You see, Terri is a singer and a damn good one at that. For years she flirted with success, but more often than not ended up singing her heart out at piano bars around New York City. But then, times got harder. Last summer the 61-year-old couldn’t make the rent and ended up sleeping in the park. That’s the story we know too well – when talent goes untapped, when life throws its sharpest elbows. (To read a more personal account of Terri’s talent, check out my friend Scribegrrrl’s blog. In fact, just check it out in general. That gal can write.)
But from there, the story is the stuff of Hollywood dream factory. A police officer who recognized her from the piano bars saw her, broken and alone. He made some phone calls. A friend had a place for her to stay. Another friend knew of an opportunity in Florida and still another bought her ticket. Blanche DuBois couldn’t have asked for more kindness.
In Florida she met and fell in love with Donna Barnett, a “stately 62-year-old jewelry designer.” See, snuck the gay thing in on you, didn’t I? And then came the chance to audition for the pre-Broadway presentation of “Finian’s Rainbow,” which led to a role in the Broadway version. And that is where she is today, singing her heart out again but this time to the roar of a packed house. From the mean streets to the Great White Way. Come on, even Disney is jealous.
Life, for all its loud indignities and cruel disappointments, can turn out beautifully when we least expect it. To dream is never foolish; it is, in fact, a basic human necessity.