Beginning of Jordan BelfortEdit
Jordan Belfort was born on July 9th, 1962, in Queens, New York. He was a natural business man and started out selling Italian ice to beach goers with his friend Elliot Loewenstern .They made roughly $20,000 and Belfort planned on using the money to pay his way through dentistry school, but later changed his mind and went into business. After a few other failed business ventures, Belfort got his foot in the door at a brokerage firm called L.F. Rothschild where he worked as a connector. Over the next few years he worked in various firms and earned enough money to where he was able to start his own, Stratton Oakmont. He began his "pump and dump" schemes with his close childhood friends whom he hired. The firm took more than twenty companies public and ripped off thousands of customers. Belfort lived a lavish lifestyle filled with drugs, hookers, and expensive toys. Years after his fallout including prison and everything being stripped from him, Martin Scorsese decided to make a movie showing the rise and fall of Jordan Belfort.
The Wolf of Wall StreetEdit
Martin Scorsese took Jordan Belfort's life and created a movie out of it. Scorsese is a successful producer who is responsible for great movies such as, Goodfellas and The departed'. His films always get you to the edge of your seat asking for more. Scorsese was also born in Queens so he was around when this Stratton Oakmont scheme was going on. I believe this is one reason why he made this film portraying Jordan Belfort, because he saw him living large all over the news. Anyway, the film is filled with sex, money, drugs, cursing, and anything related to the most extremes of lifestyles. Scorsese says in his interview, "I wanted to try and find out what they were all thinking, and I wanted to find out how their minds worked. I was fascinated by their ignorance, and I wanted to know why they were acting that way." After watching the movie in theaters back in December of 2013, I wondered the same thing. Was Jordan Belfort really as rude and messed up as the film showed or did Scorsese make him look worse in the film to make it more interesting to watch? To start my research, I wanted to find someone who was there, someone who worked at Stratton Oakmont, and I did just that.
My life working for the real 'Wolf of Wall Street'Edit
Josh Shapiro worked at Stratton Oakmont during the climax of Jordan Belfort's scheme. He wrote an article for The New York Post that was published a few days before the movie hit the screen. In his article, he talks about what it was like to work for Belfort and how crazy his life was while being involved in Stratton Oakmont. He says that he wasn't a "big fish" in the company so he didn't see all of it, but even what he did see was far from normal. After high school he joined the marines and later came back when he was 22 in 1993. His father worked with Danny Porush's father and told Josh that he should go up and see about a job. Danny Porush was co founder of Stratton Oakmont and lived along Jordan Belfort in their lavish lifestyle. Josh Shapiro needed a job so naturally, he went and talked to Danny about a job. He arrived at the address of Stratton Oakmont, easily recongizeable by the exotic cars everywhere saying, ‘‘Whoa!” It looked like a car show. I’ve never seen cars like this. I didn’t even have a driver’s license yet." Shapiro then exictedly walked into the building, which he says was the size of a football field with over 300 people madly talking on the phone, and went to find Danny Porush. Josh then describes what happened, "Danny said: “Sit down, Josh. Do you want to make a million dollars a year? Do you want to make $100,000 a month? This is how you do it.” I was blown away by the intensity — you could feel the pulse when you walked into the place. It was like walking into a nightclub without the music. The music was the phones and the people talking. The energy was just unbounding and unstoppable, and you wanted to be a part of it. It was almost cultish, and you were hooked in from Day 1."