Tuesday, June 10, 2014

7 Questions with Bill Pacer, AKA Ben Franklin

1. How and/or when did you get you hooked on history?
I have always been hooked on history!!! The past has fascinated me as long as I can remember. My parents enjoyed traveling to historic sites and I savored reading non-fiction books

2. What role does history play or has it played in your personal life?
I enjoy playing historical characters. My favorite, of course, is Benjamin Franklin. I have become obsessed with him and have created several solo shows highlighting his life

3. How is/How was history a part of your professional life/career?
I am intrigued by the past and find myself drawn to museums and historic sites.  Since I portray Benjamin Franklin, accuracy is vital and thus I am constantly reading and verifying.  Acting is my profession and Franklin is my life. 

4. Why is studying/knowing history important?
The past is essential to knowing the future.  It is like a window. If the past is clear, the window to the future should be relatively streak free. However, if the past is smudged, hidden behind the dirt of arrogance and ignorance, the future is very unclear and fraught with hidden dangers.

5. What is your favorite period or aspect of history to learn about or teach about and why?
The Revolutionary War and the 1700s---because that's Ben time!!!  I am also interested in the Civil War and writing solo shows about that era. I am a certified teacher and when I was in the classroom I loved getting my students to relate to history and mentally put themselves into that prior time.

6. How did you become a re-enactor?
About ten years, I auditioned for the "Georgia Independence Day Festival"  and the young lady directing the cast said I looked like Ben Franklin. For a few years, I did Ben lookalike gigs and walkabouts. As I learned more about Franklin and added quips to my routine, many suggested I create a show. I assumed that the research and writing would take a few months.  Six years later, I took the show to the stage and earned accolades for my performance. I now continue to research and perform.

7. How do you choose and create your characters?
Chosen by fate to be Ben and I choose to delve into books to research. Like Ben,  "I cannot remember when I could not read." 

For More Information about Mr. Pacer, please see these articles.

To contact him, billpacer@gmail.com 

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