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Bill Robling as a Student of Benjamin Franklin

14 Aug 2014, Posted by Founding Franklin in Get To Know Bill Robling

Ben Franklin

I come to the study of Benjamin Franklin with a background of nearly forty years as an actor, having also worked as a middle school teacher, and as a corporate training professional.  Most important, I have logged thousands of hours studying Benjamin Franklin and his times.  I do not call myself a scholar; that would demean the status of the academics that I know who have done graduate level work in the field.  I am a serious student of history.  I am an actor whose intent is to present Franklin from the inside out; that means understanding what makes the man tick, if you will, and speaking as I believe he would on various subjects.  I am also an entertainer, and am called upon from time to time to present Ben Franklin the Philadelphia icon.  I may occasionally work with Rocky Balboa, for example.  It is part of representing Philadelphia culture as well as its history.  Then there is Betsy Ross.  Though I’m not convinced that they even knew one another, coming from different generations and social strata, they are often paired together as a part of that cultural myth.  As my father-in-law would say, “From this he makes a living?”  Yes, sometimes.

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