In his nationally acclaimed BUFFALO BILL EXPERIENCE living history presentations, Colorado-based author of “Re-enacting!” and Buffalo Bill reenactor/impersonator “Gunny” Jeff Norman guides audiences down the untamed frontier trail that was Buffalo Bill Cody’s life, in a costumed one-man play that’s as entertaining as it is informative!
The BUFFALO BILL EXPERIENCE is “EDU-tainment” that’s chock full of all the wagon train driving, Army scouting, Indian fighting, and Pony Express riding adventures that made Buffalo Bill an American icon, gathering legendary friends like Wild Bill Hickok, Kit Carson, Annie Oakley, General George Armstrong Custer, and Sitting Bull along the way. Modeled after Hal Holbrook’s one-man play “Mark Twain”, Jeff colorfully portrays Buffalo Bill’s amazing “rags to riches to rags” life, blending equal parts humor, drama, and little-known historical anecdotes… (few people know that Buffalo Bill may have been responsible for America adopting the Star Spangled Banner!)
The BUFFALO BILL EXPERIENCE is now available in THREE living history presentations!
The first is designed for adults and older kids (“PG”), the second is designed specifically for elementary school-age audiences that are typically 4th and 5th graders studying regional and American history, and the third version is geared towards Cub and Boy Scouting, emphasizing Buffalo Bill’s direct Scouting connection and Scouting’s frontier roots. All three are costumed presentations, complete with stage props, sound support, and stage lighting (when required), and all three presentations are tailored to emphasize Bill’s connection to the local history of the hosting venue.
The “PG” BUFFALO BILL EXPERIENCE: (60 minutes)
“Buffalo Bill” shares his personal anecdotes and observations from six years old to the grave! Great for historic societies, conventions, fundraisers, libraries, HOAs, museums, service organizations… any event wanting unique, fun and educational entertainment.
“We had an absolutely wonderful portrayal of Buffalo Bill Cody as presented by Mr. Jeff Norman. He has such enthusiasm and a vast knowledge of the historic celebrity, it is by far the best representation of Buffalo Bill we have seen. With fabulous costumes and props and a variety of life stories to share, it feels as though Norman brings this icon back to life, the room suddenly steps back in time to the late 19th to early 20th centuries. Mr. Norman has a great understanding of Buffalo Bill, revealing hidden histories and facts of such an interesting person and worldwide celebrity. It is clear that many hours of research and preparation go into his presentations to bring you a true Buffalo Bill Experience! Most highly recommended!”
Michael Vincent – Asst Public Programs Coordinator, History Colorado Museum – Denver, CO
“Our 400 guests absolutely loved the Buffalo Bill Experience – Jeff “Gunny” Norman combined his enthusiasm for history with the spirit of the frontier through riveting storytelling, dry humor, and a captivating authenticity that made the end of the performance feel like waking up from a dream and trying to remember that it’s the 21st Century.”
Heather A. Reed – Site Director, Buffalo Gap Village, TX
The “Classroom” BUFFALO BILL EXPERIENCE: (45 minutes)
“Buffalo Bill” vividly portrays an age-appropriate anecdotal timeline of notable events and personalities associated with the plains frontier, emphasizing Bill’s connection to the local history. Subjects include Native American culture, The Pony Express, The Santa Fe and Oregon Trails, the telegraph, life as a scout, the Kansas Pacific Railroad, Kit Carson, Wild Bill, Bent’s Fort, the Colorado Gold Rush, Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. This Buffalo Bill Experience living history presentation is focused on sparking kids’ curiosity about history and enhancing their understanding the human side of America’s legends and events.
“Jeff is an entertaining and charismatic historical speaker. The children at my daughter’s school were amazed at the stories and they enjoyed hearing ‘first hand’ accounts of historical events. Jeff transformed Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill, Annie Oakley, and Sitting Bull into real flesh and blood people rather than just names in history books. As a parent, I liked how Jeff shared their childhood experiences and struggles while encouraging the children to pursue their own dreams and aspirations. It was a real treat to have Jeff as Buffalo Bill at the school and we hope he’ll return to speak to future classes.”
Vanessa H – parent/volunteer, The Challenge School, Denver CO
“It takes a special person to keep fourth graders focused and entertained, and Jeff did just that and so much more. My students were on the edge of their seats during his performance. They loved the stories, the props he shared with them, and ended up learning so much history about such an impressive and interesting figure! Not only did Jeff teach about Buffalo Bill and the countless lives he impacted, he also stressed the important of kindness and friendship, which the students enjoyed hearing and of course benefited from greatly. Thank you, Mr. Norman, for bringing history to life and sparking a passion in my students– they are still talking about the time Buffalo Bill came to visit!”
Katie Hoehn – 4th grade Instructor, American Academy, Castle Pines, CO
The “Scouting” BUFFALO BILL EXPERIENCE: (45 minutes)
In this version of the Buffalo Bill Experience, “Buffalo Bill” motivates Cub Scouts, Webelos, and Boy Scouts through colorful stories surrounding real historical characters and events, reminding Scouts of scouting’s important role in history, their frontier roots, and their direct connection to such famous scouts as Buffalo Bill and Kit Carson. As of 2017, I now offer a “Buffalo Bill” hosted 30-minute “Arrow of Light” ceremony that includes an authentic looking indoor campfire for Scouts being recognized to sit around during the presentation, and a 5-foot wooden bridge to commemorate the “crossing over” of their proud achievement.
“Buffalo Bill Experience arrived at our Cub Scout Pack meeting with the flourish, excitement and grace of the old west. Our group of boys ages 6 to 11 were so engaged in the show that you could hear a pin drop. It looked like a rock star because the pickiest of people in our pack were so excited and happy with the performance. Bill gets the kids excited about history and catered it to their age group and interest. It was a big hit and all of them were talking about it at school the next day. Thanks again for a wonderful time!”
Carrie McGraw – Pack 633, Highlands Ranch, CO
“Wow! What a great entertainer! We had Jeff perform his Buffalo Bill Experience for our pack. The scouts were all wide eyed and the parents were impressed with the way the stories were delivered. It’s hard to keep the younger boys interested but for Jeff it was easy. His overall appearance and the artifact museum he brought along really set a tone for the way things happened back then. If you’re looking for a piece of history, Jeff would be hard to beat! Thanks again!!”
Ed Miller – Cub Master, Pack 378, Aurora, CO
The BUFFALO BILL EXPERIENCE even has a mini-museum available, complete with a working telegraph, model tipi and prairie schooner, gold pan, frontier and Native American artifacts, posters, photos, and documents from the frontier days! When requested, “Buffalo Bill” brings along his trusty old 1866 Springfield .50 caliber rifle, “Lucretia Borgia!”