NEW ORLEANS – When Sir Paul McCartney needed a dancer for his latest music video, he turned to the 610 Stompers.
And the result is one amazing video for the song “Come on to Me” featuring the majestic and irresistible dance stylings of Mike Marina, better known locally as Whoopi, his Stompers nickname.
“It was the most random bit of serendipity ever,” Marina said. “One of the producers heard about or saw a video of me dancing with the Stompers and messaged me on Facebook.”
Naturally, Marina was skeptical when he first read the message.
“She sends me the Paul McCartney song, and I’m like ‘Paul McCartney’s not looking for people on Facebook,’” Marina said. “I honestly thought it was like a film student, or an art student, or somebody who just needed to make a video and just needed a dude dancing in it. I never thought it was a real thing.”
Once another producer told Marina that they had rented out Rubenstein’s for a full night, Marina realized that the dancing gig was for real.
“I was on board from that point forward,” he said.
The crew took over the downtown business for 12 hours about a month ago, Marina said, and he got to work busting a move while lip syncing emotively directly at the camera.
In the video, Marina plays “Fred,” a bored security guard who starts to hear McCartney’s catchy song and can’t keep himself from dancing.
The son of an actress, Marina said he’s been “a ham” since his earliest days, but his time with the 610 Stompers has turned him into “a rhythmic ham.”
That early exposure to acting came in handy when Marina, as Fred, has to suddenly get serious when a passing stranger catches him dancing in a window display.
Marina said his experience dancing with the Stompers and the dance crew’s innate ability to convert an initially skeptical crowd into willing participants helped him nail the moment.
And no, he did not get to meet Paul McCartney.
“Honestly, I was waiting for him to just like pop in, just like a random person,” Marina said. “But no, I have yet to meet him. Hopefully that happens in the future. We’ll see. If he needs extra security, he knows where to find me, and he already knows that I can dance to his song. He won’t have to pay for security and a dancer. I’m the best of both worlds!”