A few weeks ago, I put together an article entitled “Celebrity Actors & Their College Majors,” which catalogued what celebrities had studied in college before they got their big break. Evidently, someone at Forbes.com was thinking along similar lines in putting together, “Celebrity First Jobs,” which recounts what a few Hollywood celebrities did before they were on the A list. Notables include:

Johnny Depp. Supported himself fronting a Kiss tribute band, which at one point opened for the B52s and Iggy Pop, and by selling pens over the phone — a feat which Depp supposedly called his “first acting job” because of all the different voices he used to alleviate his boredom.

Teri Hatcher. Before landing her first role as a mermaid on The Love Boat, Hatcher was a cheerleader for the San Francisco 49ers.

Quentin Tarantino. The Grindhouse director actually began his career in film in a “grindhouse” of another sort. He was an usher at a porno theater in Southern California.

Chris Rock. Actually started his comedic career as a busboy at a Red Lobster.

Danny DeVito. Worked for eighteen months as a hair dresser in his sister’s salon before enrolling at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts to pursue his true passion — makeup and cosmetology.

What I find most appealing about this article — and why it’s appropriate for a forum dedicated to Education & Careers — is that it proves that first jobs are just that: first jobs. They’re not supposed to be ideal. They’re not accurate predictors of success or satisfaction.

Most of all, they’re not lifelong commitments. At best, they are simply placeholders — just something to keep us occupied until a better job comes along. The real question is: what do you do when something better doesn’t come along? In a sense, that’s precisely the focus of this forum. Hopefully, we’ll be able to answer that question in the coming weeks and months as we examine specific concerns people have when it comes to furthering their education, or enhancing their career.

After all, you can only stand outside in a giant chicken costume waving frantically at passing cars for so long, right? Then again, if that does describe your first job, at least you’re in good company. That’s how Brad Pitt started.


Benjamin Welch has been a college instructor in writing and composition for nearly six years. When he’s not teaching or playing golf, he offers advice for students seeking information about online education and online degrees.

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2 comments on “Celebrity First Jobs

  • I can see Danny DeVito working at his sister’s hair salon, but did he have to stand on a stool or phone book just to be as high as the average person’s height? That would be bizarre, am I right? 😉

  • The course will help students in applying their entrepreneurial thinking through field studies, personal interactions with successful entrepreneurs and performing as consultants to others creating new ventures.

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