Today, we begin a new interview, and with this one, we get someone who has a unique mix of experience, history, interest, and talent. Adam Berger started as a Walt Disney World Cast Member while pursuing his dream of being an Imagineer. It hasn’t turned out exactly like he’d anticipated, but that is what he’s doing now—and he’s doing it for Disney and more! Adam has also written a fascinating and valuable book with a very different look at Disney parks, and Disney stories, called Every Guest is a Hero: Disney Theme Parks and the Magic of Mythic Storytelling.
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Speaking of my book, in celebration of my book, in celebration of Disneyland’s 59th anniversary and the 2 year anniversary of Stories of the Magic, you will soon, and for a limited time, be able to get both Faith and the Magic Kingdom and Once Upon Your Time free! July 16 or 17, 2014 go to storiesofthemagic.com/freebooks and that’ll take you directly to the Amazon page that has both books listed, and from there you can choose either or both! (You’ll see them listed there on other days, too, but on those two days they’ll be free.)
In this episode Adam talks about:
- His first job working for Disney—at Walt Disney World;
- How a conversation with Imagineering Legend Tony Baxter started him down that path;
- Working the steam trains at the Magic Kingdom;
- Being a volunteer reporter for the Disney internal publication Eyes and Ears;
- Getting connected with ITEC Design, and his first job for them;
- The project that really launched his career—a volunteer assignment with ITEC for Give Kids the World Village;
- A mini-lesson for you—one of the most important keys to success;
- Between working steam trains and monorails, which was his favorite to work and why;
- Some memorable events while he was working in the Magic Kingdom;
- The first project he did for Disney—subcontracted through “It Ain’t Shakespeare”;
- The kind of stuff he does now for Walt Disney Imagineering—very specialized documents called Show Information Guides (or “SIGs”);
- The story-link between Rock’n’Roller Coaster and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney Hollywood Studios;
- Hints about some things he’s worked on for Disney;
- Something that makes WDI different from many other clients when it comes to their view of the attraction show writer;
- His work for the Kennedy Space Center;
- The percentage of projects that never make it out of the concept or design stages, and how he deals with the frustrations that can come from it;
- One of the reasons it’s so much fun to work with the Imagineers—they’re just as big a fan of the parks as we are;
- The very beginning of talking about other companies he’s done show writing work for.
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If you call in, don’t worry about having to sound perfect. If you ask me to, I’ll edit out any mistakes so you sound as good as you possibly can. You’re even welcome to start your entire story over again and I’ll use the “take” you want! If you want to submit a story anonymously, for whatever reason you may have, email it to me and tell you me you wanted it shared that way. I’ll read it on the podcast, but keep your name private.
Thanks for listening!
Music and voiceovers provided by Rick Moyer.
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