Orange Sign Language Guy Steals Show From Beyonce & Ravens

John Maucere, the ASL performance artist, who signed his way into the hearts of America during the Super Bowl is our new favorite person of 2013. While Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys may have been giving super star performances our eyes darted toward the corner of the screen where John, John’s tan and a fabulous blue shirt were turning the language of hands into the language of love. With the precision of a dancer and the soul of your grandma’s macaroni and cheese recipe he beautifully translated sound into motion. One question, and we ask this in pure ignorance, how can he be an ASL translator if he is also deaf? He is so perfectly in time with the music it’s almost as though he can hear it? If you know how this is possible, let us know in the comments!

John is very, very accomplished in the deaf and hard of hearing community. Taking a peek at his bio reveals a pretty impressive resume:

“John broke through Hollywood stereotypes and became the first deaf actor in ABC’s Talent Development Program, attended by the likes of Tom Hanks and Arsenio Hall.  From there, John appeared on several television series, such as NBC’s “Law and Order” and “Brand New Life,” USA Network’s “Pacific Blue,” and ABC’s “Parker Kane,” and “10-8.”   John founded DEAFYWOOD, which culminated its 13-year tour on the 2007 sold-out Deaf Freedom Cruise attended by 4,000 passengers where he was also its cruise director. Since then, John has voyaged around the world on several cruises with Passages Deaf Travel (PDT) as its cruise director and entertainer. He will be cruisin’ again with PDT to the Greek Isles, July 2013.”

He also does stand-up comedy, is an emcee, does ASL poetry, has an alter ego called Super Deafy and talk show host. We hope to see John in future televised performances because he adds an extra bit of spice and swag to our favorite divas. Check out his acting reel below:



  1. Well, Beethoven was deaf too- just because you're deaf doesn't mean you can't FEEL the music! A lot of deaf people do so through the vibrations etc :)

    1. IAMSF says:

      Beethoven became deaf. You should listen to the difference in his music before and after. Not the same.

    2. Of course it isn't the same, but doesn't mean he can't feel it still. Besides, have you heard deaf orchestras- even the ones full of young adults (deaf from birth) are AMAZING!

  2. Hex says:

    Did anyone notice a giant speaker right next to him? ;)

  3. Rob Nielson says:

    Very simple – he had a prompter in front of him cuing him. If you watch the video, you can see him occasionally glancing at the prompter to ensure he is in sync. You'll see the prompter when the video zooms out at the end. (The guy in the suit.)

    For those of you thought that his signing was inspiring and want to learn ASL, check out this YouTube playlist: http://goo.gl/Z4fA6

  4. Meredith says:

    Rob is right; there is a prompter for the ASL performer. You can see Marlee Matlin using the same method in her performance a few years ago when Billy Joel sang the anthem; video of this is available on YouTube.

  5. Jayne says:

    Deaf individuals who are fluent in ASL and English can become certified as interpreters (NOT translators) through the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Not all hearing interpreters are native users of ASL and so the Certified Deaf Interpreter [CDI] is a valuable asset to both the Deaf Community and Interpreting Community. Because there are variations and registers in American Sign Language, just as in English, some deaf individuals might not fully understand a hearing interpreter, and vice versa. A hearing interpreter will sign the spoken message to the CDI, who in turn signs it the the deaf individual. Conversely, the CDI will interpret the deaf person's signing into the form that the hearing interpreter understands, who will then put the message into spoken English. The CDI is often needed in legal and medical situations where it's critical that the language and cultural nuances are conveyed accurately. Also, a CDI would be more likely to understand a foreign deaf signer more easily and facilitate the communication in tri-lingual situations. Great show on ABC Family called SWITCHED AT BIRTH provides lots of insight to the Deaf World. Start with season one!

  6. dpahmedia says:

    I love this dude! :) He is one of my favorite Deaf actors! :)
    Keep up all of the excellent work that you do! :)

  7. Betty says:

    Why didn t they hire someone who is hard of hearing and can hear music? Sigh!

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