Sometimes the pressure of our daily routine makes us say, "I just want to run away and join the circus." But have you ever known someone who actually has? Meet a man who ditched his white-collar career for a chance at Sin City's newest big tent spectacular.
Roman Mokrenko is a 29-year-old Ukrainian from the port city of Odessa. Known as the "Pearl of the Black Sea," Odessa boasts amazing architecture and a renowned opera and ballet theater. The natural beauty of the Ukraine is as much a part of Roman as his love for physical arts. A longtime athlete, he studied acrobatics before pursuing a career in law. While attending the National University Odessa Law Academy, he simultaneously became a Junior Lieutenant in Military School.
Being both a lawyer and a military officer, though, didn't extinguish Roman's desire to accomplish something artistic. “One moment, I just realized that this office life is not for me. I cannot live without a ‘scene.’” Luckily for Roman, his background in acrobatics served him well when he had this revelation. “I almost never stop training. There is too much energy in my head and body that I have to splash somewhere.”
And what better place to be a performer with Roman’s background, he reasoned, than Vegas? There are countless productions here that incorporate aerialists, gymnasts, acrobats and contortionists. When Roman discovered a casting call for the new circus-style show Celestia at The STRAT, he decided to take the plunge.
“I applied for the casting without much hope. Here you can see the best artists of the world. I thought it was impossible, but now I'm here! This is my favorite part of life in Las Vegas.”
Roman arrived in Las Vegas on Valentine's Day 2018. You might say that this was the beginning of a love affair with Sin City's desert. Although he misses life by the sea, the excitement of performing in Vegas has allowed Roman to reach new heights. He just had to learn how to deal with the scorching climate.
When not entertaining crowds, Roman still finds himself in the company of fellow artists. After a massage and hearty breakfast at Omelet House, he heads to a very unique school:
Nevada Rhythmic Academy. “It's a place where I can train, invent new acts, meet artists from other shows and try something new together,” says Mokrenko. “There is a real aura of the gym in which I grew up.”
Celestia performs Wednesday through Sunday at 7 p.m., with additional 9 p.m. shows Friday through Sunday.