CHARLESTON, S.C. (FOX 13) - He captivated audiences during Hurricane Matthew with is vivid gestures and emotional facial expressions - and certified deaf interpreter Jason Hurdich even got a nod from South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley for his service during the storm.
"I want to thank someone who has been extremely instrumental in communicating what we need to have done. Jason Hurdich has become a rock star, and so I want to personally thank you for all that you've done," Gov. Haley said to Hurdich in front of a room of media and state and local officials Tuesday.
Hurdich seemed caught off guard when he realized he was relaying a message of thanks - for himself. Haley and Hurdich exchanged the sign for "thank you" and the press conference continued.
Hurdich is the only CDI in South Carolina, making him a necessary part of the state's messaging during a disaster. Hurdich stood close by Gov. Haley during daily updates on the storm's impact, relaying vital information for hearing impaired citizens across the state and around the world.
Hurdich's tall stature, black-framed glasses and animated delivery of American Sign Language (ASL) all likely contribute to his intrigue. Many who are not fluent in ASL took to social media to admit they were captivated by him.
After getting national attention, the ASL teacher and interpreter thanked 'fans,' adding a message for the hearing community: take the time and learn to sign. He also hopes those who can will help causes supporting the deaf and hearing impaired.
On his Facebook page, Hurdich thanked Gov. Haley for her praise and added many from vocational rehab services in the state.
In several of his posts, Hurdich explains his facial expressions are crucial to being an ASL interpreter. When signing, Hurdich says, expressions are as much a part of the conversation as rules of grammar are to speaking English.
At the end of the day, Hurdich told Fox Carolina he's just doing his job.