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Monday, August 9, 2010

A Night At The Museum

In my area we have a local science museum, the Tellus, that has some cool events.  Most recently they hosted their second annual "Night At The Museum".  The premise was very similar to the movies of the same name.  Various displays of historical people come to life at night and interact with the museum visitors.  My wife and I participated as Jules Verne (me) and Amelia Earhart (my wife).  Other people portrayed figures such as Henry Ford, Galileo, Marie Curie, the Wright Brothers, and Nicola Tesla.  For the entire night we acted in character, pretending we were the various characters come to life.  Since we were really "museum displays" we would periodically have to freeze in place as if we were manikins.  There were also two people dressed as security guards and when they approached we would have to immediately become frozen. The guards really played up on this, dusting us off, shining flashlights in our eyes, and interacting with the guests.

Most of this was designed for kids, but the adults seemed to enjoy it as well.  We would educate people about the lives and accomplishments of our characters, sign autographs, pose for pictures, and otherwise enjoy ourselves as we did a lot of in-character improvisational interaction.  I've always loved Verne's stories and enjoyed learning more about his life (he was born on February 8th, the same birthday as my father...he was friends with Alexander Dumas...he was a stickler for scientific accuracy in his stories).  My wife has always been fascinated with Earhart and jumped at the chance to pretend to be her.

All of this was a big success, and it seems pretty certain that the Tellus Museum will do it again next year.  If they do, I'm certainly going to participate again!

My lovely wife as the spunky Amelia Earhart.  Unfortunately you can't tell as well in this photo, but she looked really good.

She's second from the left here.  "Sally Ride" is in the blue jumpsuit in the middle with Henry Ford in the trenchcoat next to her and Tesla just to the right of him.

Me as Jules Verne signing autographs.  I'm next to a model of the interior if the earth, purposefully done because of Journey to the Center of the Earth.

One of the guards making sure everything was okay with the Verne "manikin".  I had to try and remain completely still and worked not to blink very much.  There was one time where I was motionless for over five minutes and my contacts began to dry out.

Here I am next to Madame Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, a miner, and a chemist.  Some people played non-specific characters such as chemists, paleontologists, and so on.

Okay, so none of this was related to veterinary medicine, but it sure was fun!