Social media was abuzz with word that the cool new Pope Francis worked as a bouncer in a Buenos Aires nightclub before he went on to greater glory. He did lots of odd jobs like sweeping floors and teaching and such. He had a girlfriend too. The news was covered broadly, with New York Magazine doing a terrific spoof. A number of notable tweets circulated:
What are we calling the off-beat dramedy about the Pope's past as a Buenos Aries bouncer? I'm going with "Heaven Can Wait, And So Can You"
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) December 2, 2013
This Pope comes out with something every week that's cooler than the last week. If he releases a mixtape it's going to be all over…
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) December 2, 2013
The Pope tweets himself, via @Pontifex. He has me paying close attention as he really does impress me every week. I guess the question is what can I do to impress him? Hmm. I wonder what the big egos in nightlife are thinking? Things like “If a bouncer can be Pope then I surely can be…” You fill in the blank.
I am reading all about Pope Francis, how he wears sensible, used, comfortable, black shoes instead of the famous slippers provided for other popes. He dresses like a simple priest. He traveled to the 2005 Conclave in economy class. It goes on and on and I hope (and pray) he does to.
There are many other bouncers who went on to bigger things, notably Vin Diesel, Mr. T, Jean Claude Van Damme, James Gandolfini, Alec Baldwin, Dolph Lundgren and Vincent D’onofrio. The nightclub/bar biz was a stepping-stone for ex-cocktail waitress Sandra Bullock and barkeeps Bruce Willis and Ellen Degeneres. Lady Gaga, Anna Nicole Smith, Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Eve, Amber Rose, Diablo Cody, Courtney Love, Channing Tatum and even Renee Zellweger all took to exotic dancing while they got their acts together.
Getting out of the strip club life and the nightlife is a difficult task. I always advise an exit strategy for those deeply in it. For some the rewards are millions, world travel, hob-knobbing with the best folks, but for many it is a job that supports them better than say, retail, as they get their acts together. Actors, students, artists, and dancers toil at night and hone their trade during the day. At one point many abandon their dreams and find themselves just a bartender or just a cocktail waitron. There is nothing wrong with that, but it’s a young person’s business and the expiration date usually times itself to when they need the job most. It’s hard to find viable work in the biz as you age. Some become managers and some even owners. The new pope with his bouncer past brings hope that greater good can be found.