Guest Author - Katy Cacolice
There are many different phrases that expresses the luck one might have when achieving great success such as "Location, Location, Location", and even 'Right time, right place, right people'. If there is an autobiography that could take you on a journey of those mottoes, "My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business" by Dick Van Dyke may very well be that book which proves luck is about preparation meets opportunity.
In his recently released autobiography, Dick Van Dyke recounts his journey of working in show business from entertaining the troops, to performing in theater and in front of live audiences for television, and entering the world of film. He relays his life with down-to-earth details that straightforward but never brutally frank or severely honest. He weaves the story of his life - the ups and downs of his marriage, his alcoholism, and his life in show business with ease and flow. One could also say that Dick was one of the first male actors of Classic Hollywood who decided he wanted to control what his image on-screen and off would be like.
Some of my favorite show business tales from the book include production notes of how classics like "Mary Poppins" (1964) and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (1968) were made. And, any fan of The Dick Van Dyke Show Upon will surely be delighted to read about how inspiration for many of the episodes were taken from creator, producer, and writers' Carl Reiner and some of the casts real life experiences. One such hilarious episode is "I Am My Brother's Keeper", guest starring Dick's real life brother Jerry Van Dyke. When Rob's bashful brother comes to town, Jerry proves he is only confident and outgoing when he is sleepwalking. According to Dick, Jerry's sleepwalking was so terrible he almost got kicked out of the service for it. And did you know that in its second season, The Dick Van Dyke Show was almost canceled? It's hard to believe the episodes us fans would have surely never had the pleasure of experiencing had it been.
Many autobiographies of public figures have a tendency to follow the theme of encyclopedia rather than a descriptive journey of a career or life. Dick Van Dyke's autobiography is definitely not the former. "My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business" has a unique tone of being conversational and fulfilling. There are some autobiographies that do nothing but the dirty lowdown of private moments and public scandals. Dick's memories never fall into that superficial trap either. He expresses his point of views and memories with sincerity, charming sentimentality, and an easing honesty. "My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business" is a read that will make all readers feel that good things can come their way.