Now that he's made his Broadway debut in ''Promises, Promises'' the ''Will & Grace'' alum shares stories from his early Hollywood days

By Tanner Stransky
Updated April 16, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

1. Carrying coupons
”When I was a kid, my sister and I had to deliver the Smart Shoppers coupon books. It was like a paper route. We went to pick them up, but then we’d go into the woods and dump them.”

2. Trading manual labor for musical training
”My piano teacher made a deal with me because my mom couldn’t afford to pay for lessons. I had to do landscaping and yard work around her house.”

3. Going butch in Carmen
”I was 17 years old, and I had to look like a soldier [for the opera]. I grew sideburns that went down to my chin. They looked like lamb chops. No — they looked like a side of beef on each cheek.”

4. Dancing for dollars
”My acting coach asked me if I wanted to make a quick $100 to do a little Charleston dance at the old Beverly Hillbillies mansion. As I’m looking out, I see Jack Nicholson and Don Rickles. It was $100. I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll do that!”’

5. Delivering flowers
”For another $100, I helped when they were selling Mad About You into syndication. A friend and I drove a truck with flowers around to all these affiliates. We had to deliver them and say, ‘Hi, I’m from Columbia TriStar, and I’m mad about you!’ It was the worst job because it took so long. We started saying, ‘Hi, I’m from Columbia TriStar, and I’m mad at you.”’