SAG Awards: Geoffrey Owens Addresses Trader Joe's Job During "I Am an Actor" Segment

Owens kicked off the 25th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards by sharing the obstacles he faced and the day job he took to help him stay in the entertainment industry.

Each year, the SAG Awards start with a number of actors explaining how they entered their field, always ending with the line: "I am an actor."

This year, Geoffrey Owens helped kick off the 25th annual ceremony by addressing his former job as a Trader Joe's cashier. In September, a photo of the Cosby Show actor working at the grocery chain went viral.

"Somewhere in the middle of the road in 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," he said on Sunday night's show. "And it's actually worked out pretty well."

Mike Myers was the first star to share how he began his career in the industry. "I was born in Canada. A country that heavily subsidizes their arts. When I was 17, Canadian government had me fill out a vocational training test to see what it is I should do for a living after I graduated high school," said Myers. "Two weeks later, the Canadian government determined that I should be a movie star."

Yara Shahidi shared that her background as a proud black-Iranian American woman once deterred her from pursuing a career as an actress. "I never imagined a space where my art and my dreams found one another," she said.

Mullally concluded the segment, joking: "I'll never forget my first acting role. The year was 1942, the film was Casablanca and I had just turned 35," she began. "If I didn't get that role, I was ready to give it all up and go back to my day job as a design engineer on the Manhattan Project. Luckily, I did get the role and I haven't stopped working since."

The tradition began during the very first SAG Awards in 1995. Angela Lansbury was tasked with explaining the significance of the "Actor" statuette, upon which she recounted some of her most memorable roles.

Michael Keaton took on the role during the 1996 ceremony. He was the first person to conclude the story with "I'm an actor." Dennis Hopper, John Lithgow, Kathy Bates, Whoopi Goldberg, James Woods and Ian McKellen took on the role of sharing their career stories in the following years.

During the 2003 ceremony, not one but five stars were recruited to share their stories during the show's opening. "I loved the inspiration of the show," supervising producer Gloria Fujita O'Brien told THR about the expanding tradition. "I thought that five people telling short stories would inspire all of the new people coming up.”

The 25th annual SAG Awards were hosted by Mullally. The show aired Jan. 27 on TBS and TNT from the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles.