The "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul," singer Mary J. Blige
, was goofing around in a mall as a teenager making a demo in a karaoke booth. Anchorman Stone Phillips
was waiting tables. Supermodel Cindy Crawford
was a college freshman shucking corn at a fair in Illinois.
We've all heard countless stories of ways ordinary people were plucked from obscurity and catapulted into stardom. Still, let's be real: Mary, Cindy and Stone are the exception, not the rule. So, how many random gigs did most celebrities weather on the rocky path to fame?
Nothing wrong with a little guyliner...
fronted a KISS
tribute band, X-Man Hugh Jackman
was a clown, and Robin Williams
was a former mime. That's not a misprint. Robin Williams was once a silent performance artist. Glad he quit his day job!
Service with a smile
Rapper Lil' Kim
paid her rent as a Bloomingdales salesgirl (do pasties count as "business casual"?) and funnyman Steve Carell
delivered the mail before he delivered one-liners.
Nowadays, Jim Carrey
is paid big money not to be taken seriously, but it had to be a liability back when he was a security guard. Michael Caine
battled suds as a dishwasher while edgy comic Chris Rock
was a busboy. Rock has since joked about his employment with Red Lobster, "If you work there, you can't afford to eat there."
It's a dirty job but somebody (famous) has to do it
Classic movie tough-guy Charles Bronson
was a coal miner. Josh Holloway
" fame picked up dead chickens on a farm. Matthew McConaughey
reportedly shoveled chicken manure in Australia (let me guess...he did it shirtless?).
Bats didn't stand a chance after metal-act and former MTV star Ozzy Osbourne
worked in a slaughterhouse. Girls just want to have fun, not clean out dog kennels as Cyndi Lauper
Fought the law and the law won
If the name Danny Trejo
doesn't ring bells, the face (or tattoos) will. This hardworking character actor for the big and small screens (From Dusk till Dawn, Grindhouse
, The X-Files
, Desperate Housewives
) spent 11 years in and out of incarceration for numerous infractions.
Also notable for time served: prolific TV thespians Charles S. Dutton
(Roc) for manslaughter, and the "Tool Man" himself, Tim Allen
), for dealing cocaine.
Cherry on top
What is it with leading ladies and America's favorite frozen treat? Among many celebs who dished it out are Lucille Ball
, Julia Roberts
, and new screen sweetheart Nikki Blonsky
, who worked at a Cold Stone Creamery before winning the role of John Travolta's
daughter and Zac Efron's
main squeeze in the big-screen version of Hairspray
Muscle for Hire
It's certainly not a stretch to imagine Vin Diesel
, Jean-Claude Van Damme
and Mr. T
carrying out their former duties as bouncers. But Alec Baldwin
) should be lauded for his career as a firefighter, while some lucky gals likely escaped drowning because of Agent 007, former-lifeguard Sean Connery
Run that by me again?
Rat-catcher, Christmas decoration maker, dancer at the National Ballet school of Canada, giant chicken mascot for El Pollo Loco. Any guesses?
Matinee idol and notorious casanova Warren Beatty
chased rodents before he chased chicks. Jon Bon Jovi
crafted holiday ornaments before going multi-platinum and Captain Kirk (William Shatner
) was a talented twinkle toes pre-Star Trek
and Boston Legal
The poor soul sweating it out in the poultry parts: None other than one Mr. Brad Pitt
(goes to show you never can tell, ladies)!
Perspiration = Inspiration
It's said that Stephen King
dreamt up scenes from his bestselling novel "Carrie" while sweeping out a ladies locker room as a janitor. Quentin Tarantino
was famously inspired to become a filmmaker after his stint as a video store clerk. A hairdresser in his sister's salon, Taxi's Danny DeVito
enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic arts to pursue cosmetology and makeup. While there, he took an acting class and never looked back.
Whether you're stuck in a thankless job, on a vocation vacation or just discovering your true purpose, remember these lessons:
1. Never give up because your big break could be just around the bend.
2. Today's tragic job is tomorrow's anecdote.
3. No matter what you do, it can't be as bad as Rod Stewart's
first job: Gravedigger.
Now get back to work!
Story by Shannon Peace
Starpulse contributing writer
Thanks to www.hardlyfamous.com for providing some info about these celebrities' former lives.