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Why Did I Put All My Money Into This?

Why did I put all my money into this? Is this going to work? God, do you hear me? Where are the people? I’m so scared. How will I pay these people? Why did I do this? I can’t pay my rent, they are going to repossess my car…

The year was 1992, July 8th-12th. All these questions were crowding my mind.  I was a 22-year old wannabe... but what I wanted to be I didn’t know. All I knew was that I had written this play about adult survivors of child abuse and I wanted the world to see it. I was so sure that it was going to work that I put my own money into the show.

I had worked as a used car salesman and a bill collector and saved my income tax check and my bonuses. I took that money and hired a cast and built a set and rented a very small theater in Atlanta called the 14th Street Playhouse. I had done all the math in my head: I was going to perform 6 shows, 200 people a show, for a total of 1,200 people. The tickets were $12 and I was going to make $14,000 and be rich… LOL. I was going to give my tithe to the church, give my mother some money, pay my rent (that was two months behind), get my car payment caught up and live happily ever after. I knew as sure as I am sitting here that it was all going to be all right. I had prayed that thang out, as they say in the Baptist church… LOL. Looking back on it now I can laugh, but back then it wasn’t so funny. What I quickly realized is that prayer alone will not always get the results you want. As much work as I did, I didn’t do enough to promote the show. More work was needed to go along with my faith.

I was expecting 1,200 people but only 30 showed up. I was devastated. I thought my dreams were dead. Based off this one thing I thought my life was over. Based on this one failure (what I thought was a failure but it clearly wasn’t), I thought that the rest of my life would be ruined. Needless to say, looking back on it, it was all a part of God’s plan and amazing design for my life. And God has a plan for all of our lives.

Today I celebrate my 20th anniversary in show business. It’s been an amazing journey, one that I will detail in my autobiography one day. You would be surprised, inspired, angry and blown away with what I’ve endured to be here, but until then I’d like to share a little inspiration with you. So many times we think that because one thing didn’t go as planned we should give up on it. So many people leave their dreams dying on the floor, gasping for air because it didn’t work out the first time. Be it marriage, business, children, faith, whatever your dream is, you can't give up because it didn’t go as planned. If I had walked away because it didn’t work you wouldn’t be reading this. I had to keep moving. Yes, there were setbacks. Yes, it was difficult, but I got to see my dreams come to pass because I never stopped moving forward, I never stopped praying and most of all I never stopped believing. DON’T STOP BELIEVING!!!! PLEASE DON’T STOP BELIEVING!!! Say this to yourself out loud right now: “DON’T STOP BELIEVING”, and repeat it to yourself whenever you doubt that you can make it.

What you must understand is that everything, all of it, the good the bad and the ugly, it all works together for your good. If you love the Lord you are called according to His purpose. What’s His purpose for you? If you’re not sure, seek it and all your dreams will come true.

To all my dreamers, to all the people who have invested in themselves, to all the people who have the same questions that I did, hear me when I say this: YOU CAN DO IT!!

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS IN SHOW BUSINESS TODAY!!!!

God Bless you, in Jesus' name, AMEN!

Tyler

Comments (page 12)

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  • Debra L. Staten Island NY

    Congrats to u Tyler u deserve it...just keep on makin me laugh!

    Reply
  • olatunde winnipeg

    Congratulations Tyler. You have spoken the truth, life is not a bed of roses. As the song says.... We fall down, and get back up. Looking forward to more wonderful years.

    Reply
  • Kel Lee Columbus, Ohio

    Congrats Tyler Perry!!! WOW...the journey has been long; yet, a very successful one. After the storm, growth prevails and one excels – just as life that grows from Mother Earth (greenery and flowers). I wrote about you in my journal for one of my graduate classes (Marketing and Communications). In one particular class, we studied the theories’ of leadership. I consider you as social LEADER. You have encouraged so many people in their personal lives through your woks and helped make change. I NOW know that forgiving is the best burden reliever there is. And…there comes a point where I need to also forgive myself. So much GROWTH in a person can begin with just that ONE change. I, along with the masses of others, commend you for all the work you do. It took courage for you to put on a wig and a dress – not knowing what the overall response would be from the public. YOU made people from all over fall not only in love with the character (Madea), but with the messages this character delivered. Massages that were familiar enough to touch home and at the same time…be therapeutic. I LOVE YOUR WORK TYLER PERRY!!!

    Reply
    • Mz. Hawk GA #1707225

      I totally agree with you. Tyler Perry's movies have changed my life in so many ways. The forgiveness message is one I love to live by, too. Since I am married, which I have been for several years, I NOW look at my husband as being designed "just for me." Before, I believed that we chose each other just because, but now I realize GOD put us together....he is my soul mate. I really started to feel that way after watching "Madea's Family Reunion." Tyler Perry is God sent. He is healing so many people through his artistry. I LOVE ME SOME TYLER!!!!!

      Reply
  • Maggie B Columbus, Ohio

    CONFIRMATION!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was truly right on time as always!!! God is AMAZING....

    Reply
  • charlene lane st louis, mo

    Hi Tyler, This message could not have come at a better time. I have always been told that what you go through in life is for a reason. One day it may be necessary to help someone else! So, you should thank God for everything that you go through, whether it looks bad or good! But, right now in my life, I'm going through some rough times, even though, I feel that God has a plan for my life. I'm trying not to mess things up, but, it is not easy. Your words were so encouraging! I think that I can go on a little further. I got a late start at what I feel God has for me. But, God knows all of this. So, I'm putting it in his hands. God bless you, Tyler. Charlene

    Reply
  • Sandra Fields USA

    Hi Tyler, First I like you to know I love all your plays and movies. I just finished reading your email about where you were 20 years ago. I guess it came at a point when I needed to be reminded to not give up that I can make it. James Fortune sings a song where he said "I just lost my job, I have more bills than money." Well this is me, this June, 2012 I lost my job as a 1st grade teacher. I worked at this school for the pass 4 yrs. I had always received a satisfactory evaluation however, this year no matter what I did, I continued to get unsatisfactory evlauation. Did any administrator try to help me, no. I reached out to other teachers for help, I lived on the Internet looking for solutions. Whatever the assitant prinicipal said I was doing wrong, I did my best to fix it. My lesson plans were always missing something. I asked her to show me what she was talking about, She gave me samples of other teachers' plans. I did my next set of plans using their plans as a guide. I never got any feedback on whether or not they were better. On the day I was given the termination papers, they ask me if I was alright. I could not answer I was just stunned. I had been a teacher for 16 years in a private school that let teachers go because of dwindling enrollment. I have not been able to build up much retirement funds. I am in the process of completing another online application for a job but at age 60 (as of Sept 2) I don't hold out much hope. My friends all tell me not to give up, God has a plan, just wait on the Lord, He's an on time God, He's never late. Every time I ask God to show me a sign, I ear a song or some tells me somthing to give me hope. Just like your email did for me today. It gives me hope. In Our Daily Bread I read this morning that questioning and doubting, both understandable human responses, are opportunities to remind, reassure, and comfort those who are shaken by uncertainty. Well this is me. I will repeat to myself "I Can Do It." Meaning I will get out the resumes and I will believe that I can get another job and I can wait on the Lord. Thanks Tyler for reminding me.

    Reply
  • Ginger Tyler Indiana

    Just what I needed to hear today. It's been an awful week. So much going on that I have no control over. People lying to get their way. And it works. Can't wait til this stage is over. Looking forward to the good. Thanks for making movies that give hpe & make us laugh.

    Reply
  • Rhesa Samuel Trinidad

    I was jus sitting here wondering, how did Tyler Perry reach so far (because I have the same dreams) and den I saw ur tweet. I am truly inspired. Now I'm excited to finish write my plays, and practise monlogues. Thank u for this testimony. God bless u.

    Reply
  • Veltee Davis Fort Worth, TX

    Dearest Tyler, You are one blessed man. Congrats on 20 yrs. Love ya...You go boy.

    Reply
  • Melissa Hawaii

    Wow, you struck a nerve with this messsage! Totally unexpected. God is so creative on how he delivers his direction. Nevertheless, I have to say that you are truly an amazing man. Thank you for your work and contribution to the entertainment world. It's so difficult to find meaningful material on the screen but you manage to s**** little gems in there. I wish nothing but continued happiness and abundance for you and your loved ones! XOXO

    Reply
  • Aisha Oliver New Jersey

    Thank you for your words if encouragement. I stand by Exodus 14:14 because i know that He will make provisions for me as long as I hold on and trust Him. 2 years ago God blessed my family in a way that changed us forever. He blessed my husband and i with our 3rd child. We had no idea what we were facing as we were told that our son would require open heart surgery and would have special needs. We were devastated! Zedekiah Matthew came into this world fighting. He was diagnosed with Downs Syndrome and underwent open heart surgery at 8 weeks old. To God be the Glory...Elohim...we celebrated Zedekiah's 2nd birthday this year and are looking forward to him beginning school in January. My biggest concern w** that financially we could not care for and provide the same quality of life as we had for our older childreb depending on his needs...boy did he show us! He is your typical 2 year old and despite battling with the state every month for health insurance...God has blessed us with a healthy child... I thank you Mr. Perry for your encouragement and continued inspiration. I know that this is a journey that God has placed before me good bad or ugly and I shall walk it with grace, faith and no complaints.

    Reply
  • MJ

    Tears of hope, inspiration and joy.

    Reply