Comedian and actor Felipe Esparza got his start as a comedian all because someone asked him to list 5 goals in life. During a stint in rehab before he was 21, Felipe was asked what he wanted out of life. As an immigrant Mexican boy growing up in the projects in Boyle Heights (East L.A.) and then as a teenage father with a drug and alcohol problem, it was a difficult question because he had never thought that far ahead. Among the items on that list, “to be happy”, and “be a stand-up comedian” – because of how he connected to an old Bill Cosby album when he was younger. Up until that time, Felipe was under the impression that life was over at 18.
But if you had told him back then that all this life experience would one day make people laugh, he wouldn’t have believed it. From growing up as a poor immigrant in a family of 9 to living in the most gang-infested neighborhood in the country to winning NBC’s “Last Comic Standing”, to selling out live comedy shows all over the country and being able to act in TV shows and movies, Felipe’s life has been anything but boring. He worked for years as a stand-up comedian, opening on the road for fellow comedians such as Gabriel Iglesias and Paul Rodriguez, then took a leap of faith and went out on his own – which led to very little income and opportunity at first.