Jessica Northey is probably one of the most generous people in the world. She painstakingly herds cats consistently, wrangling celebrity interviews, not just her radio gig, but for charity projects, country music videos and more. She’s well connected in Hollywood, Nashville and other media markets because she’s incredibly kind and generous and knows how to make connections with people who get pulled in millions of directions. She’s a giver. In a big way.
Jessica worked tirelessly to get a number of celebrities to contribute to the “Who’s Chris Brogan?” video we used at Chris’s Roast last week. She collected their contributions, sent them to me and I slapped together the montage to make everyone in the room laugh and ohh-ahh at the big shots who took some time to help us poke Chris.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. Or away from the forum.
Apparently, when I introduced the “Who’s Chris Brogan,” video, I went off-script and said, “I called some celebrity friends …” or some such verbiage rather than “we called some celebrity friends …” Some of the celebrity friends of Jessica’s saw the raw footage (posted by Steve and Diane Brogan — Chris’s parents — on MomPopPow) and somehow think that I was trying to take credit for her work and didn’t credit her for it.
It did come across that way. I’m sorry it did and am horrified anyone would think I was somehow douchey enough to take credit for someone else’s work. Truth is, I was setting up the video as a punch line to a joke, performing in front of a live audience and went off the cuff and screwed up my pronouns.
When I posted the video the next day, Jessica was the first name I credited. I also got help from Priya Ramesh, Shashi Bellamkonda and credited them. Though in the busyness of the moment (no excuse, but I had a lot going on that day), I forgot to thank Zena Weist and Angel Djambazov, who wrangled folks I used in the other video when she was at SOBCon. I didn’t have the time or patience then (though I’ve taken it now) to thank and link to every single person who contributed to the videos. We made Chris feel special and they each deserve thanks.
I also credited Jessica, Priya and Shashi in the Vimeo description in case folks found the video there, though I admittedly added this a day or two after.
But I didn’t credit Jessica enough.
She was really responsible for the connections and the “names” in the videos. (Cloris Leachman came through Shashi and Priya, who had worked with her doing the GoGranny campaign for Network Solutions.) To think that my line flub and hurriedness to get content out and move on to the next project took any credit away from, or at least didn’t highlight Jessica enough literally breaks my heart.
I’m not looking for an out here. I messed up. But I certainly hope no one really thinks I deserve much credit at all. The night was about Chris. I’m sorry my screw up made the after party not so.
To all of you who helped make Chris’s night awesome, THANK YOU!
Jessica Northey (Pure awesomeness); Priya Ramesh and Shashi Bellamkonda from CRT Tanaka and Network Solutions, respectively, for helping land Cloris Leachman; Zena Weist and Angel Djambazov for wrangling the social media celebrity types; Doc Searls, Erik Deckers , Tom Mabe and Eric Miltsch for throwing jokes at me that I may have used. I’m sure there might be a couple of others who said, “This would be funny …” that led to the brain meld and brainstorming sessions that wound up being my script for the night. If you were one of them, I thank you immensely. I am not a stand-up comedian and hosting the event from a script/content standpoint was certainly a team effort. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
To the participants in both videos – You guys and gals were freakin’ awesome. Thank you, so much: Actress and personality Sarah Jayne Gratton; comedian Alonzo Boden; Chris Burget from Bulls & Beavers; TV personality Shira Lazar; actress Cloris Leachman; uber designer and Brogan family friend Terri Nakamura; AdventureGirl Stefanie Michaels; everyone’s favorite celebrity head doctor, Dr. Drew; the rock band Lynhurst; The Bachelor star and personality Dr. Andy Baldwin; media mogul and expert Fred Jacobs; radio and television personality Terry Jaymes; journalist and Chris Brogan White House reporter Stephen Clark; President Obama (well … he was in there … heh); Shashi Bellamkonda (for his video contribution); Richard Binhammer from a big computer company; mobile and tablet app wizard Henry Balanon; Angel Djambazov (for his video contribution); author and PR expert David Meerman Scott; web strategist and analyst Jeremiah Owyang; Zena Weist (for her video contribution); author, PR expert and HARO founder Peter Shankman; SOBCon co-founder Terry Starbucker; web ninja Christopher Penn; and small business and travel social media expert Becky McCray.
To the folks in the crowd that night … thank you for playing along and making it fun for everyone.
To my fellow roasters – Joe Sorge, Liz Strauss, Dave Murray, Troy Janisch, Jeff Willinger, Amber Naslund, Rob Hatch, Chris’s boyhood friend Gary Soucy – You guys were flat awesome. Thank you for being brave, being fun and playing along. Though I’m disappointed you didn’t go after me harder. Heh.
To C.D. Vann, who had the idea and put the whole thing in motion months ago … I loved the idea then, I loved participating in it and I love that we had so much fun patting Chris on the back (and butt) a bit.
And to Chris — Thanks for letting us do this. Despite my screw ups, it was a lot of fun and I hope we made you feel special, buddy.
If I missed anyone, it wasn’t intentional. Thank you!