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Jennifer Aniston waitressed for two and a half years before landing her first acting gig–here's what it taught her

FRIENDS -- "The One with the Breast Milk" Episode 2 -- Air Date 09/28/1995 -- Pictured: (l-r) Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller
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Years before Jennifer Aniston became one of Hollywood's highest-paid actresses and a Guinness World Record holder for fastest to reach one million followers on Instagram ("breaking" the platform in the process), she waitressed at Manhattan diner Jackson Hole Burgers, which used to be located on the Upper West Side.

"I was a terrible waitress," Aniston told Stephen Colbert during Tuesday evening's episode of "The Late Show." "I was a hostess, then they finally allowed me to be a waitress."

When Colbert said, "Because hostesses make no money," Aniston replied, "No, you just get a lot of business cards."

Though Aniston said as a waitress she had slippery fingers and would drop trays, it taught her to appreciate good service today. "I sure do, and I always tip very, very well," she told Colbert.

Aniston lived in New York City from age six to age 20 during the beginning stages of her acting career. This wasn't the first time she has reflected openly on her waitressing days. In a 2011 interview with Marie Claire, the actress said, "I wasn't a good waitress, but I was told that I was very nice and charming, so people liked me anyway."

Waitress Jennifer Aniston talks with her boss in a scene from "Office Space."
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In a 2014 guest appearance on "The Queen Latifah Show," Aniston also credited her boss from Jackson Hole Burgers with supporting her for all those years. "If I got a crappy little play down on 13th street or whatever awesome job I thought I had received, he would let me go for two or three months, and they would always let me come back," she said on the show. "My job was always there."

In fact, the first acting gig Aniston landed happened to be as a waitress in a Bob's Big Boy commercial.

Aniston isn't the first A-lister to speak highly about past waitressing experiences. The highest-paid woman in hip-hop, Nicki Minaj, says her time as a waitress was used to find inspiration and practice songwriting. Three-time Grammy Award winner Kelly Clarkson used the money she made as a cocktail waitress at a Los Angeles comedy club as financial support while she looked for backup singing gigs. And "Shark Tank" investor Daymond John developed his FUBU clothing line as he waited tables at Red Lobster for five years.

John's co-star on "Shark Tank," self-made millionaire Barbara Corcoran, has a lot to say about waitressing herself. Before making her fortune in real estate, she was a waitress in Edgewater, New Jersey, where she grew up sharing a room with her nine siblings in their parents' two-bedroom flat. According to Corcoran, you can learn more in waitressing than you can in any other job.

"The best job you could have to prepare for entrepreneurship is, walk on the other side of the counter and serve people," Corcoran told journalist Farnoosh Torabi. "Make them happy. If you've got that ability … chances are good you're going to be a good entrepreneur."

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