04. Holly The ASL Translator

When superstorm Sandy hit NYC, residents tuned in to Mayor Bloomberg’s daily conferences like they were Depression-era fireside chats. This was, in part, to keep track of the city’s response to the unthinkable deluge swallowing our city. But it was also largely to keep tabs on the storm’s breakout star not named Chris Christie: Lydia Callis, Mayor Bloomgberg’s passionately demonstrative, highly interpretive ASL translator. She became a household name, that Lydia, before she backed away from the limelight and receded into a veil of privacy. As a result, the ASL world could use a new face. For that position, I submit Holly (pictured above, on the right), who was on duty for the likes of Wu-Tang Clan and R. Kelly and didn’t just sign every word, but put back into it. In fact, Matt & Kim called her onstage during their set, and she was a game participant, satisfying Kim’s request she demonstrate the signs for “pussy,” “vagina” (note: same sign!), and “Bonnaroo.” For a more multimedia illustration from the R. Kelly set, please see this Vine. See?

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