If you follow the 610 Stompers, the star of an amusing new Paul McCartney music video may look familiar.

The first in a series of videos for “Come On To Me,” the latest single from Sir Paul’s current “Egypt Station” album, features Mike Marina, a proud Stomper since 2014.

Until the concluding scene, Marina is the only person in the clip, which was shot mostly at Rubensteins, the high-end men’s clothing store at the corner of Canal Street and St. Charles Avenue.

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Marina plays a security guard named Fred who, bored by the Muzak on the store’s speakers, cues up “Come On To Me.” He then lip-syncs and dances his way through the song and the store, all unabashed, big-eyed enthusiasm and joy.

His epic performance, informed by his Carnival season street dancing with the Stompers, is meant to inspire “amusement or bewilderment,” he noted recently. “One of the two.”

For Marina to get his big break, a random set of dominoes had to fall in place, starting with a cruise ship lip-syncing competition. He rocked Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” in a blonde wig, leather vest and shiny orange and silver pants. His aunt recorded his performance and posted it to Facebook.

Weeks later, Marina received an email from a woman named Lindsay, who’d seen the Facebook post. Would he like to be in a music video?

Sure.

He initially assumed the video was some sort of student production. When told it was for a Paul McCartney song, he still didn’t believe it was a “real” McCartney video.

“Why is a former Beatle finding random people on Facebook?” Marina said. “Our worlds don’t match up.”

Lindsay, it turned out, was Lindsay Stillman, a production manager working with director T.G. Herrington. The New Orleans-based Herrington’s extensive credits in commercials, TV and movies include a 2009 short film about local vegetable vendor Mr. Okra, as well as “A Tuba to Cuba,” the new documentary chronicling the Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s pilgrimage to Cuba.

Herrington knows McCartney’s manager, Scott Rodger, who is also based in New Orleans (until 2017, Rodger managed Arcade Fire, whose principals live here). After discussing the “Come On To Me” video concept with Rodger, Herrington submitted a treatment, and landed the directing job.

He envisioned three people working the night shift who, thinking they are alone, let loose to “Come On To Me.” The twist is that someone sees them and, after an awkward moment, joins in.

Determined to shoot entirely in New Orleans with a local cast and crew, Herrington sought “real people,” not professional actors or dancers, to make the performances more authentic.

Being well-acquainted with Mardi Gras dance troupes – his wife, Nicelle, the video's producer, is a retired member of the Sirens organization – he figured he’d find at least one lead character among them: “I knew we couldn’t go wrong with the 610 Stompers.”

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610 Stompers tryouts 9.August 12,2017

Mike "Whoopi" Marina, center, with fellow 610 Stompers John "Yertle" Nonnamaker, left, and Chuck "Pops" Bopp.  

Nicelle Herrington scouted various dance troupes and had Stillman look up individual Stompers on Facebook. Marina's cruise ship lip-sync video stood out; he got called in for an audition.

Marina arrived wearing eyeglasses, as he normally does. T.G. Herrington asked him to take off the glasses – and realized he’d found his man.

“I knew from the second he stepped in for the audition that he was the one,” Herrington said. “His face radiated awesomeness.

“He’s a pro, but not a pro. Mike is short and stout, but he moves so fluidly, like water. That dude can wiggle. That wiggle and that smile got him the job.”

By day, Marina, 28, works for the New Orleans Public Library. A classically trained chef with a degree in culinary arts, he also operates his own private catering business, specializing in romantic dinners (“I’m like a food genie – your wish is my command”).

His scant on-screen credits included an episode of the Food Network competition “Guy’s Grocery Games” and being an extra in a kitchen scene for the HBO series “Treme.”

To prepare for the McCartney shoot, Marina immersed himself in “Come On To Me,” playing it constantly in his car, memorizing the lyrics.

Filming was scheduled for the night of Sept. 13, after Rubensteins closed. Herrington assumed downtown would be deserted, in keeping with the feeling of isolation he wanted for the video.

But unbeknownst to the director, that was the night of the Beyonce and Jay-Z concert at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Afterward, Canal Street was teeming with pedestrians and cars.

“People were everywhere,” Herrington said. “At 5 a.m., we still had to contend with people popping by.”

He didn’t hire a choreographer, preferring to let Marina and the other dancers concoct their own moves.

“It had to come from them,” Herrington said. “It may not be perfect, but it will be powerful.”

For 10-plus hours, Marina heaved his “fluffy self” into the task, hamming it up for the cameras, sustaining his energy with granola bars, water and coffee. The 610 Stompers influence is evident: In the video, he’s constantly marching in place, because he’s accustomed to dancing while walking with the Stompers.

The final scene in a “storefront” window was shot at the Saint Hotel on Canal Street. A guy walking his dog comes across Marina dancing in the window display. The dog-walker is played by Gus Anderson, cast from Herrington’s directory of interesting characters he meets in New Orleans.

Herrington shot two other, similar videos for “Come On To Me.” One features local real estate investor and furniture maker Ali Alhermimi as a love-struck food truck vendor. Another stars Deanna Davillier, an administrator for nonprofits, as “Elsa,” a cleaning lady who gets her groove on.

Hoping to spark a viral moment like the “Kiki Challenge” inspired by Drake’s “In My Feelings,” Team McCartney is encouraging fans to vote on their favorite from the three videos.

So far, Marina’s clip has triple the views of the others, at 224,000 and counting. His friends have been sending him text messages with GIFs culled from the video, which he finds “quite weird.”

What did McCartney think of Marina’s performance?

“He went nuts over it,” Herrington said. “It’s hard not to. It’s pure magic on screen.

“It’s not trying to be cool. It’s not over-thought. It’s just 100 percent joyful. It makes you want to get up and shake your ass, all because of the main character, and the track. Paul was blown away by all the performances. He loved the uniqueness that each brought to the table.”

Marina has yet to meet McCartney. But he wouldn’t mind dancing onstage to “Come On To Me” when McCartney comes to the Smoothie King Center in May.

“I would love to be a part of something like that,” Marina said. Until then, “I have my hands up, and I’m riding the roller coaster. It’s been a fun ride so far.”

Screen shot from U tube video

New Orleans Public Library employee Mike Marina, a member of the 610 Stompers, stars in a new video for the Paul McCartney song "Come On To Me." It was mostly shot at Rubensteins, the men's clothing store in downtown New Orleans. The final scene of him dancing in a window display was shot at the Saint Hotel on Canal Street. The dog walker is played by Gus Anderson.

Follow Keith Spera on Twitter, @KeithSpera.

Keith Spera writes about music, culture and his kids.