An unconventional method a New Jersey-based actress used to try to nab the attention of movie mogul Tyler Perry doesn’t seem to have landed with him exactly the way she would have hoped.
Racquel Bailey paid $2,000 for billboards in southwest Atlanta last month so when Perry works at Tyler Perry Studios, Bailey’s presence would be hard to miss, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The sign featured a headshot of the actress, who most recently starred in the HBO miniseries “In the Night Of…” The billboard read, “Attention Mr. Perry: Racquel Bailey is your next leading lady.” It included her Twitter and Instagram handles.
Bailey told the newspaper she got the idea after watching “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,” starring Halle Berry. She took note of the scene in the biopic where Dandridge was told she’d only be able to land an agent by getting his attention via billboards. Instead, she plastered her headshots across the agent’s driveway.
Bailey decided to take the $2,000 she typically uses for rent and post billboards instead, she told 11Alive’s The A-Scene. The wife and mother of two said she had done the same thing back in 2012.
“Seven years ago, I put a billboard up in Atlanta,” Bailey said. “I never heard back from Mr. Perry, but I went back to the drawing board and continued to work on my craft, auditioned more and worked more.”
That billboard cost $1,400, according to the AJC.
Bailey’s new set of billboards went up on May 6 and May 7. The actress told the newspaper Tyler Perry Studios got in touch on May 8 and was impressed by her nerve. The hopeful star booked a flight to Atlanta and auditioned for a pilot of a show Perry is currently producing.
An insider at the studio confirmed to the AJC that Bailey had, in fact, auditioned. Meanwhile, it wasn’t until June 5 that Perry himself issued a response.
“This is not the way to get my attention if you’re looking for a role in one of my shows. Please DON’T DO THIS, SAVE YOUR MONEY!! This is the third time that someone has done this. PLEASE STOP! To audition is FREE!! I’m sure you can use that money for a better purpose,” he said. “I love that you want to work with me, and I love that you invest in yourself. But when you do things like this it puts my team on high alert and makes me look at you sideways. I know the message that you want to send is a positive one, but this comes across as the opposite.”
Perry, who recently wrapped the “Madea Farewell Tour,” went on to emphasize that it’s free to try out for a role with his company. He then heaped on the praise for Bailey’s work in the HBO miniseries.
“It was my favorite show a couple years ago. I ALREADY SAW YOU!! So just audition and keep your money!!
“Again, I appreciate your effort, but that’s not the way to work for me. God bless you dreamer. I have no doubt you will make it one day!!” he concluded.
Atlanta Black Star has reached out to Bailey for comment on Perry’s response. In the meantime, the public has weighed in on her billboards.
“Genius self-marketing whether TP likes it or not!”
“I saw this every day passing his studio I thought it was smart but I guess not.”
“I’m weak asf 😂😂😂😂😂😂 Tyler said this ain’t it sis but keep up the good work.”
“Good idea to me 🤷♂️”
On her Instagram page two hours after Perry’s post, Bailey herself remarked on the general reaction to her gall.
“Today is a day I’ll never forget. All this love and support I’m getting is definitely something I wasn’t expecting. So overwhelming and exciting at the sametime. I hope I’m making my mommy proud up in heaven. #RacquelBailey #FaithJumper #LeapOfFaith,” she said.