What are you willing to do to get your big break?
Aspiring actress Racquel Bailey has big dreams of starring in films and tv shows, so she decided to take her last paycheck and spent it on a billboard in Atlanta, two miles from Tyler Perry’s studio, hoping that she can grab his attention and be his next ‘it’ girl. Racquel, who is a 23-year-old single mom, dropped $1,500 on a billboard that says, “Attention: Top Filmmaker in Atlanta
Let me be your next leading lady.”
She recently caught up with Essence.com and talked about why she decided to spend her last set of stacks on a billboard and why she chose Tyler Perry out of all the other black filmmakers in the industry to target.
On Why She Bought Billboard Space
I wanted Tyler Perry to see me. These directors get hundreds of headshots everyday, so what sets me apart? I constantly send out headshots and go to auditions where I’m told, “You’re fantastic,” but then I don’t get the role. So I’m like, “What’s happening here?” This business is all about who you know, and I just got tired of putting my fate in everybody else’s hands.[...]I think everyone is kinda rooting me on and commending me for taking such a risk. I haven’t heard from Tyler Perry yet. The last I heard, his office gave no comment.
On Spending Her Last $1,500 on the Billboard
Yes, I did. I started a theater company a few years ago and we were hired by Newark public schools to teach ballet in after-school programs. The summertime is coming up, and the program is drawing to an end. So that $1500 was my last paycheck.On Why She Chose Tyler Perry
I’m very inspired by his work. He gives African-American actresses a chance in this industry, and I wanted to work with him.[...]Well, the actors are working, first of all, which is quite difficult when you’re an African-American actor or actress. There are few leading roles out there knocking on your front door. Tyler Perry gives people the opportunity to work, and most actors want work. He talks very spiritually about his work, and that’s all that I’m focused on.