TYLER PERRY – A BIOGRAPHY


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Tyler Perry (born Emmitt Perry Jr.; September 13, 1969) is an American actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, producer, author, and songwriter, specializing in the gospel genre. Perry was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, as Emmitt Perry, Jr., the son of Willie Maxine Perry (née Campbell) and Emmitt Perry, Sr., a carpenter. He has three siblings. Perry once said his father’s “answer to everything was to beat it out of you”. As a child, Perry once went so far as to attempt suicide in an effort to escape his father’s beatings. In contrast to his father, his mother took him to church each week, where he sensed a certain refuge and contentment. At age 16, he had his first name legally changed from Emmitt to Tyler in an effort to distance himself from his father. Tyler Perry’s inspirational journey from the hard streets of New Orleans to the heights of Hollywood’s A-list is the stuff of American legend. Born into poverty and raised in a household scarred by abuse. Many years later, after seeing the film Precious, he was moved to relate for the first time accounts of being molested by a friend’s mother at age 10; he was also molested by three men prior to this, and later learned his own father had molested his friend. A DNA test Perry recently took confirmed that Emmitt Sr. is not Perry’s biological father.

Tyler fought from a young age to find the strength, faith and perseverance that would later form the foundations of his much-acclaimed plays, films, books and shows. While Perry did not complete high school, he earned a GED. In his early 20s, watching an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, he heard someone describe the sometimes therapeutic effect the act of writing can have, enabling the author to work out his or her own problems. This comment inspired him to apply himself to a career in writing. He soon started writing a series of letters to himself. The letters, full of pain and in time, forgiveness, became a healing catharsis. His writing inspired a musical, I Know I’ve Been Changed, and in 1992, Tyler gathered his life’s savings in hopes of staging it for sold out crowds. He spent all the money but the people never came, and Tyler once again came face to face with the poverty that had plagued his youth. He spent months sleeping in seedy motels and his car but his faith – in God and, in turn, himself – only got stronger. He forged a powerful relationship with the church, and kept writing. In 1998 his perseverance paid off and a promoter booked I Know I’ve Been Changed for a limited run at a local church-turned-theatre. This time, the community came out in droves, and soon the musical moved to Atlanta’s prestigious Fox Theatre. Tyler Perry never looked back and so began an incredible run of 13 plays in as many years, including Woman Thou Art Loosed!, a celebrated collaboration with the prominent Dallas pastor T.D. Jakes.

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In the year 2000, I Can Do Bad All By Myself marked the first appearance of the now-legendary Madea. The God-fearing, gun-toting, pot-smoking, loud-mouthed grandmother, Madea, was played by Perry himself. Madea was such a resounding success, she soon spawned a series of plays -Madea’s Family Reunion (2002), Madea’s Class Reunion (2003), Madea Goes To Jail(2005) – and set the stage for Tyler’s jump to the big screen. In early 2005, Tyler’s first feature film, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, debuted at number one nationwide. His ensuing films, Madea’s Family Reunion, Daddy’s Little Girls, Why Did I Get Married?, Meet The Browns, The Family That Preys, I Can Do Bad All by Myself, Why Did I Get Married Too?, For Colored Girls, Madea’s Big Happy Family,Good Deeds and Madea’s Witness Protection have all been met with massive commercial success, delighting audiences across America and around the world. He also starred in the Rob Cohen directed Alex Cross and helped release Academy Award-nominated Precious, a movie based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire, in conjunction with his 34th Street Films banner, Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films and Lionsgate.

tp bookPerry’s first book, “Don’t Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea’s Uninhibited Commentaries on Love and Life”, appeared on April 11, 2006. The book sold 30,000 copies. The hardcover reached number one on the New York Times Best Seller list and remained on the list for 12 weeks. It was voted Book of the Year, Best Humor Book at the 2006 Quill Awards. (An unheard-of feat for a first-time author). However, he is one of the few that write yet people write about them; Melvin Childs’ “Never would have made it” is one of such masterpieces.

In 2007, Tyler expanded his reach to television with the TBS series House of Payne, the highest-rated first-run syndicated cable show of all time. His follow up effort, “Meet the Browns”, was the second highest debut ever on cable – after “House of Payne”. In late 2012, Perry teamed up with Oprah Winfrey in an exclusive deal to bring scripted programming to her cable network, OWN, and launched with the half hour sitcom, “Love Thy Neighbor”, and the hour-long drama, “The Haves and The Have Nots”, which made its debut in 2013. Not one to rest on success, Tyler Perry and his 350 Atlanta-based employees have been hard at work. His latest films include “Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor”, released in March 2013 and his 34th Street Films banner,” Peeples”, released in May 2013. In late 2013, Tyler starred in “A Madea Christmas”, adapted from his stage play by the same name. In 2014 he was seen in 34th Street Film’s production where he also directed, Single Mom’s Club and a new show for OWN entitled If Loving You Is Wrong, based on the film, premiered in the Fall of 2014.

Tyler most recently garnered rave reviews for his role opposite Ben Affleck in David Fincher’s box office hit, “Gone Girl”. On September 25, 2014, it was announced that Perry was expecting his first child with his girlfriend, Gelila Bekele. On November 30, 2014, Bekele gave birth to their son Aman Tyler Perry.

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Perry describes himself as a Christian. Many of the themes in his work reflect theology and social behavior indicative of the predominantly Black Church culture, such as the many scenes in both his stage and screen work that feature church settings and worship styles commonly found in predominantly African American churches, including showcases of gospel artistes and artists.

Listen to Tyler Perry and you’ll hear a man who hasn’t forgotten about the people that have helped him reach the top of a mountain he could once only dream of climbing. He has been intimately involved and donated generously to civil rights causes through work with the NAACP and NAN. He also strongly supports charities that focus on helping the homeless, such as Feeding America, Covenant House, Hosea Feed the Hungry, Project Adventure, and Perry Place – a 20-home community that Tyler built for survivors of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. In January 2010, Perry pledged $1,000,000 via The Tyler Perry Foundation to help rebuild the lives of those affected by the earthquakes in Haiti. On July 20, 2009, Perry sponsored 65 children from a Philadelphia day camp to visit Walt Disney World, after reading that they had been turned down. He wrote on his website, “I want them to know that for every act of evil that a few people will throw at you, there are millions more who will do something kind for them”.

Tyler Perry is definitely one of the lights in our present generation and in this month of April we celebrate him.

tHE REPLY


My Dearest,
How are you, it’s been a while…I have been reading your love letters and I decided to also write to you, to tell you how it was for me.
Well at the time you came I was in a relationship with someone. He was the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. His face shone like polished pearl, his voice like a melodious song played in the morning, swaying me with words that dripped with honey from his sugar coated tongue. He told me he could give me anything I wanted, He told me his name was Lucifer and he was my world prince charming and I was too happy at the thought of being his sleeping beauty princess. Finally he won me over and I gave him my heart, He gave me everything I wanted cars, houses, cloths, jewellery, anything I could think of, boy did he spoil me rotten. I thought I was in heaven, but now I realize it was actually hell with him.
Then you came around telling me about how much you loved me. To say the truth, I didn’t really understand the whole “LOVE” issue it kinda freaked the HELL out of me, the whole talk of loving and knowing me before I was even conceived, giving everything you loved that you might gain my love, your telling “my thoughts toward you are as countless as the sand on the sea shore” (I was beginning to think you were a stalker) I could not comprehend the love, most especially when you told me you love me with an everlasting LOVE. It was really crazy. The truth is that the kind of love you brought my way, wasn’t the kind I was used to and it was strange not having to follow a list of things to do in order to feel the love I needed or to feel clean. You see I always felt dirty and lonely with him that’s my ex but there you came with a whole different story of love, telling me I didn’t need to do anything or follow a whole set of rules to be clean that I just had to accept you, I guess I didn’t understand what love meant.
I started falling for you. You made me realize the love I was deprived of and why I needed you. But you see my ex wasn’t the kind of person to give up on one whose heart he owns (he is kind of possessive). He got angry and tried keeping me away from you, especially when you started knocking at my door. At my door you stayed and all you ever asked for was to come in and dine with me but my ex, he called you a crazy crook set out to manipulate me. He said if I let him go it was I who would lose all the good things only he could give me. Oh the lies I had to deal with!
When you told me you could die for me I thought it was a joke. But here we are you actually did it! I was quite scared I had lost you but you came back for me… Now that is romantic, imagine a man fighting for me. Well I accepted your love, though I don’t understand it yet and the enormity of it all still baffles me. Even the fact that you forgave my hurting you (all those years I stuck with my EX) without wanting anything in return, except to love you. Truth is, with my EX, it was different, it was all about what he wanted, he never forgave my wrongs, and he was a psycho. Now I’m off the chains and free to love you. I am learning to love and trust you completely. And nothing is going to keep me away from your love… You’re now my true Prince Charming you can call me Snow White because I know you will always come for me and find me. I LOVE YOU
Yours lovingly
Bethel
P.s your love letter rocks. Reading, believing, and speaking it sends my ex on his heels.

HOME-COMING!


Let me tell you my story
I let my father down, leaving his mission for my pleasures.
abstract_landscape_by_faith_lv-d51r5tz.jpgTaking up my own mission, I decided to take a trip away from home.
I took it all as a game, thinking I could get the whole world sealed, signed, stamped and delivered to my doorstep all in my name.
Yea to tell the truth, I enjoyed those days,
Where all I did went well, I was enjoying the fun and all.
You see I got everything I wanted without anyone to tell me no or yes.
I could say I was winning it all, I got so good at the game.
But with time, I realized it was all lame!
With time they all faded away, the happiness, enjoyment, pleasure.
I was left with an empty heart that wasn’t satisfied at all even with all the pleasure I had…

You see my father loved me more than anything.
And did I tell you he is a KING?
Yes my father is a king I longed for home, for that joy that could satisfy, and only father had it.
Being in his presence alone was satisfaction beyond anything else in this world.
You see, at home I bathed in my father’s glory.
But how could I go back home now? Would he take me back? Would he cast me out?
These questions played across my mind.
I decided to go back home, but there was a problem…
Yes I didn’t know my way back. I was lost and felt like indeed I was going to die.

Nevertheless I tried to find my way back home.
I tried different ways but they didn’t lead to my father.
I was about giving up when I saw my big brother on the way,
I didn’t quite understand what he was doing there, I was beginning to think he left home too.
But he told me father sent him to search for me,
That father had been searching for me!
He had sent servants to find me but none could.
So He offered to come himself, he told me he had given all he had just to find me.
At last I found my way home!
Walking home, I told my Brother I was scared to meet father,
He told me he had paid my own price so I need not be scared.
Along the way I saw someone running towards me…
I realized it was father!
Father ran at my home coming…

-Bethel

Reconciled!!!


“Come home… Come home!” I hear him say
You have stayed so far from home
I am hurt without you I’m heart broken
I long for your company I long for your voice
I’ve indeed missed you, our relationship is starved
You left me for another even when I loved you so
What happened to our love, our relationship?
We were so in love whatever went wrong? Tell me…

I was carried away by the pleasures of the world
They called to me with words so sweet
They made yours seem so sour and empty
They made our relationship look so boring… so empty!
I was lost, leaving your love as I flew with others
But my mistakes I have seen and now I am coming
I have also missed us… the communion we so shared
The fact that you love me even more when I left
Will you take me?

Yes I would have taken you already before you even asked
Just come back, come as you are, my heart is healed
I will give you a heart like mine and we’ll be one…COMPLETE!!!
Walk with me and be like me come talk to me about everything
Don’t hold back your love, you can put all your burdens on me
Trust me! Come home!
I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you
You could learn the unforced rhythm of grace and my love
We could start again start our relationship again
Call me anytime of the day
I’ll eternally be available I could even answer before you call
I love you so much I gave my life for you
I’m ready to commit myself to you totally
I LOVE YOU and I AM NOT COUNTING YOUR MISTAKES

CHANCES


I cried out to Him…
“Have mercy master, give me a second chance”
but
He said to me “I have no need for you anymore, you are broken! Any content in you spills out even for the dogs to lick”

I was made a vessel, a vessel of gold, a vessel unto honour! The finest amongst all, I was used by the master molded with the finest gold, made with loving hands of the potter, solid, strong, perfect, beautiful and useful.
Along the line something changed in me, I became proud!
Wasn’t I the best?
I mean a vessel of gold, unto honour, used to make exploits, of course! I was the best amongst bests. In fact the best the potter had ever made! I allowed pride to eat me up starting with a little crack in my “supposed” solid nature and it deepened, finally breaking me and rendering me useless
The master saw no need for me, so he decided to throw me out. Seeing my mistakes I cried out!

Shhh….

My master said to me…
“I’ll send you back to the potter to break you, crush you, melt you and remould you”

What a wonder! “Thank you Father” I cried out!

“Thank you Master, but even as I am remoulded, help me to bear the pain”

“My grace is made sufficient for you. For I am strong in your weakness”

by
Odimbu Promise

THE DAY MY PAST CAME KNOCKING


3 brothers one coming after the other
Past, present and future after one comes another
I had my present with me my future awaiting its turn
I had no business with the past, he was gone and out
But one day I had an august visitor
Knock knock… who’s there? I asked
Just me replied he, your old friend past
My blood ran cold, thinking back, he hadn’t been the best for me, my past had given much pain and sorrow
I had been ashamed of him, tried forgetting him
Concentrating on my present as I earnestly prayed for my future
But he kept on knocking, with his sugar-coated tongue he reminded me of what we both shared
I was tempted, my present encouraged me to open the door
Betraying me and my future who continued pleading that I do not

Its only for a moment I said,
So I opened the door, smiling broadly he walked in and took over my heart
Pushing away the present, he let me fall back in those acts I had so enjoyed
Yes I opened the door and enjoy I did
Losing myself in my past I gave myself to him
Taking his hands he took me on a tour to our time down memory lane
Telling me how I missed him and I realized I did so
I walked and I enjoyed the walk, every step brought me deeper and farther away from my present and future calling out to me
Its just for the now I told them
But I did see the past smile behind his teeth
And I took the bait. Hook line and sinker
Till one moment turned into a habit
Hand in hand we kept on descending
Suddenly…

I was lost, alone and afraid
I called out for Him but got no answer
Turning back I realized the present and future were no longer there
Cos they left, they were gone , leaving me empty
I realized I lost the present and future the day my past came knocking and I let him in…
By
Odimbu Promise Buchi