“I would be living next door to my family in a big farmhouse with my wife and seven children . .. and probably taking care of grandkids by now.”
Openly gay choreographer Glenn Douglas Packard is discussing where he would be today if his life had gone ahead as planned for him. But it didn’t go down like that and, in reality (no pun intended), Packard has worked with some huge names in the pop arena and is currently living it up in a Miami penthouse as the roommate and friend of Brooke Hogan (wrestler Hulk’s daughter) and roommate Ashley on VH1’s “Brooke Knows Best,” back for a second season this month.
The 30-year-old Packard said his day-to-day life now is a far cry from his humble, not-so-glamorous beginnings.
“My family had other plans for me,” he said. “I’m originally from Michigan. I grew up in a really small town and my family members are farmers. My dad and mom had hoped that I would take over the family business. I was actually going to college for dairy management.”
That’s right, kids: Shiver in fear. He said dairy management. Somebody’s got to do it, but most people probably never want to know what it’s like to wake up to that job every day. And it would have been Packard if fate hadn’t intervened in calamitous fashion.
“I had actually gotten in a really bad four-wheeler accident,” he said. “I almost lost my leg and broke my back. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to walk normally again. I then decided I wanted to do the one thing I always dreamt of doing and live my life the way I’d wanted to live it. So I ended up pursuing the entertainment business. I started dancing and I didn’t stop until I was in with some of the best artists in the business.”
Besides getting to live in a Miami penthouse (while VH1 foots the bill), Packard also works with Brooke as her artistic director and choreographer as she tries to launch a career in music.
“She’s pretty much the only artist I’m working with right now since I moved to Florida and I left the New York and L.A. scene,” he said. “As far as focusing on stage performances and recording artists, she’s the only one I’m really working with. Except recently I did choreograph something for [R&B artist] Akon.”
Since Brooke Hogan is the star of the show, naturally the action centers on her (and most likely the fallout surrounding her parents’ very messy, public and expensive divorce). But Packard said there is an episode this season in which Brooke and the world get an up-close look at him.
“I end up going back to Michigan and bring back Brooke and Ashley,” he said “They see what it was like for me to live in a small town and to meet my family for the first time. I bring my boyfriend home to meet my parents. I go home to Michigan to deal with coming out on national television and how the community, my family and ex-fiancée are dealing with it.”
How well both sides deal with the rural Michigan culture shock will have to wait until the episode airs. But in the meantime, Packard said he is making the most of his posh address for as long as it lasts.
“Miami is somewhere where I had worked before in the past,” he said. “I worked for Jimmy Buffet at one point in my career and I was artistic director and choreographer for The Chippendales. That brought me here once and I just knew that this is the one place where I wanted to live. So when I had the opportunity to do this show, I was like, ‘Hell yes, I’ll move to Miami!’”
Packard also said he is focused on keeping his career moving forward.
“I’m moving on to other things right now in my career: directing, producing, acting and stuff like that, a clothes line, a calendar,” he said. “It’s more film and television.”
“Brooke Knows Best” airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on VH1. For more information, visit www.glenndouglaspackard.com.