File this one under, By. Any. Means. Necessary.
Just came across my virtual desk... Racquel Bailey, a New Jersey-based actress, bought ad space on a billboard located within 2 miles of Tyler Perry's Atlanta, GA studios, hoping to get the media mogul's attention.
The billboard ad, which she paid $1500 for, saying that it was all the money she had in her bank account, reads "Let me be your next leading lady," along with her photo and website address, as you will see in the below video.
"I hoped he would see it while he was driving to work, or on his way home from work, or that someone would see it!" Ms bailey told a ATL's NBC affiliate, adding, "My last money for the year!"
Of course I had to check out her website, and found links to samples of her work, and other biographical info as you'd expect. Here's what is listed:
She has appeared on TV shows such as “Law and Order” and commercials for Top Chef Marcus Samuelson and many off-Broadway productions. A perfectionist in her craft and meticulous in her preparation for her many diverse roles, Racquel has turned out a string of highly acclaimed performances in the past years. Starting in plays such as Ma Rainy's Black Bottom, Cleopatra and William Shakespeare As you like it.
I also found her reel, which is embedded below, so you can see a sample of her work.
11Alive News, the ATL NBC affiliate station, reached out to Tyler Perry for comment, but there was "no comment." So whether or not this seemingly risky move (based on the fact that she says she dropped her last dime on this billboard ad) pays off, is another story.
I gotta give her props though for doing it. I don't know if most will; and regardless of what you may think of her abilites or the chance she's taken, I think we'll all agree that this is a cutthroat business, and even more-so for black actors where available work is severely limited, especially at the studio level. So you gotta do what you gotta do to stand out, right?
We're talking about her now after all; and I bet you after I publish this post, other sites will pick up the story, as is often the case :)
"All I want is a chance," Ms Bailey says. "I'm just waiting for that call."
Familiar words for a lot of you I'm sure.
Here's a question for you actors/actresses out there - would YOU do this?
First watch the NBC ATL report below, and then underneath, watch Ms Bailey's reel:
And here's her reel: