In a candid conversation on a recent episode of ‘The Kelly Clarkson Show,’ Kevin Bacon shed light on the period of struggle that marked the outset of his acting career. The revered actor, known most notably for his role in ‘Footloose,’ nostalgically narrated his initial days in New York City. Destitute in a new city during 1976, Bacon had no choice but to sleep on his sister’s couch for a span of four months.
Searching for more permanent accommodation in Manhattan, Bacon found that his financial condition could only afford him a dwelling worth $150 a month. Turning the pages of Village Voice, an advertisement caught Bacon’s eye. The invitation called out to artists, actors, and musicians offering a ‘residence.’ Intrigued and hopeful, Bacon thought it was an ideal opportunity.
Upon approaching the residence, Bacon’s on-ground reality didn’t turn out to be as hopeful. The building was, in his prophecy, nothing more than a ‘flophouse.’ Although the place was home to a few artists, it was far from the creative commune that the advertisement had painted.
Bacon explained to Clarkson about his first encounter with the landlord. He was informed that only two-room apartments were available, instead of the one-room ones he was hoping for. Consequently, what he got was a tiny apartment with a kitchen and a room.
The Pennsylvania-bred actor couldn’t afford the rent for a two-room apartment of ‘three and a quarter’ a month. He also didn’t have the advantage of a roommate to share the expenses. However, fortune intervened when the landlord suggested a stranger, present there, to be his roommate.
Sitting on the couch in the landlord’s office, Bacon was proposed to share the apartment with a stranger. Bacon, seemingly surprised, agreed to live with the man, despite not knowing him. This odd arrangement led to them living together for a subsequent period of four years.
The individual introduced to Bacon as a potential roommate turned out to be a nocturnal pianist working at the famous Copacabana. Their relationship turned out to be a fruitful one, and they maintained solid bonds, with Bacon mentioning that they had recently met for lunch.
Bacon was enthralled by his roommate’s talent, remarking upon his artistry on the piano. Simultaneously, Bacon was trying to hold his ground in the City of Dreams. He took up a job as a bus boy in a local café to make ends meet, a job he balanced alongside his regular acting auditions.
Afterward, Bacon got an opportunity as a waiter at the well-known All Star Cafe. It was during this period that in 1978, Bacon clinched his first film role. A slot in the classic comedy ‘National Lampoon’s Animal House’ was the first significant milestone of his career.
During a candid chat at ‘The Corp’ podcast in 2019, Bacon reminisced about this breakthrough. With conviction, he confessed that he initially believed that his financial woes were behind him with his arrival in the movie industry. The paycheck he received was far more than he had ever imagined – a whopping 700 dollars a week for five weeks’ work.
But it wasn’t long before Bacon realized the fleeting nature of his financial bliss. He miscalculated his finances and ended up spending all the money he had earned from ‘Animal House.’ Consequently, he had to return to his earlier job, serving again as a waiter.
Bacon emphasized that this bump on the road was a crucial learning curve for him. It was part of his journey, an essential lesson in navigating the unstable waters of his profession. Eventually, his perseverance paid off when he received the opportunity that would mark a turning point in his career.
1984 saw him hang up his waiter apron for good as he received a career-defining role in the musical comedy ‘Footloose.’ Victorian. The success of Footloose led him to feel a sense of balance in his life, and he felt that he was finally establishing a steady foothold in the industry.
Kevin Bacon’s narrative is not an isolated account, but a telling reflection of the shaky path to success in the entertainment industry. He joins the clan of stars who have shared their early life struggles and the stairway of hurdles they had to cross before hitting the jackpot in stardom.