Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Spike Lee: "His interest piques and he raises his eyebrows."

Submitted by Mui Sam Le of San Jose State University.

Hi everyone,

I met Spike Lee this past Friday along with GCCWP member, Vanessa, and our friend, Jeanette. WE. HAD. THE. BEST. TIME. EVER.

My recap of the event is below: We get to Borders Bookstore at around 6 pm and only had to wait 30minutes before meeting him! I would say 150 -200 people gathered to meet him.

As we were waiting in line, we talked to a Borders employee about whether or not we can meet with Spike together. Vanessa and I practiced a spiel and wanted to be together to say it to him since we had different parts. Since Vanessa and Jeanette did not have any of his merchandise, it might have been a bit of a problem as he was only meeting people that owned his books or DVDs. The Borders employee said that it should be okay as long as we don't do anything crazy.

(Hmm..what did he mean by crazy?)

As we approach the front of the line, we find out that contrary to what the Borders employee said, the three of us cannot meet with Spike together and only the person with his merchandise could. We decided that I would be the one to do it since I own a copy of When the Levees Broke, a powerful documentary on Hurricane Katrina. Vanessa and Jeanette gave me a couple words of encouragement and I was off to meet Mr. Spike Lee!

First I say something like, "Hi." I was so nervous! Then I gave him my DVD to sign.

He looks at the post-it note with my name on it and asks how to pronounce it. I tell him and he says it correctly. That was way cool.

As he is signing my DVD, I begin my little talk. I tell him that I'm a student at San Jose State University and that his documentary inspired us to start a project called the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project. It has now spread to 43 campuses across the nation. His interest piques and he raises his eyebrows.

Then I go onto talk in detail about how the GCCWP is a national effort to push for federal legislation that will provide Gulf Coast residents with100,000 jobs to rebuild their communities.

He listens intently.

I mention this past week the resolution was introduced by Speaker Pro Tem in the California State Legislature and Congressman Bennie Thompson will introduce this to Congress in June. I said, "We want you to be there." I offer him a GCCWP flyer.

He looks quite interested and says, "Let me give you my fax number" then writes it down on the post-it note!!

As Spike is writing it down his fax number, I continue to talk and say that we've gotten the support of ACT and ACORN with Tanya Harris (who appeared in Levees alongside mother and grandmother) and Steve Bradberry.

Again, he looks interested by raising his eyebrows. I mention that they're 100% behind our effort. I ask him if he could sign an extra GCCWP flyer and he kindly does so, even though he was only supposed to sign his memorabilia. Lastly, I thank him for his time and shake his hand. (Yes, they were nice and soft). :)

It was an amazing night. So, let's send him that fax on Monday! I was thinking of cordial letter and include action steps and/or other ways he can support theGCCWP.

Do you have any thoughts or ideas?- Mui


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