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Yesterday afternoon I spoke to Stanley Kaplan. When our conversation ended he told me. “Thank you for your call Djamee, you made my day.” A far cry from when I first met him at his office 😭😭😭Some of you may want to read this. Stanley is a legendary man who in the 80’s ran one of the most successful JOBS AGENCY in Manhattan.
Later on when technology changed and with a son Josh who was a print star; he opened his own Talent Agency; licensed with the State of New York (those prestigious license are no longer granted).
There, highly skilled from his prior experience finding jobs to thousands of people on the regular; Stanley started to fill TV commercials ; movie sets with I kid you not thousands of people. Legend starring Will Smith; The original MIB; American Gangster; The Notorious BIG; are some studio movies in which I put my talent on when he was filling the bulk of daily orders.
But what I want to share with you is something more than the obvious. When I first walked in his office to pickup a check for my first model Rome; (he was getting paid to sit at “People’s Court.”) And since it was a glamorous lackluster, the agent had promised us that the TV Show Director would give Rome several close ups.
Anyways I digress again. So when I passed Stanley’s office on my way to the back where Tash, my liaison there had her own office I attempted to say hello to the man and I got absolutely no reaction.
Not a nod; not even a “hummm. ” He never looked in my direction. He did not say hello back. Whatever he was doing; that’s what he continued doing.
On the way out I tried again. Bye Stanley. The same thing happened 😂😂😂.
That night I asked Tash, what’s wrong with him? I think that’s rude not to answer people when they say hello to you. Tash nicely said don’t worry about that he is always like that.
In fact this is not until after several bookings for small jobs and until he called me and joined me at an open call I was holding on a weekly basis at a cyber coffee on the Lower East side; after he invited me to open his Modeling Division on the other side of his office that Stanley seemed to know who I was when I was walking 🚶🏼♀️🚶🚶🏼♀️ in his office.
Morale? Stanley like most successful people you meet are focused people. They don’t gossip; they don’t mind what happens around them when they are building and minding their own business.
Come to think about it. If he was saying hello to everyone coming to his office there would be no time for anything else. He was not at a social event, or a celebrity on a street bitching about acknowledging a fan or a paparazzi.
There are levels to this that no school but the school of hard knocks only can teach you.
I’m grateful; thankful; appreciative for the time he took to mentor me and the thousands of dollars of his own money that he invested in me. We are still business partners to this day with a mutual respect for each other.
You don’t make them like Stanley nowadays but we can learn from them.