Not many people feel passionate about history. In fact, we mostly remember it as the boring hours spent in class with a tired, bored teacher drilling battle dates and names of peace treaties into our minds. But some do love history, and few love it more than Mark Schneider, also knows as Napoleon in America.
Mark’s obsession with history has penetrated every part of his life and has shaped his career. During the week, he works as an actor-interpreter in Colonial Williamsburg “Revolutionary City”, where history buffs educate the public about 18th century Williamsburg through reenactment.
And in his free time, Mark impersonated Napoleon Bonaparte.
The obsession with Napoleon goes back to his childhood when his French cousin brought him a Napoleon toy soldier. Then, in 1998, a friend told him that he even looked like Napoleon – they were the same height, 5 feet 5 inches. That, combined with Mark’s general love of history and experience as an actor, led to his new pass-time, dressing up as the French general.
Mark has been traveling the world ever since, showing up at events and fairs as Napoleon. He’s also recruited fellow reenactors to recreate some of the general’s most iconic moments on the battlefield. And even after decades doing the same character, Mark can’t get enough of his side hustle – he relives history every day, and wouldn’t have it any other way.