Robbie Harrison’s extraordinary talents as a professional ice skater have allowed him to accomplish major success at just 21 years of age. Robbie has one of the most important roles in Disney on Ice presents Toy Story 3 as the beloved character, “Buzz Lightyear!” Robbie told me that it was an amazing honor to be a part of this cast and he enjoys skating for thousands of adoring children in such an important role.
Robbie grew up in Kelowna, British Columbia and decided to try out ice skating at four years of age. When I asked him what made him choose ice skating, he replied, “I did it because my big sister was doing it.” As a mom, I thought that was the sweetest answer ever; imagining a four year old little boy looking up to his sister so much that he wanted to be in the same sport as a bonding experience or perhaps to emulate her. I shared my thoughts, and my fantasies of this beautiful moment were short lived, as Robbie told me that it wasn’t as sweet as it sounded. Laughingly he said “I just wanted to be better than her at something!” His sister had been skating for a few years already and doing quite well. He saw this as his moment to shine, and shine he did! Through the years, Robbie went on to place second in the Juvenile Pairs Nationals and win the Novice Men’s Western Canadian Championship.
Robbie told me that throughout his career as a competitive skater, he always felt that Disney on Ice would be the ultimate choice as a post-amateur opportunity to continue on in the skating world, doing something that he loved so much. He was elated to be asked to join Feld Entertainment in 2008, to perform the role of “Dash” in Disney on Ice presents a Disneyland Adventure. He has performed in thousands of productions for Disney thus far, and with his current staring role as “Buzz” in Disney on Ice presents Toy Story 3, his professional future looks very bright and indeed!
When faced with the options of attending college or turning professional, Robbie was wise enough to know that he was unsure of what he would study in college. He was, however, certain that he loved to skate, that opportunities like working for Disney are once in a lifetime and that the physically rigorous demands to do such a job are marked by the hands of time. So this has turned out to be the perfect win/win adventure in his life. He is getting the experience of a lifetime, traveling, having a great time, and can always attend college a little later down the road.
Robbie told me that if he wasn’t skating, he would most definitely want to be a Formula One racecar driver, as he loves the speed and mechanical precision of the sport. I told him that he is just 21 years old, with his whole life ahead of him, and you just never know where life will take you. With such a tenacious spirit, I would place my bet on this kid. So look out for Robbie in about ten years racing in a town near you! :-)
It was a pleasure to talk to Robbie, and I am thoroughly looking forward to watching him perform next Thursday night as Buzz Lightyear, along with the wonderful cast of Toy Story 3, as Disney on Ice comes to Atlanta, Georgia from October 13th – October 17th at Phillips Arena. Click here for ticket information, show dates and times.
All of us at The Backstage Beat wish Robbie all the best in the years ahead, and we are sure he will be successful in anything he puts his mind to!