Tatum is a college dropout, he was previously known as Chan Crawford as his stage name during his conventional gigs as a stripper. By this, Tatum was prepared for his role before the filming of Magic Mike, the role is new to him.
Yeah, this is a true from-rags-to-riches story, though from being a stripper he became a formidable actor, his old co-workers are a bit bitter about his success.
Some of his fellow strippers back in the days have stepped forward to accuse Tatum for stealing some of the dance moves and turn it over for the filming of Magic Mike. Tatum once said that being a stripper is an option for kids without a college education.