Pat Kaunert

Mark Twain impersonator

Mark Twain, Out West




In Mark Twain’s voice and presence, retired forest ranger Pat Kaunert tells about traveling west in the year 1861—about failing at gold and silver mining, starting a forest fire at Lake Tahoe, writing tall tales for the Territorial Enterprise, finding trouble in San Francisco, skedaddling to Jackass Hill, becoming a writer of fiction, observing the human race, and discovering the true Mother Lode within each of us.

Pat brings to life the history, adventure, and romance of Mark Twain. This show delivers a wealth of wit, wisdom, and spirit of the American West. In his forty-five minute performance, Pat tells some of Twain’s most beloved stories including the Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, A Genuine Mexican Plug, Tom Quartz the Cat, Baker’s Blue Jay Yarn, and the Million Dollar Gold Pan. And of course, he always throws in plenty of Twain’s wit and wisdom, and a lightning bolt or two. Longer performances, full-evening stage shows with an intermission, or shorter vignettes, and story-telling workshops with period music are available.

Pat has portrayed Mark Twain throughout California and northwestern Nevada. Some venues include Contra Costa School District in Berkeley, California; Piper’s Opera House in Virginia City Nevada; the Gold Hill Hotel in Gold Hill, Nevada; Angels Camp History Center; Sacramento City Library; Historic Societies in Tuolumne, Mariposa, Calaveras, and Alpine Counties; Stanislaus National Forest interpretive campfire programs; California Council for the Preservation of History; California State Parks Old Town Sacramento Railroad Museum, Schoolhouse, and Historic Eagle Theater; Old Town Pleasanton Firehouse Performing Arts Center, Columbia State Park; University of California, Berkley Bancroft Library Mark Twain Project (Angels Camp gala event and official unveiling of Twain’s autobiography); University of California, Davis Graduate Studies in Geography; Yosemite Junior College District High Mountain Institute; Tuolumne County Schools, advanced high school English and drama classes, Calaveras County Council of Governments; historic Mother Lode Gold Rush hotels; living history days; special events, celebrations, and festivals; benefit dinners, and leisure lifestyle senior events.

Kaunert knows Mark Twain—he has lived the Mark Twain life out West. As a former fire patrol ranger and information officer for the U.S. Forest Service, Pat is equipped to convincingly tell you Twain’s big stories of the Wild West. Like Mark Twain, Pat worked as a news correspondent in the Sierra Nevada, reporting the compelling stories of wildfires, thunderstorms, wildlife, ranchers, loggers and gold miners. Pat knows the West because he has lived it, and he is authentic. In a new, credible, and fresh way, Pat relates Twain’s passion about humankind, social responsibility, and the natural environment. The message is timeless.

In his performance, Pat faithfully interprets Twain’s experiences and observations of the American West. Pat possesses a University of California Bachelor’s Degree in English, with an emphasis in American Literature, and he is well studied in the life, times, and literature of Samuel Clemens. Pat is keenly familiar with the history, places, and people along the Mark Twain trail out West. Pat’s portrayal vividly illustrates Mark Twain’s influence in changing and shaping American culture, society, and literature. Indeed, Pat is Mark Twain Today. Pat is the real deal—he is Mark Twain Today, Out West, first hand.