As Rebecca Tyrrel of the Independent tells it, “Who would have known Whoopi Goldberg was once a bricklayer? “Well, Whoopi tells it, “I needed the money and I needed to work. So I figured I would rather lay bricks than lay men for money.” She is history’s second unlikeliest bricklayer, after Winston Churchill, who used to build walls to counteract depression. With Ms Goldberg, however, the laying of bricks didn’t just earn her money, it helped build her reputation for being unconventional. Another unlikely bricklayer, closer to home.
As the Independent tells it, “Whoopi” wasn’t the name which her father, a minister in New York, christened her some 55 years ago. And while the young Caryn Johnson, as she was, chose the “Goldberg” bit on her mother’s advice that “Johnson” wasn’t sufficiently Jewish for a career in Hollywood, “Whoopi” was her own idea and she chose it for her flatulence. “If you get a little gassy,” she explains, “you’ve got to let it go. So people used to say to me, ‘You’re like a whoopee cushion!”
Whoopi Goldberg has an amazing record in movies and is one of only four actresses who won the quadruple crown of acting: The Oscar, Tony, Emmy (US television) and Grammy Awards. She has a host of awarded movies as well as memorable voice appearances in kids movies and is especially well loved for roles in ‘The Color Purple’ and ‘Ghost’, among many more.
This is a woman who was and remains invincible – she tried everything on her way to stardom. She worked in restaurants, in a funeral parlour (making up the faces) and as we now know, as a bricklayer while taking small parts on Broadway. She started from humble beginnings but never lost sight of her roots but was relentless in pursing her goals. She’s been honoured many times in many ways including hosting the Academy awards several times and she remains refreshingly honest in her appraisal of others in the movie world.
As the lady says “I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities”; clearly an inspiration to us all to never stop chasing our goals for the future. My Future Freedom Bricklayer and Apprentice Make Good Business Sense.