Owens, a theater actor and former regular on The Cosby Show, saw his name resurface last fall when a picture of him working at a Los Angeles-area Trader Joe’s circulated on social media. Some saw his job as a fall from grace, but many more came to his defense saying he was simply trying to make ends meet while continuing to pursue his acting career.
That theme surely resonated in a room full of SAG-AFTRA actors tonight, most of whom have been in similar positions as they’ve chased their acting passions.
“Somewhere in the middle of the road of my life, I found myself in the dark wood of unemployment and debt, but instead of switching careers like a sane person, I took a job at a local Trader Joe’s to see if I could hang in there with my career and it’s actually worked out pretty well,” Owens said into the camera. “I’m Geoffrey Owens and I’m an actor.”
It has paid off for Owens. Soon after the Twitter post, Tyler Perry reached out to him for a role on The Have and Have Nots, and he landed a guest-starring role on NCIS: New Orleans. He also scored movie roles in the Deon Taylor-directed thriller Fatale with Hilary Swank, Michael Ealy and Mike Colter, and the horror remake Hide and Seek alongside Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jacinda Barrett, Joe Pantoliano and Mustafa Shakir.
Here’s the full segment from tonight’s show live on TNT and TBS: