BEN SHerman, Story Teller

Disneyland's Second Decade

Ben’s Disney stories take us behind the façades and painted-on smiles to feel the sweat, political grit and sometimes hilarious circumstances that came together to produce magic. He worked at the Happiest Place on Earth from 1965 to 1973, during what some would call the “coming of age” of the Park. Beginning as a costumed character, Ben moved up the ranks to manage the character department, special events, and to direct the first electrical parade.

A Misspent Youth

Ben grew up free to go wherever his bicycle would take him. His stories are humorous and often unbelievable tales of narrowly escaping the law, parents, teachers, ministers, counselors, storekeepers and other adults, all within the illusion of strict rules imposed on a disorderly and irreverent growing mass of baby boomers. Two of Ben’s short story books, Sweardagod and Rascal, offer sixty-two tales along these lines. And, there are more. The problem is in limiting them to time allotted.

Lessons on Art

Ray Bradbury asked Ben, “Do you want to be a dancer, or do you want to dance?” Noticing the blank look, Ray said it another way, “Do you want to be a Writer, or do you want to write?” Since that question, Ben made up reasons to write continually in every position he held. Also, he has published six books and has written stage plays and screenplays. On the theatre side of his art, Ben helped start the Disneyland Drama Club, was artistic director for Next Step Theatre Group in Seattle and finished his career by directing high school drama for six years. His stories are about how to make your Art happen.

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