Our 716th Dad in the Limelight is podcaster and law expert, Gordon Firemark. I want to thank Gordon Firemark for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing Gordon Firemark with all of you.
1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
I’m Gordon Firemark by day, I’m a solo-practice lawyer from Los Angeles, where I practice entertainment law, specifically in the fields of Theatre, Film and TV. I host three podcasts, a youtube channel, and a blog. I’m a sought after expert on legal issues in theatre, independent film, and podcasting, and I’ve produced a few plays and musicals myself.
I’ve also got a side-business creating and marketing e-learning courses: Power Podcasting for Lawyers, where I teach lawyers the art technology, and strategies of podcasting; and Theatre Producer Academy, for theatre lovers who have a burning, irrational desire to produce plays and musicals. If I had much time to indulge hobbies, they’d be photography, movies and cooking. I’m also a techno geek. I love my toys: cameras, microphones and audio gear, computers, etc.
2) Tell me about your family
I’m married to the best woman in the whole world. Cassandra is a devoted wife and mother and a health and nutrition oriented life-coach. Our three kids are Nathaniel (8), Liliana (6) and Benjamin (3). It’s a sometimes controlled kind of chaos around here. Did I mention that I work from my home much of the time? Oy.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
Acknowledging myself as a good father and provider. I’m my own worst critic, and I beat myself up about things like spending more quality time with the family, playing with the kids more, yelling less, etc. But ultimately, I know I’m a good dad, but that inner voice sometimes has other views.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Lead by example. Show your kids how a man should treat a woman by treating their mother accordingly. Show them how a father should behave by behaving accordingly. Don’t let “Man stuff” prevent you from showing your “dad stuff”. Play… Be silly, have fun… And enjoy the ride. Like most roller coasters, this one will be over too soon.
Trust your instincts. Be the protector. Be the hero. But let them see your flaws. Chinks in the armor are what make us human and lovable. And most of all.. express your love for your family easily, often and grandly.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
I don’t always feel that I have, but I try to make family the priority first. It’s about setting boundaries. I’m fortunate that I have a business that allows me to be home when the kids leave for school, and again for dinner most nights. I take over from my wife and supervise bedtime most evenings. On weekends, I take them to the park, swimming, or whatever, and let their Mom have her life without kids for a few hours…
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
Well, my own Dad is the role-model of role models. He taught me everything there is about what it means to be a great dad. And, I have to say, a little therapy has helped me see where he could’ve done better, too. Mostly, I try to emulate him. Being present, both physically and emotionally, is so important. I see other dads at the park, sitting with cel phone in hand or to the ear, and their kids just clamoring for attention. That’s the guy I don’t want to be. If I’m with my family, I want them to feel that I’m actually with them.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far? What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
I had a fairly serious illness and hospitalization last year. At 49, I had a few days wondering whether I’d make it to 50… (I did, and am fully recovered). That really got me thinking about those kids, and how much they need me. Taking care of ourselves is so important. If not for yourself, you do it for the people who depend on you.
I have one practice that I wish more parents would do. About three times a year, I sit down with each of my kids, and interview them on video (just sitting at the computer with the webcam or with the cel phone). And I ask them questions about themselves, their favorite foods, toys, school, etc., It’s become a bit of a tradition for us, and I really enjoy looking back at them videos. I know it’ll be even better as they get older, and can go back to watch themselves grow up. I think it’s a gift to them, and to their kids someday…
If you have any questions for Gordon Firemark, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!