Photo by Karen Kring
Leslie Goddard, Ph.D., is an award-winning actress and scholar who has been portraying famous women and presenting history lectures for more than ten years.
She holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University specializing in U.S. history and American Studies as well as master's degrees in both theater and museum studies. A former museum director, she is the author of two books on Chicago history and currently works full-time as a historical interpreter, author, and public speaker.
To view clips from some of my programs, click on the titles below:
An online video series from the talented Rebecca Tulloch, featuring Q and A with First Ladies
How far in advance should I book?
I recommend 5 to 6 months in advance, especially if you have a particular date in mind.
What does "private event" mean on your website calendar?
It simply means that event is not open to the public. These are often private clubs or retirement communities not able to open their events to the general public.
Could you create a new program for us or adapt an existing program to suit our special interests?
Sadly, no. Given the number of presentations I give annually, I don't have the ability to create custom programs or adapt existing programs.
Do you require a deposit?
Not at all. No deposit is required to book a date.
How do I book a program?
It's easy. First, check my calendar page to see if the date you're interested in is already booked. Then, send me an email at L-Goddard@att.net. Once have the details set, I'll write up a confirmation letter (or you can send me yours, if you have one.) To avoid mishaps, no program is considered booked until we have paperwork confirming the details. That's it!
Do you send out a separate invoice too?
No, I don't automatically include an invoice but I'm happy to provide one. Just let me know.
What is the most common mistakes people make in booking you?
Booking a date and time but leaving the program choice "TBD" for now, and then never telling me which program you want. You'd be surprised how often this happens!
How long does each program run?
-- The portrayals run about 45-50 minutes plus Q and A.
-- The lectures run about 55-60 minutes plus Q and A.
I asked you about availability but now your calendar says you're booked that day.
I sometimes get dozens of emails and phone calls a day, and it occasionally happens that a date you're interested in will be booked just a few days later. Please don't feel offended if a date that was open a few days ago is no longer available. Out of fairness to everyone, bookings are done on a first-come, first-served basis.
Will you agree not to present the program I’ve just booked at any other venue in my area in the surrounding months?
I try to be mindful of this and will let you know if I notice any potential overlaps. However, with upwards of 400 events a year, it's just not possible for me to keep trace of every event in every location. I do understand this concern, however. You can keep an eye on my website's calendar page, which is updated about once a month. Let me know if see anything that worries you.
Would you be willing to present a free (or discounted) program for us?
Because this is my livelihood, and there are only so many days in a year, I am not able to donate or discount my presentations. If cost is a consideration, I encourage groups to team up with other groups to share costs.
Do you travel out of state?
Yes, I regularly travel. For locations more than an hour's drive from my home in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, there is an additional mileage fee. For locations that require air travel, there is an additional travel fee to cover airfare, lodging and per diem expenses.
What are your fees?
For 2023, my rates are
-- For an in-person presentation in the greater Chicago area: $400
-- For an in-person presentation within 1-2 hours drive: $450 plus mileage
-- For a virtual presentation: $300
Contact me if you're interested in an out-of-state program or a prerecording
Could you mail me a brochure?
Better than that! You can download a printable brochure right here:
1039 Hinswood Dr Darien IL 60561 US