Michael Shapiro is the founder and lead singer/guitarist of Reckless In Vegas, a power trio rounded out by Jack E. Roth (drums) and Chris Nichols (bass, vocals). “For the past six months, Reckless In Vegas has performed twice a week at SAHARA Las Vegas for our 2022 residency,” says Shapiro. “In the future, I’d like to do another Reckless In Vegas album. We may also start a Christmas album soon.” Learn about Michael Shapiro…
Hometown: I was born in the Bay Area, but I moved to Las Vegas with my dad in 1971 at the age of one. I grew up on the east side of Las Vegas between Twain and Pecos and went to Chaparral High School.
First job: My first job was working for my grandfather’s video game company when I was 12 years old. He had 5,000 amusement machines and my job was to sweep the floors, test the machines and get them ready to go out on location. My first real job outside of my family was bussing tables at a restaurant called The Country Inn off of Desert Inn and Eastern Avenue when I was 15 and a half years old. I used to ride my bike to work every day after school.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in NV: It’s all seasonal. In the winter, I like to go skiing. Summertime, there’s a lot of activity. I’m a runner so I like to run, walk and hike. After COVID-19, I also developed a new love for just watching movies, whether in the theater or at home.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: My biggest accomplishment has been maintaining sobriety for 16 years.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: The greatest obstacle I overcame was substance abuse. It’s the biggest challenge I’ve had in life. As far as my career goes, it’s constantly trying to find the balance between work and my personal life. As a former addict, everything I do, I do really hard – I go all the way. It tends to throw the balance of life off and it’s a constant work in progress. I’m grateful for that, too, because life without purpose is a torturous life. I have a lot of purpose in life, maintaining my recovery and passing it on to other people, too.
Someone who inspires you and why: There are two big inspirations for me: my dad, Lenny Shapiro, inspired me musically and my grandfather, Barney Shapiro, inspired me in business. My dad took me to see Santana when I was 6 years old at the Las Vegas Convention Center in 1976. My relationship with my grandfather began at age 18. He took me under his wing, and he would take me to lunch pretty much every day. He taught me how to pay attention to and observe people. He taught me how to invest, the stock market, real estate and to be the best at whatever you do – to take pride in it and do it very well—whether you’re sweeping floors or running a big company. Just pay attention and give it 100 percent.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: It’s cliché, but try to do something that you love. In any career, there are challenges. If we don’t love what we’re doing enough, it’s going to take us down. You have to love your career enough to endure the setbacks and curveballs that life throws.
Favorite quote: “If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it.” –Anonymous
“Happiness is an inside job.” –William Arthur Ward
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: People are sometimes surprised about my past with substance abuse. They have no idea because I don’t display any of my old behaviors. If someone met me today, they would have no idea that I struggled with drugs and alcohol for so many years. That is surprising to people.
What makes someone fabulous: Genuine humility makes someone fabulous. Someone who has achieved so much in life but is so humble. In entertainment, it can be such a self-promoting world and people can be so opportunistic. To me, being humble is an inside beauty and that goes hand-in-hand with humility. People with integrity are also inspiring and beautiful.