KARLA: Hello, I’m here at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. Gallaudet is hosting an event, ASL ELEMENTS. Right now, ten contestants will compete to win the title of “ASL of the year” and $1,000. Wanna know who won? Check it out.
NUNU DAVIS, ASL ELEMENTS JUDGE
NUNU DAVIS: Genuine ASL is delivered from the heart, impulsive, and not sloppy. ASL is very precise and I will give points based off of that.
DOUGLAS RIDLOFF, ASL ELEMENTS JUDGE
DOUGLAS RIDLOFF: Content, technique, and creativity. That’s what I will be looking for. Presenting profound content, making sure your technique delivers your content smoothly, creativity, presenting something original and different. If I see that, I’ll give it a five, but if it’s a common story that I’ve already seen, I will give it a one.
DAVID RIVERA, ASL ELEMENTS JUDGE
DAVID RIVERA: I agree, I’ll be judging the fluidity, structure, creativity and other things. but also the artistic component. I’m looking for the piece that catches my eye and wins me over.
MARY HARMAN, HOST
MARY HARMAN: I believe in supporting ASL, the beauty of ASL, and sharing it with the community.
Rochester, New York
JOEY ANTONIO: Justin Perez is definitely, definitely my favorite. The way he performed, I was like, oh my gosh. I want him to win!
Maya Ariel: I’m torn between Justin Perez - because of his amazing Mario Kart piece-- and Christian Vasquez-- because his one through ten story was powerful.
Dara Sok: My fave was Justin Perez. His Super Mario story was awesome! Just that one.
Zaineb “Zee” Abdulla: My favorite performer was Justin Perez. I want him to win!
JUSTIN: I want to thank ASL elements for hosting this. This is an important event, and I see this happening again in the future, don’t you agree?
EVERYONE: AGREED! YES!
KARLA: So you tru biz won the title of “ASL of The Year”, and $1,000! How do you feel?
JUSTIN PEREZ, ASL ELEMENTS 1ST PLACE WINNER
JUSTIN PEREZ: You know how winners typically say “I don’t know what to say,” That’s how I feel. I feel wonderful. I feel great sharing my ASL, I like watching the audiences enjoy it and developing a relationship with them. That is the most important part. It’s not the winning, it’s sharing the art.
KARLA: So I’m curious, what inspired you to participate in this competition?
JUSTIN: I’ve gone to many competitions and they are usually not that great or the event is small and contestants are not that strong. The whole thing appears weak. When I saw ASL ELEMENTS, I knew it was going to be a huge trailblazer. That’s what made me want to do it, for the recognition and to bring ASL back to the community. That’s what I was looking for.
KARLA: Everyone wants to know, what are you going to do with your $1,000?
JUSTIN: I haven’t made a decision yet. At some point, I’m gonna close my eyes and think about what I should spend it on or save it for.
KARLA: Well, again, congratulations! We wish you the best!
JEREMY SANCHEZ & MARA LADINES, ASL ELEMENTS FOUNDERS
JEREMY: ASL Elements, as a whole, has a variety of styles. We’re figuring out how to preserve, capture and inspire in this area. It’s a dying language form, and we’re working on preventing that. This has to continue living. There are many dark horses out there, and having them meet together has been super inspiring, knowing that ASL is still very much alive.
KARLA: Lots of people have been asking me, will this happen next year? At Gallaudet, or?
JEREMY: Our goal is to meet their expectations, their needs, and we adapt to their desires and wants. If that fits with the frame of having it done on a yearly basis, then fine. But if the necessary accommodations requires a two year advance planning, we want to take this serious and see it through.
MARA: Yep, right.
KARLA: So what’s your vision for the future look like?
JEREMY: The goal is that as this event becomes more well-known, then it will inspire generations to come and they’ll want to make it into a career, perhaps. Like dancing could be a career. Sign language as a career. Now we, as a team, we develop roles for this, and people could do internships for this. If they wanted to do it, they could learn and study the process of operating this show. The goal is to open up possibilities for careers.
MARA: Yep, right.
KARLA: Which means we won’t know for sure if it’ll happen in a year or two years, but be sure to follow their Facebook page, ASL Elements!