Services I offer professionally
I have worked on a number of projects over the last decade in Madrid and have the capacity to provide a variety of services related to voice work. If you flew on Iberia between 2003 and 2012 and watched a Spanish film with headphones tuned to the English version, then you’ve definitely heard me. I’ve done guided tours for museums, documentaries, short films, full length movies, you name it. I even had a radio show where my co-host Anne Bateson and I gave simple English language instruction to listeners along with some music picks.
Curious anecdote: I participated as the only English voice of the Spanish theatrical dubbing of “Letters from Iwo Jima”, as the captured US marine. I also got to play a stark-raving-mad peanut in “Going Nuts”, a tuna fish in “Ultimatuna”, and many other, even stranger, characters. Take a look at the Work page for some samples.
A translator, in my very humble opinion, should only offer professional services translating into his or her dominant native language. No matter how many languages one speaks, there is always one that is more developed than others. In my case, that language is English, hence the services I offer are directed toward translating into English. I can translate from Spanish to English and do so better than just about any other professional I’ve met, ensuring results that are normally described by clients as “perfect” or “incomparable”.
I am also a quick proofreader and excel at keeping the readability of destination content as the primary goal. Too often, translators forget there is a destination style they need to bear in mind. When I translate, I try to assume the role of the typical reader of that sort of text and re-write the translation according to that style, while being faithful to the original text.
Just about everyone that lives in a first world nation has the ability to read and write, it is fundamental for daily life. The problem is, this leads to people confusing the skill for the craft. As most people possess the skill, they also feel they know the craft, which often leads to the artistry of writing or content services becoming devalued, particularly in light of new, digital communication media. Phrases like “Just write whatever” or “It doesn’t have to be good, just readable” or even “Anyone can do what you do” are common in the workplace. These are, in my very humble opinion, fallacies. Sticking a feather up your butt does not make you a chicken. The ability to write does not necessarily make you a writer.
If you have a project that requires a writer to produce text, make sure to get a professional who painstakingly crafts each sentence. Also, try to work WITH that writer to achieve the best results possible. Don’t discard what is produced because it doesn’t jibe with your personal style or improves upon your existing materials.
I produce text for the stage and film. I direct plays. On occasion I even act, though I admit that I prefer voice work, I have a face for radio. I think my biggest skill with regard to the performing arts is providing services as a coach. I have run several seminars that I think have proven valuable to young actors who wish to broaden their horizons. My coaching is always dedicated to one specific path, that of getting the actor to a level of comfort when auditioning or performing for a role in English when this language is not their native tongue.
The last seminar I did was called “Romeo and Juliet: Versión original sin subtitulos“, where I and Madrid coach Chules Piñango took a group of young people through preparing a specific scene from Shakespeare’s play. Over three days, the process went from an introduction to Shakespeare’s England though to breathing and body work, on to English pronunciation and text comprehension, and finally to scene development, practice, and presentation. The students felt it was a good way to get into English texts and that it allowed them to eliminate a bit of the fear they felt when presenting themselves to English role auditions.
I am an expert in taking intermediate level students of English and getting them beyond the inevitable “plateau” to be found at that level. By combining a respect for the grammar of English with a natural curiosity of the origin of words and phrases, I attempt to provide students with simple, easy to recall parameters that they can use in a variety of situations. If students only memorize a number of phrases, they are deprived of the ability to improvise. Knowing how English really works and approaching the language from my “There are no grammatical exceptions” perspective, students are given a fishing rod, not a fish. In the long run, the ability to adapt is more important than parroting back canned responses.