Shilpa Das

1) Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
I work at a music publishing company by day and pursue comedy in LA by night (and sometimes by morning and for a bit in the afternoon). I do stand-up, comedy writing, improv acting, and, pre-pandemic, I was busy taking classes, collaborating with colleagues and performing improv/musical improv regularly at The Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater (UCB) where I also produce the South Asian AF show, LA’s largest variety comedy show featuring South Asian performers.

2) How did you first become interested in art?
I have always been interested in the arts for as long as I can remember being interested in anything (besides food). Although I was a pretty serious child, I always found comfort and freedom in music, dance and, as a teen, in the comedy space. Escaping in the arts was a way to overcome my insecurity.  It was a place where I felt empowered and where I could express my truest self.

3) How does art enrich a community, and what are some ways people can engage with art in Burbank?
Art can enrich a community in many ways.  Firstly, I think it brings people together over a common interest.  People from a variety of different backgrounds may want to see the same play or may laugh at the same joke.  And live performances, especially, create an atmosphere where we can have shared energy and experience with strangers on an intimate level – I think that’s a really special thing!  Burbank has many theaters, improv studios, and open mics.  Any night of the week you can watch some improv at LA Connection Comedy Theatre, see a movie at one of the AMCs, or dance to live music at Joe’s (<– I’ve done them all)!  Or if you wanna make your own art, Burbank is also home to several businesses for music, dance and art instruction. Take guitar lessons at the Burbank Music Academy, take a comedy class at Flapper’s Comedy Club, or take a dance class at Rockstar Dance Fitness (<– again, all things I have done and recommend)! It’s never too late to learn something new!

I know all of my suggestions are hindered right now because of the pandemic, but there are some live shows and classes that have moved to Zoom for the time being.  So support the arts you enjoy – a live performance can be so dependent upon a good audience and a great way to break up another quarantine day at home! Graceful segue, actually I’m hosting South Asian AF’s first livestream comedy show this Saturday, 10/24 on our Youtube channel.  JOIN US!

4) If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be?
Artistic expression does not have to be perfect before it’s shared.  I used to be very hesitant to invite friends to shows or put material or performances online because they were never perfect.  But what I have learned in the last 7 years is that sometimes it’s the process itself that is what we are sharing. I often use standup comedy to work through my own life and issues and those observations may change from year to year, month to month or even day to day. A joke is constantly being workshopped. It can take years to get a joke to a place where you feel like it really works.  But having an audience there for its development and journey is what helps evolve the joke over time and that’s the fun part! If I waited until I felt my jokes were perfect, I’d never have performed a day!

To find out more about Shilpa and her work, visit her websites at and