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On Geoffrey Owens & the Dignity of the Day Job (Special Mini Episode!)

Hustle & Grace with Hilary Sutton

Release Date: 09/13/2018

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In this episode we explore the dignity of the day job.: Geoffrey Owens’ story, two myths about actors with day jobs, and three tips to create a career you love that is a combination of passion job and ‘pay the bills’ job.

Last week Geoffrey Owens, an actor from “the Cosby Show,” made headlines after a woman shopping at Trader Joe’s in Clifton, New Jersey, was so surprised to see Owens bagging groceries that she took a picture and sent it to the Daily Mail, which ran the headline, “From learning lines to serving the long line!” After that, Fox News picked up the story, and then it really began to make waves on Twitter—not so much shaming Owens for being a grocer but more so shaming Fox News for shaming Owens for being caught in the act of a day job.

Here’s the thing though…Owens has been a working actor for decades. He’s been on Broadway four times, was a cast member on “the Cosby Show” for five seasons, and has had roles on shows like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “the Secret Life of the American Teenager.” You can check out his IMDB page to get the full scoop of where he’s been (TV-wise) for the past couple of decades.

Owens was interviewed by CNN about his day job at Trader Joe’s. Here’s what he had to say:

“The fact that I as the guy from the Cosby show was shamed about working at Trader Joes that story is gonna move on that’s gonna pass ya know? But what i hope doesn’t pass is this new recognition, this current sensitivity that people are feeling about work and about working. I hope what continues to resonate is the idea that one job is not better than another, that a certain job might pay more, it might have better benefits, it might look better on paper but that essentially one kind of work is not better, superior than another kind of work and that we reevaluate that whole idea and we start just honoring the dignity of work and respecting the dignity of the working person.” —Geoffrey Owens

3 Tips to Create a Career that is a Combination of Passion Job and ‘Pay the Bills’ Job

1. Brainstorm about what skills and interests you have aside from your main passion.

2. Think about your values.

3. Don’t be afraid to create your own job.

Mythbusting about Actors with Day Jobs

1. Actors with day jobs are “unsuccessful.”

2. Day jobs are soulless gigs actors have to take to be able to pay their rent.

Connect with Hilary on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You can also catch the episode of Melissa's "Figuring It Out" podcast in which Hilary is guest discussing how to work from home productively.

This episode is sponsored by
the Side Hustle Starter Kit.