Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ask a Celeb: Bruce McCulloch, Jonny Harris, Rick Mercer on Summer Jobs

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ask a Celeb: Bruce McCulloch, Jonny Harris, Rick Mercer on Summer Jobs

Article excerpt

Ask a celeb: Bruce McCulloch, Jonny Harris on summer jobs

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Everybody's got to start somewhere, as the adage goes -- even if it means playing a spider or working in a fish factory, as some high-profile personalities have done.

The Canadian Press asked a variety of arts and entertainment figures about their most memorable summer jobs -- good or bad.

Edmonton novelist Marina Endicott said she played a spider lady in a freak show at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto in the late 1970s.

"They were auditioning for mermaids, French Revolutionary girls and the spider lady," she recalled. "I had long blond hair at the time and I thought, 'Mermaid? Perfect!'"

A "very sketchy guy, a roadie" chose the cast by staring at them and picking them out, she said.

She was too tall to play a mermaid, which was a blessing in disguise when it turned out those in the role had to curl up inside an oil drum in the August heat.

"They nearly died because it's metal and it was baking hot," said Endicott. "So the French Revolution girls who ran a guillotine, they looked at what was happening with the mermaids and they staged a revolution and they went on strike. It was hilarious."

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Actor Jonny Harris of "Murdoch Mysteries" and the new series "Still Standing" spent a summer taking inventory for companies with a scanner "that was hooked up to, like, a little calculator on your hip."

"Real lady-killer piece of equipment," he said. "I felt like Batman with that thing."

He also washed cars at a dealership in St. John's, N.L., where the employees joked that their Bachelor of Fine Arts stood for "the Bachelor of F-All."

Harris struck gold when he got a gig at the Rising Tide Theatre festival in Trinity Bay, N.L., where he worked for five summers.

"That's where my whole education on the history of the province came from, from working at that festival," he said. …

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