Tyler Perry reveals how he ended up on the streets of Atlanta and why he never gave up on his dream.
Tyler Perry is one of Hollywood’s most powerful filmmakers, writers, producers and even actors. But, before he was known for his TV shows, movies and plays, Mr. Perry was once homeless, living on the streets of Atlanta, Georgia. In a recent interview, Tyler Perry revealed how he ended up on the streets of Atlanta and it’s pretty amazing.
According to the AJC, Tyler Perry was on tour promoting his new movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, and he opened up about his experience in the entertainment industry and how it was not an easy process.
“I had just moved to Atlanta to try to launch this play, so I went to work,” he said during his Tuskegee University commencement address. “I managed to save $12,000 and I put the show up working in used car, as a bill collector (proceeds from a tax return). I thought 1,200 people would show up that weekend but only 30 showed up. My car payment, rent, everything was tied up in it so I ended up homeless with no money and nothing to my name.”
And it would take several years before any one of his plays became a hit.
“From 1992, to 93, to 94, I was doing one show a year,” he said. “I kept on doing the play. Every year it would fail, until 1998, the seventh year of me trying. I was about to give up and walk away.”
So, what did Tyler Perry do differently? He said he sat down with audience members and listened to how his plays impacted them and his life changed forever. “My life shifted after that,” he said. “My intention became, how do I serve other people? How do I lift other people?”
Since then, Tyler Perry has become a mega-star in Hollywood. In 2011, Forbes named him the highest paid man in entertainment. In fact, he earned $130 million between May 2010 and 2011.
If you’re interested in working with Tyler Perry, he’s now hiring. Apply for a job here.
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