Performing Arts

Getting to the Heart, Soul, and drive of top performers in the entertainment industry. Clayton Howe’s guests share their paths, struggles, and lessons learned. Entertainmentx inspires, uplifts, and educates everyone interested in a deep dive look at entertainment professionals and industry luminaries.

Episodes

Akron Watson (IG:@akronwatson)(TW:@akronwatson) is an actor/singer/artist who has been on Broadway 3 times, first with The Color Purple Revival, where he won a Tony, Grammy, and Emmy, secondly with the Tony winning The Play That Goes Wrong, and currently as Aaron Burr in Hamilton an American Musical. Akron has been Off-Broadway, in the The Fortress of Solitude at the (Public Theater), as well as performing in regional productions across the country in cities like Boston, Dallas, and St Louis, as lead characters in shows like Dreamgirls, To Kill A Mockingbird, and the Royal. He can be seen on TV as Trevor in NBC’s Chicago Med, and in movies like Seasons of Gray and Spilt Milk. Akron is also the voice of anime characters like Satoshi on Toonami’s Michiko and Hatchin, he’s Chris in The Walking Dead Video Game, and he plays as himself in Borderlands, the Presequel on Playstation and Xbox. He was even a golden ticket winner on American Idol, Season 7.

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Rashad V. Chambers (IG:@rashadvchambers)(esquireentertainment.com) is a Tony Award-nominated producer, talent manager and lawyer. A licensed attorney in New York and Connecticut, Rashad is the Founder and President of Esquire Entertainment. His Broadway producing credits include American Son, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations, Betrayal and The Inheritance. Rashad also produced the world premiere of It Happened In Key West in London. His first feature film, True to the Heart, won four awards at the Long Island International Film Expo and was an official selection at the Big Apple Film Festival. In addition, his short film, Hunger, was an official selection at the Urban World Film Festival and Latino Film Market Festival. Rashad attended Morehouse College where he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. He also earned his JD and MBA degrees from The Ohio State University. Rashad is a founding member of The Industry Standard Group as well as a board member of On Broadway Performing Arts Training Program and Houses on the Moon Theater Company.

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Rashad V. Chambers (IG:@rashadvchambers)(esquireentertainment.com) is a Tony Award-nominated producer, talent manager and lawyer. A licensed attorney in New York and Connecticut, Rashad is the Founder and President of Esquire Entertainment. His Broadway producing credits include American Son, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations, Betrayal and The Inheritance. Rashad also produced the world premiere of It Happened In Key West in London. His first feature film, True to the Heart, won four awards at the Long Island International Film Expo and was an official selection at the Big Apple Film Festival. In addition, his short film, Hunger, was an official selection at the Urban World Film Festival and Latino Film Market Festival. Rashad attended Morehouse College where he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. He also earned his JD and MBA degrees from The Ohio State University. Rashad is a founding member of The Industry Standard Group as well as a board member of On Broadway Performing Arts Training Program and Houses on the Moon Theater Company.

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Kris Kukul (kriskukul.com)(IG:@kriskukul) is a New York City Based Orchestrator, Arranger, Music Director and Composer. 

Currently he is Music Supervisor, Orchestrator, co-arranger and Conductor for Broadway’s Tony nominated Beetlejuice The Musical! Other recent projects include, The Liz Swados Project for Ghostlight Records, In The Green at Lincoln Center Theatre, David Byrne’s Joan of Arc the Public Theatre, Songbird by Michael Kimmel and Lauren Pritchard, a remounting of Elizabeth Swados' Runaways at New York’s City Center, The Last Goodbye, an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet featuring the music of Jeff Buckley, and The Heart of Robin Hood, music by Parsonsfield.

He has also arranged, orchestrated and conducted solo concerts for Broadway powerhouses Kate Baldwin (Extraordinary Machine), and Amy Spanger (The Music Be the Place) and the Lincoln Center American Songbook concert celebrating the music of Elizabeth Swados.

For 10 seasons, he served as the resident music director for the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Productions included June Moon, The Last Goodbye, Animal Crackers and others. There he also directed the legendary Late-Night Cabarets, featuring iconic performers including Renee Fleming, Lewis Black, Kathleen Turner, Allison Janey, Tyne Daly, David Hyde Pierce, Judy Kuhn, Lena Hall, Judy Gold, Steven Pasquale, Kelli O’Hara, Phillipa Sou, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Debra Monk, Michael McKean, Harriet Harris and many others. 

Kris began his career working for musical theatre icon Elizabeth Swados. Together, they created Jabu, Kaspar Hauser, The Nomad, The LaMama Cantata and numerous concerts and recordings. He and Director/Choreographer Sam Pinkleton are committed to keeping her legacy alive.  

He music directed the film scores for Of Many, a documentary produced by Chelsea Clinton, and My Depression, an HBO animated film featuring the voices of Sigourney Weaver, Steve Buscemi and Fred Armisten.

As Composer, Kris has written the music for the musicals Beauty Queen and Dash Dexter and the family friendly musicals Camp Monster and Wing It!, both produced by the Williamstown Theatre Festival. He also wrote the music for Oliver Twist at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for The Greek National Theatre. 

Internationally, he spent 3 seasons with The National Theatre of Greece, conducting and arranging music for tours of classical plays in ancient amphitheaters, including the festival of Epidaurus. He performed at the Edinburgh Fringe with the musical From the Fire. With The LaMama Cantata, he performed in Tokyo, Spoleto, Istanbul, Zagreb, Skopje and Belgrade.

In New York City, Kris has worked at Playwrights Horizons, The Vineyard, New York Theatre Workshop, The Atlantic, The Flea, LaMama, Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, Birdland, the Cherry Lane and the Lucille Lortel. He has worked regionally at San Diego’s Old Globe, Arena Stage, Hartford Stage, A.R.T., Emerson Arts, Two River, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Williamstown, The Village Theatre and Royal Manitoba Theatre Center.

Kris is a Graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He is adjunct faculty at Tisch/Playwrights Horizons Theatre School, and has taught at The New School, Duke University, Columbia University, Belmont University, and Queens College.

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Kris Kukul (kriskukul.com)(IG:@kriskukul) is a New York City Based Orchestrator, Arranger, Music Director and Composer. 

Currently he is Music Supervisor, Orchestrator, co-arranger and Conductor for Broadway’s Tony nominated Beetlejuice The Musical! Other recent projects include, The Liz Swados Project for Ghostlight Records, In The Green at Lincoln Center Theatre, David Byrne’s Joan of Arc the Public Theatre, Songbird by Michael Kimmel and Lauren Pritchard, a remounting of Elizabeth Swados' Runaways at New York’s City Center, The Last Goodbye, an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet featuring the music of Jeff Buckley, and The Heart of Robin Hood, music by Parsonsfield.

He has also arranged, orchestrated and conducted solo concerts for Broadway powerhouses Kate Baldwin (Extraordinary Machine), and Amy Spanger (The Music Be the Place) and the Lincoln Center American Songbook concert celebrating the music of Elizabeth Swados.

For 10 seasons, he served as the resident music director for the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Productions included June Moon, The Last Goodbye, Animal Crackers and others. There he also directed the legendary Late-Night Cabarets, featuring iconic performers including Renee Fleming, Lewis Black, Kathleen Turner, Allison Janey, Tyne Daly, David Hyde Pierce, Judy Kuhn, Lena Hall, Judy Gold, Steven Pasquale, Kelli O’Hara, Phillipa Sou, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Debra Monk, Michael McKean, Harriet Harris and many others. 

Kris began his career working for musical theatre icon Elizabeth Swados. Together, they created Jabu, Kaspar Hauser, The Nomad, The LaMama Cantata and numerous concerts and recordings. He and Director/Choreographer Sam Pinkleton are committed to keeping her legacy alive.  

He music directed the film scores for Of Many, a documentary produced by Chelsea Clinton, and My Depression, an HBO animated film featuring the voices of Sigourney Weaver, Steve Buscemi and Fred Armisten.

As Composer, Kris has written the music for the musicals Beauty Queen and Dash Dexter and the family friendly musicals Camp Monster and Wing It!, both produced by the Williamstown Theatre Festival. He also wrote the music for Oliver Twist at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for The Greek National Theatre. 

Internationally, he spent 3 seasons with The National Theatre of Greece, conducting and arranging music for tours of classical plays in ancient amphitheaters, including the festival of Epidaurus. He performed at the Edinburgh Fringe with the musical From the Fire. With The LaMama Cantata, he performed in Tokyo, Spoleto, Istanbul, Zagreb, Skopje and Belgrade.

In New York City, Kris has worked at Playwrights Horizons, The Vineyard, New York Theatre Workshop, The Atlantic, The Flea, LaMama, Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, Birdland, the Cherry Lane and the Lucille Lortel. He has worked regionally at San Diego’s Old Globe, Arena Stage, Hartford Stage, A.R.T., Emerson Arts, Two River, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Williamstown, The Village Theatre and Royal Manitoba Theatre Center.

Kris is a Graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He is adjunct faculty at Tisch/Playwrights Horizons Theatre School, and has taught at The New School, Duke University, Columbia University, Belmont University, and Queens College.

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Michael Buchanan (TW:@mwbuchanan)(IG:@michaelwbuchanan) Sex-positive, fashionable, sexy, silly. Rich in love and friends. Performing artist living in New York City. We discuss the return of theatre, how he has stayed positive throughout this time, and much more. I hope you enjoy! 

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Michael Buchanan (TW:@mwbuchanan)(IG:@michaelwbuchanan) Sex-positive, fashionable, sexy, silly. Rich in love and friends. Performing artist living in New York City. We discuss the return of theatre, how he has stayed positive throughout this time, and much more. I hope you enjoy! 

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Michael Mills (LI:@michaelmills)(IG:@michaelmillsnyc)(ddmproductionsnyc.com) is a New York City-based communications consultant and producer with more than 25 years of global experience in broadcast, public relations, communications/image consulting and theatrical producing. He designs and leads comprehensive, engaging and impactful individual, team and group communications workshops and trainings. Participants include corporate executives, spokespersons, celebrities, industry leaders, experts, authors, not-for-profits, physicians, researchers, government officials, NGOs, associations, trade organizations, and sales and marketing staff. Michael has held sessions for more than 12,000 individuals and groups throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia.

Michael’s impressive client base has been built by word of mouth and referral. He is known for relevant, informational, enjoyable, efficient and results-oriented sessions designed to develop and/or enhance messages, introduce or reinforce techniques, practice effective communication strategies and help develop leaders. He has extensive health and medical, nutrition and lifestyle expertise.

Michael is also a Drama Desk Award winning theatrical producer, Executive Producer and Director. Current productions include; Little Shop of Horrors Off Broadway, Concrete Jungle, Mary and Max, Spandex the Musical, Kleptocracy, Monopoly Life-sized. Previous productions include Be More Chill, Unexpected Joy, Come Out, Come Out and The Made-up Musical.

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Michael Mills (LI:@michaelmills)(IG:@michaelmillsnyc)(ddmproductionsnyc.com) is a New York City-based communications consultant and producer with more than 25 years of global experience in broadcast, public relations, communications/image consulting and theatrical producing. He designs and leads comprehensive, engaging and impactful individual, team and group communications workshops and trainings. Participants include corporate executives, spokespersons, celebrities, industry leaders, experts, authors, not-for-profits, physicians, researchers, government officials, NGOs, associations, trade organizations, and sales and marketing staff. Michael has held sessions for more than 12,000 individuals and groups throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia.

Michael’s impressive client base has been built by word of mouth and referral. He is known for relevant, informational, enjoyable, efficient and results-oriented sessions designed to develop and/or enhance messages, introduce or reinforce techniques, practice effective communication strategies and help develop leaders. He has extensive health and medical, nutrition and lifestyle expertise.

Michael is also a Drama Desk Award winning theatrical producer, Executive Producer and Director. Current productions include; Little Shop of Horrors Off Broadway, Concrete Jungle, Mary and Max, Spandex the Musical, Kleptocracy, Monopoly Life-sized. Previous productions include Be More Chill, Unexpected Joy, Come Out, Come Out and The Made-up Musical.

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Shawn W. Smith(IG:@shawnwsmith)(TW:@straysoundtrack)(@StrayAndTheSoundtrack) is a veteran of the stage and recording booth. In theatre he has been seen in “For the Record: The Brat Pack”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Lysistrata Jones”, “Godspell”, and the national touring company of “Waitress” where you can currently see him in the role of Earl. In 2019 he released an album of original music entitled “That’s What You Get for Doing the Wrong Thing” and this past summer released a new original album with his music partner Michael Herlihy under the band name and album title “Stray and the Soundtrack”. 

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