Shalom Life | August 21, 2014

Top 20 Under 40 Los Angeles- Jesse Shapiro

Filmmaker and comedian, Jesse Shapiro, “warms up” our Top 20 List.

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: August 22nd, 2012 in Culture » Society » Interviews

Top 20 Under 40 Los Angeles- Jesse Shapiro

In celebration of Shalom Life’s new Los Angeles office, we have decided to take our popular “Top 20 Under 40” series on the road.

Over the next 20 days, Shalom Life will showcase 20 individuals of diverse talents and backgrounds that have made a significant contribution to their field both locally and globally. From entrepreneurs to philanthropists, entertainers to chefs, this list places a spotlight on a small sampling of the spectacular, innovative, and passionate Jews that call Los Angeles home.

Top 20 Under 40- Jesse Shapiro

Age: 32

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Jesse Shapiro is fortunate enough to “make a good living doing what I love to do, which is make people laugh.”

Shapiro began his career as a talent booker for the famed Hollywood Improv. He has worked with some of comedy’s best, including Chelsea Handler, Daniel Tosh, David Spade, and George Lopez.

He currently performs audience warm-up for E!’s hit show “Chelsea Lately”, but his true passion is film. Having written and directed over 60 shorts for Sony Crackle, Shapiro is now shifting his focus to feature films.

“I don't think there was a singular moment, but I gradually realized that I'm good at the majority of the elements that go into making a film both creatively and on the business side. It took a while to figure that out but once I realized I had a good business sense, like working as a team with people, and like to put words, visuals, and music together to make people laugh, I felt a sense of relief. “

“Nobody Walks in LA”, currently in pre-production, is Shapiro’s love story to Los Angeles”.

“I was born and raised in LA so the city holds a very special place in my heart. The films and TV shows made about LA inevitably tend to revolve around the entertainment industry, gangs, or boobs on the beach. This movie attempts to represent the rest of this awesome city.”

Although Shapiro performs in front of the “Chelsea Lately” audience, ultimately he hopes to stay behind the camera. Beyond writing and directing film, Shapiro would eventually like to run his own studio.

“In five years I'd like to be running my own Film and TV production company. In 20 years I'd like to be teaching other people what I've learned.”

Wanting to be remembered as someone “who loved a lot and went for it,” Shapiro’s career has only just begun. His unique brand of self-described “goofy” comedy, combined with his true passion and keen eye for honest storytelling will produce decades of memorable entertainment.

When asked how he feels about being named as one of the Top 20 Under 40 Jews in L.A he said, "It's premature, but I'm glad I have eight more years to make good on it."

And, finally, how does Shapiro’s Judaism play into his day to day life?

“My family never sits at the first table offered to us in a restaurant, and I love a good Reuben,” he joked.

Click over to Page 2 to learn some fun facts about Jesse Shapiro!

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