By Ardain Jr. IsmaSpecial to CSMS MagazineTyler Perry has become one of the most successful Hollywood stories to come around in a long time. Tyler has gone through so much pain and sorrow in his early life that if you were in his “shoes,” you would probably kill yourself. It wasn’t until one day when he was home and he was watching a taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show that something dramatic happened. On the show, Oprah was talking about how writing your true feeling on paper is a real therapy to the soul. That was exactly what Tyler did. He began to put his feelings into words, into lengthy letters, and his letters became pages and from pages it all evolved into plays. The rest is history. Tyler Perry was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 13, 1969. Tyler was one of four children. Tyler’s childhood was marked by poverty and child abuse, which made him want to attempt suicide later in life. The pain of his childhood hurt him so much that when he got older, he blamed his parents for the lack of success he had early in adulthood. While he was in his early twenties, he was so poor that he lived in his car for six months. Tyler said that was one of the most depressing times he ever had in his life. “Just to go through that pain and type of living was embarrassing,” said Mr. Perry.Tyler spent many years living in pain and total resentment. Until one day he was watching The Oprah Winfrey Show. On the show Ophrah told the viewers that if you are going through problems, it is therapeutic to write your feelings down on paper in a form of a letter. Tyler began to write down letters to himself, but he wrote so much that his letters became plays. Tyler felt his plays were good enough to go on stage, but when he did that, they all failed in box office critically and commercially.When his plays failed at the box office, Tyler was left penniless. He blamed others for his misfortune once again. It was truly becoming a sad story for Mr. Perry. But it was an unfinished story. Despite his misfortunes, Tyler managed to save up $12,000 and moved to Atlanta, Ga. When he moved to Atlanta, he tried to run the play over there. It was not a success, and for the next six years he lived in Atlanta, struggling and homeless. In 1998, Tyler finally got his big break. Finally, the play he had been struggling with had a successful run, first at the House Of Blues, and then again in the Fox theatre. Tyler’s following play was a staging of Bishop T.D Jakes book Woman Thou Art Loosed. The play became an instant classic. The play grossed over five million dollars in a little over five months. The play was later turned into a movie in 2004, starring Kimberly Elise and Loretta Devine. It was released on October 4, 2004.Tyler Perry’s successful plays, which are usually intended for a black audience, have suddenly become a major enterprise. He created a successful touring company behind his plays. With the touring company, people all over the country are being entertained and going crazy in their seats while watching Tyler’s plays. As of March 2005, Tyler Perry’s plays have grossed over $75 million in tickets and DVD sales in the United States of America alone.Perry’s success is very notable because his theater and production company had no backing from Hollywood or any other major Production company. His first movie based on one of his plays called Diary of a mad black woman was made on a budget just under $5 million and it became an unexpected hit in the movie box office. His next movie after that was called Medea’s family reunion it debuted at # 1 with $ 30 million on its opening weekend.Tyler Perry, a man who once used to dream of success, now sees it every day. There is nothing he can do that won’t turn into magic in the cinema or the play theater. Tyler’s story inspires conviction and perseverance. One needs to pursue his dream relentlessly if he dreams turn into a reality some day.Note: Ardain Jr. Isma is a junior at South Plantation High, near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Many of his reviews can be read at Art and Culture section.Also see “Amerie M.M. Rogers: The R&B Princess”
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