Picture this — you’re in a restaurant and Lady Gaga comes to take your order. Or you hire a cleaning service, and Miley Cyrus shows up to clean your house. Seems like that’s pretty unlikely, right? Well, it’s actually more likely than you’d think because before finding fame, that’s what these stars were doing!

In April 2021, Thomas Doherty reflected on what his life was like before nabbing starring roles in the Descendants and Gossip Girl franchises.

“Honestly, [acting] was kind of accidental. It just kind of happened. I went to college and I did acting there, I got an agent and then I worked in restaurants,” the actor said during a chat with Interview magazine. “I’ve done loads of jobs. I used to be a paperboy and then I worked in a call center, I worked in TJ Maxx and American Hollister. I was also a maid for a while … I used to have to clean all these rooms and beds — so I used to go for a sleep. When I was cleaning the rooms, I’d give myself like five minutes in each room to sleep.”

Similar to Thomas, Miley also cleaned houses, but that wasn’t her only job back in the day. In 2013, the actress revealed during an interview with Rolling Stone that her dad would pay her to collect the bras that were thrown during his concerts. “I’d get a really big one and be like, ‘Dad! I found your biggest fan!'” she recalled at the time.

Before her claim to fame, Zendaya would sell raffle tickets! “I didn’t really make any money, but it was fun,” she explained to Teen Vogue in 2016.

It may be hard to believe that the people you see on TV — like Harry StylesTaylor Swift, Camila Mendes, Madelaine PetschKendall Jenner and more — had lives before their singing, acting and modeling gigs really took off, but it’s true! And these celebs aren’t the only ones who’ve had some pretty obscure jobs over the years. Scroll through our gallery to discover all the other stars who had average or strange jobs before they were famous.

Love J-14? Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for fun, exclusive videos with your favorite stars.