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Meet Mike Francis of Mike Francis Stars Science Theater in Newton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mike Francis.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
After ten years at the Charles Hayden Planetarium at the Boston Museum of Science, I became a stay at home dad. When my kids got to school, I started looking for things I could do and still get home when my kids did. Having performed in numerous plays, as well as in several movies and television programs, I decided to create my own programs which I could take to schools. Galileo the Starry Messenger was my first program, followed by the Stargazer’s Apprentice. Eventually Night Skies, a program in my using a Starlab traveling planetarium completed my repertoire. Today the programs take me not only to schools, but libraries, museums and conferences around the country.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The journey has had its ups and downs. The biggest problem is that as a solo performer I’m responsible for all aspects of my business. Writing, directing, marketing, booking, bookkeeping and all of the other things any business has to handle. When the economy slows down, most of the organizations that might hire me, tighten their belts as well.

From an acting perspective, in a one person show, I’m out there all by myself. If I forget a line (going up in theater terms), there’s no one there to help me get back.

From a science perspective, I need to be able to answer questions and know whether Galileo would know the answer or if the answer would not be discovered until years later.

Mike Francis Stars Science Theater – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’ve chosen to specialize in teaching science and astronomy to non-scientists. Most people in the living history portrayal business favor history, literature or politics. They are also usually amateur actors. With three degrees in Physics as well as Screen Actors Guild / American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Actors Equity union cards, I can bring a professionalism to my performances that make my programs special.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success by the reaction of my audiences. Monetarily I will probably never be rich, but I can make a living working one or two days a week. I own my home, put two kids through college and have had a lot of fun doing what I love.

Pricing:

  • School programs are $475/day
  • Other venues prices range from $425 to over $1000

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: BostonVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. John Small

    November 6, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Mike Francis is a gifted, entertaining, and extremely knowledgeable performer. Mike knows his astronomy and how to make it engaging and fun for the general public. I have had the pleasure of working with Mike on a PBS television documentary, as well as enjoying his interpretation of Galileo, which I highly recommend!

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