement bar. Boxing.
As for the Family Guy movie…no idea when that will come to pass. Sorry.
How did you (and Seth for that matter) get roles on Gilmore Girls? Dan Palladino was our show-runner on Family Guy for a few years. He is married to Amy Sherman-Palladino. Dan asked me to read Amy's pilot one day, Gilmore Girls. I read it and loved it and Dan asked me to audition for the role of Sookie. I did, I got the part. We shot the pilot in Toronto, but when the show got picked up to series, my MADtv contract wouldn't allow me to do GG, so I had to let it go. Amy wrote a new part for me DRELLA the bitchy harpist. Later, Amy wrote a part for Seth M.
Do you and Seth ever talk together as Stewie/Peter and Lois, just casually off the set? Nope.
Hey Alex, What did you think of the episode of Family Guy when Brian died, then in the next couple of episodes he came back, would you rather have him dead or alive? I thought it was a great episode when he kicked the bucket. Kind of couldn't believe how people went nuts about it online. I got so many disgusting hate-tweets from angry guys with no lives. It was kind of nuts. But I am very happy to have Brian back in the family. He's a great kisser.
Is it awkward when you have to fake sex sounds? It's kind of funny. Many times in the recording booth I can be seen kissing my hand and humping the air :)
I absolutely love Getting On. Yesterday, I introduced my sister and her BF who both work in a mental care facility. They absolutely loved it and plan to spread the word at their hospital. One thing they were amazed was how accurate the show is at getting the correct terminology down in the writing. How did you, Neicy Nash, and Laurie Metcalf prepare yourselves for the role as nurses/doctors? Did you have to do much studying to understand the terminology or was it all just rigorous memorization? Hi! So happy to hear that you like the show. I'm kind of in love with it myself. Before we started shooting we had two weeks of research and rehearsal to familiarize ourselves with the whole world of geriatric care. I also went to a stroke ward of hospital and followed a nurse around for a while to see what it's actually like.
Im guessing Seth likes Star Wars because of all the references and the specials on family guy, do you also like it? Also, whats Mila Cunis like in person? Yes! I have always been a HUGE Star Wars fan since I was like 5 years old. Most of us in the writers room at Family Guy were big nerds growing up and could recite almost any scene from Star Wars (1st three.) Mila Kunis is really fun and pretty easy-going considering she's the sexiest woman alivE!!
Hi Alex! When you were working on the episode "Ders Comes in Handy" for Workaholics, what was the weirdest/most hilarious thing to happen on set? Also, are you going to be back on the show any time soon? Ha! I almost forgot about that little stunt. My sex scene. I was really pregnant with my daughter in that scene and it cracks me up to think that my fetus was in a sex scene, too. The whole thing was hilarious and weird!!
Montez's wife has to give birth right? I'll be back for that.
Where did you come up with the character (or who did come up with) Ms. Swan? And you're awesome btw. Happy to be awesome. Thank you. Ms. Swan is based on my grandmother. I think most memorable characters are based on someone we know. That's where the fine details and odd quirks come from.
How much creative input do you have with Family Guy, and how does the show keep turning out ideas that fresh (despite the Simpsons doing it first lol)? What was it like behind the scene with Mad TV? And please, "tell me every-ting" Okay, I tell you…everything. MADTV was my first big break, so it was an exciting and amazing time for me. Kind of felt like a college dorm experience. Everyone was up late, working really hard trying to get their characters on the air. And the live tape nights were a blast.
Now that I am not writing on Family Guy, I don't have much to do with the story and or character development on the show. But occasionally I'll throw my two cents in and/or improvise a little in the recording booth.
Verry delighted to be the first to comment! so where did you find the time to do this and other social network streams? As I type my 5 year old is asking me to pour him milk and my 1 year old is screaming because I took a penny and crayon bit out of her mouth. So…there really is no time, but I'm doing it anyway. If my kid chokes I hope it will have been worth it!
Why is Lois so hot? Has to do with gravity and proximity to the sun.
What do you think of the progression of the series? Peter has gone from a clumsy, loving parent to a sadistic idiot (this season looks better..). The hating on Meg got old really quick, too. Just kind of answered this above: "I think the characters we play have to change over the years because the writers writing them are always changing, the actors playing them are always changing and the times themselves keep moving along. Lois ebbs and flows."
How do you think the characters have evolved? It's also good to member that comedy and al art is subjective. To some people the hating on Meg got old quick, to others there wasn't enough hating on Meg. Everyone has a different opinion. Impossible to please everyone.
Do you watch South Park? If not, what do you think of other animated shows that compete with Family Guy? I don't actually. Not becauseI don't think it's funny, but just having very little time to do anything. Most things I watch are on iTunes or Netflix and I really don't watch much comedy, always dark and gloomy stuff.
Do you have an interesting behind the scenes story that we may not know about? See answer regarding black toilet above. Hmmm, what else…when Seth andI first met in a recording studio in 1997 (or was in '96?) we had the same awful haircut.
Can you please insult me with your best Lois insult and record it? Ok. Just did it.
Thank you so much for your time for this AMA. Few questions. What was your favorite episode to record. There are so many favorites, but my favorite line go all time is "Who wants chowder?" Probably not gonna be able to do the VM, sorry.
What is your favorite TV show that you haven't worked on? Breaking Bad.
What your favorite part of being the voice of Lois? Alternatively, what's your least favorite? I love finding new sounds for Lois. Sometimes it's a new way to chuckle, or a new sex noise with Peter. Also fun to do the unexpected at a table read, if everyone assumes you will deliver a line a certain way, sometimes it's fun to try the opposite. Least favorite thing…nagging.
What's your favourite sexual position? My position: Make time for fuckery.
What's the most cringeworthy line or scene you've ever had to perform in Family Guy? Hmmm, that's tough. There isn't much out there that can make me cringe. Sometimes if we have too many of one type of joke in an episode I'll give the producers my two cents. Not because I think they are too offensive, but because I think if you hit the same are too many times it lessens the effectiveness of all of the jokes. Sometimes less is more.
Do you feel that the character of Lois has changed over time? If so, how? Oh yeah. I think the characters we play have to change over the years because the writers writing them are always changing, the actors playing them are always changing and the times themselves keep moving along. Lois ebbs and flows.
I saw you in Toronto a couple months ago at the Family Guy Live and your singing was great - also when you called the lady up front a bitch for yelling her son's name at you. Kara told me on Twitter that maybe that show could maybe be released on DVD at some point, do you know if that's possible? I have no idea. Perhaps they will include it as a DVD extra on one of the Family Guy volumes?
Do you still have the Ms. Swan clothing? Yes I do!!!
I actually have two questions. What is your favourite colour m&m? And, what is Lois' favourite colour m&m? Red. Orange. We are both big fans of the peanut butter m&m.
Did he lookalike a man? Okay. I tell you...
Now that you have children is this going to affect your succes? Yes, they will suck me dry until my soul and bank accounts are empty.
Do you feel that Family Guy is declining in quality like some fans believe? Maybe you think it's getting better? Have you realised that you only ever say "Peder", never actually "Peter"? I think all shows change as they age as do the people who make the shows. As do the people who watch the shows. All targets are moving.
Do you prefer acting or doing VO work? I love both, but I find myself missing one when doing the other. VO work is kind of lonely sometimes so it's always fun to get out on a set to work with other actors in person every once in a while.
As for my question, Lois is one of the mot dynamic and interesting female characters on TV (much less cartoons), do you feel like you've had a hand in evolving her character from early episodes where she was more one dimensional to where she is now? When we first started at FG I was in the writers room a lot and definitely had a hand in helping to shape Lois. But there was a room of 15-20 writers who also had their hands all over her (dirty girl.)
How were you able to keep it together for Ms. Swan skits on Mad TV? It was always a challenge with the live audiences, but I got pretty good at it. Once I start playing her I kind of enter a little trance and hang in there until the end.
What was your favorite character to play on Mad TV and why? Swan and Gap Troll were always so much fun.
When was your last fist fight and why? (I hope you won) Last fight was this morning with my 5 year old and my husband over having m&m's for breakfast. Me and my 5 year old wanted to eat them and my husband said NO. He won :(
Can you explain why you ended up not playing Sookie on Gilmore Girls? When I auditioned for Gilmore girls I was in a holding pattern with MADtv, unsure if it was going to be renewed. I shot the GG pilot and then found out MADTV was renewed and they wouldn't share me :( I was heartbroken at the time, but now know it wasn't in the cards.
What topic(s) are a "line in the sand" that are internally self-imposed, personally or as a writing group, ie: guidelines not handed down by network/censors that FG sticks to? O-kay, I tell you one ting, thanks for all the laughs over the years! Just answered this above: "Sometimes if we have too many of one type of joke in an episode I'll give the producers my two cents. Not because I think they are too offensive, but because I think if you hit the same are too many times it lessens the effectiveness of all of the jokes. Sometimes less is more."
What is your favorite board game? Scattergories.
What is your biggest fear? My biggest fear…the ocean. It's a great big, powerful sea toilet.
I loved your scene with Ders and the over the pants handy in Workaholics. I'm curious, though. Was it awkward to do that scene and how many takes was it? It was nuts doing that scene! I was actually pregnant with my daughter so that made it even creepier. But Ders was fun and we had a blast doing it. Tune in to see if Colleen gives birth this season :)
How much input did you have on your characters on MadTV? How many characters do you voice on Family Guy other than Lois? I created many of the characters that I did on MADtv, but also did some that the writers brought to me, like THE GAP TROLL (Gary Pearson) I usually do about 5 voices per episode sometimes including Tricia Takanawa and Babs Pewterschmidt.
"Getting On" is something so different than anything you've done before and you work with such great actors, do you prefer live acting over doing the voice acting? I love doing VO work in my pajamas! But I also love interacting with other actors in a set doing live-action. I really wouldn't ever want to imagine my life without one or the other.
What advice would you give to newbies at performing comedy? Any tips you'd consider sharing? 1.Be funny.
2.Write write write. 3.Be really funny.
Write some more.
Will you sign my boobs? I'm a dude. Sorry, only girl boobs.
Hello Alex, Big fan of the show and your work, all the way back to MadTV. Who is your favorite secondary character to voice on Family Guy? Tricia Takanawa is always fun. But I really like the odd parts that come up here and there. Always fun to create someone new on the fly.
What would you say is the best way to train for voice acting? Do you think that anyone with commitment can improve? See my FAQ section at www.alexborsein.com.
To be a good VO actor you need to be a great actor, so study acting first and it will enhance your VO skills. It's all about creating characters.
What's your most faaavorite Lois line? "Who wants chowder?"
Thanks for doing an AMA Alex! Who is your favorite character to play? Be it animated or a sketch character or anything. My favorite character to play is Dawn Forchette on GETTING ON on HBO. She's such a freakin' mess of a person and so much fun to portray. Never know what she is capable of.
Are you disappointed in the cancelation of Seth's Flintstone reboot roject? Nope. Everything that is meant to work usually does.
Do you read books? If so, what kind of books do you like to read? Thanks. :) Yes. English.
Lately I've noticed the show focus much more on Brian, Stewie, and Peter and less on the other core characters played by you, Mike, Mila, and Seth Green. Is it intentional that the characters Seth plays are taking center stage? Is the rest of the cast moving on? WTF?!?! How dare Seth!
Umm, I don't think anything regarding FG is intentional. The writers write what is funny or interesting to them and sometimes it's not until way later that you look at the episodes collectively and notice a trend like that.
Will we see more of you on Shameless in the upcoming season? Are you also still writing for the show? Yes, I'll ale some appearances on Shameless, but not writing this season.
I've always thought it was a major shame you didn't appear on Gilmore Girls more regularly. Had the same complaint about Bunheads (although, if memory serves, you did make a great hooker... (there is no good way to word this)). Is there any chance you'd ever collaborate with Amy Sherman to create a show? Would LOVE to collaborate with Amy!
What is your favorite scene in Getting On so far? Favorite Getting On scene is probably the fall in the fountain.
Hi there! What is yourleast favourite episode of FG and why? Hasn't happened yet.
What was your experience like on mad TV, was Artie Lange as big of a mess as his book suggests? My experience there was like a college dorm. It was a blast, exciting scary, late nights and hard work. Artie had just left when I started so I didn't really work with him at all. Heard some great stories, though.
Have you ever been in The Netherlands? Yep. Was there in 1994.
Looks or personality which one do you prefer? Personality. Looks are for pussies.
Favorite 90s Television show? VIP…was that 90's?
Are we going to see you return on Shameless this season? Frank seems like he'd always need a lawyer. Yes! I will appear in some Shameless this season. Starts in January. Because I was shooting my HBO series GETTING ON, I wasn't available to write for Shameless this go-round, but I did have time to act :)
Are any of the characters you play/write "you," in the way that some would say Seth is Brian Griffin? I think there's always a little bit of me in all the characters I do from Swan, to Lois, to Dawn on GETTING ON. They are never true depictions of me, you just see little glimpses of me here and there.
Thanks for this AMA. I have to say, I almost peed my panties watching your Marlie Matlin/Poker Face skit!! I loved it and I'm going straight to hell! Thank you. I loved that bit, too. So did Marlee.
My question is, do people recognise you/your voice in public but get confused cause they think they know you but can't quite put their finger on it? Any funny stories to share on that theme? No. People usually recognize my face first.
What's your best Seth MacFarlane story? When we first met and worked together he wouldn't drive on freeways. It freaked him out too much.
If you were able to spend a day with Lois, what kind of shenanigans do you think would go on? Shoplifting and eating!!!
Shoplifting and eating!
I love Getting On. It is so dark and realistic I'm surprised it ever got on TV. How much is improvised? Do you have a tight script or do they just outline it? Thank you. I love it, too! We met for rehearsals prior to shooting and we read through the scripts. At that time we were given the opportunity to chime in with ideas and suggestions. The writers used many of them and we went on to shoot them pretty closely as written. Although on set we still improved a bit on our second and third takes. They used some of the improvised stuff.
Heya Alex! For my question, Family guys had alot of strange (for lack of a better term) cameos/guest appearances from different actors and voice actors over the years. Who would you say was the most entertaining to work with? I'm a huge fan of Mr. Robert Downey Jr. Loved having him play my brother. Also got to work with him on GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK.
Hi Alex, What was the funniest thing you recorded for Family Guy? Seth M and I laughed pretty hard doing Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun killing themselves.
Is there any thing you would consider a source of your inspiration to become a comedic actor? Steve Martin and Gilda Radner.
How did madtv find you? I was in a sketch comedy festival in Austin TX when the casting people from MADtv saw me.
Do you feel like you have to change the writing and jokes in your show to fit a target audience? Or is the show exactly how you guys would want it? Family Guy? Shameless? Getting On? Not sure which you meant but can probably answer for all: never try to fit a target audience. Write what is true to the characters in their settings and the audience will find you.
Thank you for your work and the laughter you bring to my home on a daily basis. Nurse Dawn is just hilarious. Where did the idea come from to make Getting On happen on HBO? Will Scheffer and Mark V Olsen the show runners decided to adapt it. And thank go they did.
What's been your most awkward experience with Seth MacFarlene? When we accidentally slept together.
Hey Alex! My mom makes it her daily mission to always remind that "he... look-ah like a man." So thank you for that. Ms. Swan and Dawn Forchette (HBO's GETTING ON)
My question would be, if you could pick any two characters that you've portrayed in the past to sit down and have dinner together, which two would you pick? And your mother is right, He does look like a man!
I find your voice strangely sexy - do you ever get guys hitting you because of the way you speak? Thank you. I once met a guy and dated him after meeting on the phone, so yes, I guess.
Do you or anyone else play any pranks whilst on sey? Nope.
Who was the funniest cast member on MadTV? Will Sasso.
Hi Alex! How is it to work with Patrick Warburton (Joe on Family Guy)? He's a good friend of mine and I've always wondered what he's like professionally. Also, how fun was it to work on Ted? Patrick is so fucking funny. I could watch him read the phonebook.
Ted was fun. We laughed our asses off.
Did you like vinny? Yes!
Who has been your favorite guest celebrity to work with on Family Guy? Robert Downey Jr.
Do you have a favorite Family Guy song? Seth and I did a song on the album called "But I'm Yours" that was always fun to sing together.
Alex, you are a queen of comedy. Do you have any advice for people interested in breaking into the wonderful world of entertainment? Don't.
Will there be a return of Ms. Swan? Woking on it :)
HELOOKALIKEAMAN. Indeed.
Sorry Alex. but my favorite character of yours is MUTHAFUCKIN MS. SWAN!!! MUTHAFUKIN THANK YOU!!! You look like a man :)
Just wanted to let you know that for the longest time I thought a man voiced Lois on Family Guy. Love your work so far in "Getting On"! Good news that after you saw my face you still didn't think I was a man.
I'm a Nielsen family. Do you want me to watch Shameless live or Family Guy live Sundays at 9. Oh shit…that's a toughie…probably FG :)
Lois, Lois, Lois, Lois, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Ma! Ma! Ma! Ma! WHAT?!?!?!?!
Last updated: 2014-01-01 16:30 UTC
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2013.12.09 02:42 tabledresser [Table] IAmA: I donate my time subtitling popular YouTube videos for the deaf and hard of hearing at www.amara.org. AMA.

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Date: 2013-12-08
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Questions Answers
As a deaf person who uses a cochlear implant, I just want to say thanks! A lot of my friends think that my CI is a magical ear (I've had it since 2, I'm 26 now). The reality is, I can only do one-on-one conversations well, but with movies and group conversations, I'm totally lost and I rely on outside help (interpreters/captions/etc). People like you make the world a lot easier for me! Question: Is there a genre you see that's usually in popular demand? You are so welcome. I teach a group of hard of hearing children in Taiwan and know, first hand, that cochlear implants are not magical cure-all for hearing loss. As of right now, I don't get enough requests for me to be able to say which channels are really in demand. But I do get a lot of requests for Smosh and tend to get a lot of views after I put up one of their videos. I also had a request to do a Jimmy Fallon music spoof. Maybe, as I continue doing this, I will be able to better understand what people really would like to see captioned.
Hey - I think this is fantastic. I would love to help out. In fact, I've just realised one of the major channels I subscribe to relies on the automated YouTube captions and in less than 5 seconds, I realised it's a massive fail. Can you point me in the right direction on how to get started with videos of my choice? I can! Go to www.amara.org. From there, you can set up an account. After that, copy the YouTube video link of your choice, click on the "subtitle video" box, and paste it in there. Once you've pressed enter, there will be a tutorial that will show you how to caption the videos you want. Does that help?
That's awesome. Thanks :) I'll give it a go! Sweet! I hope you have a great time doing it. And maybe, once you're done, you can show me your stuff ;). I like seeing what other subtitlers are doing.
I've been curious... are there defined sub-titling "standards"? Like [music note][song title in italics][music note] to describe background music, etc? Or is it all up to the experience/personality of the sub-titler? It depends. I try to follow www.amara.org's paid project subtitling standards. If someone is singing, I'll surround the lyrics with musical notes. I put meaningful noises like (car screeches) in parenthesis. If I absolutely can't understand what's being said, I'll type [inaudible]. If an off screen narrator is speaking, I'll italicize what they say. And if someone is talking, but they are off screen at the time, I'll make sure to make note of it by saying something like, (Anthony) What the frickin' frick, man?!
So cool. I've been wanting to do that for a while, signing up right now! Awesome! I hope you enjoy captioning videos!
I can't get to the site at the moment, but I'd there a requests mechanism on the site? I do believe that deaf and hard of hearing members of www.amara.org can make requests, but I don't know how often they get fielded. You might want to contact the people who run the website and ask them more about how that aspect of the page is run.
Saving this post in my comment history. Thanks paupererpawn for doing this. You're welcome. This has been an incredible experience.
What has been your favorite video to subtitle? Probably Smosh's "Longest Staring Contest Ever." I was cackling the whole time.
Heh, so was I. Smosh FTW! grins I concur!
How do you decide which videos to sibtitle? Is it just based on demand? I try to observe what's being shared and liked on Facebook. If a video has gone really viral, I'll caption it. I also have a Facebook page called Subtitle YouTube and get some requests from the members there. YouTube's Most Popular channel is also a good resource to see what's trending at any given time.
So you're the reason my mother is able to enjoy YouTube more these days, thank you very much! How did you get involved with such a thing? You are so welcome! I'm glad your mom is finally starting to enjoy YouTube. I found out about www.amara.org from another CODA named Eric Witteborg. Do you know him? Anyways, for the longest time, I would leave comments on my favorite videos, letting the YouTubers know that I loved their content, but wanted to see them provided captions. I never got any replies and eventually got fed up and asked my facebook friends if they knew of a website where I could volunteer my time to subtitle videos. Eric gave me the link and the rest is history.
In your experience, what is the hardest thing about living with a deaf person? How did you meet your husband? (And what was your favourite song today?) I've been around deaf people my whole life, so I can't honestly think of anything that I find hard about living with a deaf person. When I was younger, I think the hardest thing was the embarrassment that came from other hearing people telling me that my mom and dad did odd things (like banging doors and cabinets) or when peers asked me, "How do you say this curse word in ASL?". Language barriers used to be the hardest thing with my husband. He didn't know any American Sign Language when I met him, and we had to rely on a Chinese/English dictionary a lot when we were first beginning our relationship. I met him through an American Sign Language/International Sign Language course that was being held at the Taipei Association of the Deaf.
Oh, wow. You might be my new favourite person. Whilst I am not actually deaf, I have hearing issues that make subtitles a necessity. Thank you for your hard, yet awesome work! How do you go about doing what you do? What's your process? You're making me blush. Seriously :). I try to pay close attention to what is making the rounds on Facebook. There are always videos that are being posted by groups like Buzzfeed and if they get shared by a lot of my close friends, I'll subtitle them. YouTube also has a channel called "Most Popular". It automatically compiles a list of the newest, hottest videos that are being watched at any given moment. I often subtitle those videos too. I also have favorites that I love to caption (such as Jacksfilms, Smosh, Ryan Higa, and Tobuscus). Finally, I run a Facebook page called Subtitle YouTube (www.facebook.com/subtitleyoutube) . I do get some personal requests from the people that have joined and I caption/post the requests I receive.
How long does it take to transcribe a video? And how difficult is it to do? It can really vary. A 2-3 minute video might take me about 30 to 40 minutes to type up, sync, and edit, and that's if all the actors are speaking clearly. A ten minute video might take me up to an hour and a half. I remember there was one video that was just 2 minutes in length, but it took me forever because the speaker was speaking in such a robotic voice and I had to keep playing everything back to fully understand what was being said.
What software or workflow do you use when captioning YouTube videos? I use www.amara.org's workshop space. They have their own program. Copy/paste the link you want to caption into their program box, click enter, and they'll take you directly to a workshop space that allows you to type, sync,and edit the video you want to caption. It's pretty easy to use.
Can people collaborate on making subtitles for longer videos using their workshop, or would they have to share transcriptions separately and have one person do all the timing by themself? People can totally collaborate on a project. www.amara.org does have a bunch of teams that subtitlers can join. I did some stuff for the PBS news hour team before and some of those videos were 40 minutes in length. I just remember typing until I got sick of it. After that, I'd make a small annotation letting other subtitlers know the exact time I stop, and they'd pick up after me. If you know other subtitlers and want to collaborate on a video, you can agree to work in shifts. Only one person can work on a video at any given time.
Do you think that these videos with captions becoming the norm is achieveable? It's hard to say. I think, long ago, people used to think that captioning everything on TV was unachievable. But the deaf and hard of hearing protested and fought until their needs were recognized. YouTube is a different animal. There are millions of videos and it would be impossible to caption every one of them. However, I do think it's plausible to have really popular channels, those with millions of subscribers, have captioned videos, whether through crowd-sourcing or hiring a team-member whose sole purpose is to caption their videos. There has to be a major push for it though. Marlee Matlin has lent her voice to this cause, but there's just not enough noise/exposure yet.
Wow! Thank you so much for doing this! I'm sure people appreciate it! I tried subtitling my first two (I chose short ones for now...) but it's really, really easy to work with, especially so once I get down the keyboard shortcuts. It's kind of helpful for me, too, because I really have to buckle down to make sure all the spelling is correct! I'm sorry I got to the party so late, but I have a few questions... What do you do about dialogue that overlaps? Do you type it in the same caption? How would you format that? Why is it that some of the videos in the "new" section of the site have 0 captions? Are people uploading these but not captioning them? Does the site upload the videos? Is there a certain type of video that gets requested a lot? Do annotations work on the videos in Amara? Will a video linked annotation take you to the video on the Youtube site or will you stay on Amara? I think it's awesome that you're trying your hand at subtitling videos. Keep at it. It does get easier. I hope that works for you :/. When you talk about dialogue that overlaps, are you talking about characters that interrupt each other? If one character is interrupting the other, I might caption it this way. -Dude, do you really think that's going to-- -Oh my god! Zombies are eating Miley. If two people are saying things at the same time, I might subtitle it like this, The videos in the "new" section are probably submitted by deaf/hard of hearing members of the website and are waiting to get those videos captioned. There are many videos on www.amara.org that are uncaptioned; someone might make a submission, but wait months to see it captioned :(. I don't know a lot about what kinds of videos get requested, but I do know that really, really viral videos are popular. I recently captioned a video by Ze Frank (it was a cat commercial about kitty litter). Once I uploaded the subtitles, it was translated into 7 other languages. I strongly believe that people want access to videos that everyone else is laughing/sharing. I'm not sure about the annotations, since I haven't done that myself, but I do believe that if you add a link to the original video, that it shoudl stay there.
Do you have a link to the paid project subtitling standards for Amara? I'm looking at the website and can't seem to find them for some reason! I've never done this before and would love a little guidance... Here is a link to the Amara on Demand Handguide:Link to docs.google.com
Heh. Another dumb example, but that's how you'd show that both characters are saying different things at the same time (without interrupting each other).
Why does youtube not do this already? I think the biggest barricade to not having more videos captioned on YouTube is time. A lot of time goes into making captions for a video. I also think that YouTube can't force different channels to provide closed captions for their work. Lastly, YouTube does have an automatic closed captioned system. It's atrocious and is rarely accurate, but I think some YouTubers might think it's good enough for their needs and, therefore, don't caption their own work.
Any other ideas why youtube's auto captions are so awful? I sometimes wonder if the people at YouTube have ever bothered to update their program. That could be one reason. Also, their automated caption system is especially awful when someone is speaking super fast/unclearly. For instance, the auto captions might work alright (still some errors) with a V Sauce video since Michael enunciates, but would overload with a YouTuber like Tobuscus or Ryan Higa, showing strings of numbers and profanity instead of anything that makes sense. Does that help?
Their automatic one is laughable, hence why it's useless. Some youtubers make videos taking the mick out of it. (Rhett and Link). I'm glad you do this though. How many videos do you often do a week or try to do? Oooh yes. I know all about Rhett and Link's caption fails. They are hilarious, but it also surprises me how few people are aware of the fact that those horrible captions are precisely what deaf and hard of people see when they watch YouTube. I probably add captions to two or three videos a day, depending on how short/long they are.
Ha good good. I think a lot of top channels know about that but don't have time to do it or just don't bother because they think that viewership is too low to worry about it. When they should worry about it. And wow, good on you :) Thanks so much for the compliment. It makes me sad that some channels feel that way, especially since www.amara.org has an option of letting YouTube channels connect to their website. Once connected, all their videos show up, and any captions that were/are made become synced immediately. They don't have to lift a finger.
As someone who relies on subtitles, thank you!! Now, when do you think we'll get subtitles on our spectacles? LOL. I have no idea. Go bug some major electronic software companies, like Microsoft, Apple, or Samsung. They might be able to whip up something for you!
Is there a way to search Youtube for only subtitled videos (not automatic ones)? I am hard of hearing and rarely use Youtube because I've found most things aren't subtitled. There is! You can refine your search and look for videos that are truly Close Captioned. Search for a general topic/channel. After you get your results, go to the "filter" menu that is right below the search engine. Then click the section that says CC (closed captioned). It will filter your results and show you only videos that provide Closed Captions.
Thank you! I'm off to Youtube now. Awesome! Happy subtitling :)!
Does anyone ever do this for porn? O.o. I haven't gotten any requests for that. And I'm not sure if www.amara.org would allow that on their website; I haven't checked.
Is amara a non profit or do they sell your subtitles to youtube? Amara is a non-profit, crowd-sourced project, so YouTubers can use the subtitles that are put onto their website at no cost. There is a different, smaller section called "Amara on Demand", where they subtitle particular videos from companies who prefer to have their videos subtitled by a paid team that must adhere to a very strict set of guidelines/rules. But, by far, almost everything on that website is done for free.
Where do i find french videos with french subtitles? --thanks. Obtenez-où les émissions français avec les sous-titres français?-- merci. Www.amara.org does let you choose a language preference. Do you have an account there? That might help you find some videos that are translated into French. Are there any particular YouTubers/videos you want to watch? Go to their search engine and type, in English, what you want to see. After that, you'll be brought to a menu of different videos, some captioned, and some not. Further down on the left hand of the screen, you'll be able to modify your search and look for videos by language (in your case, French). And, hopefully, after doing that, you'll be able to enjoy some YouTube videos that have been translated into your language.
How do you do this? Anyway for us to volunteer for this? Hi! I volunteer at www.amara.org. You have to create an account first, but once that part's done, you can copy/paste the link of any YouTube video you want to subtitle, and then you'll be brought to a workshop page, where you can use their software to write, sync, and edit everything you hear. Does that help?
Awesome! :)
This AMA inspired me to try out captioning a video of my own, thanks! I was wondering if there's any safeguards to prevent anyone from turning a video's captions into spam after it's been crowd-sourced? That's probably one of the drawbacks of the crowd-sourced part of amara.org. Anyone can go in and make corrections/edits to your videos. Most people are good intentioned and will do this to help you out, but if someone wanted to be malicious, they could go in and completely ruin your work. If that ever happens, write down the name of the person who "edited" your video and report them to the people who run The Amara Project. I'm sure they would do something about it. That has personally never happened to me. I have subtitled a ton of videos and each video has, generally, been a great experience.
Whats the weirdest thing you have had to translate and how do you pick the videos? Funny you should mention that. The absolute weirdest thing I had to subtitle was "The 12 Rapes of Christmas" by The Bedfellows. One of the members on my page requested it and the title really threw me off and made me a bit uncomfortable. There was no rape in that video, but it was pretty lewd and not something I would subtitle otherwise. I subtitle a lot of my favorite YouTubers, but, as noted before, I take requests from others, scour Facebook to see what's trending, and also look at YouTube's Most Popular channel to see what videos are most popular at any given time.
How long does it take to subtitle a 5 minute video? BTW, you're awesome. blush Thank you so much for your kind words. I think, on average, a 5 minute video would take me anywhere from 45 minutes, to an hour and 15 minutes, depending on how much dialogue is spoken, and how clearly the actors speak. This process includes typing up everything being said, syncing the subtitles to the dialogue, and editing for mistakes and timing. I'm kind of a perfectionist, so it takes me a bit longer.
Awesome! Is this the page? Link to www.facebook.com. I was the owner of that group, but I now post my stuff on an official page that can be found here: //www.facebook.com/subtitleyoutube.
Thank you so much. I am hard of hearing and your subtitles are amazingly helpful. How long does it take you on average to subtitle, say, a 15 minute video? Sorry, just got back from lunch with my family! It's so nice to hear from someone that watches my stuff. Depending on how clearly the actors speak and how much dialogue is involved, it could take me up to two and a half hours. Most of the videos I do are within the 3-6 minute area, but I did the Rudolph Christmas special, which runs an hour. If you are at all interested, I do run a Facebook page called Subtitle YouTube (www.facebook.com/subtitleyoutube) and take requests from the members there. If there's anything you'd like to see subtitled, I'd be happy to see what I can do.
How does one get into doing this? I wouldn't mind doing it every now and then when I'm bored. That's awesome! You can create an account at www.amara.org. Once that part's done, you can copy/paste the link of any YouTube video you want to subtitle, and then you'll be brought to a workshop page, where you can use their software to write, sync, and edit everything you hear. The organization has tutorials for new users, so they'll be able to walk you through the steps needed in order to caption a video.
Cool beans! It'll be something fun to do and helpful at the same time. Had no idea that people did this, so thanks for the AMA! You're welcome! I'm glad that this is getting so much exposure and it's also neat to see people wanting to sign up and make some captions for themselves.
When I click the CC option and the words are nothing like what appears to be coming out of the person's mouth... is that automatically generated? If so, do those have any less or more priority for your subtitling than others? Hi, 7069. Yes, those awful subtitles are the result of YouTube's automatic captioning system and are used for almost every video on YouTube that does not provide captions that were made by a human being. Most of the videos on YouTube rely on that system; I try to find the most popular videos and subtitle those first. But most of all, I prefer to take requests from deaf and hard of hearing people. Their requests are my first priority.
I make howto videos on Youtube that are semi-popular (not in the millions of views or anything). Would it be worthwhile for me to put subtitles on my videos? As in, would enough people find it useful for me to go through the work? In my opinion, yes. But...for me, if one deaf or hard of hearing person watches my captions, I find it worthwhile. So I guess that would depend on what your definition of worthwhile means. As a plus, their community is small, and if there is something out there that is captioned and awesome, I think they would share it with others in their community. That's been my experience in the past.
Interesting! I noticed there was some sort of crazy made up language hidden underneath your muppet video. Silly youtube captioning system! Well thanks for what you do and getting the word out that amara exists. You might just inspire a few more people to volunteer to subtitle some videos! :) LOL! That was observant of you. I hope more people become subtitlers. They are needed.
In your opinion, what does the fox say? LOL. searches Google copies/pastes from transcript Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!
Now for you. What does the panda say?
Hey, I'm a teacher at a public school for the deaf. What you do is awesome, but unfortunately I cannot use your videos because YouTube is blocked. I can download YouTube videos using a chrome extension, but this is useless without subs. Is there a way to download the subs straight from amara? Thanks. I honestly don't know the answer to that one. I have a question for you. I'm afraid it's dumb, but I'll go ahead and ask. You say YouTube is blocked, but would you still be able to use www.amara.org? Would you still be able to see the videos through their website? I'm not sure if that would give you a way around your problem.
I've worked for a relay company for 5 years assisting deaf and hard of hearing people make everyday phone calls to loved ones and businesses. The customers are rarely very appreciative. I've received a few thanks over the years but for the most part they are pretty rude. Why can't they be more appreciative like the people posting in this AMA? My brother works for Sorenson and has had similar experiences from time to time. I don't know how to best answer your question :(. I think VP interpreters such as yourselves provide an awesome service and deserve more respect. I'm sorry you're treated that way.
Sorenson closed down their IP relay service a while back. Reasoning they gave employees was that a company in the Philippines gave the government incentive to reduce reimbursement. Uncool. Sorenson needs to learn from Purple. Treat your interpreters badly enough and they'll start a union. I wonder if the terps at Sorenson will ever organize.
Do you do it with regular computer key board? I am going to school for broadcast captioning and use a stenograph machine and wanted to start captioning my favorite you tubers!! Thanks! You're going to school for broadcast captioning? That's awesome! Do you find it hard to use the stenograph machine? When I use www.amara.org, I use my laptop for every video I subtitle.
I Have a degree in translation of ASL, i studied it for years in college, im also a musician and i sign the music i write so deaf/hoh can be entertained as well. If you need help i would love to be apart of something like this. message me if your interested? What made you interested in learning ASL? It's neat that you're involved in the deaf/hoh community. I'd definitely love to collaborate with you if you're into it and will PM you soon.
Have you ever put in an easter egg or subtitled something incorrectly on purpose? Personally, I would find it unethical to subtitle something incorrectly on purpose, so I do my best to keep the dialogue as accurate as possible. But...while I'm not the best writer, there are time where I try to describe sounds in a humorous/creative sort of way. For example, (Anthony gobbles his gummy snake like cookie monster). Not exactly clever, but still fun nonetheless.
I saw in your proof that it says the Swedish Chef is speaking Swedish. Is that accurate though? Hah. I don't know exactly what the Swedish Chef is saying and it would be hard for me to write his dialogue down, syllable by syllable, so I just annotated that he was speaking in "Swedish". The " " lets the viewers know that the Swedish Chef is pretty much speaking nonsense, but that everyone should just suspend disbelief and think he's speaking Swedish.
Do you ever think about trolling the system and posting fake subtitles as a joke?... I would have to fight the urge daily. Heh. To be honest, no. I try really hard to remain as accurate as possible because I know, at the end of the day, someone's going to watch these videos and I want to give them the best viewing experience I can. Sometimes I'll play around with sound effects and go a bit silly in the way I describe them, but I never mess around with the dialogue.
This is awesome! My fiancé has a cochlear and needs subtitles. How can I donate my time too? I'm glad to hear you want to donate your time! You can to go to www.amara.org and make an account. Once that's done, copy/paste any link to the video you want to subtitle into the "Subtitle videos" box. You'll be led into a "workshop space" where you can write, sync, and edit everything you hear. Does that help?
How do I go about helping out and subtitling videos? You can volunteer at www.amara.org. You have to create an account first, but once that part's done, you can copy/paste the link of any YouTube video you want to subtitle, and then you'll be brought to a workshop page, where you can use their software to write, sync, and edit everything you hear. Does that help?
Hello, I caption phone calls for a living (no, not relaying, actual live captions). Do you use a software to caption or do you type? Thanks! Hi, gabesaporta. I use the software that is provided by www.amara.org. All I have to do is copy/paste the link of the YouTube video I want to subtitle into their system, and then they'll bring me to a "workshop space" in which I go about captioning the video.
This is great! I always tell my fiancé when a word is incorrect on the subtitles - usually it's a really small difference, but I think he appreciates it's either way. Thanks so much! Hah. You are welcome. Are you one of them grammar nazis? I also notice small mistakes, especially when watching closed captions on the news. The mistakes that get made are sometimes funny, but the service provided is invaluable.
Raises hands and wiggles fingers :) I love Deaf applause the best.
I just want to thank you so much for making these videos accessible for the deaf. I can't thank you enough of how kind you are! blushes Thanks. That's really sweet of you to say. I hope, someday, having YouTube videos with closed captions become the norm. We'll see.
Much appreciated!! Glad you like the videos!
I also would like to give a shout out to /TranscriptRequest/ as well! Whoa! That is awesome! Who is the owner of that page? Is there just one person who transcripts all that, or is there a group of people involved?
You can feel free to make a contribution/subtitles to videos in posts (in Requested threads) and if you do, you'll be given a "Successful transcriber" flair. Thank you for letting me know. So once I'm done subtitling something, I just post it on your subreddit, yes?
As a follow up. This is happening. Thanks reddit for helping make these introductions. Wish I could upvote this twice :). I'm really excited to work with you and am really happy that more and more people are becoming open to captioning their videos.
As a Deaf person, thank you SO much for donating your time. You're fantastic! Thank you so much for your kind words. I love what I do and I especially love hearing from those who get to appreciate the final result!
I'm so grateful for it. I am so used to having to fight like a dog to get accommodations made, so I am especially appreciate of people like you who see that something needs to be done and does it. Thank you for your kind words. I'm sorry you have to fight so much for the rights to enjoy what everyone else takes for granted and hope, one day, that you won't have to fight anymore.
I too would love to help with this! I'll definitely sign up once the website recovers from the Reddit Hug of Death. LOL. Awesome! I hope you have a good time captioning videos. I've found it really worthwhile.
So, I just finished subtitling my video, and I've got to say the program is insanely easy and intuitive to use! I know! Getting the timing right took me a little bit of time, but I had it pretty much mastered in a week.
That muppet episode was hilarious. I don't know why you had to CC that one, though. I had a perfectly easy time lipreading the puppets mouths. ;) LOL. Not everyone such mad lip reading skillz ;). I bow down to your prowess!
Reminds me of lip reading nightmares by "that ddeaf guy" comic artist here Couldnt find his newer one, but talking puppets was in one of the panels! I love his work. He's an awesome comic artist and I love it when he posts new strips on Facebook.
Not really a question, more of a high five in word form. It's people like you that make me try to think of creative ways to help people. Heh. I'm a-gonna high-five you right back. Do you think you're going to try your hand at subtitling videos?
Last updated: 2013-12-12 20:27 UTC
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2013.09.21 16:30 tabledresser [Table] IamA Deaf Girl (19) going to a hearing university! AMA!

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Date: 2013-09-21
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Any "oh shit, I didn't realize you could hear that" stories? Oh tons! I'm gonna lay out my favorite though.
By June I was fairly good at sign, and started to hang with my Deaf friend Alex a lot more. We went to a restaurant (I wore my HAs.) and we ordered in ASL. I usually throw them a "deaf accent" so they understand that I am still deaf, but can hear some. Alex is completely deaf, and the restaurant knows him. Well two patrons behind him were staring and talking about how stupid he must be because he can't hear. I looked straight at them and said "Excuse me, but he happens to in his sophomore year at UofM. He's a BioEngineering Major. If he is an idiot, then I should be in an adult care facility."
The look on their faces... priceless.
How can anyone think some must be stupid just because he can't hear. "How can you have kids when you are deaf?"
"With passion and patience, just like everyone else should."
Read the story I just posted.. haha I love these situations! I read it! :D.
What sound will you or do you miss most? How is dating? Do you have a significant other? Thanks! I miss hearing people's voices. No one appreciates what the tone and pitch of their voice says about them. When I can't hear them, I have to make up my own voices and try to match them with their apparent personality. Sometimes I am spot on, usually i'm not.
Dating is easier than I thought it would be! I do have what I guess I would consider an "SO". (We're exclusive, but not "official".) Oddly enough, we connected over my hearing. He was fascinated with the fact that I was going deaf. (This was a year ago!) He knows the alphabet, but I have gotten accustomed to reading his lips.
"Hey baby! I'm can make you moan so hard you'll make me deaf!"
"Can you read my lips? Would it be easier if they were against yours?"
"I'm blind. You're deaf. Wanna make a Helen Keller?"
Yes. These were all from the same person. xD.
What are your career goals? Communications, but I have a LOT of connections where I am right now and NONE at GU. I don't want to lose them.
Are you (still) friends with this guy (...or gal)? Oh yea! He's a really good friend! We aren't dating, but he is a good friend! :) He just loves one-liners and puns like I do. He's a really good person with a twisted sense of humor. I love him so much. :)
My boyfriend and I really want to learn sign language, and maybe to eventually become interpreters, particularly for young children in school. How was it making the transition into ASL? Was it hard to learn, having previously relied on verbal communication? It was not hard for me to learn, and I am still learning! I recommend ASLpro if money is tight, ASLDeafined if you can afford a little bit. :) Good luck with the interpreter goals! :D.
(Not meant to be offensive, but I have known some deaf/blind people who say random people specifically change around them..) Is it difficult communicating with people who don't know sign language? Look of confusion as I point to my hear and say "Sorry, i'm deaf." Other reactions (rare) include people who just start signing (awesome!!) and people who just plain ignore me. Neither of these happen often where i'm at. What was really funny was I had a classmate in my speech class who didn't realize I was Deaf, even though I signed my first speech. It just didn't click until she tried to get my attention this morning and someone told her. She was all like, "Wtf? Really! WOW!!" Laughs were had. It can be difficult, but I do read lips so it's not as bad. :) It's usually only 10 seconds of awkward before we find a way to communicate.
When people realize you're deaf, do they suddenly treat you differently? If so, how did they realize it, and how do they react? Look of panic as they decide how to talk to me.
If we ever met, the first two steps would probably be skipped entirely :P My vocal chords are just fine, and so is my hearing, but I have crippling anxiety that renders me speechless almost all of the time. That said I've always wondered if my communication with others would be any different depending on their hearing or speech abilities, because I'm not sure if people prefer signing or writing (assuming they can understand written language and so both are available options). I don't know sign language yet however, but I plan to pick it up sometime. How do you respond when someone begins writing or typing? I just sorta sit there and wait and smile. I understand, so I try to make it a little less awkward.
I only know the alphabet and would have to spell every word letter by letter if I were to try and sign anything :( Be careful if you do this around Deaf people! Some of them find it absolutely infuriating. (I try not to. It's not a big deal.)
My advice: spell out the main points of a sentence, not the whole thing.
"You want to go to the play?" should be "(point) W-A-N-T G-O P-L-A-Y?" It just makes it easier.
If the conversation goes on, do you continue speaking if you already were or does it turn into a text conversation between you and the other person? I imagine the latter would be more convenient for you. I continue speaking because it is more efficient. It takes more time for both of us to type everything out, rather than just one person. I also have the Dragon App on my phone, but it doesn't always work. :/
Welp, that didn't cross my mind. I guess this is how I know I've grown accustomed to typing! Lol. It's fine! I am here for enlightenment! :D.
Would a cochlear implant improve your hearing? Yes. But I am reluctant to get it due to my fear of surgery. I'd much rather wait to see if there is a way to do it naturally and within my budget. I am comfortable with being Deaf, so this is not a huge issue for me.
Can I ask what your fear is of surgery, exactly? The knowledge that in order to "fix" my hearing, they would have to drill two holes into my skull. Just knowing that a drill will be anywhere near my head, let alone inside it, just makes me want to pass out.
It's pretty standard. It wouldn't be bad after they knock me out, but until then I would probably be hyperventilating a lot.
Not to mention that, in the process of "fixing" your hearing, they could break your sense of taste. I have noticed my sense of taste being put off, and I'm not sure why that is. It's not bad, I just started liking meat a bit more. Nothing wrong with that!
I know if I get the surgery that I wouldn't be able to eat normally for weeks. Everything will taste like pennys. :(
If it helps you get your mind around it, you've already got holes there for your eyes nose and mouth, Two more isn't much :P. But that wasn't painful. I didn't need vicodin to go through with those holes...
Hello, I have a cochlear implant! To be honest so many areas in my life improved with the cochlear implant and it's something I'll have for the rest of my life. In comparison a 3 hour surgery, in which you won't feel any pain, is definitely worth the sacrifice. I am definitely considering it, but at this point in time I am just not in desperate need of it. Thank you for the positive words!
True enough i suppose. Maybe. I am comfortable right now with being deaf. My fear of surgery obviously sways my opinion, and I HATE going to the doctor more than twice a year. For the past 7 years I've been going twice a month. Being deaf, I don't have to give a shit. No hearing aid problems = no doctor.
Do you ever think you'l want to go through with the surgery? in 5, 10 or more years? Eventually I will be getting corrective surgery, but as of right now I will wallow in my fear of drilling holes in my skull. :)
I'm 6 weeks into my ASL class, and I'm so, so excited to see this. I'm glad you are excited! :D.
How often do you participate in your Deaf community, and how long do you think it took you to transition from deaf to Deaf? I participate as much as I can! I got to as many Deaf events that I can make time for, and hang out with the professor I TA for (ASL I) because he goes all the time. I honestly was Deaf before I was deaf, because I was so into the culture within a couple months (around March?), I went "deaf" in May.
Do you have any tips for learning ASL, and any fingewrist exercises (I find it difficult to make certain signs because I just can't hold my fingers in certain ways)? I played volleyball for 10 years, and I was the setter, so wrist exercises are simply about stretching them. Just start spelling random words you see on signs until your wrist hurts. Eventually you will gain more endurance for it! Also, a great stretch is to hold your arm straight out in front of you, palm up. Then, with your other hand, pull your fingers under your hand until you feel a stretch in your forearm. I do this one A LOT. As far as the fingers go? I still can't make my "m" and "n" right. :/ Takes time I suppose.
Do you miss being able to hear? I do miss it, but I only miss it when I have a memory attached to it. For example, I remember my mom's voice, but I can no longer hear it and it is heartbreaking sometimes. But I don't let it keep me down! :D.
I hear that deaf people are often seen as second-class citizens by the general public, since they are seen as disabled; do you feel this is true? They are definitely seen that way. Absolutely. I've had people ask me if I can drive, have kids, work, and even play sports. It is infuriating to me that some people truly believe that because I can't hear it means I would be a horrible parent. -_-
What is your view on cochlear implants and the use of hearing aids? They are useful, and should be used as a comfort. By this, I mean that if you are not comfortable with them then you shouldn't wear them. I am not comfortable wearing hearing aids anymore, so I don't wear them. No one should force you to get one, but it shouldn't be excluded as an option either. It's your decision. It doesn't make you any less "Deaf", just less "deaf".
finally, have you gotten a sign-name? I do have sign names! I have 3. My professional sign name is "J" that forms into an "A". So you would sign "J-A". (My name is Jenna.) The second one is my friend's choice: A "J", then "PENGUIN", because I have a vast collection of penguin items and wear black and white a lot. The third one is one that was given to me by a boy I dated. He drew a "J" with his pinky from the chin to the cheek. (Close to the sign for "cute". :3)
Sorry for all of these questions. I don't know very many deaf people, and I'm not sure how rude these questions would come across... I am happy to answer any and all questions! Ask more if you want! :D.
Thanks so much for your answers! I suggest going to Deaf events. In Michigan, there is an event next weekend called Deaf CAN Celebration. I am going! Link to deafcan.org
I actually have another question. I would love to get involved with the Deaf community (it's actually also required for my class), but I"m a little self conscious because I suck at ASL and because I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb when I'm attend Deaf socials. I'm trying, but I forget a lot of signs and when I get into situations where I blank. Do you have any suggestions on how to get involved even though I'm limited by my crappy signing and self-consciousness? Just explain that you are learning! Any decent person would be happy to "dumb down" the signs for you. I know I would. :)
Why did you start learning sign so late in life when you knew you were going deaf since age 10? They never told me when I would lose my hearing, or even if in the beginning. What I was told was that if I dropped orchestra and wore earplugs a lot and wore my hearing aids that my hearing shouldn't go down.
Four years later they told me I was missing a huge chunk. -_-
And to be honest, I didn't need to know sign until now. I had all my friends at my school and didn't want to transfer to MSOD because I would be even more of an outcast there. My adolescent brain just would not allow it. I regret that person.
So, to answer your question, I didn't really know when it was going to happen, and it didn't seem to go down so rapidly until it was too late. I sign fine now, and get told all the time that I look like I've been signing for years instead of months. :)
Thanks for answering my question. Sorry if I might have offended you, I know there are better ways to word that question. :p. I am not easily offended! All is good!
I once had a close friend in college that was deaf, and i even think she started losing her hearing around the same age as you. She always gave me crap about being able to play music as well as hear it. She would sit with her back against my amp whenever i played a show or just practiced at home. I'm not supposed to wear my hearing aids when I listen to/play music in an effort to preserve what I have left. I play piano, trumpet, drums, and french horn fluently. I prefer heavy metal stuff and rock. I can turn it up in my car and just let it blast the base through my vehicle.
With your hearing aids in can you still hear music fairly clearly? Or, like my friend, do you prefer to feel the music being played? Although i didn't ask which genre you preferred. I thought that was too easy a question. XP. To answer the question, I do prefer to feel it. :)
<--- former music major in college, though trumpet was my main instrument. So yes . . . you. I like you. I like you too! :D.
Have you ever had a really intense argument/conflict through ASL? Do you also mouth words when signing to supplement? Do you make annoyed or irritated sounds when signing? Just had one this morning. I was signing at a speed I didn't think possible. It was in public. My friend and I were just going at each other. We made up after I put her in her place. Ugh. /rant.
Anyways, emotion is the most crucial part of signing! I had a very... "disgruntled"... face whilst arguing in the middle of Zoup.
Just had one this morning. I was signing at a speed I didn't think possible. It was in public. My friend and I were just going at each other. We made up after I put her in her place. Ugh. /rant.
Anyways, emotion is the most crucial part of signing! I had a very... "disgruntled"... face whilst arguing in the middle of Zoup.
I probably made sounds when I slapped my hands around. I don't know if I grunted. Wasn't focused on it. I probably did. Lol
What was the argument about? Whether or not mustard should be put on bologna sandwiches.
You want to major in Communications, right? Why not a Deaf sitcom? You could have subtitles for the hearing audience. The facial expressions of Deaf actors would entertain even ignorant hearing people ... I see a potential hit! YES. YES. YES.
I'm deafinitely going to pitch this now.
Just don't do the stereotypical thing and cast Marlee Matlin. She's had her chance - there are probably hundreds of other talented Deaf actors waiting for their shot at the spotlight. You can't stop me from casting Sean Berdy. I would only allow myself to be his love interest. :3.
Are you involved with other deaf student/people? Also what do people who were born deaf think of you? I try my damned hardest, but there are not a lot of Deaf people my age were I am at in Michigan. The vast majority of my Deaf friends from this state go to Gallaudet University in Washington DC. I Skype them all the time! I also go to the Deaf events in Michigan a lot (Deaf-Con, Deaf CAN, etc.). The majority of my inner circle of friends are either somewhat fluent in ASL or are learning for me.
I've had mixed reactions. When I was first starting to sign I had a lot of Deaf people sort of go "Hey! You're deaf! Why does your ASL suck?" I haven't had too many people who believe I am not a "true Deafie", but it does happen. I don't associate with those people. Most of the people I encounter are fascinated with my story and how well I handled going deaf. They know just as well as hearing people that going deaf is a big deal and requires a lot of change, so they were supportive. :)
Thank you for an in depth answer! Absolutely! It's what I'm here for!
What made you choose a hearing university as opposed to a HoH university? I didn't lose my hearing until 5 months ago, and by then I was already done with my freshman year at my Uni. As I mentioned, I didn't start learning sign (I still have a LOT to learn, but I can keep up with a Deaf person now.) until January of this year. I felt that the best route education-wise was to simply have interpreters/CART services in class here.
I am considering transferring to Gallaudet, but my plans for my career are keeping me here.
I go to RIT, so obligatory plug for NTID. How's the assistive services at your school? Better than most. I use CART. (Live captions) The only problems I have are when the teacher is fast and asks questions. I try my best to answer them, but sometimes I get things mixed up or she has already moved on to another question. :/
Hey, were your hearing aids implants? I always wondered what the silence is like. Are there times where you appreciated it? No. My hearing aids were Dots by ReSound, and the ReSound Aleras. There isn't another hearing aid that I feel comfortable wearing. I can't swim with them. I play sports and shouldn't use them there. Half of my life I was already not wearing them. When it came time to replace them, I told my AuD I wasn't going to pay 3 grand for hearing aids that I don't want to wear.
Silence for the first time is almost maddening. You go from being able to hear every little thing, to needing to pay attention to every little thing. That little girl of the bike smiling is probably laughing. The man with the disgruntled look on his face is probably yelling at the manager. When I type out this answer the keys make little *clicks. Every person has a voice that I can no longer hear.
You have a beautiful mindset. People could learn alot from the way you view life. We take too many things for granted. One more question, you mention that you go to a deaf university. Is that just a uni that provides services to the deaf, blind, and mute? I mentioned that I go to a hearing university, but I have been to Gallaudet (may even transfer there!). Basically it is simply a campus that is filled with sign language! It is just like any other college. There are parties. There are the nerds. There are the engineering students that look a little off. They just move their hands instead of talk. :)
That actually sounds like a cool experience. I always found it amazing how we evolved to language and than sign language when we had too. It's beautiful that we created these words and signs that express how we can individually feel, yet relate to others. ASL is a beautiful language that is so reliant on emotions. When I become fluent, I will be so happy. :)
I've always want to make it with a Deaf Girl, how do I go about doing this? Start by learning how to sign the phrase "YOU ME BED NOW". Then fireman carry her to the bedroom. Make her sit there and ask for it to increase dominance.
But in all seriousness, it is the same way you get a hearing girl to sleep with you. You treat her nice and look attractive. Sorry! :/
Well my family from my mother side are all deaf but in different rate's its hereditary i think...is it the same for you?? does it effect you ?? plus most of them (cousins) are afraid of the implant. I am the only person in my family's history to ever need a hearing aid, let alone go deaf. My hearing is a result of a genetic "code" and has a chance at being passed on. The combination was always there in my family, it just never happened. Oh well.
My family has started to either learn sign or stop talking to me (outside of Facebook). I've really begun to learn who my true friends are through the process.
It is their decision if they don't want the implant! My opinion on it is that you need to do what is best for you. If you are not happy with HAs or CIs, then don't pay 5 grand to get them!
Does your university provide ASL translators for classes? Is it always the same one, and (if so) have you become friends with hehim? Yes! I use ASL interpreters and CART services. They go through a service in the county that provides them at a reduced cost for students. They do amazing work.
My CART (live captions) lady is named Lisa. She is super nice and attends all of my classes that aren't ASL related. (I am taking ASL III, and TA for two ASL I classes.) She records what everyone says the entire class, then sends it to me. :)
My interpreter is John. He is a huge flamer and a great person. He's actually only around 20, so we hang out some times. He only interprets for me when I go to events on campus like plays or public speeches and presentations.
I intend on baking them both cakes at the end of the year, to thank them. :)
Have your other senses improved/heightened since you lost your hearing? Yes! I am super sensitive as far as touch/sensual stuff. I can't wear lace. I have to have a soft bed or I can sleep. (High thread count.) I also noticed I am more prone to headaches and loss of balance. :/
The sensual is a plus though, if ya know what i mean! ;)
Why can't you wear lace? Does it itch? Unbearably so. It itches as if I was bitten by 1000 mosquitos. :(
HOW YOU DOIN? WHAT?!?!!?
He knew what you meant. I'm aware.
I participated in an activity where you are put in a 'house' with absolutely no light, making you effectively blind. I was surprised at the grace with which one could move(obviously most especially the people who are actually blind who were there!) once accustomed to the fact that you can't see anything, but also with the relative calm compared to being able to see(only being able to focus on a few things at a time, instead of all the crazy visuals we have to deal with normally). Honestly, I felt slightly jealous in a way. So, odd question, but do you find that anything has changed in this way(a positive way) for you since losing your hearing? I have done this exercise! It was so freaky. 0_0.
My life has changed. My personality has changed. I find that my patience toward people has increased, because they need patience to work with me. I feel more confident in what I say now that I have to actually think about it (I can't hear myself speak.).
Oddly enough, losing my hearing is deafinitely the best thing to ever happen to me. I wouldn't be where I am today if I didn't, and I have no idea how my life would have turned out. A psychic once told me I would have been a massive bitch, so I'm gonna say I like this route better. ;_;
Hey I'm in high school and taking ASL! Do you have any tips? Thanks for doing this! PRACTICE.
Don't be the student that whines because she can't practice their ASL. Go to a Deaf Coffee or something and start chatting with the first nice person you see throw a sign, and explain that you are learning and would like to introduce yourself. I've had it happen numerous times to me, and I always feel special that more and more people want to learn sign! Just keep at it!
Also, a GREAT way to learn vocabulary is to learn how to sign songs! I know probably half my vocabulary from learning how to sign songs. I can do Hero by Enrique Iglesias, Call Me Maybe, Imagine by John Lennon, Your Song by Elton John, and We are the World. :)
Check out CaptainValor on youtube. YES.
Okay so let me start by saying I'm genuinely curious as to WHY you are learning ASL? What I mean is, you have such recent hearing loss... you already have speech and can write/type gramatically and all that. So in terms of communication (where finding other ASL users might be limited) you could prob get by with speaking and writing etc. Is it more of being Deaf in terms of being part of the community or as part of your identity? It is more in terms of being Deaf, I have to admit. I love the Deaf community, and feel at home with other Deaf people. It is the same reason bikers hang out with each other, or Tigers' fans, or the people at the Gamer's Guild. You share a part of your personality with those people.
In order to socialize with the Deaf community you usually need to learn sign. So, I did. :)
Have you ever played katawa shoujo? If so, did your condition affect how you felt about Shizune? If not, I really couldn't recommend it enough, it's text and picture based, so I'd assume it's right up your alley. I have never "heard" of this. I will look into it!
My questions: How did you deal with stuff when you realised you had a problem? Did it get worse over time slowly or did it go quite quick? Do your non-deaf friends use sign language with you, or do you hang out with some who can interpret or anything? My non-deaf friends (most of them) are starting to learn sign! I don't need an interpreter. That just makes it awkward. :/
Thanks for the reply and thanks for the offer. It does suck, cause apparently my hearing is getting worse over time. I would love to learn sign language myself, where did you learn, online or actual classes? Actual! I'm a COM major and ASL classes fit into my major! Getting credit for my degree AND learning a second language! ;)
Since you've became 100% deaf what is watching your favorite movies like? I mean the ones that you know all the words to? I'm 95% deaf, but 100% Deaf! :D I can still hear airplanes that are right next to me. And gun shots.
They are even better now, because the subtitles allow me to catch everything! :D I never misquote movies. EVER.
WHY IS THAT HAPPENING!? They are super dry and started chaffing. I'm going to the doctor about it on Tuesday.
AND I'M DEAF NOT BLIND THIS JOKE GETS OLD QUICKLY.
No No No the capital letters was because of the shock about bleeding nipples and not about you being deaf. Sorry if you took it otherwise. Oh. Lol. My bad.
I'm just gonna slip out of here...
Does everyone in Michigan hate Ohio? Yes. It is the only thing the Spart-shits and Wolverines agree upon: how much we fucking hate the Buckeyes. It's a fun rivalry!
Not true. Most Spartans don't mind the Buckeyes; whole enemy of enemy thing. We hate you both. :)
Cedar Point is really the only good thing about Ohio. So there is no blame there. Amen.
It would, but she wouldn't hear the same types of sounds. I'm losing my hearing, and could have the option of a cochlear. I'd rather hear nothing than distortions of the sounds I grew up with. Someone understands.
Have you started learning lip reading, and if so, how difficult is it to pick up? Yes! As my hearing degenerated I started "learning" how to read more and more. If I know you well enough, it is pretty easy because I can almost hear what you are going to say.
Strangers are hard. Also, people of different ethnicities have different lips. Bigger lips and lips that have facial hair are harder to read.
I can't imagine how hard reading the lips of someone with a 5+ year old beard would be. Oh god. My grandfather... AND he mumbles!
I've just grown accustomed to smile while reading his Italian face.
This is personal, and I know you said you don't really care about that kind of thing but I still feel kind of guilty asking. Losing your hearing so late in life, do you still speak normally, or more like someone who has been deaf since birth? I do speak normally. Sometimes my volume is wrong (soft when I want to be loud, and vice-versa), but my voice is the same as it was a year ago. I only use the Deaf accent when I go through drive-throughs so they understand why I pulled up to the window and not the intercom to place my order. :)
Would you consider dating a hearing person that could not sign (assuming you can lip-read and speak)? If so, what would be your concerns? If not, why not? I have never dated a Deaf person. Not that I wouldn't, I just haven't met someone who is my age and Deaf and in my area. :/
I am seeing someone now who can't sign. He know the alphabet, and he's trying, but I just don't want to drill him to death with sign. I feel slightly guilty that I am almost forcing him to sign. :(
I'm not usually concerned with anything other than communication. I feel like an airhead when I don't understand what people say. (I am not, for the record. I happen to be intelligent...)
It would be interesting to date someone who knows sign, but that is an experience for another time.
Ahaha, gaming the system, I like it! _^
Sorry if this has already been asked, but do you talk like a hearing person, and if you do, are people surprised that you are deaf when you tell them? I do talk like a hearing person. Yes, they are always surprised. "OH! You're deaf? Can you hear me?!"
Also, have you ever watched Switched at Birth on ABC Family? If so, do you think it portrays the lives of deaf people accurately? I've always been curious to see what deaf people think about that show. I LOVE Switched at Birth! I feel that it portrays it with impeccable accuracy. Everything that Daphne and Emmett went through was pretty much spot on, especially when it came to relationships. It does put strain on them, but it is not impossible. :)
Last updated: 2013-09-25 14:03 UTC
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2012.11.17 21:06 tabledresser [Table] IAMA deaf person who signs ASL. Also the only deaf person in the entire family tree, AMA

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Date: 2012-11-17
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Questions Answers
When you go on chat sites and people go "asl?" do you get a kick out of saying "yes!" Kind of lol. I always get cheerful responses when people find out I'm deaf online
Do you pass gas in public? Can you feel when your farts are noisy or silent? I keep it in check until no one is around. I can tell if its noisy or not. I can feel you know.
How many other people in your family have learned ASL? Do you/did you go to a regular school or one specifically for deaf kids? My parents and sister mainly, more of sign exact English SEE. Dad was terrible at it, my mom is the main translator of the family for me. My sister and I don't hang out a lot nowadays.
My sister and I don't hang out a lot nowadays. :( Always been like that since we were babies. Oh well.
My ASL teacher last semester told us that hearing females are more prone to learn ASL than hearing males, for whatever reason. Have you noticed this is accurate in your experiences? It's accurate, women are more into language and art stuff like that. Many of them like learning ASL so that's cool. Out of hundreds of interpreters I had in school, only up to maybe 10 guys were interpreters.
It may be very expensive have you ever tried cochlear implants? Check out my comment above.
Are your dreams silent? Silent sure. I have a lot of action in my dreams. Maybe a little of signing but that's it.
I remember answering your question on my iphone but it doesn't show up on my laptop. I guess my dreams are silent but full of action. I see people die or been involved in a car crash or being rained on with bullets from bad guys. Practically no talking in dreams afaik.
How do you feel about cochlear implants? I got one senior year in high school. I like it a lot but neglected it for other things in life but now I'm starting the process to get a new one and start anew.
Do you consider yourself culturally Deaf? Slowly I am. Being in mainstream school all my life I realized that I pined for being part of the deaf community and I found that at CSUN in Los Angeles. Life got in the way now I'm looking to get that back at RIT in New York. 1000 deaf students not to mention several hundred to-be-interpreters. Can't wait to jump in this fall.
Are the different national sign languages in use in the world sufficiently close to be mutually somewhat intelligible, or are they as different as spoken languages? I.e., would British or French sign language make any sense to you, or not any more than written French, or even Chinese (assuming you don't know these languages...)? They are different as in spoke languages. BSL is entirely different from ASL and so on. There could be some languages that are similar to BSL since that's more universal in Europe and Australia. I could be wrong though.
How does ASL relate to written English? E.g., would it make sense to consider written English to be equally a written form of ASL as of spoken English, or are they clearly different languages? Does the syntax (e.g., word order) match more or less? ASL and written english are two different structures but the same idea. ASL is basically the summary of the written sentence or paragraph. Also written backwards and jumbled around.
Does being deaf bother you, or on the contrary help you, when it comes to using and understanding written English? (After all, English spelling is pretty desperately different from what is pronounced.) For example, what do you think of puns? It doesn't bother me. I was fortunate to read and write a lot in elementary school so that resonated with me through high school. I understand puns pretty well. I watch movies, read, and uses Reddit :)
If he is deaf from birth, then how would he know what silent is? Born hearing but lost it with spinal meningitis at 6 months.
So I guess you don't really know what silent is. I do know what silence is and embraces it. No one remembers when they were a year or less of age, neither did I and remembering sounds I heard then.
What's one really difficult thing in your life that most people would take for granted? Not hearing, obviously, but what little tasks are much harder for you? Hmm that's a good question. Simply talking at the table or making conversation with someone who doesn't sign at all. It's always awkward and they almost always look for a way out :(
When you were growing up how supportive was your family? Did you go to deaf school or did they try and make you learn speech? If you don't have a cochlear implant or any ability to hear, would you be scared or excited to experience hearing? I have a cochlear implant. Life got in the way and I didn't really make use of it for a couple years, but now I'm working on getting a new device and starting anew. I got mine at 17 years old and it was my own decision. There was no influence from my family or anything like that. I support getting it when you are old enough to make that decision. To each their own, though. My family were very supportive. My parents took asl classes when they found out I became deaf. I went to a deaf school in kindergarten but then my dad got a job in another town so the family relocated. I went to mainstream school until high school graduation.
Do you know any jokes which are only funny or only make sense when told in sign? Not really. Jokes I know are told in plain English
Have people told you that you do certain things really loud? I.e. taking shits? I chew loud. I try to be quiet as possible walking and closing cabinets, stuff like that. I'm a pro compared to my deaf friends who trample over everything with no thought. (cringe).
Have you been in situations were you wished you could hear for just a few minutes because communication was terribly frustrating? My elementary and high school were equipped with a deaf section with a deaf teacher and deaf peers who needed more help with subjects like english. I never needed to go to those classes and I went through the same classes as everybody else.
How was it for you as a child being deaf? My mom is the translator of the family and she was put to use of that job millions of times when I was growing up. I need to thank her more for that.
Is the concept of sound something that can just completely not exist for people? Surely when you contemplate an idea, there must be some kind of internal process that resembles what a normal person would be doing with audio. I hope calling you "non-normal" didn't sound offensive.. oh wait.. :X. Majority of deaf people can hear when truly yelled at in close proximity (an inch or so) plus many of them can hear a bit out of one ear. My best friend is deaf and comes from a deaf family, he can hear a bit and accepts it. He wore hearing aids once but never needed it. I have always wondered how it worked and gets jealous once in a while :)
Did your family learn ASL too, or did you learn to read lips? Or both? They learned ASL and I took some oral speech classes growing up. I can lip read a bit. I'm used to talking verbally with my mom but signs with my sister. I'm shy when I talk out loud in public so I never uses it.
Hello! I studied asl for the past 3 years! Somehow that makes me qualified to comment... Anyhow! How do you think? I have asked a few deaf people and they say they feel the signs or they just see the word. I can't really tell you but I feel the signs, if that makes sense. It's mostly expressions and silent actions doing stuff in my dreams.
You seem to type really well. A lot of Deaf people I know tend to have a bit of "broken English" when they type or text. It's like they will text in ASL. What do you attribute that to? I attribute that to reading and writing in school. My mom made me read a lot and I loved it. After 5 or so years of age, kids either understand the written English language or they struggle. If they go to deaf schools, that magnifies the "broken English" because all they talk with is ASL and that's nowhere close to English. At the same time, it's up to the parents and teachers to help the kid out with the proper writing tools. My closest friends are somewhat bad with English but they sign better than me :)
I'm an interpreting student. That's awesome that you can identify with SEE. Do you ever deviate from that signing system? I mean, if someone were to approach you and they were strong ASL, would you have difficulty understanding them? Were you born Deaf? I sign asl but I still stutter with some SEE, especially around family and deaf people who signs SEE. I grew up with it so I can't really abolish it entirely. I was born hearing but got spinal meningitis at 6 months so I became deaf.
Hi, I'm the child of two deaf parents, and I have a couple questions. 2: Where I come from, when deaf people meet up, they spend hours talking, and my parents say it is because they rarely speak to eachother. Thoughts/Explanation/Other Reasons? 4: My parents are addicted to the internet, because it allows them to chat with other deaf community members. Is your deaf community similar? I am deaf. I know I should say I'm Deaf with a capital d but I'm slowly trying to find myself in the deaf community and being more involved.
1: What type of deaf are you? I've seen deaf people describe themselves as deaf, as well as hard-of-hearing and everything in between. 3: Are you an advocate for everyone learning ASL? I personally am, but then we don't get to sign about annoying walmart employees or just plain idiots. Several reasons, of course but mainly I think it comes from being involved in the stories between the deaf people then time is put on the side. We call it Deaf standard time :)
I advocate everybody to sign whether it be ASL or bsl, or whatever. it's a beautiful method to communicate.
My deaf community is huge on social events and VRS. Plenty of interaction going on and it's growing everyday.
What is your favorite sign? Mine is "I don't know." It's so simple and can be done while holding something in one hand. My favorite sign has to be "my god" with an exasperated expression.
Have you ever considered getting cochlear implants? Why or why not? I have a cochlear implant. I wanted to hear people, the surrounding, and media like movies and music.
Do you have a name sign? If so, what is it? I think those are pretty cool. My name sign is the letter M and put it up to the right eyebrow like a salute.
Serious questions here. Do you ever actually feel truly handicapped in a hearing society? I feel truly handicapped at times but I remind myself that I'm a unique person with a special culture that i love and I wouldn't trade it up for anything else.
What are some things people who aren't deaf should know when working/socializing/interacting with you? Are there any assumptions/actions/beliefs that the non-deaf have that you feel should be cleared up? Don't yell. Look in our eyes when you talk. Tap us on the shoulders if you want to say something. We can drive. We can have sex and eat food by ourselves.
Do you 'listen' to music? Example, feel the vibrations and interpret them. If so, any favorite types of genres or preferance over one genre's vibrations compared to another? Not really. I feel the vibrations and all but I don't have a preference. They're all the same to me :)
I spent a fair bit of time learning some ASL which I was pleased with, but was a bit gutted to learn that there was also BSL (I'm British) and that the two are completely different. I'd ignorantly assumed there was just 'English Sign Language'. Do people who know ASL also often know BSL, or is there generally a commitment to one? I can't say but it's not in the majority, that's for sure. BSL and ASL are two very different sign languages in terms of letters and signs. I can't understand anything in BSL except a few letters from when a friend showed me.
Maybe this is a bit of an odd question, so apologies in advance. When thinking about learning sign language, I realised (though it must be obvious to anyone who actually does it), that the signs that you are doing have to be the flipped version of what you would read from another person signing (so you'd have to look at yourself in a mirror to see that you were doing a sign correctly for other people to see), as though, for example, someone who didn't know touch typing used a keyboard with the pictures of the letters all flipped round. Is this something that causes difficulties for people learning sign language? For deaf people, we are used to it but ASL students like jaxpica mentioned, it can be problematic. Fingerspelling are often the first of the problems to pop up.
What is your inner monologue like? Non-deaf here and I've always questioned this. I hear a voice. What are your thoughts? I use words in my head. I imagin you use pictures? Excuse any grammatical errors, due to I'm commenting from my phone. I move my mouth along with words I think of. Basically under my breath if that makes sense. Pictures sure, but it's hard to explain, actually. I can say its all mix for me.
I am learning BSL (British Sign Language) at the moment. How amusing is it for you to be signed at by someone who clearly has little idea what they're doing? And what are the most entertaining mistakes to make? I almost always could tell they're new at it so I just smile and nod and make small talk with them. They always go off smiling and that's a cool feeling.
The common mistakes are fingerspelling letters and numbers, they always mix them up and it's hilarious trying to mold their fingers into the right form. Then they get the "aha" moment.
How do you read? I mean, can you say the words in your head? Because if you can't hear, how would that work? Also, does it ever seem like people are gossiping around you since you can't hear them? I mouth out the words a bit under my breath but I just read the words normally, if that makes sense. I grew up doing some oral speech classes.
I normally catch people staring at me when I sign or whatever. I shrug it off or stare back and add to the creep factor :)
Have you seen the show switched at birth? What do you think? That show irks me to no end with the drama factor. As for the deaf factor, I'm sort of okay with it. The signing is too stiff in it compared to real life and I always cringe at it. I bet it's the same verbally in shows/movies and real life for hearing people. Fill me in?
I once talked with a deaf guy that knows ASL and i showed him the common Italian Sign Language (LIS) used here. He told me it has too much arm flailing compared to the american one. Is it true? Also the various Sign languages changes a lot between countries or they have lots of common "words"? I can't tell you, I don't have experience with other sign languages. But I can say that arm flailing and stuff like that are partly accents that deaf people sign with according to their personalities and whatnot. Hope that make sense.
How difficult do you think it is for an adult to learn ASL? Where would I even start? Community college courses. Look around on google, there's a website that is all alphabets and signs for general words. It can be difficult but easier if you're passionate about it and willing to put in the time.
Hi! I'm a hearing person who knows ASL! I took two years in high school and two semesters in college. Admittedly, I'm a little bit rusty and therefore pretty shy when it comes to my signing, but I work in retail and we occasionally have a deaf person who comes in. I like to do my best to sign hello, ask them how they are, and their total for them, but sometimes I mess up. I was just wondering if most deaf people like the attempt or if they'd rather I just stand there and silently let them go about their transaction? Most of deaf people like the fact that there are workers who can sign a bit because that relieves the awkward transaction of asking for pen and paper and writing down the order. Also that they are more patient with the customers and that's always nice.
How do you think hearing people can better communicate with the deaf community? I know you've got stuff you want to say, but I only know the basics of ASL, if that. How can we learn to talk to each other better? Be invoked at deaf school, deaf social events. Take some classes and jump in. Once you understand more of the deaf culture, then it'll fall in place for you to see what you want to do.
Do you have an interpreter? Just at school. I don't have one following me everywhere like Marlee Matlin if that's what you're thinking. :)
When you read something, how do you, for lack of a better word, say it in your head? What I mean by that is that most people say out the words using the voice inside their head, but I was just curious as to what it's like for you. I kind of pronounces it with my mouth. I can speak a bit so it's seamless for me.
If a person who was deaf gets cochlear implants, is it hard for them to start speaking/learn english? Depends on the person. It either comes naturally to them or they need to work hard on it through classes. Later in life, it's harder to absorb information.
I'm actually quite interested in this. Just learned that deaf people do not always or usually have good grammar or know how to read/write English. How come you can read and write, but many other deaf people can't? Starts at an early age. I read a lot and that contributed to my level of reading and writing. Had 12th grade reading level in 6th grade.
What age did you learn asl? Before you learned asl, were your thoughts in English? I started to sign more ASL into high school after interacting with more deaf students, especially one guy from a deaf institute who signs complete ASL. Took me a while to adjust understanding it. My thoughts are in English, yeah. Just like you guys! :)
With medical technology improvements there is a chance you could have normal hearing in a few years, are you excited at the prospect of being able to hear again? would you undergo the treatment assuming it isn't ridiculously expensive or dangerous? Is that a hypothetical question? I'd be excited, that's for sure. I'd give anything to hear music, media, family sounds in its entirely for once in my life. That's why I got my cochlear in the first place.
I took a couple classes of ASL in high school, and I was pretty good. But any time I meet a Deaf person at work or elsewhere I freeze up and forget to sign. Any words of wisdom about signing with deaf people? Like do you care if my signing turns into PSE (Pidgin-Signed-English)? Doesn't matter as long you can spell your name and sign some simple phrases like "how are you". :) practice and involvement in social events will help you get over your jitters.
Would you be able to understand someone who was signing in a different language? Like spanish sign language, or chinese sign language? Not really. I tried watching a youtube video of BSL and it went over my head. Gestures are where it's at, universal signs of "drink", "eat", etc always work :)
This one is pretty vague, but what do you make of capital-d Deaf culture? Do you feel a sense of kinship with others who are deaf? Not really at the moment. I'm slowly finding who I am in the deaf community and my role in it. By then, maybe I'll identify with the D crowd, so to speak.
Any advice for an aspiring interpreter? Be passionate!! It will resonate with your peers and you will be fine ;)
You know the concept of "inner voice" or "self-talk?" The idea that 90% of the time we are talking to ourselves...having an inner monologue/dialogue...do you have something similar? I'm the same as you. I'm more oral understanding than some so I don't see how my monologue is different than yours or someone else.
I just saw an interesting talk yesterday involving some research into the interpretation of music by individuals with total or partial hearing loss. Many of them enjoy the rhythmic vibrations of music, even if they cannot hear the notes. Do you find the vibrations of music to be enjoyable? Music is not my thing although I know many pop culture names and such like the back of my hand.
Do you ever have auditory hallucinations? I get ghost sounds and its strange psyching myself out sometimes after experiencing them.
Does this happen often? I guess being effectively deaf your whole life it must be quite jarring to get "sounds". How would you describe the sounds? Hard to explain, but it's like vibrations with a high pitch. I know it's not something from the outside so it's probably sound itself.
That's pretty cool. It might be interesting to give a sensory deprivation chamber a go some time. Actually this gives me another (probably stupid) question; do you think you might be more scared of losing your vision than somebody who isn't deaf? That's actually one of my top fears. I cannot imagine losing my sight because all I will have is feel basically. People who are deaf and blind are just amazing with what they have to go through and I almost always hear about people being happy and dealing with it peacefully.
I have a deaf cousin, the only one in the family. He got married to a woman who was also deaf. I feel so bad for them both cause they will never hear their own child's voices. So we are teaching them asl and spoken word at the same time. Almost everyone knows how to sign in my family, it is really cool when I could use that to help when I was a server. But some of my family refuses to learn it, instead they just write stuff down they would want them to know. So does your whole family know asl, or do you have some holdouts like I do? I have some holdouts like my grandparents but they can sign "food" and "bathroom." My aunt and uncle never took classes until my aunt did a few years old and she still signs very little.
No one refuses to sign or write stuff to talk to me though. I have a very understanding family.
As a hearing person who knows some sign (my vocab is pretty strong, my asl sucks, and my receptive skills are sketchy), I would love to make some deaf friends. New friends are always great and being able to practice would be nice. How would you recommend I find deaf people in my area? Google deaf social events. You almost always can find one brewing in your town. If not, almost always in a bigger city nearby. There's always ASL classes and that's easy to make friends at.
When I'm reading an ASL Learning book, am I supposed to mirror the signs; or am I supposed to use the actual hands they use (i.e. their actual right hand is my right hand, and their left is my left)? Just use what feels natural to you. Use your dominant hand, you can see what their dominant hand is doing in those pictures. Try it out, experiment, you will find out soon enough.
Do you enjoy music? It may seem like an odd question, but I only ask because my friends father loves music. He likes to hold a balloon and feel the vibrations. He seems to be the minority as most deaf people I know don't care at all about music. I don't care that much about music nowadays but I know many popular musicians' names and etc. Weird, I know.
Were you born deaf? I was born deaf in my left ear caused by nerve damage, I'm so glad I have good hearing in my right ear. I was born with full hearing capabilities but got spinal meningitis at 6 months so I became deaf then.
What do you think when you see people dancing to music, or making those goofy musician faces? I chuckle and like watching them.
Do you hear "ghost" sounds, like how some amputees have "ghost" limbs? I do, actually. Creeps me out :)
Do you consider yourself a member of the Deaf culture or do you just feel as if you are deaf? I identify myself as a deaf person in a hearing culture. I grew up that way in mainstream school and my family being all hearing. My only friend in school was deaf and he's my best friend to this day. I got exposed to deaf culture more and more as I grew up and loves it. I plan to be more involved through college and beyond.
I have four people who are deaf in my family, but they were all born in hearing families, and many of my relatives refused to learn sign language for them, including some of their children. Have you had a problem of people expecting you to learn to lip-read or speak instead of learning to sign? Not really. I accepted the fact that everybody in my family doesn't sign besides my parents and sister. It wasn't that big of a problem for me growing up. My mom interpreted for me all the time.
The downside is that I barely have conversations with them and just get the summary from my mom later on.
If you're still up for this, I'd have questions I would like to ask, but I got here 23 hours late. What's up? Glad to answer any questions you got!
My parents and sister mainly, more of sign exact English SEE. Dad was terrible at it, my mom is the main translator of the family for me. My sister and I don't hang out a lot nowadays. I went to a school for the deaf for kindergarten and thn my dad had to move to a different town for a new job so the family moved. Went from first grade to graduating high school in regular schools with a deaf program with a teacher who teaches deaf students and etc.
I more meant, do you have a dog. :p. Yep. Long hair dutch shepherd. Just a regular pet that my girlfriend wanted.
Be invoked at deaf school, deaf social events. Take some classes and jump in. Once you understand more of the deaf culture, then it'll fall in place for you to see what you want to do. Involved. Sorry, typing from my phone.
You're not a "deaf person who signs ASL". You're Deaf who uses American Sign Language. Be proud of who you are! I'm also Deaf with a hearing family. This is not a hearing loss, this is a deaf gain! Thank you for the correction, fellow Deaf friend. I was up at 4 am writing the post and didn't think it'd gather this much attention! You should do an AMA.
HELLO? HELLO! Hello!
Last updated: 2012-11-21 14:21 UTC
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2012.03.28 02:49 tabledresser [Table] IAmA 18 years old Deaf Male, Raised in a entirely hearing family, AMA

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Date: 2012-03-27
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Questions Answers
If someone is yawning, what is going through your mind?? Do you think they are screaming?? Usually, I'm thinking they are Yawning as I can hear to an extent, I can look at their body behavior to social situations, If they were screaming, everyone would be looking at that specific person, if they were Yawning.. no one would notice, Simple as that.
What types of discrimination have you noticed in your lifetime? examples? So many types, Some could be just plain ignoring me as I am trying to say something. Like for example in classes, I am Mainstream [In Hearing classes with interpreters] If I know the answers to an question, I raise my hands, they ignore me and proceed to ask for any one else as I am the only one in the air. This has gotten most of my friends and my Interpreter upset. But Shit happens, can't avoid it.
You'd think that a teacher, who's job it is to educate people, would be the least likely to discriminate. That's messed up. I know. Most teachers are biased.
My friend has a hearing impairment and this makes me so frustrated that people can be so ignorant and not try to see beyond her situation that she is just a regular person with a disability who feels the exact same as everyone else. I know what you mean, and the term isn't Hearing Impaired, generally most Deaf hate that word, best word to use is deaf or hard of hearing. But yeah, Most people can be idiots.
Could you have gotten cochlear implants? What do you think is the biggest disadvantage of deafness? Any advantages? No, Never wanted it. Never had it. The biggest disadvantage is being able to talk to my family in family reunions as they don't know how to communicate with me and I'm constantly left out of the conversation since it goes by rapidly and I'm unable to catch anything important. The advantage is, I'm able to experience a rich culture outside my family and I can ignore them anytime if they piss me off, Just gotta close my eyes, Haha.
I just imagine that closing your eyes would be like slamming your bedroom door in a typical family. It made me laugh. Haha, basically. Most young kids do it, even the older ones as well, it's the Deaf version of talk to the hand.
You say you have some slight hearing in your right ear I think? Then what's music like, can you hear or feel it? Do you feel left out or confused when people just start jumping around for apparently no reason? Thanks for doing this! I've always had this question :P. I feel music mostly, but when the singer sings... In rare cases, such as Pink Floyd.. I can hear the singer sing as the music is not drowning out the voice. when people start jumping around, I normally can feel the beats as it occurs so I don't really feel left out.
How about dubstep? Can you feel the WUBWUBWUBWUB better? Never listened to it.
If I ever have a chance to ask someone who completely has no hearing (and never did) a question, I'm going to ask them to describe to me what hearing is according to their understanding of it. Go for it! Every Deaf person has a different perspective of sound.
Ahh k, then I have another one, are you less likely than others to scream/shout when startled? How about when you're angry? I don't normally scream or shout when Startled, I flinch. and when I get angry, I usually bottle it up and basically visualize scenarios when I'm beating the crap out of them.
Do you play video games? If so, does it restrict the games that you can play? Of course I play games, It normally does not restrict what I play. Normally I have one gripe of games when they implement captions, It's the white subtitles when there is a white background, and the captions are so small you can barely see them.
So basically Dead Rising 1? Haha yes.
What caused your deafness? Are you completely deaf or have some residual hearing? Like another redditor asked, were CochleaBAHA implants ever an option? What is your speech like? I have many more! My mother had HBP [High Blood Pressure] While she was carrying me, That slowly ate away on my ear hair cells, If you look at it now, It'll look like an Gardner did a horrible job mowing the grass. I have some residual hearing in my left ear, but my right is completely gone. I use Hearing aids instead of CI and Baha, I have constantly rejected the offers, as I do not want to undergo an procedure that may not help me at all.
Are you living in the US? What brand of hearing aid are you wearing? You said that your right ear is completely gone? Are you wearing a hearing aid on that said or using the CROS/BiCros system? Yes, the US. I wear PHONAK bilateral system, I use hearing aids on both ears. The right one is weak if I use hearing aids on it, but I still use it for situations that require conversations as it helps me pick up some.
Have your parents or family ever walked in on you masturbating because you couldn't hear them? No, luckily I've never been caught so far, which is kind of scary.
So... what language do you think in? Mostly English, Some ASL, usually when I'm thinking up stories.
Did your family teach you sign language? Or did you learn to read lips? Both, They taught me sign language at an early age, I think 2 years old, but now they stop signing to me and make me read their lips, as I am already used to their speech patterns.
Why would your family stop signing to you? Seems a bit mean. I had gotten to the point when I wanted to have total control over my speech with my parents, as I started speaking to them more, the less they signed and more they spoke back. They still sign sometimes, only when I don't understand them or what another person is saying.
Are you still in high school? Do you plan on getting a higher education? If so, what are you interested in? What are you looking forward to the most in the next ~10 years that you think might help with your deafness? Hobbies/passions? Yes, I am in High School, Just turned 18 on my last year. I am currently a Senior, and I am currently interested in getting College Education. But for what specifically, I have no idea, I am undecided until I find what matches me well. I am looking forward to having more people have awareness of the Deaf Culture and they are not an problem that needs to be fixed. I love to play games and socialize with Deaf people. I love to read books. Any time :)
Edit: Don't want to sound to negative - sry. Also: I really like this AMA, very interesting. Thank you! And you didn't offend anyone. It's fine.
Where are you thinking of going to college? Also, maybe I missed it in your answers, but I saw you are in a mainstreamed school with interpreters. Are there other Deaf kids in your school as well? Community College. And yes. But mostly are Oral Deaf Kids. Meaning kids taught to rely on speech.. Not interpreter.
I have taken ASL for 3 years now and i am dating a deaf guy. My signing isnt perfect, but its gotten to the point where i can have a conversation at a decent speed without a lot of fingerspelling. From being out with him in public, I see the difference in how he is treated by stores and people in general. Often people try to yell at him, hoping he'll understand better. I dont normally get involved unless it's an emergency situation because i know he doesnt like that. i'm his girlfriend first and foremost, not his aide/interpreter. My questions What do you think of hearing people learning basic ASL? Have you ever dated a hearing person? If so, what were your experiences? pros, cons? How do you best deal with public places? Stores, restaurants, etc,? My boyfriend became deaf at the age of 9, so he can talk to people, and is an excellent lip reader, but how do you communicate? Sorry if this is really long :) That's great that you learn ASL.
I honestly believe that any Hearing person dating a Deaf person should take their time to learn the Deaf culture and how they behave.. Because we as Deaf people have never really had a chance to be immersed in the Hearing world as the world is based on sound rather than visual, and they generally reject us, so we reject them.
HOWEVER, this is not always the case, we Welcome hearing people into our small group to teach them, and it is great you are learning ASL. For an Hearing person dating a Deaf person to learn ASL makes it hugely easier on both parties as it makes the Deaf person feel closer to their partner.
And yes, I have dated quite a few hearing girls. More than Deaf (2 in total Deaf girls dated compared to 8 or 9 Hearing) they generally want to learn sign so they can help me understand, but usually it detracts to the point when its all dirty signs. It's quite hard to keep up because for me, they slowly reach the point where they think it's "Oh poor Fuzzy.. He needs help." it's true I need help in SOME situations, but most of the time I can handle it.
And sorry for calling you brother in another post lol, I didn't notice it until just now.
Also, do you seem to have a greater sense of smell or other enhanced senses that you know of? Yes, This specific sense for me is my smell, my parents tend to use me for odor smelling, If they have been cleaning the house, they tend to ask me if the house smells good or not. But yeah, I do have a greater sense, but not as refined as some people say it is.
Do you find enjoyment by touching speakers, putting speakers under your bed, etc. to feel them? How about vibrators? Can you feel the rythmn in them? I have a vibrator hooked up to a speaker output and it shakes pretty cool. You should try it. It might be enjoyable for you to feel the groove. Yes, I do. But I admit the first time I read this, I thought you were talking about, DAT VIBRATOR. Haha, but Don't use one.. Parents took away speakers from me.. I always had it on max.. Pissed them off, haha.
Do you ever use deafness to your advantage? Depends on how you view it, When I was a little kid, I would use it to grab free signed baseballs from the stars, but now Looking back, it was mostly Juvenile, but other than that.. I use my deafness to take advantage of an situation that involves me and another person arguing. If it's going down a road I don't want it to go.. I pull the card and just shut my eyes and block myself from that.
Well then I have ANOTHER question :D Does anyone ever talk AND sign to you at the same time? I don't know if you care about that either, but I always assumed that would be a little distracting. Yes, they do. Sometimes it's out of accident or habit. But really, doesn't bother me.
Hey there, I'm a college student getting my bachelor's degree in ASL Interpreting. I've heard a lot of funny stories about how deaf individuals play pranks on their interpreters because of the fact they have to voice everything. Have you ever played a prank like this on any 'terp you've had? Haha, YES, I have. I tend to throw out a crapload of random jokes at my 'terps, they have to be "professional" Meaning.. No laughing and stuff like that. Just straight up rod in ass. So -challenge accepted- The days at school are usually light. Computer classes and study hall, So I just fling random jokes to catch him off balance and make him laugh, happened in class 3 or 4 times. But pranks.. Not much.
How's the love life? Does it get in the way of relationships? Its pretty average, bad break ups and stuff, pretty normal. And the Deafness doesn't block them. It interests them.
Has anyone you were in a relationship every learned to sign for you? Well, I could read their lips (If you know what I mean) and they would try to speak as loud and clear for me to understand, most tried to learn basic signs from me to help me understand what they are saying.
No, not everyone.
So you can read lips? Would it matter if it was in a different accent? Probably, I dunno. Never really met anyone with a different accent.
What's the best prank someone has pulled on you, in your family or outside it? Well that's a hard one, I never really encountered a prank, I know. Lame life. Usually the pranks on me constitute of stealing my phone or taping my laptop shut.. Usually juvenile stuff.
With your phone I assume it's all texting? Right you are!
Taping your laptop shut is pretty good. Benign but effective. Haha, I know. There is one classic prank that gets old fast on me, The taping over the laser mouse. That seriously gets old.
That's also quite good. New question: how would you describe the auditory element of your dreams? The Auditory element would be at some times normal, I can hear full conversations and understand it as well as an regular hearing person can, but at some times I would be just pitch black Deaf, Hear NOTHING at all, and at some times I would be my regular self. It's like a bad LSD trip when I can't hear squat in my dreams. Usually it's accompanied with an Nightmare.
What do you hear? What does it sound like? Is it a language? You were born deaf so...do you know if it resembles English? I hear English. I can hear some if I wear Hearing aids.
You mention your parents, do you have any siblings? Did one parent learn more than the other? If you had brothers/sisters, did they learn? What about grand parents, did they learn to sign? I am an only child, my mother uses more sign than my father However my grandmother from my dad's side. My dad's mom. Uses sign with me as she used to be an school nurse and is currently an Special Education Principal for preschool.
I've always been curious to ask, what is your perception on sound? What do imagine it's like? My perception of sound is that it's normal but sort of robotic. It's hard to explain, You have to experience what I experience to know what I perceive sound as.
It would be fascinating to have that sort of insight. Thanks for the quick reply _^ I know what you mean, I would love to experience what Hearing People hear. For me when I put on my hearing aids, it's all a blur.. It's hard to hear people.. For example, in movies.. all I hear is just background noises, It's hard to make out what the person is saying on the screen.
Sounds kind of like your hearing is the aural equivalent of someone with really awful blurry vision? Basically, haha.
Ever thought about consciously refining a different sense beyond the normal scope? Would training your eyes to be faster at catching details be easier? Yes, I have trained it to be like that, but really.. Any person can do that. Our senses are not in overdrive, it's from over dependency on these senses.
I feel kind of shy saying this but I've always found deaf men quite... sexy. Does it affect your dating life at all? Would someone who's not fluent in ASL have a chance with a deaf person? Yes, I would say that. As long as the partner is willing to learn the Deaf partner's culture and lifestyle. It's quite fun.
How much interaction do you have with the Deaf community outside of your home? Is it regularly or just occasionally? Do you consider yourself "Deaf" (capital D) or deaf? So much interaction, and I do consider myself Deaf. Not deaf, I am more culture immersed rather than viewing myself as disabled.
What's the difference? What is Deaf and deaf? Capital D deaf is you view yourself more Cultural rather than disabled.
Lowercase d deaf is basically.. You view yourself negatively.
Do your parents/any family member know ASL? I am currently interning at college for the Deaf and was required to take ASL classes and the professors have told us about how some parents don't want to learn ASL, which completely alienates their deaf child :( Family members do not know ASL, but rather SEE (Signed Exact English) and yes, that is sadly true. Most of the time, they force the idea that Deaf people are inferior and that lowers their self-esteem and pushes away their peers. It happens too often.
Are you usually the first one out in musical chairs? Haha no. I cheat. Like a Boss. Vibrations.
Is it hard to watch a movie or show without subtitles? Do you ever go to a movie theater? Do you know more than one language? Can you tell different languages apart just by reading their lips? Yes and yes, And yes, I do know a few more languages but only reading it, not speaking it. And reading lips on foreign languages, that, I don't know.
Do you play any musical instruments? If so, what are they? Guitar. But Forgot how to play now, haha.
Do you sometimes enjoy being deaf? Did your family learn sign language just for you? Yes, I enjoy the benefits of being Deaf, and yes, but now it's just mostly my parents that sign, but it isn't much.
DOES IT HELP YOU IF I TYPE IN CAPS? Just kidding. Do you ever hear things in dreams? Yes, there is an question with that a while ago in comments.
Might seem like an odd question: how fast do you read? Like; words per minute, roughly speaking. I would say I read about maybe.. 15-20 words a minute.
I grew up my whole life in a corner reading tons of books. But I refuse to touch Twilight.
What is your opinion on Deaf Culture? It's a fun world to immerse yourself, it's so rich with history. It's fun being yourself with others who can understand you.
Please dont downvote me,but how did you learn to speak? And write? No,im not trollng, I always wondered about that. Sorry if i am offending. I don't really remember how I was taught to read, write or speak. That all happened when I was around 3 or 4 years old.
What colleges are you looking at? Gallaudet/NTID/CSUN? I haven't really decided on what college, but I will be going to a basic college. (Community College) For basic classes.
I'm currently a student at Gallaudet now and I LOVE it here. I went to RIT first but felt isolated so I transferred to Gallaudet and it's been amazing. But taking classes at a CC first is smart, saves you some money if it's an issue :) I'm curious as to how GU works, I've heard so much horror stories about that place, like people try to break in your dorms and stuff like that.
Does your school have a behind the wheel style driving test? How did that go? If not, how did you take your driving test? Nope, no classes.
When you go to sleep, do your dreams have sound? Or do people in your dream communicate by signing? Sometimes sound, sometimes signing. It varies though.
What's your favourite song? Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd.
You have better taste in music that a lot of hearing people :) Amen to that sister!
Edit: It's a lady.
This might be harpdarp, and im really sorry if i offended you, but how the hell do you know how that song sounds like? Or was it a joke? Hearing Aids.
Don't answer if you don't want to. If you could swtich with any disability (blind, mute, deaf etc) Which one would you, or would you stick to deaf? I'll stick to being Deaf. :)
Just because you are used to it? or because you have more "advantages" (terribly sorry if I am offending anyone) Probably because i'm used to it rather more than the advantages.
Do you mind when people take light of it, that is, making jokes about it? Nah, as long they don't take it too far.
You mentioned in another question that you have an interpreter at school. Was this always the case or did you attend an all deaf school when you were younger? Is so what were some major similarities/differences? No, never went to a deaf school. Always went to Mainstream public school.
I've heard that deaf schools can be pretty bad in terms of education; do you know anything about this? Yes, mostly from my friends, but I have never attended one in my life. Generally Deaf Schools are best for cultural immersion, so really, My opinion is that it should be mixed, Mainstream for learning for halfday and switch to Deaf School. Like a back and forth.
Do you always feel lonely in your family? Pretty much. I don't have much peers in the family that know sign.
Did you acquire language at the same rate as hearing kids around? No idea, probably so. Parents always said I learned really fast.
Do you watch Switched At Birth? Or the season of the L Word that had Marlee Matlin? I watch SaB but never seen the l word.
Do you make funny noises when you're fapping that everyone pretends not to hear? Nope.
Do you know how to pronounce words since you have never heard them before? Nope. Lol.
Do you have your driver's license? Yes, I do.
Ever get mad after reading the captions to the old Verizon Wireless commercials? (Serious question)... I forget the old VZ commercials. Which one was that?
Was it hard when you came out to your family about your deafness? My family already knew about it when I was 2 years old. But nice twist of words.
I'm curious, why wouldn't you opt for a cochlear implant if it would enable you to hear and communicate better. It's a procedure that changes who you are, for me it's like changing me into something stuck between Hearing and Deaf. Plus it'll prevent me from playing rough contact sports like Football (American mind you) and Hockey and others that I enjoy playing. Pluuus, sometimes it doesn't work and i'm stuck with an ugly scar.
Where can I hook up with deaf girls on the net? No clue. Sorry man.
Last updated: 2012-03-31 22:14 UTC
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2012.03.05 14:45 tabledresser [Table] IAmA: I am Danny Rubin, and I wrote the movie "Groundhog Day". AMA tonight from 9PM EST.

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Date: 2012-03-04
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DANNY? DANNY RUBIN? IT'S ME DOCTORWHOROCKS! WE WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL TOGETHER! REMEMBER? I whistled out of my belly button for the talent show! Say do you have life insurance? I remember you. Gotta go.
So, was Bill Murray your original intention for the role? Nah, I wasn't thinking Bill Murray. Loved his work, but I wasn't thinking of comedians. I was thinking that the part would require an actor, but an actor who could do comedy. I suggested Tom Hanks and they actually asked him, but he declined. He later told Harold that he was right to turn it down because he wouldn't have worked in the part. He said everybody knows that he's a nice guy, so if he started out as nasty everybody would anticipate his transformation. With Bill you have no idea what he's going to do. And that's all true. And Bill really did an amazing job, didn't he?
How much time did he spend in the loop? How did the story progress from first idea to final draft? How much time did he spend in the loop? How did the story progress from first idea to final draft? How much time did he spend in the loop? How did the story progress from first idea to final draft? Slow down! You guys are blowing my mind! I'm going out for dinner. I'll be back around 9 EST and we'll talk. Okay? Very cool. Come back.
What was the inspiration behind playing "I've Got You Babe"? Any special meaning? Here's why I thought of it: if you listen to the recording at the very end it sort of winds down with a big slow "I got yououououou baaaaaaaabe." You think it's over, then it creeps back in: "I got you babe! I got you babe! etc" I thought this repetition was perfect. The timing never worked out for them to use it in the movie that way, but I guess because it's a love song and because even though it's catchy it would drive you crazy after a while, it was always a good idea.
Were any groundhogs harmed during the making of the film? Yes. Wait... No. I'm instructed to say no. Actually I think the groundhog bit Bill Murray a couple of times, so fair is fair.
Craziest Bill Murray story? Oh, man. There wasn't anything really crazy, and some of the personal stuff I like to keep personal. But one of the coolest things I ever did was play basketball with Bill. Him, me, Dan Aykroyd and Tom Davis played some two on two. It was a spontaneous game played on an indoor court and none of us had sneakers so we played in our socks, which if you've ever done it you'll know is impossible. At one point Bill is passing the ball to Tom and hurls the thing pro style at my head. I ducked. And that's my crazy Bill story. He liked me a lot more after that game. He appreciated that I had the kind of moves that would allow me to duck in time. Maybe that's a good skill for a screenwriter.
Sorry for being too lazy to look up the details, but I heard one person wanted to make the movie more serious, and another guy wanted it to be more of a comedy like it was. If that's true, which one are you? I heard that too, and I heard it was Harold who wanted it more funny and Bill who wanted it more philosophical - but I was there and I don't remember it that way. There was a bit of a tug of war between aspects of my original draft and Harold's studio draft, but I never thought of it as between comedic and philosophical. We all saw it as both, I think.
How many screenplays did you write before you got your first option? What did you do to get your work into the hands of the right people? Note that I'd already been a writer for a while before writing feature films. I was living in Chicago writing industrial films ("How to build a pole barn" for Wicks lumber), a children's tv show, sketch comedy, plays and songs. Then I wrote a spec feature that I never did anything with. That was my warm up. Then I wrote another spec feature, and it got optioned! It eventually became "Hear No Evil" starring Marlee Matlin. And to set that up I just asked everyone I knew if they knew anybody in Hollywood, I sent my script to ten people who never heard of me but knew people who I knew, and one of them was an agent who would read anything and he read my script. And he sold it. See? Easy.
Do you have any thoughts on how the film is viewed in certain circles of the Buddhist community? Well, they love it, so I love them. You know, Buddhists aren't the only ones who seem to have embraced the groundhog. Priests and Rabbis from all over the place have sent me sermons they've written, and apparently everybody tried to claim Ghog in a symposium on religion in film. I think it's all wonderful. It really was always intended as a very human story and not just a funny story, and to see so many recognizing that and celebrating that just makes me very proud and happy.
Any tips for a piss poor writer like me? Just keep writing. If you're really piss poor then I heartily recommend that you get better.
Finally*, a famous IAMA that uses proper grammar. Celebrities these days...not caring about proper capitalization and punctuation. My question: If you could do "Groundhog Day" all over again (no pun intended), would you change anything about it? Yikes. Now the pressure's on for the spelling and grammar! The truth is after 19 years the movie is so well-cemented in my mind that it's hard to imagine anything different, and it would be ungracious assert that it should be different.
How much do you hate your writing while you are writing? Is negativity a natural part of the process or do you just love every minute of being at your desk? Good one. Dig this: sometimes I'll have a knotty problem, I'll chew, I'll chew and bam! I solve it. It was so simple! And after congratulating myself for my cleverness, it then occurs to me how long I had been an idiot. I think that is the level of joy and hate in my writing. Usually I like it while I'm writing it, I doubt it mightily when I reread it, and when I pick it up a lot later I think, "Damn. This was good. What's wrong with everybody?"
As a writer who has already graduated from the academic world, how can I tell if any of my writing is actually improving at a reasonable rate? Are the beats and characters of this story really any better than the last? Screen writing competitions don't seem like anything more than gambling that the judge reading your script is into the same genres you are. Writing groups often lack serious writers an are more of a safe haven to hobbyists. Where can we writers find honest mentors and writing groups for our 'aspiring' skill level? Wow. That's tough. You know I just met some nice people over at Stage32.com where people share such ideas. THere may be more online places for such things to happen. In the real world it's like any set of relationships, you just have to keep trying, putting it out there, finding writers or even non-writers whose reactions seem helpful to you, and do the best you can. This is part of the hell of our work. Even if your fine script is blessed by a sale, there is a rewrite process, and notes, and you never know if it's getting better or worse. And then there's the actual production, and you'll never know if it's great because of what you've done or in spite of what you've done. So where do you go for objective feedback? THere may be no such thing. But there is feedback that helps you, that you find helpful. I'm pretty sure that's the best we can do.
I've read a few times that Bill Murray has a reputation for improvising a lot on set. How much of what made it into the final cut of the film was what you wrote and how much of it was Bill Murray being Bill Murray? A lot of the coloring of the lines came from Bill. "Hairdo". "Side of your eye..." and his line to Ned "I don't know where you're going but could you call in sick?" Most of writing a screenplay involves deciding which scenes of a story to show more than what the lines are. Dialogue is fun and can be great or awful, but the scene dictates what a character might say and the final choice of lines could be any number of things. Harold Ramis likes to keep comedy fresh in his movies and so if there have been several takes of the line as written he encourages improvisation just to keep it all fresh and funny. So anyway there was a bunch of Bill stuff in there, but proportionally to what was written not really a lot.
Why did you stop writing screen plays? Or did you just stop selling them? Turn to script doctoring? What's the deal? I still write them and I still sell them. I share your frustration that they aren't being made, but I've gotten used to it, and I'd still rather write a movie I want to see than a movie that Hollywood thinks people want to see. Ergo my batting average is low these days. But I'm fine and patient. How bout you?
Dammit, I missed it. Will there be another AMA tomorrow at 9PM EST? And the day after that? And after that? I'm still poking around. AMA here or on my blog, anytime.
Hey Danny, I loved Groundhogs Day it was one of my favourite movies. How does it feel to have created a very successful movie? Also what is your favourite brand of laundry detergent? It's really important to get the stuff that's fragrance free. I really hate that fake soapy smell. And how do I feel to have created one of the world's most beloved films of all time and in perpetuity? Pretty good. And very lucky. I like to be proud of everything I do, feel that even if unsuccessful in how it's received by anybody else at least I can stand by it. So I feel very proud of this film, and also, for instanace, the workbench I built in my basement with no woodworking skills whatsoever. Very proud.
What is your schedule (or lack thereof?) Like, do you go to your office every single day from 8-1 and write, or is it different for every project, what routine have you sculpted for yourself in order to be such a productive writer? Well, I WAS a productive writer, once upon a time. Since I started teaching up at Harvard my mind is very much on my work there, and I'm still struggling for a workable writing routine. But even when more of my time was my own I'd say every project was different. Each new script came at a different time in my life, so depending on when I was watching kids or working at a teen arts center which I did for a while or whatever my writing day would be different. Sometimes I just sat for 8 hours, no matter what, and just made myself write. I once realized that of the 8 I was only productive for 2, so I just sat down and wrote for two hours then gave myself the rest of the day off! It was glorious. Other times I set page counts, such as five or ten. And toward the end of the writing, when the end of a script is in sight, I just write all the time. Once the baby starts coming out you got nothing to do but push.
Speaking of endings, Ground Hog's day's ending is pretty wooden. Seriously. Was it tacked on? Studio interference? Or (admit it), just one's way of admitting that ending a movie like GH in any sensible way is utterly impossible? In my original draft I had a different ending, if you're interested: Phil wakes up and for the first time he's lying next to Rita. It's February 3rd! But Rita can't wait to get out of there. WHy? Because she's been waking up for weeks on February 3rd! That also was, as you suggested, an arbitrary ending for a movie that is difficult to end. But I kind of liked it.
It seems like everyone I know has a different favorite scene...personally, anything involving Ned Ryerson steals it for me. What was YOUR favorite part of the script? Well, Ned kind of stole it for me, too, but that was all Tobolowsky. He did the scene as written, but wow. But in the writing my favorite part of the script was the Rita pickup sequence. That was the first idea I got when I thought of the movie, it was terrific fun to write, and it worked just as I imagined it. So it's a win win favorite. But I also have had a fondness for the old man dying scene. I thought that was a good piece of the story since it shows Phil that no matter how powerful he has become here there are limits to what he can do.
I grinned like a schoolgirl. You deserve the niceness and so much more. It is awesome. It made me laugh, made me cry, and it made me appreciate every day. The concept of living the same day over and over or living forever would drive me nuts. Humans aren't built for such things (well, maybe Connor Macleod is...). I have spells of tachycardia watching it due to how everything is played out. It's brilliant. :) I would love to be able to create a story that captivates the audience as it did. Too early for flapjacks? Come on over!
Why did you structure the movie the way you did. i.e. Why was it always groundhog day and not some other day? Why make the character go to punxsutawney? When I picked Feb 2nd it gave me so many things: a weatherman character who comes from a city and is stuck in a small town; a small town to go to; an event that marks the day; and a chance for my movie to show on TV every year on the holiday. It could have been any day and it probably would have worked on any day. But after all this time I still think Feb 2 was a really good decision.
Have you ever lost your marbles in front of your students where you rip up term papers and exclaim "I don't have to deal with this...I wrote Groundhog Day dammit!"? Were you there? I really apologize. Actually my students humble me every day with wonderful work.
If you were stuck in a loop like Phil Conners was, what day would you pick? First of all, strange as it may seem, I don't think this way. I know that for some people it's the first thing they wonder after seeing the film. Not me. But here's why it's tricky: any day I pick will necessarily become my whole world and its nature will change. So if I pick a great day it will never be great in the same way again. And now I'm gaming the system, picking days where I knew I was going to say be in a big city like San Francisco, and on a sunny day. That would keep me busy for a long time. Sorry. That's the best answer I can come up with.
I love Groundhog Day and SFW. Did you keep any props or momentos from either film? I have a groundhog! A big wooden groundhog with a top hat and an umbrella. I used to put it on my front porch early on Feb 2nd back in Santa Fe and people would leave gifts for me! That was really awesome. And I think I have an SFW T-shirt. Free Cliff Spab!
How long did it take you to write the script, from start to finish? How did you come up with the story for Groundhog Day? If you could recast anyone in the film, who would it be? Which was your favorite and least favorite performances? I've heard that Bill Murray and Harold Ramis argued on whether the film should be more comedic or more philosophical. Clearly it was a pretty perfect blend, but if it had to lean towards one of the two, which would you have preferred? Wow. Listen, everybody. This was just a preview. I'm going to go grade some papers because my life is very glamorous, and I'll meet up for real at 9 EST. Maybe I'll check in between papers. Later, and thanks for your interest! I'm happy to be here.
Word on the street says you have a degree in Biology . You and 2 actors do a science fair project together. Who are the actors and what is the science fair project about ? Yes I do have a degree in Biology. But I don't understand the question. Why am I doing a science fair with actors? Are they to be the subject of my experiment? Besides, sharkworld, Sharkie, if I may. Besides, Sharkie, Groundhog day WAS a human experiment. I wanted to know whether one lifetime was enough for certain people to grow up. Perhaps some people need more time. That's where it started. But my experiment was cumbersome with all of the sets and settings and characters necessitated by the passing of so much time. THen I got the idea about the repeating day and I realized I could use the repetition to get eternity, and voila! A pure human experiment in repetition and infinite time. That's a good science fair experiment. That's blue ribbon worthy, don't you think?
Why on earth would you have a character that didn't like fudge OR white chocolate? That movie is so unrealistic! Ha! And who could love such a misfit? What was I thinking!
What is your favorite joke? What lies at the bottom of the ocean and shakes? (a nervous wreck).
How many drafts did you go through? (Goldenrod... salmon...!) It's hard to know what to call a "draft" in the age of computers, where every time you reread something you're making little changes. But it went something like this: I wrote a draft and that's what I sent out. Columbia optioned the script and I got harold's notes and Columbia's notes. I wrote a studio draft. Harold rewrote that draft. The studio green lit the movie. THey cast Bill Murray. Harold and Bill wrote a draft. I came back to work with Bill on a draft. We worked that together with Harold's studio draft. Harold and I worked that together into the almost shooting script. Harold finished up the shooting script. I lost count. But it went something like that.
What would you find more bothersome:a roommate that sometimes screamed in your ear for no apparent reason whatsoever or wearing a pair of shoes that doesn't fit just right? I have been wearing ill-fitting shoes since last summer and I hate it. It diminishes my life. If I could trade it for a randomly screaming roommate, yes, I would take that deal.
As a writer, are you ever feel overwhelmed by the success and cult status of Groundhog day in a negative way? Like, does it ever make it hard for you to work on something now because you wonder if it will ever be as good as or better than this huge runaway cult phenomenon? You know it doesn't get in the way in that performance anxiety sort of way. I'm always writing new stuff and I never try to best Ghog, I just try to make each script as good as possible. But it's getting in the way in that this past year I haven't been able to work on any screenplays since I was writing the Ghog book, and I also feel that I won't be done with this Groundhog period of my life until I've finished working on the musical. Yeah musical. But other than these creative distractions I'd have to say that the continuing good vibe from this movie has brought me nothing but good things.
I'm surprised how low the turnout has been for this AMA considering what a classic movie this is. From your IMDB page it looks like you aren't the most prolific of writers. All the better because the work that you do do is so well-thought out. Is there any up coming work we should be looking out for? I wrote a really cool script about what happens when everyone wakes up one day and NOTHING is working: internet, phones, electricity, cars... It's set up at Big Beach Productions. And we'll just have to see.
How does an aspiring screenwriter (currently doing standup, and in a burlesque troop writing sketches and performing)far from Hollywood get what he writes, or proposes, to the correct people to begin with? That's the question, isn't it? Everybody has his own story of how to break in. I will say that what you write will carry more weight than what you propose, as something you've actually written proves in and of itself that you can pull off what you say.
Why didn't Bill Murray just rape the girl? There is an answer to this! When I was first brainstorming the movie it occurred to me that it could go very dark. If Phil is really testing what is possible in a land without consequences, he would probably go through a phase of walking on the dark side. Rape, murder, arson, etc. But here's where the writer comes in: I had recently become a father, was starting out on a new life as a screenwriter, and feeling very upbeat (as usual, actually). I thought about it and decided against making this, as I thought of it at the time, as a David Lynch film. There may be a good, deep, reasonable human reason that Phil (not Bill Murray. You should be more careful) didn't rape anybody, but the real reason is because the writer didn't want him to.
Are you and Harold Ramis friends? Have you two worked on anything else together? I wouldn't say we are close friends, but yes, we are friends. I see him or talk to him every year or two since we met. We've swapped scripts over the years but never found a project to do together. That's always been fine, but if it ever worked out I'd be delighted.
I swear I saw this AMA yesterday. Edit: Might as well ask a question... How many deja vu/time loop comments do you think you'll see in this AMA? And I did try to AMA yesterday but I buried myself under my ignorance. Sorry. Didn't intend any breach in etiquette.
What is your favorite color of apple? I like the Fuji for taste and texture, and its color is mostly red. I have no favorite apple color separate from the fruit it represents.
How much did you actually know/care about groundhog day before writing? Also, what helped you come up with the plot? I used to write for a comedy troupe that performed for corporate events (to make money; we mostly did education workshops with teachers), and while researching a show for Bell of Pennsylvania I learned about Punxsutawney and the Groundhog Day celebration. It was only because of this knowledge I was able to see the potential for using Feb 2nd as Phil's repeating day. I guess you just never know where you're going to pick up useful information. Thank you, Bell of Pennsylvania!
You said you teach. Do you know Blake Snyder? I used to write screen plays for recreation (though I wouldnt have said no to someone wanting to pick one up), and I bought some of his books. He was genuinely nice and appreciative of his fan base, and even included me in one of his blog posts. So, if youve met him, who would win in a fingernail biting contest? I never got the chance to meet the man, sadly, but I've read his books. I don't really favor his approach to screenwriting, which is very oriented toward writing to please Hollywood; but his way of slicing the genre pie is really interesting and original. And I don't bite my fingernails so anybody besides me would win.
Why have him run into a train? >.> But he didn't. The train swerved first! Or I think in shooting they decided that Phil should swerve first.
Did you ever have a draft of the script that explained the time looping phenomenon? Or at least have an idea you thought of implementing (but obviously took out)? Nope. While I was brainstorming I did consider various ways he got into the loop, but the arbitrariness of that enterprise convinced me that it didn't matter and when I thought of NOT having a device it gave the whole enterprise an existential flavor that I liked. Besides, putting in a device would have forced the story to be about undoing whatever was done, all very plotty. None of that was what made the movie unique and any of those choices would have made the movie feel like a contrived hollywood comedy. So I never wrote a draft with a cause. When Harold and the studio got involved we had lots of conversations about the cause, all of it painful to me but it seemed to be what the studio was pushing for. I think Harold wrote a draft where the cause had something to do with Phil crossing the wrong girl. They made me write a gypsy curse scene. But ultimately the studio came around and none of those things were shot.
Harvard or Brown? Fudge or white chocolate? Groundhogs or porcupines? Life is full of tough choices. But sometimes a choice is not required.
I'm an aspiring screenwriter. Any tips? As far as I'm concerned if you write screenplays then you're a screenwriter. Beyond that we're ALL aspiring, right? Just be sure you're excited by the work itself.
[Jeff Kitchen I have read all of those books, mostly in my capacity as a teacher looking for anything helpful. Here's what I think: they are all entertaining and they all pretty much say things I agree with. And none of them will be particularly helpful. They explain principles of good screenwriting, but knowing when to apply which rules is something nobody can tell you any more than anybody can tell you which wisdom to follow in order to have the life you want. I say anything that gets you excited and confident and WRITING is worth the read, and if any of these books do that then go for it. It's also nice to have some context since most producers and studio execs have read these so that is the language they will be using. The only book I recommend to my students is How Not To Write A Screenplay by Denny Martin Flinn. If you follow this book (or perhaps others like it) then at least your screenplay will look professional and not like a first time effort.
Do you read these books/guides?
Do you advise your students to read any particular book/guide?
What are your thoughts/opinions on these (in)famous storytelling/screenwriting gurus?](http://www.reddit.com/IAmA/comments/qhkyh/i_am_danny_rubin_and_i_wrote_the_movie_groundhog/c3xyesa?context=5)
Have you written anything else since Groundhog Day? If so, have you just not found the buyers for it? Lots of buyers, not many makers. Or rather enough buyers to keep me and fam fed all these years. That's screenwriting for you.
So people buy the rights but don't bother to make it afterward pretty frequently? Yup. Not for lack of trying. A million things can go wrong. The one that most concerns me is the development process, where the script they bought that they love slowly becomes the script they don't love anymore. Or there's bad timing - a "similar" script just got made and didn't do well. Or a director who said they liked the project started a different project. Many screenplays are optioned, few are made.
How many letters do you get regarding this film? Many, all the time, from many countries, going back 19 years.
How hard is it to make a living as a screenwriter? Well, let's see. If you're talented, persistent, good with people, and don't care what you are writing about then it's much less difficult than if you're not any of those things. I don't mean to be cynical about the "caring about your work" part; that's probably necessary to writing anything truly good. But you were asking about making a living, and being willing to write anything does increase your chances of finding work. In terms of the odds of your success? If you believe in your writing then there are no odds. That's how I think about it.
[Referencing the Epoch Times interview with Stephen Tobolowsky (Ned Ryerson) about the film: Tobo's memory is a bit skewed - I can't imagine a draft where the suicides were at the end without any redemption for Phil! But it's true that the final script evolved a lot from the original script all the way through shooting and editing. If you really want to know how the script changed and why and how I felt about that, that is the entire substance of my eBook. I wrote it for you! Any answer I put here will be frustratingly incomplete. So check it out and if you still have questions I'd be most happy to fill in what I can!
When I got the part, it was still kind of a mediocre Bill Murray movie; we’ve seen it before. You know, Bill Murray, with no consequences, in comic situations, where he goes to bed with different women, who don’t remember it the next day. He jokes on them, and he steals cars and robs banks, and it just goes on and on and on—the same beat over and over again. And I thought, OK, it’s a “B” movie. It’s kind of a comedy, like a rowdy comedy with Bill being rowdy. And we’ve seen it. It’s fine. You know, dopey. Not as good as Caddyshack but same kind of thing. It wasn’t until we got into the shooting that everything turned on its head. And it became not only a good movie, not only a great movie, but a classic.
Epoch Times: So what percentage of the script would you say was actually rewritten?
Stephen: I’m guessing 30 percent while we were shooting because [in] the original script, Bill’s suicide was at the end. Then he just gets bored of being bored and he changes his personality. [In the modified script] they moved the suicide up to about the 60 percent level. You know, it’s a little past halfway. … They added all that stuff at the end. So the boy falling off from the tree, the piano lessons, the women with the flat tire, the bum who keeps dying and Bill tries to save his life, and the mayor with the steak—all that was added.
Epoch Times: Was there a point in the film when you were realized you were going from this “B” movie into some great film?
I think about 10 days into the film, we were doing it, and we got a new set of pages. They handed them to Bill, and they handed them to me. I started reading that bit about [Bill Murray’s character saving] the kid falling out of the tree, and the whole section there. Then I realized … this whole thing is changing, right in front of my eyes! And I got the idea at that point, where we were going with the film. I got the chills.
How do you feel about this? Is it typical in your experience for a film to get so extensively rewritten? ](http://www.reddit.com/IAmA/comments/qhkyh/i_am_danny_rubin_and_i_wrote_the_movie_groundhog/c3y3x6x?context=5)
I'm more interested in who you are as a person and how you got to where you are, and what you're working on now. How does it all fit together for Dan? A lot of that's in the book, too. It's about the writing of the screenplay, but I back up through my life in order to give everything context, so you get a lot of Dan, which is a name I only used one summer at camp.
Danny Rubin! :::giddy with excitment::: Any advice for writers who are just starting out? Thanks! Keep writing. When you finish and start sending your script out there, be writing another one. And all that giddiness? Good! Use it!
Danny? Danny Rubin? Hey! ... It's Ned... "Ned... Ryerson. "Needlenose Ned"? "Ned the Head"? C'mon, buddy. Case Western High. Ned Ryerson: I did the whistling belly-button trick at the high school talent show? Bing! Ned Ryerson: got the shingles real bad senior year, almost didn't graduate? Bing, again. Ned Ryerson: I dated your sister Mary Pat a couple times until you told me not to anymore? Well?" Well what?
Hi Danny! I was wondering, do you still write spec scripts and, if so, how frequently you write them? Yes I do. These days about one every two years.
If you could time travel, would you go to your biggest regret and do it differently, or to your most joyful moment and do it the same way? I'm wracking my brain but I'm having trouble thinking up any solid biggest regrets. I guess I don't think about things that way. So that leaves me with the joyful moment. Just repeating that once couldn't do any harm... Or could it!?
Have you read Borges? Your story sounds great. I tried to take spanish lessons when I moved to New Mexico but got waylaid by all of the HOMEWORK.
Do you have a fan club or a way to request an autograph officially? You're it. Send me an Email and we'll see if Mister Rubin is available for autographs. Or just get your kid to do it. His handwriting is probably better than mine anyhow.
Last updated: 2012-03-09 08:12 UTC
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