They say closed mouths don’t get fed, and it appears actress Racquel Bailey has gone the extra mile to make sure she eats, or in this case books a job with Atlanta’s favorite director/producer, Tyler Perry.
According to the AJC, last month, the New Jersey-based actress decided to shoot her shot at being featured in a Tyler Perry production by renting out two billboards near Tyler Perry Studios in southwest Atlanta.
The bold publicity stunt cost her $2,000, and the signs, which featured a huge photo of her face with the message, “Attention Mr. Perry: Racquel Bailey is your next leading lady.”
The first billboard went up on May 6th and the second one went up the day after. By May 8th, Bailey says a casting agent from Tyler Perry studios called her, stating they were impressed with her initiative.
Shortly thereafter, Bailey flew down to Atlanta to audition for a pilot of a new show Perry is working on. While the stay-at-home mom has yet to hear back about her chances of being the next, big star, she remains hopeful that her risk paid off.
“I’m patiently waiting,” she said.
What makes this story even more astounding is that this isn’t the first time the 32 year old has tried this. Seven years ago she rented a billboard for $1,400 near Perry’s original studio asking for the same opportunity.
She credits the HBO biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge starring Halle Barry for giving her the idea. In the film, Bailey recalled how Dandridge was advised that the only way to get an agent’s attention was to get her face on billboards. As a budget friendly alternative, the Black film legend chose to scatter her headshot photos all across the man’s driveway.
Of her initial 2012 efforts Bailey says, “I didn’t get the results I wanted the first time so as they say, if you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
In the time since the first billboard she has taken acting classes, been in plays, and in 2016 even landed a recurring role on HBO’s critically acclaimed series The Night of.
“He’s one of the best,” she explains about her specific desire to work with Tyler Perry. “His caliber of work is something that I can definitely see myself in.”
Here’s hoping that Perry will make her dreams come true.