Adam Loosley has spent years working in live-family entertainment, both as a Performer and now Performance Director for Disney On Ice. He grew up in Petrolia, Ontario-Canada but now calls Tampa, Florida home when he’s not ‘on-the-road.’ YOU Are a Great Story! is his first publication.
Illustrator Daniel Henke, toured with several productions of Disney On Ice internationally as a Backstage Technician, and most recently worked with Cirque du Soleil. He was raised in Missouri and currently resides in central Florida.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and what inspires you.
My name is Adam Loosley. I grew up in Ontario, Canada but now live in Tampa, Florida. For the last 17 years, I have toured all over the world with Disney On Ice, ten years as a Principal Performer, and the last seven years as a Director. This amazing performance and travel opportunity allowed me to visit and work in over 35 different countries and continues to be my most valued education. World travel not only opened up my mind to different perspectives and brought me in contact with amazingly creative and diverse individuals but continues to inspire and encourage me to make each day a great new adventure.
2. What was your initial motivation behind the title and concept? – YOU ARE A GREAT STORY!
It was ten years ago in New Orleans where I first came across the ‘Live A Great Story’ movement. I was at a night art market on Frenchman Street, where I noticed the mantra painted on a wall for a photo opt. It immediately resonated with me and my lifestyle. I took a photo, looked up the movement, and the rest is history. Live A Great Story continues to motivate me along my path. Now a Performance Director for Disney On Ice, I continue to share the movement with the cast and crew in hopes of inspiring others to be the hero of their own stories!
3. How did you come up with the idea for the book?
2020 sure brought its own fair share of plot twists for so many. The COVID-19 Pandemic brought the live entertainment industry to a screeching halt, along with my touring career and life as I knew it. To re-set and figure out my next move, I moved in with my brother, his wife, and three kids in Canada. After living ‘on the road’ for so long, what a great opportunity It was to spend time with family. I would read books each night to my niece Keira and two nephews, Casen and Kesler, but was continually disappointed with some of their bedtime books; Often lacking a meaningful and lasting message. Looking for a creative outlet in a rather grim time, I called my long-time friend and extremely talented artist, Daniel Henke. Daniel and I toured with Disney On Ice together for years, but he had most recently been working with Cirque Du Solie until he too had lost his job. We began collaborating on a children’s book inspired by Live A Great Story and my niece and nephews.
4. Who is the book dedicated to?
Inspired by the boundless imaginations of my niece and nephews, Casen, Keira, and Kesler, this book is dedicated to all those in the Entertainment Industry that were negatively affected, shaken up, and displaced by the COVID-19 Pandemic. This is our ‘quarantine creation,’ and we hope it encourages everyone to stay creative, to stay positive and to remain the author of their own new adventures to come.
5. Tell us a little more about the book’s Illustrator.
Illustrator and long-time friend Daniel Henke II, toured with several productions of Disney On Ice internationally as a Backstage Technician and most recently worked with Cirque du Soleil. He was raised in Missouri and currently resides in central Florida.
6. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Energize! What an opportunity and privilege it is to write, publish/share the messages and experiences you have had along your own personal adventure and story. I don’t take this for granted – I am so grateful for the opportunity and support. This whole process remains such a positive experience.
7. What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?
Casen, Keira and Kesler continue to inspire me every day, and they sure do give me a lot to work with! Such individuals in their own light and always ready for adventures and great stories of their own! The book empowers kids to make each day and a great one and to do so their own amazing way. The book also teaches kids what great stories are made of; Happy moments, sad moments, great locations, heroes and villains, and I hope it also inspires young writers alike! I am a proud Uncle and feel so lucky to have them continue to inspire me!
8. Do you have plans for another book in the future?
A second book is on the way – one that follows the same choose-your-own-adventure format and even introduces a new character that comes along for the ride; the family dog, Maverick! Keep an eye out for this exciting 2nd book of the series!
9. What do you hope kids really take away from reading this book?
I hope kids and their families BOTH take something special and positive away from reading this book; That each and every day, you have the choice and opportunity to make it a GREAT day. A day that celebrates your own GREAT STORY, full of everything and anything that make you, YOU! To be the author of your own amazing adventures!
10. What advice do you have to aspiring young writers with big ideas?
Just start. Once you have the courage to dive right into a project, the creative process has life and is moving forward. Don’t let the process scare you – just go for it, you can do this, if you just begin!