Dear lovies, in lieu of the usual column, Muva is taking this opportunity to impart life and lessons via one Tyler Perry, who stunned the world this past weekend by opening up one of the LARGEST studios ever built in Atlanta.
Let me backtrack a bit. Perry popped up on the scene in the late 1990s as the character Madea, an ornery Black woman who took no mess from anyone — not even God himself.
She strutted across stages in plays around the country and walked right into the hearts of millions of people in America, who resonated with Madea and a life that is not often authentically portrayed.
Just before his alter ego became a household name, Perry was struggling to pay rent and living from his car for three months. According to numerous interviews he had with Oprah Winfrey over the years, he said he had a gut feeling that Madea would resonate even as doors were slammed in his face over and over again.
Perry remained true to his vision amidst unending criticism, and it paid off in ways that not only benefit him, but the scores of writers, actors and film production people he hires for his various projects.
In a recent article on cnn.com entitled “Tyler Perry: “I’m ignored in Hollywood” where Tyler spoke to the CBS Morning Show’s Gayle King in an interview, it was disclosed that “The 330-acre complex contains 12 sound stages and is reportedly larger than the Burbank, California lots owned by Warner Bros., Walt Disney Studios and Paramount studios combined.” He is the first African American to own a major studio outright.
Perry had a dream in his head and a gleam in his eyes that would not be denied. He made millions in the box office over the years with the audiences who transitioned with him from his plays to the big screen effortlessly, because he kept acknowledging them and their stories while Hollywood and even many in his community continued to scoff.
They made fun of him in the dress, looking past the lessons, called him a closeted gay man and on and on.
Well lovies, money is still green all day, and while the powers that be thought he was a non-factor, he quietly amassed wealth and relationships that led to his grand opening of studios that left us all agape!
He went from being grateful to sit on Oprah’s couch to being a mogul in his own right not to be trifled with.
He went from being hungry and homeless to feeding invisible artists with so much incredible talent by giving them jobs, and always kept a strong faith in God the entire time.
Perry was also content to stay out of the spotlight as much as possible, because it gave him room to keep achieving and he knew that the higher his climb, the criticisms would increase.
He is a lesson in what is possible when we shut our mouths, work hard, make sound business decisions, choose great mentors, and give back in abundance.
Muva is certain there will be the ones coming forth with statements like, “I still think his stuff is trash,” but he has surpassed most of his peers with alacrity, because his goals went beyond just being wealthy and he was willing to sacrifice more than we can possibly imagine to get to where he now perches like a king.
He remembered the forgotten members of society, and they thanked him until Hollywood was forced to see him. Not that he cares, for he does not need them to get his projects done.
Hollywood with all its entitlements, closed all the doors and windows, and the brother just went and built his own door to step through without them.
Genius that needs to be bottled!
He has inspired many to find the motivation within to see their dreams come to fruition over time.
Bravo sir. Excellence!!