This past Saturday afternoon I had the pleasure of portraying the life of Ezra Cornell at the Living History Museum of Central New York at Homer, NY. My presentation was a part of the Tractors of Yesteryear celebration. After reading three biographies of Ezra Cornell and writing a 50 page script and practicing several times I felt I had a sense of who Ezra Cornell was. My goal in preparation was to absorb the essence of Ezra Cornell's psyche. In doing so I expected that I could do a first person presentation with reasonable credibility. To convince the audience of my authenticity as Ezra Cornell, I rented a 1860's period costume. I think the visual impact on the audience was significant. The costume also made me feel credible as well.
For over an hour I imagined that I was Ezra Cornell telling my life story from the perspective of my last days on earth. It was fun to stay in that character and I think my audience was at least informed if not entertained. After all the work I put into this presentation, I almost wish I could get another gig to do it again. Wouldn't that be appropriate? Especially since it is the Sesquicentennial Celebration for the founding of Cornell University. Yes, I guess I am a character and a ham!
|Ezra and a Prop in Front
|Costumed and Ready