If you had asked him at the age of 3 what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would have said an actor. He was transformed by an understandable confusion when his mom took him to see Mary Poppins. Somehow he picked up on the possibility that he could be anything.
Ugly duckling in a school play when he was 5. His 4th grade production of The Three Little Pigs Chinese style, Chinese accents and, pagodas, favorite sons, fortune cookies involved sealed his reputation and his teacher made him do it in everyone’s class. Success was his. The teacher he was most terrified of for her flinty reputation? He got her and got a surprise. He misjudged her by a long shot. She loved him and let him do what he wanted to do.
But, success came to a grinding halt with a high school teacher who tried to crush Terry by insisting his voice was too high and he would never be an actor. He refused to cast him in anything. Listen to what Terry did when a few years ago this teacher approached him to congratulate him on his success.
Even the trip from Ohio to Los Angeles did not crush Terry. His gas gauge was not working, windshield wipers were broken, a blinding blizzard assailed him, every freeway ramp was blocked with cars stuck, his car caught fire on the freeway on the freeway. Well, he abandoned the car in the snow and tried to walk to civilization but stepped into a hole and found himself buried alive in the snow. Clawed his way out, made it to a small town, was rescued by the townspeople. Friendship with restaurant people who were eating their way across the country that led to the worst accident of all, no not traffic, potty, and, well, just listen. Caca jokes, as it turns out are always welcome. No point my even trying to describe this trek west. Has to be in Terry’s own voice – it just gets worse and worse and for some reason, he is laughing even at his choice of a first roommate whose last name was Moron and, no Terry did not see the bright red flag flapping in his face. I, personally, have never heard a funnier description. Of anything.
His love letter? So many people including the Grinch of a high school teacher who told him he would never be an actor. Yes, a love letter of gratitude to people who have stood in your way because they may have, after all, taught you to forge right on ahead to prove that you could succeed against even the worst critics is an art form all their own. We here at Love Letters Live hope he does and then shares it with us.