Somewhere after college football and before making it to the NFL, we meet the men whose dreams wouldn’t allow them to give up.
Chronicled in the Emmy-nominated series, UNDRAFTED, are the stories of these men who are defying the odds by overcoming height, age, weight, and personal tragedy to chase their dream of making it to the NFL. Christopher Reid (actor and former Kid ‘n Play rapper) narrates the show.
How is that you became involved with the project?
I actually have been a voice over artist since probably 2004 … Over the years, we were always a group, and then individually I kind of tried to add different things to the mix. We’re rappers that became actors, and became television, and movie actors. I started doing stand-up. One day looked out at the voice over landscape and said, “You know, I think I have what it takes.” I found myself a voice over agent, and have been doing a variety of different voice over jobs over the years. This just kind of came about as a regular audition.
I think the difference with this one was I had worked with the producer before on a different project. I had worked with Jon Weinbach before. He found out it was me that was auditioning, and he liked how my voice sounded with what they were trying to do. They hired me. The first season I think we only did 6 episodes. They didn’t really have a huge budget, and what not. Everybody was trying to work with one another, because we believed in the project. Here we are in the third season. It’s been a lot of fun. It’s a great show that they put together. I’m glad that I’m affiliated with it in some kind of way. I’m a football fan, so it all works out.
The Undrafted story, how does it resonate with you personally?
Like I was saying, we’re 3 years in. It’s amazing that every year they seem to find, the producers and what not, to find these really amazing stories of these young men trying to make it against incredible odds. Sometimes you start to remember some of the people’s names when you see them. Some of the stories are so compelling. Coming back from having lost loved ones, or some personal tragedy, and stuff. Coming from a small school, or coming from a big school, and not getting noticed. Families that sacrifice so much so that the player can still have an opportunity to fulfill their dreams. It’s an American story.
In particular, it’s a story that I think resonates with people. I think that’s why we ended up 3 seasons deep, because people love that underdog. I think a lot of fans see themselves in these players. I think we’ve all been in situations where, me personally coming up in my career in the entertainment business. We’re very familiar with people telling us that we weren’t going to make it, and that go do something else. Not being particularly encouraging, or having vision.
That’s something that I had to personally get through, and Play and I as a group had to get through. I definitely sympathize, and I definitely am aligned with that determination that these players have. Most of them are not going to make it, but the way that they’re going, you can live with it. If you don’t make it you can live with the fact that you did anything and everything, and you left no stone unturned. You left it all out on the field so to speak, you gave 150%. You know whatever they move on to, I think they can be at peace. They’ve done their best, and they’ve gone as far as they can go, and they gave everything they had to give. I think the show does a great job of capturing that energy. You know what it is? People have got to have hope. You know what I’m saying? If you don’t have hope, what do you have? You’ve got nothing. I think Undrafted is almost like that … what was that, like that Dumb and Dumber movie. “So, you’re saying there’s a chance?” There’s a chance.
Have you met any of the players personally?
No, I haven’t really met any of the players, which is interesting. One of the producers told me that he’d spoken with some of the players, and mentioned to them that I was doing the narration for the show, and some of the players are actually fans of mine. They were excited to hear that I was part of the show. That part was kind of cool. But, I haven’t met any of the players, yet.
It’s kind of weird because at 3 years of all these different players you almost feel like you know them. You know from watching all the footage, and reading the dialog about their lives. You feel like you know them. I know this one just had a baby, this one just got married, and this one probably got cancer. You feel like you kind of know them. I would love to meet them. I think they’re all really persons to be admired. They’ve gone through a lot to try to realize their dreams.
What’s some advice that you would give these players?
To be honest not too much. What I’ve seen from the footage that I’ve seen is, it’s such an incredible drive, and resolve, and will. From not just the players, but these players have families, they have support systems. They have coaches, and trainers, and agents that are part of their solar system. Each player needs to have a set of planets that’s revolving around it that help them. From what I’ve seen over the years, the players are going as hard as they can. They need to be doing everything with in their power to try to be the best player they can be, and then hopefully catch on with a NFL roster. They’re going to all these different combines. They’re preparing for pro days. Yet they still have to be a person. Some of them still have to be a father, a son, a brother, or what not. Not a lot of advice I’d give them, because I honestly feel like they’re going as hard as they can with as much drive and determination as they possibly can.
Other than Undrafted, what are any other upcoming projects we can expect from you?
We’re actually in the middle and about to wrap up towards the end of this year. Play and I are touring on the “I love the ’90s” tour with me, Play, Vanilla Ice, Salt-N-Pepa, Coolio, Young MC, All-4-One, Color me Bad. We’ve been out actually touring out since February. We’re going to take it out for the rest of the year, playing myself in this. They’re actually trying to route the tour for next year as well. Been really busy with that. Still doing stand-up, doing other voice over projects as well. Writing and producing music. A little bit of everything. Definitely the Kid ‘n Play stuff has stepped once again to the forefront. We’re having a lot of fun. On my off days when I’m back in town, that’s when I’ll record my Undrafted. On the weekends we’re back out dancing around and stuff.
The finale episode airs next Tuesday at 8 p.m. eastern.
Watch a Season 3 promo here. https://vimeopro.com/undrafted/undrafted-season-3-promotional/video/189237570