I was sitting in a board meeting for Acadiana Center for the Arts when I received the call from Kristen.
“Where are you? Are you coming back to the office?” she asked after a short and simple, “Hello.”
My response: “What’s wrong?” My heart fell into my stomach. Her tone changed and I could hear the smile in her voice, “Cox secured Drew Brees. BUT (capital B-U-T) production needs to happen next Monday – a week from today.”
I finished my meeting and raced back to the office to get to work.
In one day, my team quickly developed script options. On the second day, we received feedback from the client. On the third day, the scripts were reviewed and approved by the entire Drew Brees entourage, which included he and his wife. By Thursday we were ready to go. (Only one minor change on Saturday – the shoot time was moved from 7 a.m. To 6:30 a.m. Monday. No problem.)
Something you should know about Louisianians – particularly post-Super Bowl XLIV Louisianians. When it comes to all things Saints, fans tend to get a little … passionate. Let’s just say that the main directive I gave my crew was that there would be no fandom. No autographs. No photos. No kneeling before the altar of “Breesus.” Should be simple enough. After all, we are professionals, right?
At 6:30 a.m. the room was filled with groggy crew members and Cox executives trying to wake up with a dose of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Energy came with the first whispers of, “He’s here, he’s here.” I, of course, was still acting cool as a cucumber. No big deal; let’s get to work.
Then I saw him. Drew Brees was in the house. It was about that point that I fell apart. This “professional” woman, melting into a silly schoolgirl. A smile plastered to my face. Then I could feel them, uncontrollable giggles bubbling to the surface. “Oh no!” I walked to a quiet corner. “Pull yourself together, Cathi,” I said to myself. “He’s just a man who likes to play football. No big deal.” But it was a big deal. Bigger than I ever imagined. I was officially, for the first time in my life, starstruck. I had seen the light – I was a crazy Saints fan.
I pulled myself together and Drew’s grogginess wore off. The short hour and a half that we had with him was a success – it was a wrap. Our shoot that began at 6:30 a.m. was finished 10 minutes before 8 a.m.
My children enjoy telling their friends that their Mom met Drew Brees. What I like to tell everyone is how nice Drew Brees was. No pomp. No ego. He was down to earth, funny and friendly. I’m sold and I’m officially a fan.
I have a number in my head, from 1-100. If your blog comment number matches the number in my head, you’ll win a free commemorative Saints Super Bowl t-shirt from the BBR store, http://bbrcreative.bigcartel.com/