Dan Storck has four heroes — Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers and Abraham Lincoln. He's a big history buff and has read voraciously about all the above. Yet, it's pure coincidence that he also happens to look like one of his heroes. Storck has been told many times that he's a dead ringer for Abraham Lincoln, the country's 16th president.
It wasn't until a few years ago that he started to capitalize on it. Storck thought it was wrong that the Presidents' Day Parade didn't have Lincoln represented in the parade. So, in 1996, he called the organizer of the parade and asked if he could participate. They were happy to have him.
"I grew a beard and rented a costume. They were stunned as to how much I looked like Lincoln," said Storck.
At the review stand, he shook hands with George Washington. Storck said that George Robb and [Congressman] Jim Moran were shocked when they saw him.
Since then, Storck has marched as Abe Lincoln in the parade every year that it's been held. "The parade is a blast, the kids are wonderful," he said.
STORCK IS A member of The Abraham Lincoln Association and meets with other Lincoln look-alikes yearly. There's about 100 of them, 70 of whom are active, but Storck's been told that he's one of the most identical. Storck is also represented by the casting agency, "Cast of Thousands," and said that he's called about once a month to perform as Lincoln. Next month, he will read The Gettysburg Address to a professional association.
"I've met people from all over the world," said Storck, who works as a health care consultant when he's not playing Lincoln.
Storck appears in local schools; so far he's appeared at Stratford Landing and Hollin Meadows. He was scheduled to appear at Waynewood last week, but the performance was cancelled by the snow.
"I usually do a monologue for about 5-10 minutes and then let the kids ask questions. I try to keep it interactive," said the actor. Some of the questions asked by children in the kindergarten class at Hollin Meadows included, "Is your beard real?" "What do you keep in your hat?" "Did you really free the slaves?"
THE FACT THAT HE has read so much about Lincoln enables him to answer most of the questions. He continues to find out new information and said that he has learned a lot. He has been to Ford's Theatre and to most of the locations where there are Lincoln museums and memorials. The day he went to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., he said he was mobbed by the crowd.
The one question Storck hasn't been able to answer is whether or not he's related to Lincoln. So far, he hasn't found anything to link him to the great emancipator genetically.