Updated: Sep 18, 2019
Lupe Zapata is a man of many talents. He has BA in Theatre Arts with a focus on acting, worked professionally as a TV News Anchor/Reporter, and worked as an on-air talent for the ABC Affiliate in Odessa, Texas. In 2018 he got signed with the prestigious talent agency, Ken Linder & Associates who has represented TV personalities such as Lester Holt of Dateline, Mario Lopez of EXTRA and Matt Lauer of NBC's the Today show. As if that wasn't an amazing resume already -- Zapata went on to debut an original morning show (yes, he hosted it himself)! LA is now home for him where he hopes to score a position at one of the local news stations.
UP(st)ART: What’s your dream job?
Lupe Zapata: My dream job is to be a Host on Good Morning America. As a kid I watched the show and loved it. I like how they focus on “good-news” along with the hard-hitting breaking news. My plan is to get hired by ABC News within the next 3 years and move my way up.
What do you want to contribute to the world? In a Guerrilla style of reporting I’ve created a series called “Tell Me A Story” This project, in which, I ask random people to sit-down and share a story has always focused on love with the goal of sharing positivity. As a Journalist (former News Anchor/MMJ) in-between jobs I’ve started interviewing random people as an UBER DRIVER! In my car a sign reads “ASK ME ABOUT MY LOVE STORY CHALLENGE," only after a rider inquires do I explain my project and its mission.
With their permission -- I mic them up, and ask them to tell me a story during the duration of our ride together. I then share their stories on my social media.
Here is a sample of an awesome interaction that recently happened during Lupe's Uber Talks:
While driving in Burbank I picked-up a lovely woman by the name of Marianne from the Burbank Airport. Boy, did she make my day.
She flew in from Seattle to surprise her brother David. He’s 14 years older than her and has some medical issues keeping him from feeling well. In their last phone conversation, EARLIER THIS WEEK, Marianne says he sounded bad and in low spirits.
She shared with me her deep love for her brother and I immediately thought about the relationship I have with my sister, Letti. Letti is kind of my best friend. David is also gay and has a husband... see the parallel?
David and his husband had no idea about Marianne’s last-minute trip. She even brought him some fried chicken from a restaurant he likes. She left my car smelling delicious. Her reason for the trip; to raise his spirits, let him know she’s there for him, and that she loves him...
I believe it’s stories like this that need to be shared. Call me a romantic, I call it Journalism. As a storyteller it’s my mission to share these kind of stories. I think it’s important to never forget (while in the midst of some really hard news) love is still running through all of our veins. It connects us to strangers.
Who are your biggest influences? Oprah Winfrey. I’m the following in her footprints. She started as a TV Reporter and An Anchor. If I could have her career, forget Good Morning America -- Hello the Lupe Zapata Show! My parents are also pretty great. Their support and love have been an awesome source of positivity in my life. It’s because of their love that I believe in my dreams.
What’s one cool thing that happened to you lately?
I was in the running to be a News Anchor in Phoenix, Arizona. Ultimately, they didn’t choose me. BUT, it was very exciting to be seriously considered for the role. Their loss :)
What do you like about living at UP(st)ART? July marked 11 months since I arrived in LA on a mission to create happiness. Throughout the month a small group of my roommates and I picked-up trash near our home and I was reminded of how much happier I am now, compared to this time last year.
Living in LA has made me realize how much I loath two realities of living in a big city; trash and graffiti. These two ever-present things really, REALLY, bother me.
As I worked with the wonderful people my roommates are, filling trash bags with beer bottles and candy wrappers I had an Oprah Winfrey, “Aha Moment.”
Even though I’m not (YET) doing what I came here to do (work as an LA Journalist) I’m doing things everyday that are making me happy, and that’s what it’s all about.
I WILL inevitably find another job in television, but in the meantime, I’m really, REALLY happy just picking up trash with friends.
A little more than a year ago I came to a self-realization that I am the only one responsible for my own happiness. I took action with the support of some beautiful people, removed myself from a bad situation, and told myself; “You will be happy!” Today, sleeping in a Pod, living with 39 other artist, I am.
Follow Lupe's journey on Instagram @lupezapata!
See updates from UP(st)ART at @upstartcreative.