Bob Stark does first person re-enactments of America's most multi-faceted and misunderstood Founding Fathers, the character of Dr. Benjamin Franklin, printer, writer, public servant, inventor, ambassador, world traveler, scientist, philanthropist, rebel and patriot. Presented for groups such as the DAR, Historical Societies, Ladies Tea gatherings, fundraisers, TV interviews, historical reenactments, historical villages and kite festivals. Comfortable speaking to all school children as well as college professors and civic leaders.
Choose your topic, or pick one of mine followed up with Q & A and photos. Perfect for banquets, conferences and even family 4th of July bar-b-ques and picnics.
Price Range: $200 + / Schools negotable.
Gig Length: 30 - 120 minutes
What to Expect
I love portraying Dr. Ben. I feel that we have so much in common that once I am familiar with the details of his life, I AM Dr. Benjamin Franklin. So, when I go to an event as Ben I will either be the evening's speaker, a historian, an inventor, Ms Silence Dogood, a delegate to the 2nd Continental Congress, Richard Sanders (Poor Richard's Almanac) or ambassador to France. With the many hats that Mr. Franklin wore, he was comfortable with prince or pauper. I do have some outlined talks to choose from or you can pick a topic of your own or my favorite, 'Q & A' If someone has an interest, they usually have a question, and they are apt to engage and inquire. The answer will usually ignite a related question which will in turn lead to another answer and so on and so on. After 4 or 5 questions and answers I am usually 'off to the races' as I like to put it. In fact, with a free schedule, at one event, I talked with 2 couples for approximately 2 hours straight. Wow, how time flies.
I do have props that I can work with such as my kite with an exact replica of 'the key'. Also, being a printer I do have some booklets that I have written and printed and at times bring with me to pass out. I also love when I talk about the Declaration of Independence. I ask, "How many people have ever read the Declaration of Independence?" Not many, so I offer to read it. After one sentence or so of trying to make out the words, I slowly start to lower the document while still 'reciting' and dramatizing it. Once the audience realizes that I'm no longer reading but reciting and speaking the Declaration, the words come to life and their eyes begin to open wide. I always love that part.
So "What can the audience expect?" Engagement, 1 on 300 or 1 on 1 if they desire, because I desire to engage with everyone that wants to engage.
My name is Bob Stark and I portray Dr. Benjamin Franklin. In 2003 my family and I were offered an opportunity to dress and be a part of a Living History Reenactment. We all loved it and within a year the whole family was dressing and coming out. That's when I took my retail background and turned reenacting into a traveling colonial store, otherwise known as a sutlery. One of my associates who came out to help with the sutlery knew of my love of colonial history, my knowledge of the period and my likeness to Ben Franklin, that he suggested I portray him. While at an event I was hired to be Ben Franklin for a district wide school event celebrating the US Constitution, and I have portrayed Ben ever since. I have always loved to talk to people and now with my love of history and the knowledge of Dr. Franklin and the Founding Fathers I was able to combine them all. It has been an amazing 13 years, the people I have been able to touch with Franklin, the knowledge I have been able to pass along, the relationships I have been able to develop, the love of history I have been able to ignite in the school children and adults, it's been worth it, So, anytime I have an opportunity to dress and go out in public as Dr. Benjamin Franklin I take it.
So, when I go to an event as Ben I will either be the evening's speaker, a historian, an inventor, Ms Silence Dogood, a delegate to the 2nd Continental Congress, Richard Sanders (Poor Richard's Almanac) or ambassador to France. With the many hats that Mr. Franklin wore, he was comfortable with prince or pauper.
All that being said I look forward to hearing from you and hopefully seeing you at your next event.
Additional Booking Notes
Well, depending on the size of the crowd/group I may be in need of a small or medium size sound system. Most of the time I will "mix and mingle" so sound systems are not always needed.
Other items that would be needed would be a chair or possibly a card table size table for props.
Past Booked Events
|July 11, 2020 • 10:00am - 5:00pm||Crossroads Village, Flint|
|October 04, 2019–October 06, 2019 • 6:00am - 4:00pm||Muster @ Vermillion Mill|
|September 26, 2019–September 29, 2019 • 6:00am - 4:00pm||Bay City River of Time, Bay City, MI|
|September 08, 2019 • 2:00pm - 5:00pm||Saline Historical Society|
|August 09, 2019–August 11, 2019 • 6:00am - 4:00pm||Colonial Kensington|
|July 31, 2019–August 04, 2019 • 6:00am - 4:00pm||Mackinaw City, MI|
|July 18, 2019–July 21, 2019 • 6:00am - 4:00pm||Cass River Encampment, Frankenmuth, MI|
|July 06, 2019 • 5:00pm - 11:00pm||Bay City Fireworks Festival, Bay City, MI|
|July 04, 2019 • 6:00pm - 11:00pm||Midland Fireworks Festival, Midland, MI|
|July 04, 2019 • 10:00am - 3:00pm||Mill Race Village, Northville, MI|
|April 25, 2019 • 1:30pm - 2:15pm||Nonprofit Event|
|September 27, 2018–September 30, 2018 • 6:00am - 6:00pm||Bay City, MI River of Time|
|September 27, 2018–September 30, 2018 • 6:00am - 6:00pm||Muster @ The Mill|
|August 10, 2018–August 12, 2018 • 8:00am - 6:00pm||Colonial Kensington, MI|
|August 01, 2018–August 05, 2018 • 8:00am - 6:00pm||Mackinaw City Pagent, MI|
|July 19, 2018–July 22, 2018 • 6:00am - 6:00pm||Colonial Frankenmuth, MI|
|July 04, 2018 • 9:00am - 2:00pm||Mill Race Village, Northville, MI|
|June 30, 2018 • 4:00pm - 11:30pm||Bay City Fireworks, Bay City, MI|
|June 22, 2018–June 24, 2018 • 8:00am - 6:00pm||Colonial Fort Wayne, Detroit, MI|
|June 01, 2018–June 03, 2018 • 2:00pm - 6:00pm||Lyon Twp Annual Kite Festival|
|May 23, 2018–May 27, 2018 • 6:00am - 6:00pm||Feast of Ste. Claire, Port Huron, MI|
|May 02, 2018–May 06, 2018 • 6:00am - 6:00pm||Historic Dutch Trade Fair, Holland, MI|
|April 06, 2018 • 5:00pm - 11:00pm||Plymouth Fife & Drum Fundraiser|
|March 17, 2018 • 9:00am - 6:00pm||Kalamazoo Trade Fair|
|March 10, 2018 • 10:00am - 2:00pm||42nd Highlanders Planning Meeting|
Influences & Inspiration
Who influenced me to portray Dr. Benjamin Franklin, well that would the Dr. himself.
Stage requirements? None If there is a stage at the event and if needed, I'm there.