LUMBERTON — The night Lindsay Rothschild-Cross' boss called and told her she'd gone 'viral' on Facebook, the 29-year-old Lumberton teacher didn't sleep.
"It was my worst nightmare," Rothschild-Cross said. "I was like, 'No! Not me! No!,'" she said with a laugh.
Rothschild-Cross, who teaches American Sign Language at Lumberton High School, said her students had often told her she would go viral.
She should have believed them. She went viral signing for her first ever metal concert.
Suddenly, her friends and colleagues were tagging her in a video shot by Freddie Ibarra, of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and shared by Beat Magazine, that shows her signing the music of metal band, Lamb of God.
Ibarra shot the video at a show on June 20, 2018, in Austin at a show where Slayer, Anthrax, Behemoth and Testament shared the stage.
As of Thursday Ibarra's video had been viewed more than 800,000 times and had amassed 10,000 shares on Facebook.
Eight days after Ibarra posted his video, the Facebook page for Beat Magazine an Australian music publication, posted Ibarra's video and it really took off.
That video post has been viewed about 5.8 million times and has been shared about 90,000 times as of Thursday.
The video shows Rothschild-Cross giving an emotional interpretation of Lamb of God's performance.
"I just started laughing," Rothschild-Cross said. "I laugh when I'm nervous."
The tags kept coming, from Ibarra's home country of Mexico and all over the United States at first, but then from places like Australia and China.
Along with teaching ASL, Rothschild-Cross works for a group called Amber G Productions that provides ASL interpreters for concerts and other musical events.
Rothschild-Cross said she was worried when the video first started picking up popularity because she didn't want people to think she had posted it herself.
"It helped that he posted it, and that it was clear he filmed me on his own. I didn't want the attention, but I'm glad ASL is having a moment in the spotlight," she said.
Rothschild-Cross said her passion is advocating for the deaf and training future interpreters to increase opportunities for deaf people and educating people about the intricacies of ASL and the richness of the deaf community.
"I want people to understand that deaf people can do anything anyone else can do, except hear," she said.
Rothschild-Cross emphasized that deaf people not only have the ability, but the right to enjoy music.
She said people often ask why deaf people would even go to a concert, and she said it's the same reasons anyone else would.
'They can have the same experience. The things we're signing - high and low tones, guitar, bass, drum, symbol - they experience that, too," Rothschild-Cross said.
She said her group tries to arrange for their deaf clients to be at the front of the crowd so they can better feel the impact of the bass from the speakers, and have a clear view of the interpreter and the artists.
"Some venues insist on putting us in the back, and it's just not the same. Our clients are breaking their necks trying to look back and forth between us and the musician," she explained.
That wasn't her experience at the Lamb of God concert, though. Rothschild-Cross and her hearing and non-hearing team members were right next to the stage and the clients were able to see the interpreters and the band at the same time.
She said the metal music community was extremely welcoming, and some concert-goers even offered to buy her a drink while she was working. She politely declined.
The metal community's comments on the post have been the nicest Rothschild-Cross told 12News.
The self described "county girl" listened to the music and prepared and practiced her interpretation.
"It's not like translating. It's not word for word," she said.
Rothschild-Cross aid ASL is a young language, only about 200 years old, and uses different methods to convey things that spoken languages can get across by inflection and pitch.
She said her facial expressions are a form of character building, and in some cases serve as a form of grammar. Rothschild-Cross takes on the rolls of characters she's expressing, called surrogation.
"You have to take on the roll of the character or your story doesn't make sense," she explained. "The song was about someone who was angry and turned away from God, so I had to convey that."
Rothschild-Cross said they work to convey the message of the artist and not their own feelings about the songs. She explained that there is a lot of wiggle-room with ASL, and each interpreter may have their own way of showing a specific idea, but the goal is to keep the heart of the message the same.
Watching Rothschild-Cross interpret, it's easy to see the passion and fire, not just in the song she's interpreting, but also the passion and fire she has for her job.
"My biggest goal is to educate non-sign language people and so them what deaf people are capable of doing," she said.
"They can do anything."