The Power of Belief

Thursday’s NY Times an inspiring tale about a now famous playwright.

Tyler Perry didn’t become one of the world’s most successful playrights overnight. He struggled, and this is what makes his story worth telling. His shows about urban life have grossed more than $75 million in less than 10 years.

Perry succeeded because he took risks and kept believing he would make it. In his adopted hometown of Atlanta, he rented a 200-seat theater to stage his first play. But only 30 people showed up. Among the slim audience, one man turned into an investor.

Over four years, Perry struggled, living in his car, trying out odd jobs, and all the while having faith in god and in himself that he would succeed. On the very last day of his show, he saw a line of people waiting to come in. Later he moved the show to a bigger theater. In months, he was making millions, and since he has spawned an empire based on his scripts, depicting the lives of urban blacks. Another of his shows opens this week in New York’s Beacon theater. “People who understand the formalities of theater are caught off guard by my plays because they break all the rules,” he said.