Jon Hamm gained acclaim and recognition during his turn as Don Draper on AMC’s “Mad Men.”
But it was his job waiting tables and scrubbing dishes at a St. Louis restaurant named Sweet Rose that really taught him how to work.
“Working in a restaurant is a good life lesson for anybody,” Hamm told Wealthsimple magazine. “My friend used to say that no one should be able to work in Hollywood if they haven’t worked in a restaurant.”
As a teenager, Hamm worked as a busboy, dishwasher, and waiter at the Greek restaurant in St. Louis. Cooking and cleaning weren’t the only skills he took away from the gig.
“I learned how to be nice to people and to ask for help when I need it,” he told Wealthsimple. “I learned to love work and find meaning in it. To this day, I like going to work, clocking in and clocking out, the satisfaction of a job well done.”
He said that ultimately, working in the service industry sharpened his acting skills.
“It’s important to know how to treat people, and to learn how to respond when someone you’re working with is having a bad day,” he said. “Understanding other people’s problems — that’s the cornerstone of the service industry, and it’s essential as an actor, or whatever field you’re in.”
Hamm told Wealthsimple that he “worked in restaurants for a long, long time. Recently, I realised that I’d crossed an interesting threshold. I’ve now — just recently — been working as an actor for longer than I worked as a waiter and bartender.”
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