Did You Know ..?
No, Jack Nicholson was never a doctor, but some of your favorite celebrities did work decidedly unglamorous day jobs before the stardom. What follows is my first LIST for Medium.
In 2005, I interviewed nearly 75 creatives for an inspirational non-fiction book, How to Survive a Day Job. My intent with the book was simple: I would interview a number of successful writers, actors, and others who have worked in a given creative arts field, to motivate those of us who had not yet attained our own artistic career goals.
I’ve been republishing some of those old interviews here of late and have received some fun, positive response. At the end of every chapter of my long-out-of-print tome, I included a section called Did You Know, which simply listed old day jobs of various public figures.
So, for motivational purposes only …
DID YOU KNOW ..?
Tim Allen was a creative director for an ad agency?
Tori Amos played piano in Los Angeles bars?
Pamela Anderson was a spokesmodel for a beer company?
Maya Angelou was a streetcar conductor in San Francisco (breaking the color and sex barrier)?
Jennifer Aniston was a waitress?
Giorgio Armani was a medical assistant for the Italian military?
Stone Cold Steve Austin loaded trucks at a freight terminal?
Alec Baldwin was a waiter and doorman at Studio 54?
Antonio Banderas was a waiter?
Lance Bass was a day care worker?
Kathy Bates was a gift shop cashier at New York’s Museum of Modern Art?
Warren Beatty was a bricklayer?
Annette Bening was a cook on a charter boat?
Jason Biggs was a Subway sandwich artist?
Billy Blanks was a garbage man?
Marlon Brando was an elevator operator?
Garth Brooks was a nightclub bouncer?
Mel Brooks was a drummer?
Sandra Bullock was a waitress?
Steve Buscemi was a New York City firefighter?
Michael Caine was a cement mixer?
Drew Carey was a waiter at Denny’s?
Mariah Carey was a waitress and hat checker?
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was a tax collector?
Tom Clancy was an insurance agent?
Eric Clapton was a construction worker?
George Clooney was an insurance salesman?
Sean Connery was a coffin polisher?
Elvis Costello was a computer programmer?
Michael Crichton was a professor of anthropology?
Russell Crowe was a bartender?
Kristen Davis was a waitress?
Ellen DeGeneres sold vacuum cleaners?
Johnny Depp sold pens over the phone?
Danny DeVito was a hairdresser?
Vin Diesel was a bouncer?
David Duchovny was a teaching assistant?
Robert Duvall was a truck driver?
Clint Eastwood was a lumberjack?
Jon Favreau was a maintenance worker?
Will Ferrell was a sportscaster?
Harrison Ford was a carpenter?
Jamie Foxx was a shoe salesman?
James Gandolfini was a bouncer?
Whoopi Goldberg was a makeup artist for a funeral parlor?
Cuba Gooding Jr. was a construction worker?
John Goodman was a bouncer?
Gene Hackman was a truck driver?
Goldie Hawn was a go-go dancer?
Dustin Hoffman sold toys at Macy’s?
Anthony Hopkins was a steelworker?
Chris Isaak was a funeral parlor assistant?
Hugh Jackman was a cashier at a health club?
Samuel L. Jackson was a security guard?
James Earl Jones was a janitor?
Harvey Keitel was a shoe salesman?
David E. Kelley was an attorney?
Martin Lawrence was a gas station attendant?
Jay Leno was a Rolls-Royce mechanic?
David Letterman was a weatherman?
Lucy Liu was an aerobics instructor?
William H. Macy was an acting teacher?
Julianne Moore was a waitress?
Bill Murray was a pizza chef?
Willie Nelson was a Bible salesman?
Leslie Nielsen was a radio announcer?
Nick Nolte was an ironworker?
Al Pacino was a building superintendent?
Luciano Pavarotti was an elementary schoolteacher?
David Hyde Pierce was a church organist?
Brad Pitt dressed as a chicken to promote El Pollo Loco?
Burt Reynolds was a bouncer?
Anne Rice was an insurance claims adjuster?
Julia Roberts worked in an ice cream shop?
Ray Romano was a futon delivery man?
Carlos Santana was a dishwasher?
Jerry Seinfeld sold light bulbs over the phone?
Snoop Dogg delivered newspapers?
David Spade worked in a skateboard shop?
Jon Stewart was a bike mechanic?
Oliver Stone was a New York City taxi driver?
Meryl Streep was a waitress?
Barbra Streisand was a switchboard operator?
Uma Thurman was a dishwasher?
Shania Twain was a secretary?
Robin Williams was a street mime?
So there you go. The next time you complain about your day job, bemoaning that your creative artist’s body and mind is being utterly wasted … refer to this list for motivational purposes.
Thank you for reading.
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