Actor Russell Hornsby, one of the stars of the new film "The Hate U Give," never considered a job beneath him, especially when he was first starting out.
"I did a lot of crazy stuff, because I was in New York and I'm an actor and I'm broke," he tells CNBC Make It.
One his weirdest assignments included walking around the city around Thanksgiving dressed as a pilgrim: "I'm just this black pilgrim, like, what the hell is that?"
The outlandish costumes didn't stop there. "In the same year, I played Santa Claus, running around the streets, like, 'Hey!', doing the Santa dance, all this crazy stuff," he says. He also attended corporate events in a teddy bear suit during the holidays as a way to earn money.
The jobs weren't glamorous, but they paid the bills.
In fact, Hornsby says, the worst advice ever received was not to take a job because it didn't pay well enough. In the early 2000s, when he was around 27 years old, he got cast in the ABC show, "Gideon's Crossing," and shortly after the series wrapped, he was offered another project at a much a lower rate. He wasn't sure if he should accept.
Hornsby turned to a friend for advice. When he revealed how much the job paid, "they said, 'You're crazy, that's not enough money, don't take that job,'" he recalls. However, "something just told me, 'I don't think I should listen to you.'"
So he asked another friend for input. This time, he got a different response: "Is anybody else offering you that? Or anything more?" When Hornsby said no, his friend told him, "Well, it sounds like you don't have a problem. You should take the job." He did.
The lesson: "Something's always better than nothing," Hornsby says. "I subscribe to the slow nickel theory. You take a little bit at a time. You always make better of what you have when you don't have best."