YOU ALL KNOW ME... Mama Sam... but as it is required by RID, here is the obligatory OFFICIAL BIO:
Samantha began her love for Sign Language at a camp she attended around 1980. There among the many available classes was Signed Music. She signed her first song, and was immediately hooked. From there, apparently a career was born, and it all started at an elementary school camp in the Big Bear Mountains of California.
After Sign Language and Drama classes throughout her High School years, she was blessed to attend Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA, and there pursue a degree in Art/Theatre. With an ongoing passion for Signing she simultaneously enrolled in a formal Interpreting degree program from Palomar College in San Marcos, CA. Samantha became a ranked Theatrical Lighting Designer, and that love spurred her integration of Performance and Interpreting.
Her first concert interpreting assignment was in 1990 and it only took one concert to be permanently hooked on the integration of Sign and music. Samantha has now been interpreting for over 30 years. In the midst of her career, she moved to Nashville to continue her Performance Interpreting pursuits and in 1999, she, along with several local Deaf consumers, began Gate Communications, with the collective goal of advancing Deaf Accessibility, interpreting education, Deaf Community interactions, and ministerial outreach. Over her 2 1/2 + decades of interpreting, Samantha has interpreted concerts from coast to coast, and provided services alongside Presidents, Country/Christian/Pop Artists, and internationally known speakers. She has taught private ASL/Interpreting classes for over 20 years and spent 10 years as a collegiate instructor in an ITP/IPP. She also has run Deaf Ministries in churches and in private organizations, and has seen the challenges and the drama which can filter into religious environments.
Samantha has a deep love for foreign Sign Languages. She has experience signing in 5 foreign sign languages and interpreting in 2. She regularly interacts with foreign Deaf consumers living and traveling within the U.S. and outside our borders. Samantha has been working with the Mexican Deaf Community for 19 years. Samantha is the primary ASL/Interpreting instructor in Gate's ITP, and guides Gate's education department as she travels the country presenting at workshops. Her primary position is to serve as the Executive Director of Gate Communications, located in the Nashville area... Music City U.S.A.
LESS OBLIGATORY BIO
Mama Sam is a cry baby. She is so proud of her grads she can hardly make it through a performance without crying. She loves her people... and you all are her people. She has enough room in her squishy heart for each of you, and this workshop is a chance to love on all of you. If you leave feeling that love, she has accomplished her ultimate goal. If you leave empowered to sign music better, that's the icing on the cake.