Performers juggle entertainment with fatherhood
Performers and others who work in show business love to entertain. It is in their DNA to sing, dance, act, create magic and make people laugh or cry. They also love their families and if they are dads, Father’s Day on June 18 is even more special. Once these performers get off stage, they are sons and daughters as well as parents and one can describe what they all feel: love.
…there are times that our schedule may cause a few difficulties, I’m very lucky to have a wonderfully understanding wife and a few great friends around me to help ease the load…
Seth Grabel is many things to many people including an illusionist, magician, acrobat and actor with comedic overtones. As a performer, Grabel is also finding ways to continually astound and amaze his audience. As a person, he is incorporating his personal philosophy to share with others. As Grabel tells everyone, “transform your reality … define your illusion.”
But when it comes to his 2-year-old daughter Grace, she is the embodiment of love. “She is the most amazing experience I have ever had and it is so gratifying,” he said. “She is the sweetest, most charming little girl and she teaches us how to be better people.”
Grabel realizes that Grace will emulate him, and he is striving to demonstrate honesty, integrity and compassion through his actions. He is proud to strive to be the best person he can be and share that with Grace.
As for his own father, “My dad was a businessman. He woke up at 6 a.m. every morning and worked hard for his family. My life is so different. I am up at all hours and I wonder if I am being as good of a dad as my father. But I love her and I want her to be happy and do anything she wants.”
Luke Broadlick, choreographer and performer in “Magic Mike Live” now playing at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, is a husband and father off stage. “Love doesn’t have a time or a schedule. So if I can show as much love as possible to every moment I have with my wife, my children or my career I can balance it all out,” he explained.Jonny Williams, one of the performers in “Tenors Of Rock” at Harrah’s Las Vegas, had to relocate his family to Las Vegas with the new residency show.
“Now that my family and I are here together in Las Vegas things are actually a lot easier than I’ve known since my little boy was born. Being a performer, I’m quite used to being away from home most of the time and it’s been that way for the past three years, but now I get to go home to my wife and son every night thanks to our Las Vegas residency. Even though there are times that our schedule may cause a few difficulties, I’m very lucky to have a wonderfully understanding wife and a few great friends around me to help ease the load sometimes.
When I get home after work I often find it difficult to wind down and go to sleep so when my son comes in at 5:30 a.m. and wants me up to climb an imaginary Mount Everest it’s not too easy, I can tell you.” But Williams balances the day with a nap and would not give up those special times.Jennifer Romas is the producer, creator, choreographer and star of “Sexxy,” the topless revue in the Westgate Cabaret at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. While some women might not want to share with their father what they do, Romas is very grateful for her father’s continuing support.
“My father is huge part of my life and career,” Romas said. “I am an only child and my dad has influenced my life in many, many ways. He has always been there for me. He is my cheerleader, teaching and training me. My family is very important to me.”
Romas’ father was a wrestler in high school and college and was a runner up for the Olympic team. He did not make the Olympic team but still showed his daughter his dedication, which she embraces in her own career as an athlete and dancer.
Marc D. Donovan is an actor, singer and voiceover artist who portrayed Sam Phillips in “Million Dollar Quartet” during its Las Vegas run. Donovan took this role and relocated to Vegas in 2013 with his wife, seeing this as an opportunity to start a family. After a year and half of attempting to have a baby, they sought another path.
Attempting to adopt through the foster care system has, according to Donovan, “become more difficult that we thought it would be. It is finally starting to take shape after an emotional roller coaster ride so it has come full circle in a way for me,” he said. “One chapter of portraying a man who was like a father to these legends has come to a close and I am now moving on to the next chapter in my ever changing family including continuing as dad to Oscar.”Oscar is the baby boy they brought home nearly two years ago from the hospital as a foster child and on April 13 officially adopted him. “He is an amazing little man, and we feel so lucky to have the privilege of watching him grow up.”
It was not their first placement and Donovan and his wife had to relinquish their first foster child, a girl, whom they brought home at four days old. A great aunt resurfaced and the child, then seven months old, was given to the relative to be raised.
“We almost gave up, but we tried again with Oscar,” and this Father’s Day they are celebrating being his forever family. There is also more good news—Oscar is going to be a big brother. Donovan’s wife is due July 12.
Sergii Matviienko, one of the four men of Atlantis team of gymnasts performing in the show “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace, is from Kiev, Ukraine. Matviienko is father to a young son and is actually working with him to see if he will follow in his father’s career path. “Since I work at night, I can spend time with my son. We go to the park, we bicycle together and there is so much we do. We also race and I am getting him into sports.”
Photo of Jonny Williams by Denise Truscello; Seth Grabel and Grace by Suzy Martinez; Jennifer Romas by Edison Graff