Tyler Perry wants you to know that a billboard isn’t going to land you a role in his shows.
“Please DON’T DO THIS, SAVE YOUR MONEY!!” the director tweeted Wednesday, alongside an image of a billboard that reads, “Attention Mr. Perry. Racquel Bailey is your next leading lady.”
“This is not the way to get my attention if you’re looking for a role in one of my shows,” Perry wrote in his post.
Noting this is the “third time that someone has done this,” Perry said there’s a cheaper and more effective way to catch his eye: “JUST COME AND AUDITION.”
“I love that you want to work with me, and I love that you invest in yourself,” he wrote. “But when you do things like this it puts my team on high alert and makes me look at you sideways.”
The actress’s dramatic gesture was motivated by her two children, Bailey told CNN.
“I wanted to my children to see me go after my dreams at any cost,” she said. “Because one day they’ll have to chase a dream, and I’ll be able to say, ‘You can do it because Mommy did.’”
The 32-year-old actress, who’s always wanted to work for Perry, paid $2,100 to purchase space for a month on two billboards in Atlanta, she said.
“Sometimes in life, you just have to take a leap of faith, believe in yourself so much that others will think what you’re doing is crazy,” Bailey said. “To me, Tyler Perry understood that. His story is one of those who came from nothing, who he believed in himself when (no one) else did. He did something that most would have called crazy, but he dared to be different.”
Second time’s a charm
A few days after the billboards went up, Bailey said she was contacted by Perry’s team, then flew to Atlanta from New Jersey for an audition. Representatives at Tyler Perry Studios declined Thursday to comment.
It was a welcome step up from the first time Bailey pulled this particular stunt to try to convince Perry to hire her. Seven years ago, she put up a billboard but got no response, she said.
Since then, Bailey has studied her craft and built up her resume, even landing a role in an HBO miniseries that, it turns out, had already gotten Perry’s attention.
“You were great in THE NIGHT OF!” the director wrote in his Twitter post. “It was my favorite show a couple years ago. I ALREADY SAW YOU!! So just audition and keep your money!!”
Bailey told CNN she will be sending in another audition tape to his team soon.