LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The ripple effect from the pandemic remains, with many out of work or finding different work, including one Cirque du Soleil performer who is now a plumber.
Roman Polishchuk says after 23 years and over 6,500 performances, it’s time to step back.
He now works at Goettle Air Conditioning and Plumbing.
“I was nervous at the beginning, but I am doing the same thing as before but with a different job,” Polishchuk said. “It still makes me feel happy.”
It’s been almost a year since Polishchuk has been on stage, but his talent as a performer is hard to ignore when he is fixing broken pipes.
He joined Cirque du Soleil 23 years ago and traveled the world. He has been recognized with some of the highest awards in his field and has countless stories of his career.
His life took a sudden turn when the pandemic forced everything to close.
“We were doing the show and the next day they told us the show is canceled for the day. We asked why and they said because of the pandemic and all the shows around the world were canceled,” Polishchuk said. “We were standing by for a few days until they said, ‘sorry you all have to go home.’”
Without a job, Polishchuk says a friend at an air conditioning and plumbing company reached out.
“I feel good. I’m working and I’m learning,” Polishchuk said. “It’s something new in my life so its good for me.”
His experience on stage, including his participation in “Viva Elvis,” allows him to be more flexible at work and spend more time with family.
“I want to have dinner with my family, be with my kids at school and pick them up,” Polishchuk said. “When you work at the circus you come home late at night.”
Polishchuk said he still does his best to stay active, but at 48 years old many of his priorities have changed.