My first encounter with Mike Hodge will always be associated with Los Angeles. I'd just landed at LAX and I was waiting for the shuttle bus to take me to pick up my rental car. I'd been waiting for about 25 to 30 minutes and the shuttle bus hadn't arrived yet. Mr. Hodge pardoned himself and asked had I been waiting long for the shuttle bus and I replied, "yes, I have." Although I didn't know him at the time, I felt a bit of relief knowing I wasn't the only one waiting for the shuttle. He made a phone call to the rental car service and they sent a shuttle out to us. In the interim of waiting, we made small conversation. I still wasn't aware of who he was until the arrival of our shuttle and he asked, "are you a dancer?" I replied, "No, but I'm an actress." He replied, "Really? I'm your (New York) local president," and he tapped the brim of his hat which had the SAG-AFTRA Logo embroidered on it. I was floored! My first time in Los Angeles and I'd met the President of the New York Chapter of SAG-AFTRA! He also held the position of National Vice President! He was so kind and down to earth. He was very passionate about the union and the services that the union provided.
When I started #ActorsLife, I reached out to him for an interview and he accepted the invitation without hesitation. He shared so much background information about the union and he dropped many jewels about the business and shared so many kind and inspiring words. He'd just been re-elected for another term as the New York Local President and National Vice President about three weeks ago. I sent him an email congratulating him and he replied with message of gratitude and appreciation, now hearing about his passing is surreal. Mr. Hodge was a very kind man who was very passionate about the union, it's members and it's pre-members as he called them (artists who hadn't joined the union yet). His legacy will definitely reign on and continue to inspire and encourage all whom he has touched. Rest well Mr. Hodge. The universe has said you need to rest and prepare for what's coming next.