I am a huge Tyler Perry fan, and have been since I first discovered one of his plays in the $5.00 bin at Wal-Mart. Fortunately for me at that time about 6 years ago, not many people new about Tyler and his HILARIOUS plays, so I collected a bunch of them pretty inexpensively.
I had the privilege to go see Tyler Perry's play Madea's Big Happy Family at the Fox Theatre in Detroit last Friday, and WOW, just WOW! I loved it! The play, the cast, the music/voices!!!!
So I am doing a little blog just to give Tyler a shout out, this is man who has overcome several hardships in his life. Let me give you a little Background on Tyler.
Writer, actor, producer, director. Born Emmitt Perry Jr. on September 13, 1969, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Tyler Perry has forged his own way in the entertainment industry, building an empire that consists of successful films, plays, and even a best-selling book. One of four children, he had a difficult childhood, suffering years of abuse at the hands of his carpenter father. He once described his father as a man "whose answer to everything was to beat it out of you."
At one point, Perry even attempted suicide in an effort to escape his difficult situation. At 16, he changed his first name to Tyler to separate himself from his father. Perry dropped out of high school, but he eventually earned a general equivalency diploma, or GED, later. Trying to find his way professionally, he held a series of unfulfilling jobs before discovering his true passion.
Watching an episode of Oprah Winfrey's talk show, Perry was inspired by a comment on the program about how writing about difficult experiences could lead to personal breakthroughs. He started a series of letters to himself, which became the basis for the musical I Know I've Been Changed. While the show tackled such tough subjects as child abuse, it also touched on forgiveness, a theme has remained central in many of his works and reflects his deep connection to his Christian faith. After saving up $12,000, Perry debuted the show—which he directed, produced, and starred in—at an Atlanta theater in 1992. The musical's run lasted only one weekend and drew a measly 30 people to see the show.
Disappointed yet determined, Perry continued to work odd jobs while reworking the show. He staged the show in several other cities, but success still eluded him. Broke, Perry was living out of his car for a time. "Can you imagine a six-foot-five man sleeping in a Geo Metro?" he once told Essence magazine. In 1998, Perry tried one more time to win over theater audiences. He rented out the House of Blues in Atlanta for another production of I Know I've Been Changed. Soon Perry was performing to sell out crowds and the musical was moved to a larger theater. After so many years of hard work, he finally earned critical acclaim as well as commercial success.
For his next project, Perry worked on an adaptation of evangelist T. D. Jakes's book Woman, Thou Art Loosed, which proved to be quite popular. His next effort, however, brought to life his most famous character Madea. The gun-toting, sharp-tongue grandma first appeared in his 2000 play, I Can Do Bad All by Myself. Basing Madea on his mother and several other mature women in his life, Perry played the eccentric character himself wearing drag. She next appeared in Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2001).
Developing quite a following, Madea has starred in a number of plays, including Madea's Family ReunionMadea's Class Reunion (2003). Perry toured extensively with his shows. According to his website, 35,000 people a week saw one of his shows in 2005. (2002) and
Let me tell you , I wish Madea was real, I want to hang out with Madea, she is Sassy, defiant, and funny, and knows how to get her point across in a HILARIOUS way! Check out Tyler Perry's Website!, were he personally reads emails, and messages, he is very devoted to his fans, Fame hasnt gone to this mans head.
Here are some great clips, so you can get to know Madea a.k.a Maybelle Simmons
Also check out TV sitcoms Meet The Browns & House of Payne
Me & My Husband @ the Fox Theatre in Detroit for Tyler Perry's Stage play
Madea's Big Happy Family May 7th 2010