For all of the dreamers out there on the verge of giving up, former Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens has got a testimony for you.
The 2019 SAG Awards kicked off with its mainstay “I’m An Actor” introductions on Sunday night. The room lit up when the camera unexpectedly panned to Owens, who just a few short months ago went viral after being photographed working the register at a Trader Joe’s.
“So somewhere in the middle of the road of my life, I found myself in the dark wood of unemployment and debt,” he recalled. “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.”
Dispute this brief hiccup in this life, Owens concluded that “it’s actually worked out pretty well,” sending the entire audience into a roar of laughter.
Since his photo went viral in September, Owens has been the subject of cruel job shaming. Simultaneously, he’s also received a swell of support on social media from those who admired his tenacity and humility to make such a sacrifice to support his family.
Thankfully, Owens’ career didn’t stay down for long. He soon got a second wind thanks to secured roles in NCIS and Tyler’s Perry’s The Haves and the Have Nots.
In an appearance on Good Morning America, Owens spoke candidly about being thrust into fame after going viral.
“When it first happened, I thought it was going to be devastating, I thought it was going to be catastrophic, and it has been the opposite,” he said. “So fortunately, that difficult time didn’t last very long. A couple of hours of humiliation versus the last five months of support and love and employment. So it was worth it.”
Chin up, dreamers! The race isn’t over yet.