After watching “Inside the Actors Studio,” you hear a lot about the survival jobs that actors have had to take before becoming successful. We’ve heard it all, from being a pizza delivery boy to the stereotypical server in a restaurant. Everyone’s road to becoming a working actor is unique, and Jackson Hurst’s story is as interesting as they come.

You wouldn’t guess that one of the stars of “Drop Dead Diva” and lead in the upcoming film A Bird of the Air was once a financial guy turned nightclub manager.

“I got a business degree and I’d been working for CitiFinancial doing independent sales leading this double life for awhile – doing crazy independent films late night and on the weekends and then running staff meetings at work,” shares Hurst.

Ultimately, he made a drastic and life-changing decision.

“I quit my job, sold everything and packed up whatever I could in my car and moved from Dallas to Austin, Texas,” he says. “I was running a night club in Austin and it was a pretty crazy experience, but I managed to clean myself up and stay focused and that’s when I got Living Proof.”

He adds, “The funny thing is, I’m scraping by in Austin leading this ridiculous lifestyle, then I booked ‘Drop Dead Diva’ and they put me up in this fancy five -star hotel for six weeks, and I’m thinking ‘I’m really an important guy,’ while shooting the pilot. But after shooting, I had to give it up and go back to the grind and run the nightclub again!”

Hurst was wise though and didn’t succumb to the Hollywood pitfalls.

“I didn’t want to be another statistic in L.A., so I gambled and stayed in Austin which ultimately paid off. I made my start in Austin with some great opportunities,” he says. “After I shot my first season of ‘Diva,’ I finally made the trek out to L.A.”

After playing one character for a few seasons, it’s nice to switch things up. Hurst plays Lyman in the new film A Bird of the Air. He is a tragically introverted man who works for the Highways Department as a courtesy patroller. He holds a very sad secret that is risked being exposed when he meets a very chatty and quirky librarian named Fiona (Rachel Nichols) and a mysterious parrot that flies into his home one night. A literal and metaphorical journey begins to unfold.

What drew Hurst to the role and how did he manage to get into the mind of this very quiet character?

“I actually isolated myself quite a bit in order to play Lyman. He’d been through so much,” replies Hurst. “At first on paper he could seem quite boring, but I thought he was so interesting and had a lot to offer. I saw him as a guy that had no social graces but was really successful in his own way. He just always wanted to be prepared for everything.”

The rest of the cast also contributed to the film being a wonderful experience for Hurst.

“Rachel Nichols is great, the chemistry was there immediately. She has a strong personality and I also do, so we butted heads but in a creative way. She was so good at playing Fiona,” Hurst muses. “We worked with three parrots throughout the film, one was like a puppy, one was middle aged and a really old, ornery one like a bitter aged man ... All of them would bite you, it was a matter of when they were gonna snap at you. I had as much fun with these birds as I did with the other actors.”

This film was also Margaret Whitton’s directorial debut, and Hurst couldn’t have been happier.

“Working with Margaret Whitton was great. She gave me the freedom to create the character which is what I needed to work with Lyman.”

A Bird of the Air releases in select theaters Oct. 7.