Quotes

Endorsements

“Thanks, Trix for a superb performance at our annual storytelling event. The pictures that you painted with your use of ASL were spectacular. We laughed out loud at the comedy and were moved to tears with the drama. You are truly poetry in motion!” Greg Camp, President, Virginia Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

“A fabulous, top notch performer and artist! National and international audiences, look out, she’s taking the world by storm!” Glenace L. Humphrey, RID Region IV Representative

“Dear Trix, In finally having an opportunity to address a note to you regarding your September 27, 2002 performance on our campus at Fresno State, let me thank you from the bottom of my heart. We were absolutely thrilled to have had you on our campus, pouring out your creativity and energy on the children in attendance that day. The local teachers, faculty on campus and I were floored by the impact of your performance on the children. I want to compliment you for the ingenious way that you involved them in your show. You created a three-dimensional amusement park, an alter-reality; a separate world for them to participate in. They entered a safe environment where creativity is tried, and practiced. And through this creative world, we saw our children flourish. They stretched their creative muscles, and awakened new facets of their intellects. Bravo. You are an inspiration to our teachers; a positive pied piper as one who entreated our children to dream, while leading them in a safe place: home. Thank you. ” Warmly, Paul W. Ogden, Ph.D. Professor, Deaf Studies/Deaf Education, California State University, Fresno, California

“Trix is a master of ASL poetry and storytelling. She is extremely creative and versatile, with a range from light (clean) humor to treatment of the most profound subjects with eloquence in ASL. Once you see Trix in motion, you will be caught up in the power of her presentation and your eyes will cry for more. As a teacher and workshop presenter, she warmly encourages participants to scale new linguistic and interpretive heights. As an international interpreter, she is clear and expressive. As an ASL entertainer, she is a vision to remember.” Christine (Chris) Wixtrom, Founder and President, ASL Access   

“Fascinating performance, uniquely done and a new experience for jaded theater goers. The theater was packed to the rafters. ” Michael Izak

“Trix, you are an excellent talent. I thoroughly enjoyed your One Deaf-woman show last night in Vancouver. It is one that I would gladly see again. Keep up the good works, and keep touching audiences with your beautiful expressiveness and open, honest heart. Kenan did an excellent job with his part of the show. You two make a great team. Thank you!” Marianne Decher, Portland, Oregon

“Hi Trix, Just a note to let you know how truly fascinating we found your performance last Sat. in Vancouver. So intriguing!  From the nightmares involving Elephants, all the way to the Metamorphosis at the end, we were mesmerized. A friend of ours is taking ASL at college, and she asked us to accompany her to your show.  Not having any idea what we were going to see, we went.  And were we surprised.  Not just that you are a red-head, but that the content was so.o.o.o interesting, and (thanks to the superb job done by Kenan) so meaningful to those of us who only regularly communicate in one language. Keep up the ‘fun’ work.  (Is that an oxymoron?) Thanks again for a great time,” Norm & Shirley Vader

“Dear Trix, We enjoyed the performance very much. I am encouraging my daughter to reflect upon her own life and come up with ways to share her own unique trials and triumphs with others in a similarly entertaining, non-threatening way. Educating others about good ways to communicate with her has been an ongoing frustration. I am hoping that by channeling her frustration into brainstorming mini-skits, she will help herself and others as well. When she was in middle school, she and a few other deaf students tried to communicate their needs to their fellow students through a question and answer forum, but I really like the idea of mini-skits, which are both entertaining and informational. Thank you for your efforts to educate the world about living deaf in the hearing world. Best wishes for continued success,” Christine Anderson, Vancouver, WA

“Hi Trix;  I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your show the other night.  I can’t believe how much it helped to improve the confidence my ASL I students had in themselves.  They understood more sign than they thought they would.  The parents of my students were thrilled with the show.  Entertained and they enjoyed themselves very much!!  My ASL III students were also pleased.  They loved you energy, enthusiasm and stage presence.  They had already heard much of the information, but loved the format and the performance. Thank you sooooo much for coming to Skyline to perform for us!!!” Cozette Amador, American Sign Language Instructor, Skyline High School, Sammamish, WA

“Trix,  Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed you sharing you thoughts and life experiences with us, the audience, last Saturday evening. My wife is currently working towards her ASL license and wanted me to go with her, this being a very new experience for me. I found both enjoyable and enlightening. Thank you for a wonderful evening.” Matthew

“Trix Bruce came to the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind this Spring and it was a rare treat.

Watching the kids watch Trix I was struck by their rapt attention.  It was like they were under a spell.  Her content was neither trendy nor sensational, just the stuff of everyday life: trees, butterflies, bugs and people.  She talked about nature – human and otherwise.  Her subjects ranged from the concrete and  broad – a golf game, jokes in a restaurant – to the abstract and intimate – disability, identity,  self-esteem.

And yet these often fidgety and unfocused students had become veritable jumping beans of readiness, volunteering over and over again for  – they didn’t know what exactly- anything she asked of them.  These students who spend so much of their time being prompted and cued seemed ready to improvise their lines in front of  everyone.  What accounted for them “getting” her directions on the first try?    She’s some kind of magician, I thought, she had cast a spell on the audience.

Well, if this was a spell what was the incantation and why were so many of the hearing people not falling under it?! (Those attending in anticipation of the  interpreter training the following day were not itching with volunteerism). Only later did it occur to me – it wasn’t just Trix, it was the language – ASL.  It was the proverbial shoe fitting like a glove – to mix a metaphor.  Trix had come to deliver a program that suited exactly the intended audience.  For the Deaf students she offered an uplifting and empowering dose of art in their natural language.  For the hearing interpreters and teachers she offered a challenging and practical tutorial in non-manual grammatical markers.

As a performance artist Trix uses not only her hands, but every facial feature and body part to knead and massage ASL grammar into the supple tool of a keen mind.  As a poet she adds inflections of tempo and such a nuanced use of space that the same ASL grammar becomes the bold tool of a brave and generous heart.  ASL that is so beautiful, powerful and mysterious can seem unknowable, unlearnable.  If  I’d left this performance awestruck and dumbfounded and in denial that even I, a hearing speech therapist,  could learn ASL I would have missed the point.  It would have meant falling under a different spell – the unfortunate deception that it takes some kind of innate knack or gift, or at the very a least significant hearing loss, to learn ASL.  But unlike a magician who guards the secrets of his trade, Trix came to make ASL accessible and available.

Like Dorothy discovering the Wizard in Oz she threw back the veil and revealed what it takes to use ASL effectively, if not artistically.  She began with a thorough and on-going study of linguistics and followed that up with methodical and vigorous PRACTICE.  She said that a lot:  PRACTICE.  I can’t overstate the emphasis she placed on PRACTICE in developing the skills that will make ASL look magical on your hands.  Because…here’s the secret, folks: there’s no magic.  There’s just heart, and intention and effort and PRACTICE. The trick is getting people to “get” that.  And Trix pulls that trick off – like magic.” Linda Jones-Oleson, Speech Therapist, Virginia School for the Deaf, Stanton, VA

“Trix performs her stories with emotion and beauty. She clearly communicates the challenges and the joys of living in a Deaf world. There is always something new to learn through Trix. She is well worth seeing.”Lynn Chun 

“WOW, what an incredible performance!  I enjoyed it so much.  You made me laugh and cry (your 9/11 tribute had me frozen in my seat). And also just shake my head.”   Christina Fluet, Merrimac, MA                               

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