While speaking with Stephen Colbert at The Late Show to promote the final season of Scandal this week, Kerry Washington opened up about life before fame. She revealed that she worked quite a few jobs while trying to find her big acting break, including working as a substitute teacher and a yoga instructor.
Image via WENN
“I worked in a restaurant and I taught yoga and I also was a substitute teacher for New York City public schools,” she shared. “It was a perfect job for an actor because you get a call in the morning saying, ‘We need a teacher,’ and if I had an audition, I wouldn’t go, but if I didn’t have an audition — which was most days — I would go and work in a school.”
While she didn’t get to go in full detail about her former yoga instructor gig (though Colbert did say that job was not the “classic” one actors take), I was intrigued. As it turns out, Washington was pretty serious about this work, even learning the practice (along with Indian martial arts) in India.
“I thought I will be able to make a living when I go back, this was right after college and I was going to go to New York and be a starving artist, try to be an actor,” she told Ellen Degeneres earlier this year. “That didn’t work out, but I got certified to teach yoga, that’s good. And so, I learnt to teach yoga and when I came home my mother said that she would let me live at home if I taught her yoga for an hour a day. That lasted for a week; she said, ‘You are the worst.’ She was like, ‘I hate yoga and you may not be able to live here if you keep doing this.’”
Thankfully, she was better at and more successful in acting, but it’s cool that when she wants to, she could lead us all in some Warrior poses.
See nine other stars who taught all different forms of fitness before (and sometimes after) breaking into the industry.