After 11th grade I worked at a travel agency, so I’d look at pictures of Fiji, Bali and Tahiti. The funny thing is, I’m still waiting to go to all of those great places.
Washing big-rig trucks. I was 16, and we used a high-pressure water machine. Soap would come down in your eyes and hair, but I liked it.
I served donuts when I was 17, at a huge music festival in England. But it wasn’t easy—I broke the diet I was on at the time.
I used to be a street performer when I was 16, in New York. It was 20 years ago, but if push came to shove, I could show you [my moves] on the dance floor tonight.
SEAN “P. DIDDY” COMBS:
I worked at [an amusement park in New York] when I was 13. It doesn’t get any better than that. When I worked, I got everybody on the rides [for free].
My favorite job was at a bookbinding factory during high school. I loved the monotony of repetitive machine work. It relaxed me.
One summer in college, I summarized articles for Gloria Steinem. I was scared of her, even though she was very nice to me.
DENNIS HAYSBERT (24):
In high school I worked on an electron microscope at the Stanford University Medical Center. I learned a lot—and got to walk around in a white smock.
JESSE PALMER (THE BACHELOR):
Cleaning the catwalk at my mom’s modeling agency when I was 9. It was a chore, but I got to meet older women.
The magic show at [a theme park] in Ohio. I was the girl they’d saw in half.
I started on General Hospital when I was 18, but I was still flipping burgers at my dad’s restaurant. He wouldn’t let me quit. People would come in and say, “Aren’t you on General Hospital?” I’d say, “No.”
I really enjoyed telemarketing. I did all my sales in the first hour, and then made prank calls selling people stuff that didn’t exist for the rest of my shift.
The best—and worst—was when I worked at an ice cream parlor. I was 14 and heavier, and I probably ate 20 to 30 cones a day.
I was a dancing waiter at a Ramada Inn, and I used to do the MC Hammer. So thank you, MC Hammer—I made some money off you!
I was the fry girl at McDonald’s at 15. After the last shift, you got to split any food that was left. And we were smart enough to cook extra so we all got what we wanted.
Delivering the Bronx Home News. On my route was world middleweight champion Jake LaMotta. He’d be out in his yard in his underwear playing stickball every day when I got out of school.
Working at [a music store] in Newark, N.J. I wound up selling my own first single. People would come in asking for my record, and I’d say, “You know, this is me.” I would sign it for them. It was a trip.