Labor Day is a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers make to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. So it’s only fitting that Montclair’s own Geoffrey Owens has just launched “Shift Happens,” a new show on Instagram that’s all about people working.
Owens, an actor, teacher and director who founded The Brooklyn Shakespeare Company and taught acting and Shakespeare at Columbia University, Yale, the Adult School of Montclair and Pace University, is probably best known for his long time role as Elvin Tibideaux on The Cosby Show.
Owens, on the first episode of “Shift Happens” says it’s been exactly two years since he was job shamed on the Internet for working a side job at Trader Joe’s in Clifton. The shaming backfired as public reaction turned overwhelmingly in favor of Owens, with celebrities tweeting support and sharing their own side jobs and struggles.
Fast forward to now and Owens says a lot of good things have happened since then.
“The best thing about that whole thing was people started thinking about and talking about work in a different way. They started considering the dignity of work, even the nobility of work, considering that some jobs are not necessarily better than others and that all work matters,” says Owens in his opening for the show. “And now with the COVID crisis, these ideas are even more relevant and significant than ever.”
Ownes will be interviewing working people about their work on “Shift Happens.” Follow Owens on Instagram to catch future episodes.