How a Deaf Signer Performs the Super Bowl Anthem in Time With the Singer

Arika Okrent

"The Star Spangled Banner" is a notoriously difficult song. Not only do singers have to contend with its octave-and-a-half range, but at the Super Bowl, they have to deal with the auditory feedback bouncing around a giant stadium and the pressure of live TV. Since 1992, there has also been a simultaneous American Sign Language performance of the anthem. For Deaf performers, the issues are different, but no less difficult.

In this video, comedian John Maucere describes what it was like to sign the anthem at the 2013 Super Bowl alongside Alicia Keys. He hilariously describes the method he used to keep time with the singer—an interpreter signaling him to speed up or slow down—and what happened when it all threatened to go wrong. (Be sure to turn the sound off on the video for captions.)

[h/t DPAN.TV]

Banner photo courtesy of Getty Images.