Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 6 p.m.
As Robin Leach arrives for his annual summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy — plus, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore this year — many of our Strip personalities have again stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. We continue today with three of the stars of “Jersey Boys” at Paris Las Vegas. Here is Jason Kappus talking about chasing that dream of stardom.
“I have a dream” — ABBA. “Dream on, dream on,” — Aerosmith. “Dre-e-e-e-eam, dream, dream, dream,” — The Everly Brothers.
We humans are all about having a dream and making it happen. That shiny ideal that dawns on you as an 8-year-old or a high schooler or in the midst of your mid-life crisis. But what if you have two dreams?
I realized one of mine my first year in college — a little late by the standard in my profession.
My name’s Jason Kappus, and I play “Bob Gaudio” in the Paris Las Vegas production of “Jersey Boys.” I began working in the business right out of college, and I’ve been acting professionally for the last 10 years.
I’ve played regional theaters, national tours, Broadway and now Las Vegas. I am literally living my own and many other peoples’ dream. But I want more.
My other dream is the classic — the American dream, if you will. Yes, traveling the country performing is fantastic, but what if I want a house? A dog — 2.5 kids? Well, I had a dog and an amazing wife, but I honestly wondered how practical the other stuff was going to be.
A lot of the people I meet seem to wonder this: Do actors get to have a normal life? Well, yeah, but it can be tricky! Before moving to Las Vegas this February, my wife and I spent the previous two years touring with “Jersey Boys.”
We didn’t want to be apart, but this was a really good gig for me, so I packed up the wife and dog, we threw our stuff in storage, and we hit the road. It was a fun adventure, and we had a blast together.
After a little while, though, we started to think about our family’s future. It had never been “the right time” to have kids, especially with the uncertain nature of employment as an actor. Well now I had some security in a long-running show, but we were living out of suitcases. Could we swing it? We decided yes.
We become pregnant in my second year on the road, and our plan was in motion. We started accumulating portable baby stuff. We flew/drove/bussed back to NYC for pre-natal appointments. Paternity leave was all set up. Everything was going according to plan.
Then, at eight months’ pregnant, a week before we were going to head home to New York for baby time, the producers called and asked if I wanted to move to the Las Vegas company of “Jersey Boys”!
Live in one place while having and raising our child? Sure, all we have to do is move cross-country and find a new hospital and doctor, all while about four weeks out from delivery. In short, it all worked out.
Now we live in Las Vegas. And since we’re here for a while, we’re buying a house. Of course, it’s not quite that simple. Since we don’t know how long we’ll be here with “Jersey Boys,” we have to look for something that we can rent out whenever we end up leaving town. But we’ll finally be homeowners.
All in all, I’ve got the wife, a kid, the dog, and the house is on its way. Even though the pieces of the dream might end up a little scattered across the country, I get to spend my evenings playing, singing and dancing around onstage — and somehow that’s a “job.”
So follow your dream. Don’t let up until you get it. And once you’ve got it, go get another one.
Jason Kappus is an actor, musician, voice-over artist and CrossFit addict. New to Las Vegas and fatherhood, he’s on the lookout for cool stuff to do in Sin City. Tips are welcome at @jasonkappus and JasonKappus.com.
Be sure to read our other “Jersey Boys” guest columns from Lauren Tartaglia and John Salvatore. On Sunday, check out our guest columns from Boyz II Men heartthrob singer and Mirage headliner Shawn Stockman; Mirage chef Michael LaPlaca, who brings Italian home at his restaurant Portofino; and Jeffrey Bank, CEO of Alicart Restaurant Group (Carmine’s at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace).
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.