Shalom Life | April 10, 2014

Breakthrough Jew - Audrey Gelman

This 26-year old is a study in contrasts: self-identified nerd, political spokeswoman, 'Girls' actress, Mets fan, and much more.

By: Sarah Bauder

Published: November 14th, 2013 in Culture » Society » News

Hot, hip, and heady, the next wave of Jewish artists and influencers has already arrived. This is Breakthrough Jew, your weekly showcase of those on the verge of discovery and ready to be a regular figure in pop culture; setting trends, redefining genres, and simply getting it done-whatever ‘it’ is. These days, it’s not enough to know what’s hot now; you need to catch someone when they’re just starting to simmer.

Featuring those in film, fashion, food, and beyond, we’ll find the story before substance is obscured by style, before hype meets backlash, and before talent and purpose gets lost in a maze of Internet chatter. See an artist in the cozy bar before they hit the amphitheater, dine at a chef’s new restaurant before the line begins, and catch a young writer’s work before the demands of ratings and longevity encroach.

Follow our lead and we’ll follow yours – send us tips or suggestions via email, comment below or tweet us @ShalomLife, as we explore the Jewish landscape for pop culture pioneers.

Name: Audrey Gelman

Age: 26

Hometown: New York City

Breakthrough Cred: Emerging politico who is shaking up the norms

It would seem that Audrey Gelman was on a trajectory of her own design from a very tender age. When most young girls were dreaming of ponies or playing with Barbie, Gelman already had an inkling of where her path would lead.

“I was always inspired by professional women—my mom owns her own business and at an early age I was instilled with a sense of respect for successful and effective ladies. So I knew I wanted to be one of those. If I was normal I probably would have wanted to be something like a unicorn tamer, but I’ve always been a practical dreamer. Read: nerd,” Gelman told Lena Dunham in a 2012 for The L Magazine.

Fun fact apropos of Gelman and Dunham: they have been best friends for roughly eight years, and by all accounts, was Dunham’s inspiration for Allison Williams’ character, Marnie Michaels, on Girls. Likewise, Gelman also has a guest role in three episodes of Girls, as Marnie’s archrival, Audrey. Although she’s appeared in almost everything Dunham has done, Gelman’s aspirations have leaned towards politics.

Audrey Gelman as Audrey on 'Girls'

“If you grew up in the Upper West Side, you’re constantly being asked to sign a petition or support a candidate or oppose something, and so, you know, I think I became very comfortable with a political environment,” she explained to Politico.

Gelman’s career path was essentially solidified at the tender age of 13, when the Supreme Court ruled that George W. Bush was the winner of the 2000 presidential election.

Find out more about Audrey Gelman on the next page!

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