8 Celebrities With Alternate 'Jobs'
Some stars are really just like us -- they work two jobs. But what does a corporate position look like when you're Lady Gaga, Ryan Seacrest, or will-i-am?
If you suspect that such regular Joe or Jane jobs are beneath such superstars, you're right -- they most certainly are. When celebrities moonlight, they tend not to drift too far from the color of their previously established parachute and instead take up flashy pursuits. Take Ms. Paltrow’s lifestyle and e-commerce brand called Goop: It shills $1,900 blazers. Not your average daily grind.
Here, Minyanville profiles eight A-listers whose resumes bare some hidden sizzle under the “Additional Experience” heading -- and a few surprises as well.
Typecast on-screen as a bimbo, in real life, Ashton Kutcher is a tech-savvy businessman. As the co-founder of venture fund A-Grade Investments, he has lent his capital and expertise to high-profile digital start-ups like Spotify, Airbnb, Foursquare, and Fab. Kutcher’s production company Katalyst, which has created original content for Pepsi (NYSE:PEP), Kellogg (NYSE:K), and Nestlé (OTCMKTS:NSRGY), was named one of the Top 50 Most Inspiring Innovators by Ad Age and is among Fast Company Magazine’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies.
His time studying engineering in college is currently being tested at Lenovo (OTCMKTS:LNVGY) in his newly landed gig as a product engineer where he is “consulting” engineers on how to make the company’s Yoga Tablet more consumer-friendly. Sure, Kutcher will put in some hours advising behind the scenes, but it's likely that time won’t interfere with his primary role out front as Lenovo’s celebrity pitchman.
It would be a real feat for someone like Hugh Hefner or John Lasseter to suddenly launch a platinum-selling, Grammy-winning music career. And that’s because they both hold the title of chief creative officer at their respective media outlets. Being a CCO is a full-time, all-consuming kind of job.
Yet, will-i-am has managed to carve enough time out of the Black Eyed Peas’ writing, recording, and touring schedule to claim the same title as the aforementioned Playboy and Pixar (NYSE:DIS) executives, but for a global printing corporation. 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) has designated a corner office for the hip-hop star where he is tasked with inspiring, shaping, and driving all of 3D Systems' initiatives as well as developing brand partner collaborations and marketing campaigns.
This isn’t will.i.am’s first turn on the executive payroll. The same year the Black Eyed Peas performed on the 2011 Billboard Music Awards and won one of its four nominations for “Top Duo/Group,” its frontman was pitching ideas to Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) as its brand ambassador.
More than just a nightmarishly made-up famous face, Lady Gaga brings innovation to her post as creative director at Polaroid. Her partnership with the electronics outfit’s Grey Label delivered an instant mobile printer to market. Still to come are the Polarez GL20s picture-taking sunglasses she dreamed up in 2008 while touring in support of her debut studio album The Fame.
Lest you thought Ryan Seacrest’s life mission was to rally the vote for America’s newest singing sensation (or provide fodder for the writers on The Soup), the TV host has a pretty nifty tech invention up his sleeve.
As the co-founder of start-up Typo Products, Seacrest has just released a BlackBerry-style keyboard attachment designed for the 5 series iPhones (NASDAQ:AAPL) and even sold out of its initial pre-orders. But if the lawsuit BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) filed for patent and design infringement is successful, the first shipment of the Typo Keyboard could be its last.
The woodworking virtuoso that is the Ron Swanson character on NBC’s Parks and Recreation is also very much the actor who plays him.
The small collective of craftsmen and women who make up the Offerman Woodshop in East Los Angeles dedicates itself to traditional woodworking practices and handcrafts everything from $35 pencil holders made of spalted Italian poplar to walnut desks with parquetry tops and bridle-jointed legs that run just under five grand.
And the group performs its craft “while smiling a lot,” according to its website.
Watch Offerman in action as he conducts a video tutorial on how to build a canoe from cedar planks.
As The Hollywood Reporter summed up the celebrity chameleon, James Franco has morphed from a “well-regarded actor to tirelessly medium-hopping Hollywood Rorschach blot.”
Though that quote referenced his myriad acting projects, it’s just as applicable to his activities off the red carpet.
The courses were probably harder to get into than a Philosophy of The Simpsons class, but if you managed to snag a seat in certain NYU, UCLA, and Columbia College Hollywood lecture halls, at the head of the class molding your mind on the subject of filmmaking and production or creative writing, was one Professor Franco.
Imagine how booked up his office hours must have been.
Speaking of higher learning pursuits, it’s not clear what Franco plans to do -- aside from teaching -- with the Ph.D. in English he’s been working toward at Yale, or the master's degrees he’s already earned in film from NYU and writing from Brooklyn College.
However, a look at his IMDB page (and the five films he’s simultaneously filming) proves Franco is still as serious as ever about his screen-star status. And that’s a good thing. I mean, do you know how hard it is to live on a teacher’s salary?
The “First Lady of Neo-Soul” happens to know a thing or two about the body, too. Since 2001, Erykah Badu has been assisting mothers-to-be with the home births of their babies as a certified doula and is currently pursuing her license as a “direct entry” midwife.
All three of Badu’s own children were birthed naturally and delivered in her home with a midwife and doula. “It's a very natural thing; it's an ancient art," Badu told theGrio.com. “We have been doing this since the beginning of time.”
By her second birth, Badu was even acting as her own doula. “I was mixing the herbs, making the teas, preparing the bed, preparing the bath,” she said.
Interested in experiencing a homebirth set to a personal serenade from this generation’s Billie Holiday right at your bedside? Tweet “ErykahBadoula” @fatbellybella.
Ed Begley, Jr.
No surprises here. The accomplished actor and sworn environmentalist with the negative carbon footprint has not abandoned his entrenched lifestyle as an urban pioneer and taken up mountaintop removal mining or pesticide manufacturing.
The product line sporting Ed Begley, Jr’s flaxen mug came from his “vision” of natural household cleaners “that are equal to or more effective than their non-green alternatives.” Begley's Best is a medley of sustainable, plant-based, rapidly biodegradable, Earth-responsible, etc., soaps and detergents potent enough to make Begley’s own solar-powered digs sparkle.
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