“No Shame In My Game, I’ll Never Be Broke”: Vivica A. Fox Recalls Waiting Tables While Acting On Television

Vivica A. Fox is a hustler. The Hollywood mainstay has built her career off of her ability to keep a gig and invest in several businesses. She is not shy about it either and tells stories about the things she’s had to do to keep the lights on between gigs. She recently opened up about her time waiting tables while being on television. Fox spoke with Jemele Hill on the Jemele Hill is Unbothered podcast and discussed her career and hustles over the years. “BOOM! #AnotherOne Check me 2day on a NEW episode of my gurl @jemelehill Podcast show @jhillunbothered We discuss my career & my passion four sports & the #WNBA CORRECTION” Fox said in an Instagram post about her interview.

During the podcast, Fox revealed being told no motivates her most. “I am one that doesn’t like hearing that word. Especially when I think I have a great idea. I just learned to be persistent. They just don’t get me.” The actress says that even when people do not get her ideas, she simply goes “back to the drawing board” and works on it further or waits for the right moment to “pull it out of the file cabinet.” I don’t like hearing the word no I love betting on me because I usually win.” 

Jemele Hill later brought up Fox’s extensive acting career and asked the ‘Two Can Play That Game’ actress at what point did she realize she could make a living off acting. Fox said she worked hard and gigged for years until she got her first big break. During that time, she waited tables to make ends meet. Luckily she got cast on the first black soap opera, Generations. The series ran from March 27, 1989, to January 25, 1991, and was groundbreaking for centering around an African-American family. Fox played Maya Reubens on the series.

Speaking on the show, she recalls that they shot the show five days a week, meaning she got five different checks. Unfortunately, when the show got canceled, the money quickly dried up. “I had 25,000 in the bank,” Fox recalled. “Guess how quickly I went through it?” she laughed. Fox says it was the first time she almost went broke and was ready and willing to return to waiting tables if she needed to. “One thing I’m not going to be is broke,” she declared. “I started gigging again and doing movies,” she recalled, and things eventually got better. 

Shortly after Generations went off the air, she scored roles in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Beverly Hills 90210, Family Matter, and The Young and The Restless, to name a few. On the film side, she had also scored her signature roles in Set It Off and Independence Day and had become a bonified star. Fox is proud to say that she is going through a new resurgence in her career despite being well in her 50s. “My mind is always working and going. I am so grateful for the opportunities.” She said she does not sleep much these days except for on the plane but says she does not mind it much.

About John Davidson

John Davidson is a California native who enjoys hip hop music, skiing and traveling international. Davidson graduated from USC majoring in Journalism.

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