Jane Stewart called me today to partake in one of Jane’s favorite surprise roasts, the celebration of Jan Berendsen’s, err, 14th birthday, a milestone. Jan is the Vice President of Factor | Chosen Management, formerly Elite Model Management in Chicago, a close colleague and friend…Above, Jan with now Women’s Division Director Stephen Hall, and one of our beauties, Donia and her mum. And, Jane opening up a present!
Here is my contribution to the festivities:
“Hi from sunny ( !! ) Los Angeles Jan
A few weeks ago, my phone rang, and the caller ID had that familiar 312 number. To my delight, it was Jane! After our general commiserating about life and such, we ended up howling with laughter as usual to end our conversation. I am glad that Jane called. While I knew that your birthday was impending, I think my calendar says you are currently 14yo. (Jane’s calendar marking says 12yo!) But, in a whisper and hushed tone — I could just imagine Jane looking at her doorway and her hand held over the phone — Jane told me of your milestone! I think the fever pitch of our laughter together increased over reminiscing about days gone by, and the pranks played during these sorts of events. I can only imagine some of the “roasting” that you have endured this go around!
It was another milestone of yours all of those years ago when I joined that incredible team, then Elite — 1994 was a very good year! (You would have been minus 6yo!) I won’t forget my first day at the agency — WHO was that person sitting over in New Faces was the vibe, and an ever so slight chill. That is until later that same afternoon when I turned to the brick wall at the Superior Street office, and started to scream at somebody over the phone trying to screw me out of a girl — imagine that. Well, let’s just say the beehive of activity increased in the office and we coined our much used phrase, FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS!! (We got the girl by the way!) What an incredible ride it was. Remember sitting on airplanes either headed to/from New York, or Los Angeles, and you scrawling countless tiny notes about how we were going to save the modeling world??!! Only to revisit your scrawl the next day and say, “What the HELL” !! (I am sure you still make countless tiny notes, EVERYWHERE about EVERYTHING!! Eye roll.)
I just love you Jan. Thank you, thank you for everything. Happy Birthday. Much love.
p.s. I will never forget our Tuesday evening Symphony Subscription, teaching you about the Negroni cocktail and Bombay Sapphire straight up with an olive! Oh, I could go on and on. Love.”