Watch: Michael Weatherly Sings in NYC Subways After Early Firings Pre-Fame!

Before making his mark on NCIS, Michael Weatherly led a very different life, including a phase where he found himself busking in subway stations after facing job setbacks.

Weatherly rose to fame as Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo in the original cast of NCIS in 2003 and later took on the lead role in CBS’ Bull in 2016. However, his journey to stardom was preceded by a period of struggle and unconventional employment.

In his early days, Weatherly ventured into entrepreneurship like his father, starting a business in school by reselling Swiss army knives imported by his father to fellow students. This entrepreneurial spirit got him into some trouble but also hinted at his future drive and ambition.

Transitioning to a career in the performing arts, Weatherly found himself sharing a cramped living space in a Chelsea apartment, residing in what he described as a “storage closet” with two roommates. He humorously revealed on LIVE! with Kelly that the living situation didn’t do any favors for his dating life.

In the early 1990s, Weatherly tried the standard route of working as a waiter while auditioning for acting roles. However, he faced setbacks in the restaurant industry, getting fired from two waiter jobs. Left with few options, he turned to busking on subway platforms, playing his guitar to earn a living.

Weatherly reminisced to Entertainment Weekly about his busking days, noting that performing Paul Simon’s hit “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” could fetch him around $30 in just 15 minutes.

Years later, ahead of the premiere of Bull, Weatherly revisited his past by returning to the subway with his guitar. Reflecting on his busking experience, he shared with the Columbus Dispatch that the most challenging part was mustering the courage to open his guitar case, signifying to passersby that he was about to perform.

He humorously remarked, “It’s the admission that you are, in fact, about to play guitar.”

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