Growing up in flint there were a number of obstacles, I mean crazy obstacles because I grew up in the flint. I mean at the height of the crack epidemic and also the demise of the auto industry, so there were two things happening at once and they were both horribly bad,
I mean I might, it was like the 80s probably late 70s all the way through the 80s into the 90s was literally the walking dead and it was real, I mean you had people who were cracked out, I had friends family who one day you know whatever good people, the next day they were stealing everything you had, uh all the way to everyone you knew were losing their jobs and it was a panic and I remember there was two ways out and one was through music and performing, another way was athletics. But art, never you couldn’t get paid doing art you know what I mean, it was good, everybody’s like that’s a wonderful picture but it’s you’re a starving artist, that’s the whole term you know and I remember just saying okay I’m going to do this art thing but I had to do the football thing too and these were my ways out. Now I didn’t believe that I was actually going to get any kind of light as an artist but I had one teacher, one man Mr. Eichelberg I’ll never forget this and he was like I bet, he said terry you are an amazing artist he was like I’m the art teacher, you’re better than me and he said you can go somewhere with this and I was like okay but you know nobody’s gonna pay, you know nobody’s gonna pay me to do this, nobody, it’s good but I gotta use football well.
He filled out all the applications for me and I didn’t even know wow this is crazy and he took my pictures and my paintings and everything that I did, he took and got him photographed did all this stuff sent him to interlocking arts academy now interlocking is just world-famous big deal, big big deal.
Arts camp up in northern Michigan, near traverse city and you study with people from all over the world and He literally came to me and told me he already filled out everything and he said terry, you have a scholarship from Chrysler, full ride to go to interlock and arts academy and I was like what are you talking about, like you know first of all I didn’t think it was possible, this is the deal, there’s a lot of things you know it’s weird because you got to let people believe in you but I didn’t believe in myself and when I got a chance to go to Interlochen and study with people from Europe and from Brazil and these was mainly music students and then they had art students and it was just this like and coming from flint, I mean coming from the hood and then once this changed my life, once I remember we had an uh and it was really big on competition very, very big on competition, it was like if you were a violinist you had to be the first chair and second chair and I remember all these kids were disappointed because they kept moving down and they would just feel like they were crushed and the same thing with art they gave us two paint we had to do two drawings and we had the whole class doing all these drawings and they said put your drawings on the on the wall and don’t put your name on them we have the uh, this, this guy coming from the, from the Cleveland institute of art, he’s going to judge each painting and we want to see who’s the best and I was like oh man you know and so I did my deal and I put on, it was a wall full of art and the art guy pointed at mine and he said that one’s the best one and he went all the way across the room and he said that one and they were both mine and I was like now life is a confidence game because then you couldn’t tell me nothing I was like damn it, I’m good you know I got too arrogant, then I got arrogant, you know what I mean, I’m the best one here, you know and then you have to be humbled some other way even though um but that would let me know. I was like wow, I can, I can do it, I can do it, like I’m really as, good as these people this is all over the world and then I got a scholarship to Western Michigan university in art 1886 that was my senior year in high school and we were, I went to Flynn academy and it was a classy school but we were highly ranked in the state and I was used to be a basketball player, I mean that was, you know hard to believe now but uh basketball was a, a big sport for me but I was the starting center on this team and what was wild is we were picked to go all the way in the state, we had a superstar on our team and we had a really, really good team but we we played against the school who decided not to play, it was the district championship, it was right the beginning of the playoffs and these guys would take the ball down the court and pass the ball to each other at the top of the court and wouldn’t play and we had a coach who was like well you know what, I’m gonna beat you at your own game so we stayed in a zone, so, we sit in there the whole time and I’m telling you it’s the most boring game of all time. We just sat there with our hands up and they passed the ball and if anything happened, somebody you went and got it and it was you scored two and it was just a mess, so the score was really, really low and it they were up 47 to 45 and it was literally under a minute and I’m freaking out because now we’re going to it’s evident, we’re going to lose because; I’m going man, this is a dumb, like defensive strategy anyway we should have been going after it but what happened is a guy threw the ball their guy through the ball cross court, I intercepted it and with literally five seconds left to go and I take the ball all the way down the court, you gotta understand I’m thinking I had visions of oh my God, this is the thing, I’m the hero you know the heart is, it’s like pounding you just, you.
I’m already at the party you know what I mean and I go with this layup and i bring it up there and it’s totally, it gets around the rim and it rolls and let me tell you that place goes nuts because it was the upset of the year and I collapsed in a heap and I know my life is over and you gotta understand and this is another thing, shame among men, it’s like you oh how could you do that man? yeah other players were yelling at me the coach at the; I was in the locker room he was like you had no business taking that shot and I stole the ball, it wasn’t like we didn’t have a shot anyway but he was like you have no business taking that shot, you should have passed it man, it’s your fault and the people and everybody in the room was like yep and I was like they didn’t let me off one and I remember just going.
Oh my God and I went in the paper and the paper the next day was like terry crews had a shot and he missed; You know and let me tell, it was the most dark and I mean when you know 16 years old I was, I mean beyond quest I and one guy was taunting me I got in a fight after the school and the whole thing and I was just like this is awesome, it’s horrible and so it was a couple days went by and I was in the deepest bump, I’m sitting on my bed and I shared my room with my brother but he for some reason he wasn’t there because I always remember him being there, It was kind of crazy, I don’t ever remember being alone except that time and I remember being alone and just thinking about man what I should have passed it maybe I messed up and you know what else could I have done and then another little voice it said I took the shot, I took the shot and I was like I did, I did and it was kept and I kept thinking it was like man look when you had the chance, when everything was on the line, you took your shot man you did that you did that and all of a sudden I was like that’s right, that’s right, I took it and I learned from then on, I said man wait a minute if I, if I win or if I fail, it’s going to be on my terms, it’s going to be up to me.
If I have the opportunity, I have to go for it and then I felt really good about losing the game, it was real, it was it, totally now this you can call it reframing a lot of people have scientific ways or psychological ways, to, you know to do things but I learned always to kind of reframe things so that it’s to your advantage you know what I mean and you look at these things, like wait a minute you took the shot man and I and this is another thing because…; What’s so crazy is that no one ever remembers that game, it’s one of the least important things in my life but the lesson I learned is, is still guiding me today, the fact that go for it, take your shot, take your time, when you get that thing, you have that opportunity, don’t mess it up.
My mom passed away about almost three years ago and she always would tell me she was like whatever you do I know you’re doing all this football stuff you’re doing all these other things but never forget you’re an artist babe, you’re an artist. I’m telling you when I see what I’m doing right now and I get to do so many things that so many people never got to see, I get to go so many places and do so many things that none of the people who wanted to were able to um. I feel like there is a responsibility but also if I don’t do it everything they’ve gone through, it’s nothing you know so the way I approach things is really, it’s kind of for everyone else you know I have to try it, I have to go for it, I like to call myself a motivational doer, I hate talking so much like I’m a big talker you can tell but the big thing is I’m, I want to back everything up with action, I want to be an action figure like always, always back it up with movement, don’t talk about working out, you can do it all day, but do it and that was the big, big distinction.
I’ve seen especially growing up in the hood so many people, ah man I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna and man I said man, well why haven’t you, why aren’t you and so everything you see me doing, I just said I’m going, I’m trying, I’m going for it, I don’t care and we’ll see what happens.
Key#2: Change the way you think
Key#3: Just Go for it
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