PRESIDENT & FOUNDER, ESQUIRE ENTERTAINMENT
Describe your legal background and your current role today.
I earned my Juris Doctor degree at Ohio State University. Some of my experiences after law school include serving as the Rights & Clearances Director at Character Studies Productions as well as a staff attorney at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. Currently, I am the President & CEO at Esquire Entertainment, a boutique talent management and production company.
What three words would you use to describe your role?
Creative. Ambitious. Perseverance.
What inspired you to pursue your current career?
While I was in law school, my goal was to pursue a career that infused my three loves: law, business, and entertainment. I initially moved to New York to be a Broadway producer. However, shortly after moving, I received an opportunity to manage talent and I jumped at the chance. I knew I wanted to do something creative, but it was not until this opportunity presented itself that I realized how to put it all together. As a talent manager and producer, I review and negotiate contracts (law), create and review budgets (business), and advise and empower actors, writers, directors, choreographers and producers (entertainment).
Name one movie or song to describe your career.
Mariah Carey’s “Make It Happen”.
How has your legal education/background shaped the way you perform in your current career?
The entertainment field is one of the few industries where you do not necessarily need an education to have a successful career – a person can simply work hard and move their way up the ladder. However, I cherish my legal education because it allows me to think outside the box. A great deal of my work entails strategic planning, logic, guidance and critical thinking. As a lawyer working in a field of creatives, I am able to approach each situation from a different perspective and communicate more effectively.
What lessons learned or unexpected challenges did you face in your current role?
My current role has taught me how to be more aggressive and fight for what I want. In the entertainment industry, there are so many factors that are out of your control. For example, you can represent someone who is perfect for a part, but the director wants someone tall instead of short. However, when you truly believe in someone’s ability, you want to fight for them and make sure they are able pursue every opportunity. It does not always work, but when it does, it is a wonderful feeling. Indeed, there is nothing more rewarding than being able to call a client and tell them they booked their first Broadway show or landed their first TV role.
What advice would you give to those career pivoting or pursuing a career beyond the practice of law?
I would advise these three things: save your money; use your resources; trust your gut.
Save your money: Regardless of whether you are starting your own company or moving to a different industry, you are likely to have a change in income. By saving prior to the transition, you will have a safety net until your new venture takes off.
Use your resources: Make sure to utilize your social network so you have support during your transition. Meet people who are doing something similar or have gone through the same process. Learning from others’ tribulations and successes is priceless.
Trust your gut: It won’t always be easy, but follow your instincts. Even though you will be pursuing something new, you can still build upon your transferrable skills from the practice of law.
What is your personal motto, mantra or favorite quote?
Be patient. Do good work. Keep doing good work, and then do more good work. It’ll all pay off.
Rashad Chambers is President and Founder of Esquire Entertainment. He is a graduate of Morehouse College and received JD and MBA degree from Ohio State University. Rashad is a Tony award winning producer currently represented on Broadway with Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations and Caroline, or Change. His other notable credits include The Inheritance, Betrayal, American Son and It Happened In Key West. To learn more about Rashad and his company, check out Esquire Entertainment.