Jim Carrey in the Duck FactoryDo you ever wonder what all of the big actors did before they became famous?  Besides the Olson twins, the Fanning sisters and a few others, most of the stars we know went unnoticed for most of their lives until they got their big breaks.  They worked hard and did everything they could to move their careers in the direction that they wanted to go.  They took jobs doing whatever they could find to pay the bills or potentially get noticed.  It always thrills me to find some big time actor and then look them up on IMDB.com to find out what they did before becoming famous.  For example, Jim Carrey was a starving comedian in Canada that took roles in  shows that no one has ever heard of like The Duck Factory and dozens of other roles before he was discovered for his rubber face in Ace Ventura.

George Clooney on RoseanneSome big time actors even got roles in classic movies that everyone has heard of but sort of blended into the background because nobody knew who they were.  Did you know that George Clooney was on Roseanne?  Or that Adam Sandler was on the Cosby Show?  Here’s a list of 23 more celebrities that fell into the background of classic shows and movies.

Gunther from Friends started as an extraSome actors got a big break just by being in a movie that become a hit and some actors worked their way up in one TV show.  James Michael Tyler, better known as “Gunther” on Friends was supposed to be a nameless extra in the back of one of the scenes in the Central Perk coffee shop in the Friends TV series.  They put him behind the counter because he was the only extra who knew how to use an espresso machine (who said a variety of experience never pays off?).  The Gunther character was such a hit, they ended up making Tyler  the most frequent appearing guest star with 131 appearances over 10 years.

So what can a temp worker learn from the big time Hollywood actors?

  1. Everyone has to start somewhere – If you want to be the CEO, you have to climb your way up to the top.  It takes hard work and whatever jobs you can get to move you forward in your career and give you that big break.
  2. Even if you make it to the right place, it doesn’t mean that you will be discovered right away – We saw that many actors had roles in classic movies and TV shows but still weren’t discovered until much later.
  3. It takes time to become and overnight success – Success doesn’t happen overnight.  Success comes from hard work over long periods of time that finally pay off down the road.
  4. You never know when the most random skills will boost your career – Gunther got his role because he knew how to use an espresso machine.  As a temp worker, you may think that working in a coffee shop or in an industry not related to your career goals is a waste of time but as you can see, that’s not always the case.  I temped as a waiter, bookkeeper, actor, and many other temp jobs and I feel that I gained something from each temp position that I was able to use for future jobs.
What else can you learn as a temp worker from the Hollywood stars?  Have you gained any skills from a temp job that you thought you would never use but ended up needing it?  Share in the comments.
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