The Two Epiphanies
of Bonnie Eskenazi
Clients compare the entertainment attorney
to Evander Holyfield and the T-1000
BY JUDD SPICER PHOTOGRAPHY BY DUSTIN SNIPES
Her dream was the stage.
As a teenager, Bonnie Eskenazi trained as a coloratura soprano and studied
theater at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. She loved all
of it. But while preparing for college, she had an epiphany.
“Going out on auditions and climbing that ladder of competition against
people who are really good, I realized that I just wasn’t good enough to make
a living in the theater,” says Eskenazi from her Los Angeles office, which
overlooks the Avenue of the Stars and one of the two Los Angeles Country
Club golf courses.
She adds, “But I was a decent student and thought, ‘Well, I really like the
study of politics and law, the study of government structures and history,’ so I
went in that direction.” At Stanford Law School, she found herself gravitating
toward entertainment law; and once she began to practice, she had another
epiphany: It turns out the new passion wasn’t that far removed from the old.
“As a trial lawyer, you’re really putting on a show,” she says. “You are the
director, you are the screenwriter, you do all the special effects. You get to act
in it and you really produce a show. It really did marry a lot of my interests.”
Now a top entertainment lawyer with Greenberg Glusker in Los Angeles,
Eskenazi’s client roster has included Marvel Entertainment, Paramount
Pictures, Dream Works, the Tolkien estate, and classical artists Renée Fleming,
Joshua Bell and Itzhak Perlman. She is consistently described as level-headed,
even-handed and relentless.