The chaotic life and times of runner/actress/teenager.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Postcard #3: A Boy With A Dream
It began when he watched his first movie at ten years old. It was the motion picture Wings (1927), which won the first Academy Award for best picture. And that very film has inspired him ever since.
A. C. Lyles was living in Jacksonville, Fla. when he was inspired by Wings, and landed a job sweeping popcorn and handing out flyers at the local Paramount theatre the same year. Once he had met Adolph Zukor – Paramount Studio’s founder – he wrote every week in pursuit of a job there. There he learned the tricks of the business, how to dress and what he needs to know to succeed. Today at Paramount Studios, he mentioned one of his favourite sayings: “Dress British, but think Yiddish”. There he worked his way from the bottom up, and became an executive producer for Paramount Studios. He has been awarded a star on the Walk of Fame, as well as a few other awards for his achievements and contributions. Today, at 93 years of age, he arrives for work everyday as the studio’s goodwill ambassador.
Mr. Lyles mentions a key to success is obsession (http://dearoldhollywood.blogspot.com/2009/02/ac-lyles-mr-paramount.html), as he demonstrated in his writing to Mr. Zukor every week in high school. To follow your dreams, we must do as Mr. Lyles and obsess over them. Setting them aside won’t get them done. A. C. Lyles – who has been working in the industry for 83 years, ever year of the Academy Awards – certainly has a lot to teach us about dedication and following our hearts.
I had a nice little chat with Mr. Lyles today after a tour of the studio. He is a very pleasant, caring, and witty man. As well as briefly describing his career history and achievements, he also took time to ask where we were from and how we were enjoying ourselves. He took time to wave to someone he knew, or exchange a polite greeting to friends. He also joked I should carry my purse on my shoulder opposite to the side my mother was walking on, because she might just run away with it.