Exeunt – it’s a term in the theatre used to describe an exit involving two or more characters. It can be subtle, majestic, and tragic; whichever form applies to the select characters. Our “exeunt” from Los Angeles was rather unfitting, however it was a fantastic vacation and I wouldn’t change one thing about it. But on our plane ride back to Detroit, our plane caught a thunderstorm on the way home from Chicago. It thundered and flashed below us as we endured our gloomy exit from the bright, star-studded state. One thing is for sure: I’m glad to be using loonies and toonies again. The one dollar bills stick together, and it takes a fistful of change to ride the bus!
During my week long vacation in Hollywood, my running coach challenged me to take photos of myself around Los Angeles in my London Runner Distance Club shirt. I carried it around with me all week, tucked neatly away in my purse. Here are some of the photos I’d like to share:
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.
When you walk up to the Chinese Theatre on , there’s generally a crowd – a large crowd – of tourists gathered in front, taking pictures of the hand prints and foot prints left behind in the concrete by the stars of Hollywood. So when I suggested that my mom and I check out a movie in the famous theatre this evening, we anticipated a large crowd.
However, it was anything but packed. Okay, it was a Tuesday night… but it’s the Chinese Theatre! I suppose the outside is more popular than the theatre itself. There were only a handful of people in the actual auditorium we were in. The place was beautiful… and the seats were comfortable! We went to go see Soul Surfer… one my mom and I could agree on. Throughout the entire (inspirational) film, I couldn’t help but think how much it relates to running, and the obstacles ahead of each of us. We all are presented with challenges and may not understand our own true potential until we push out of our comfort zone.
Besides spending two hours in a theatre, we also toured Warner Brother’s Studio and the Kodak Theatre.
The treadmill at the hotel is out of order, and I’m not exactly comfortable running for miles and miles in a foreign area. But I did find a loop that seems safe, which takes me a total of 2 ½ to 3 minutes to run. I may have to run it multiple, multiple times to get a full run in, however I don’t mind running right beside the Kodak Theatre… I’m very literally running down the Walk of Fame.
Let me just say, it’s fun to create a profile for a stranger at an airport. You can imagine who they are, where they’re going and who they left behind. You wonder who their parents are, if they have any kids, or siblings. What jobs they have, and if they like waking up every morning because of it. Suddenly they don’t seem so unidentifiable.
Something that’s been circulating around about my trip to LA is that it’s my “dream vacation”, and I must have been counting down the days. But, I don’t see it that way. Yes, was excited – I couldn’t wait to leave. But I wouldn’t label it as a dream vacation, it’s too Disney. This is not an once-in-a-lifetime trip to Los Angeles, but it may seem that way if I call it a dream.
So I leave LRDC workouts, Canada, and my siblings behind as I tackle Hollywood for one week. I’ll keep everyone informed – so check in for news about my travels, neat photos, and updates on how I’m “running” in a foreign land.
Yesterday we visited Universal Studios. It reminds me a lot of Disneyworld… lots of photo opportunities, tourist souvenir shops, and roller coasters. I mostly enjoyed the studio tour; I had no idea what the sets were actually like. The building may seem like brick; however they’re mostly Styrofoam, fibre glass and wood!
We also checked out a cute, used clothing store called It’s A Wrap. It’s filled with hundreds of clothing items from the sets of movies and television series that either didn’t use them because they didn’t work out or they were costume doubles, or they’re ones the actors actually wore. It was the tail end of a sale so everything was kind of picked over, but we managed to find a few items we really liked.
We also walked down the walk of fame while looking for a corner store that would sell milk. I’ve only seen a portion of it now, but so far ones I’ve seen include Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Kermit the Frog, Walt Disney, Destiny’s Child and, more.
Wish you were here!
Pictures above: Universal Studios enterance, Jaws, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and the front and back of some generic buildings.