The aspiring actor couldn't count on a steady pay cheque while looking for work so he resorted to living out of his van for three months.
The Emmy Award winner says, "I had just gotten out of college. It was in Pennsylvania, I had just graduated from grad school... I was getting these jobs for $200 (£125) a week so because I couldn't afford rent, I decided to live in my van. I was rousted a lot (by police). I moved almost every night...
"I had a whole routine where I would go shower at the gym... And then I would go cruise the buffet table for breakfast at, like, a hotel."
And Burrell admits he's lucky to have caught a break from cops who simply let him off with a warning.
He adds, "I think they (the cops) were actually being very nice to me by not arresting me. It got to be kind of a routine, like, 'Hey, move it along.'"