I went to UCLA… for lunch!
I’m not much into the whole higher education thingy. If that’s your jam, great! But I have a different take on it. That’s a story for another blog.
When I was a Hollywood talent agent I wanted to be the best! So, I was all about taking courses. One course that I took that absolutely changed my life was Ken Kragen’s Stardom Strategy class at UCLA. It was a 12-week extension class that met 2x a week.
At the time, Kragen was the ultimate Hollywood manager and TV producer. So, I decided to learn from the best. To make a long story short, two years after the class was over I was sitting in my Hollywood office of Brooke – Dunn – Oliver, a talent agency I was working for on Sunset Blvd. It was a Friday, I was having a pity party because my car had just quit working and it was going to cost $4700 to fix, and oh yeah, I had just been fired!
I was looking to move to another talent agency and word had leaked out that I was looking to leave, so Richard Dunn, the head of the agency fired me. Ouch!
On that very day, out of the blue, Ken Kragen called me and said, “You made such an impression on me 2 years ago I haven’t forgotten it. And, I don’t know what you are doing, but I’d love to have you come work for me and manage my career.”
- The car breaks down 8:00am
- I am fired from my job at 12:30 pm
- I have a pity party in my office at 12:45pm
- I receive a phone call with a job offer for the best job ever at 1:00pm
And some people say there isn’t a God.
The reason Ken asked me to come work for him was a direct result of his strategies he calls, The Magic of Threes.
Ken Kragen’s STARDOM STRATEGIES The Magic of Threes
- Three strikes in baseball
- The American Circus has three rings
- There were 3 Wisemen
- There are 3 beats to a joke
- There is three to the Trinity: God, The Son, and the Holy Spirit
- 3 is the first odd-numbered prime number which gives it the power of indivisibility
- There are 3 Primary Colors
You get the idea. There is SOMETHING MAGICAL about doing things in 3 as well. Ken stressed this over and over in his class.
EXAMPLE: If you want to get a job, apply the magic of threes
- Submit your resume (Natch!)
- Send the hiring manager a hand-written note explaining why you want to work for the company (Do your research first!)
- Have someone who knows the hiring manager personally call and put in a good word on your behalf.
DROP the MIC you just got hired!! You’re welcome!
Well, I was a talent agent, I did not want a job working for Ken Kragen, but I did apply the Magic of Threes and outwitted “Professor Kragen” at his own game when I was a student in his class. Ken was the organizer of “We Are The World”
So on the morning of the last day of class, I took out a full-page ad in both daily Hollywood trade papers, Daily Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter. It was very spendy… My American Express Card absorbed the sting!!
Here is a copy of that ad from 1991
1. That ad came out in the morning. 2. When Ken walked into the UCLA lecture hall where our class was meeting, there was a huge basket of goodies to greet him. Including 2 tickets for an LA Lakers game as he was a huge basketball fan. Again, thanks to American Express!
Well a combination of the morning ad in the trades and now this, Ken was starting to get misty-eyed. But, he preached on the Magic of Three’s, right?
3. The third surprise was that all of the students had gotten together outside of the classroom one night and rented a recording studio to record a parody of We Are The World, called, We Are The Class. So, right on cue when Kragen stood there on stage of the UCLA lecture hall the entire class of 175 people stood up and sang, We Are The Class, with a video of the recording session playing on the overhead screens. Ken was weeping by now.
So much for the nights planned curriculum… Right? Well, no… because in show business the show must go on. That night was a guest lecture by one of Ken Kragen’s long-standing clients, Kenny Rogers. Kragen had represented Rogers for about 20 years at that point.
After Kenny Rogers spoke to the entire class for about an hour it was Q & A time. The first student’s question to Rogers was, “If you were just starting out in the music industry today, who would you get for your manager?” Kenny Rogers looked directly at me, pointed to me and answered the question by saying,
“I’d hire Mr. Brick… because if he can make Ken Kragen cry, he has mad skills.”
So two years later, on the day he hired me… just hours after my car broke down after I had just been fired, and after I had my pity party, Ken said, oh, by the way, part of your salary I haven’t mentioned yet is I’m giving you a brand new car!!
His call to me that day was two years after I had taken his class. That day he called me I had not mentioned anything to him about my car breaking down or just getting fired. I was Vice President of Kragen and Company for almost 4 years.
So… do I believe in God, The Son, and The Holy Spirit? YES.
Do I believe in the Magic of Threes? You better bet I do.
Have a great day! Have a great day! Have a great day!
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