Last month (actually December 6, 2014 thru January 31, 2015), the Teen Department ran a "Before They Were Famous They Had Regular Jobs" contest as part of the library-wide Smithsonian The Way We Worked exhibit. For this contest, you were asked to match 10 celebrities with the jobs they had before they became famous.
Now, here are the answers:
- Beyonce (singer): Swept hair in a beauty salon.
- John Green (author): Worked as a chaplain in a hospital.
- Hugh Jackman/Wolverine (actor): Physical Education teacher.
- Gwen Stefani (singer): Worked at Dairy Queen.
- Johnny Depp (actor): Telemarketer.
- Jennifer Lawrence (actor): Assistant Nurse at a day camp.
- Stephanie Meyer (author): Receptionist.
- J.K. Rowling (author): Taught English as a second language.
- Jamie Hyneman (Mythbuster): Certified Dive Instructor.
- Taylor Swift (singer): Worked at a Christmas Tree farm.
This was a really fun contest to put together! As it is with many of our contests and displays here at OPL, a surprising amount of research went into it. But research is fun. First was picking celebrities you Teens were actually interested in and/or had heard of (I was pretty sure no one would care that Jon Bon Jovi used to be a janitor, but knew that what John Green did before he published "Looking For Alaska" was far more interesting). I wanted to make this fun and a little challenging...but not so hard no one would want to participate.
The next step was to narrow down the chosen celebs to a list of 8 or 10 and make a poster and contest forms (a somewhat glue-y task that eventually forced me into battle with my nemesis, The Laminating Machine).
But the most fun was the research itself. The stories. Like how Beyonce had the uber-unglamorous task of cleaning up after the stylists in her mom's beauty salon. Or how it was Taylor Swift's job to make sure the trees at her family's Christmas Tree farm were insect and insect egg free before they were brought to their final destinations (once she forgot to do this, and praying mantises hatched all over the house of the unsuspecting customer).
Anyway, a Big Thank You to everyone who participated...and a Big CONGRATS to our two winners.
Stay tuned for even MORE contests and MORE chances to win!