There is, for instance, a sign on the northbound Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive near the Brooklyn Bridge exit that says ”Flushing Meadows Corona Park.” Options for reaching that destination, where tennis players bring glory upon themselves in the United States Open and where the Mets also play, are paralyzingly numerous from this starting point. The choices include, among others, crossing the Brooklyn Bridge and taking the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to connect with the Long Island Expressway, a roughly 12-mile, somewhat-less-than-direct jaunt.
I was born with two speech impediments. I was a shy kid, with a crooked smile, who couldn’t pronounce any words correctly. Participating in theatre was the last thing anyone expected of me. Yet I wanted to sway crowds with my voice, make them cry, laugh and shout for joy. I was a terrified 10-year-old the first time I stepped on stage, and equally frightened moments before I finally performed at Lincoln Center. I walked slowly to my position full of fear, but when the spotlight hit my face, there was no trepidation, only a calmness and quiet determination. In that moment all the long hours of struggle fell into place. I had already accomplished what I had set out to do before my final performance. Just being there, having worked as hard as I had, made all the worry dissipate. It was just me and the light.