(Left-to-right) Lisa A. Stokes, Jamila Phillips, Carol Mayer, Audrah Cates and Jason Romano
Editor’s Note: Each week, ESPN’s Talent Producers will share their thoughts about their jobs on Front Row in a feature called “Waxing On The Car Wash.” Who are these people? Lisa A. Stokes shares details.
The very first ESPN talent producer (a k a “bookers”) was hired in 2002. Over the years, we slowly have evolved into a power group of five very talented individuals (pun intended). Our job consists of securing guests for all ESPN’s Bristol-based televised shows and handling any guests when they visit for what we call a “Car Wash.”
What’s a Car Wash? This is when a guest can do anywhere from 6-21 different interviews in one day for various ESPN platforms. Guests include anyone from coaches, athletes, celebrities, amazing kids who could dribble circles around LeBron, busboys who are Pop-A-Shot champions, black bear experts and, yes, even a skateboarding dog.
We average roughly 98 e-mails an hour and more than 700 text messages a month — each! When asked to describe our group in one sentence, a Coordinating Producer replied, “You’re a group that doesn’t take NO for an answer.”
Carol Mayer (based in Chicago) manages our group, and Jason, Lisa, Jamila and Audrah are based in Bristol. Below is more about each of us, including our favorite all-time carwash.
Carol Mayer – a k a The golf enthusiast (hired August 2004)
Favorite Car Wash guest: Ricky Williams, April 2010: He defied everything I had ever heard about him, his “30 for 30” was amazing and very memorable, too.
Jason Romano –a k a The Twitter Guru (hired July 2000)
Favorite Car Wash guest: Darryl Strawberry, May 2009: He was my favorite baseball player growing up and I got to spend an entire day with him.
Lisa A. Stokes – a k a The Wicked Bostonian (hired March 2008)
Favorite Car Wash guests: The entire cast of Grown Ups, June 2010: Meeting five hilarious comedians was awesome. Adam Sandler was my favorite because he was so down to earth and a very simple, pleasant guy.
Jamila Phillips – a k a The Sweetheart from the South (hired June 2006)
Favorite Car Wash guest: Scottie Pippen, February 2011: Having the pleasure to spend day with one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history was truly an experience I will never forget.
Audrah Cates – a k a The Sunshine State, Delight (hired October 2008)
Favorite Car Wash guest: Ndamukong Suh, December 2010: Suh came in with the Michael Jackson The Experience game and it was a fun-filled, interactive day.