South Florida’s ‘Dancing Entrepreneur’
At the age of 19, Glenn Douglas Packard had a life-changing experience when he almost lost his life.
As he remembers it, “I was in a 3-wheeler accident. I used to be a bit of a hot rod back in my straight days and I was showing off and ended up hitting this jump, taking off in the air, then striking the ground. After that, I don’t remember anything—until I woke up in my hospital bed to find nurses putting a catheter in me.”
What Glenn did on that fateful day was break his back and sustain a compound fracture to his right leg. Doctors wanted to amputate. “It was a life changing moment. I lay in a hospital bed for half a year and talked to God a lot. I was a farmer at the time and was living someone else’s dream, my dad’s.”
Glenn found a doctor who tried to save the leg. Warned he would never walk normally again, he told himself that no matter what “I was going to live an adventure and be true to myself and only do things in my life that made me the happiest. And one of those things was to get into the entertainment business.” He did.
Glenn Douglas Packard is now best known as a co-star in the reality show Brooke Knows Best. But Packard, whom the New York Times called “a dancing entrepreneur,” is also famous in his own right as a choreographer, music director and producer.
FROM INJURY TO MTV
At the age of 21, after his recovery from the devastating injury, Packard left Clare, Michigan and began to take dance lessons. “I always loved dancing to music videos back on the farm, entertaining my brother and sister. I walked in and I never left. For the next couple of years all I did was dance. I was like Forrest Gump . . . run Forrest run . . . dance Glenn dance.”
His career took off, performing at the MTV Music Awards and for various artists on their tours. Still, he wanted more: “I’m a control freak. So an artist, who I was working for, Debbie Gibson, took a chance on my choreography and I did her performance for The RuPaul Show. It was a big hit. In the back of my head I felt like it could be taken away at anytime, so I worked like it was my first job and like it could be my last. “
As a choreographer, Glenn Packard worked with Marc Anthony, Mya, Usher, Liza Minnelli and Jimmy Buffett. He was nominated for an Emmy for his work in Michael Jackson’s 30th Anniversary Concert. He and his lover at the time, Brian Thomas, choreographed the entire event.
Glenn has fond memories of the late King of Pop. “He was extremely kind and professional. I tell the story about the day me and my dancers got a private performance of ‘Billy Jean’ Michael did as a sound check a day before the show. It was magic.”
Music impresario Lou Pearlman, creator of Backstreet Boys, was in the audience at the Jackson concert and liked what he saw. He asked Packard to move to Orlando and be part of a new boy band, a quartet he named twONEty. “We toured Europe for two years. It was actually one of the best times of my life.”
The only thing that was hard was working with someone like Pearlman.” Packard accuses Pearlman of engaging in inappropriate sexual advances towards him and others. Pearlman, of course, was convicted and sentenced to federal prison in 2007 for running a Ponzi scheme.
Meanwhile, Glenn’s dancing career flourished, landing a ‘command performance’ for King Mohammed VI of Morocco: “It was an honor. I was hanging at the palace with all these world leaders. I had no idea who they were. I was just being myself and showing them all a good time.”
FROM MOROCCO TO MIAMI
Packard’s life journey has now brought him to South Florida, and he claims that he ‘loves’ Miami. It was here that he moved in with Brooke Hogan, and began his life as a reality show co-star. He is a big fan of the city: “It has everything- the beach, the culture, the entertainment, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!”
Does being in a reality show an invasion of one’s privacy? “Not one bit,” Glenn replies. “It’s how you handle the situation. And I think I am a lucky MOFO. Being given a chance to be on TV was a dream of mine. So having the camera around me was like; welcome to Glenn’s World! “
Glenn Douglas Packard’s
Likes: Starbucks, Big Love, Horror Films, Comic books, Trevor Project, Reality Competition shows, Sweat pants & t-shirts, a great kiss, the beach, Facebook, salty things like potato chips, Rent, and his dog Brooklyn.
Dislikes: texting, fake people, stupid comedies, fast food, people who act always as victims, Perez Hilton, cocaine, tight jeans, the word ‘weird’, sweets & sugar, the casting couch, Britney’s performances, coconut, having to dress up, MySpace, dancing at night clubs, and cruising in gym bathrooms.
Glenn did not anticipate that the show would eventually air in so many countries. He feels it has advanced the social acceptance of gays. “We need more gay people on television, to show the younger generation there is no need for a closet anymore. I have found a new passion in my life with the gay & lesbian community. And it’s a responsibility that I’m ready to take on, and make a difference.”
Packard is also the owner and creative director of a new nightclub experience called The Strip, on Lincoln Road. As he describes it, “The Strip is a Neo-Burlesque Venue, intertwining modern dance and theatrical acts with a freakish twist,” featuring world class acts.
Busy as Glenn Douglas Packard is, he always finds time for the special man in his life, Daniel Miagany, whom Glenn calls “my sex symbol.”
His partner is a well-known gay cover model in L.A who “can be so sexy at one moment and then be a total goof ball the next. That’s why I love him. He is always looking out for me. I finally found my hero, which I’ve always been looking for.”
Going on one and a half years in their relationship, Glenn says “it feels good. And we are having the best time sharing our dreams together.”