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Cory Monteith Reveals Not-So-Gleeful, Nearly Homeless Past

Lyndsey Parker
Stop The Presses!

On the hit Fox show "Glee," most problems can be solved, or at least improved, by spontaneously breaking into a cheery singalong rendition of a Journey, Britney, or Cee Lo tune. But real life has proven to be much more complicated for its stars. For instance, last month Mark Salling, who plays fauxhawked bad boy Puck on the show, revealed in a Yahoo! Music interview that he was at the end of his rope before joining the cast...and this week in an interview with The Star, Cory "Finn" Monteith confessed that he was practically homeless before getting his big "Glee" break.

[Photos: See more from the cast of 'Glee']

In the surprising Star article, Monteith, who dropped out of school in the ninth grade and subsequently worked various blue-collar jobs in his native Calgary, revealed that he nearly became homeless while trying to pursue an acting career in Vancouver, Canada. "I definitely experienced a marginalized situation. I was not homeless, but I was definitely at risk," he said.

After he drove 20 straight hours from Vancouver to Los Angeles to attend a fateful "Glee" audition, Monteith's life obviously turned around--but he's never forgotten that he could have gone down a very different, much darker path. "I'm super-lucky that I found something that I could get passionate about and that I could devote myself to. Had I not found that, it might have been a different story," he said.

As mentioned, Salling experienced a similar low before "Glee" came calling. Just another starving Hollywood musician with a dream, teaching guitar lessons to make ends meet, Salling literally only had $300 in his bank account and was about to give up show business altogether. "I was kind of spinning my wheels," he told Yahoo! Music. "And as a last resort before I had to move back home with my parents in Dallas, I was like, 'You know what? I'm in L.A., let's see if I can get some exposure doing acting, maybe.'" Obviously, that decision was fateful for Salling as well.

[Related: Racy 'Glee' photo shoot huge success for magazine]

Now Monteith, for his part, is using his newfound star status to reach out to at-risk kids not fortunate enough to land a plum role on the biggest series on network television. Monteith is currently serving as an ambassador for Richard Branson's Virgin Unite "Re*Generation Canada" movement, to officially make November 17 National Youth Homelessness Awareness Day in Canada; for more information on this cause, go to http://www.virginunite.com/News/USA/REGeneration-Canada/Motion-504-National-Youth-Homelessness-Awareness-Day.

In his own way, Cory Monteith is literally urging troubled teens: Don't stop believin'.


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