"Let Me Be Your Next Leading Lady" - Actress Spends $1500 For Billboard Ad to Get Tyler Perry's Attention

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by Tambay A. Obenson
April 18, 2012 11:21 AM
34 Comments
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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:

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34 Comments

  • Foxxy | April 23, 2012 1:58 PMReply

    Wishing you all the best,good luck sis!

  • ExodusAnimator | April 20, 2012 4:02 PMReply

    I admire her tenacity, especially the way the entertainment industry is. With that said, here's my shameless plug: "I am accomplished and experienced 3D Character Animator and creator of 3 short films, with a fourth underway. I also have nine years of experience, teaching all aspects of 3D Animation at a collegiate level. If you are looking for an Animator or looking to gain some knowledge about the 3D Animation industry, please feel free to view my reel and contact me" http://bowmanartifacts.blogspot.com/2012/01/2012-3d-animation-reel-of-james-n.html?spref=fb Thank You

  • Zeus | April 19, 2012 9:17 PMReply

    If Tyler does get back to her, and casts her in something, expect a BOOM in billboard purchases in Atlanta.

  • Orville | April 19, 2012 7:14 PMReply

    Last year Melissa Leo paid for an ad in a magazine to get the attention of Oscar voters and she got criticized for it. Leo went on to win the best supporting actress Oscar. Ms. Bailey is very bold and she is also very brave and courageous. Sometimes in life you can't just wait for something to happen you've got to take a chance. I commend this lady for taking a chance.

  • And | April 29, 2012 12:48 PM

    It's commonly believed that Melissa won the Oscar despite her tacky ads. She pretty much had it in the bag before, and she made herself look desperate to a lot of voters, turning them off. Good thing she won anyway.

  • Nyemah | April 19, 2012 6:15 PMReply

    All of that, yet no braces and teeth cleaning ? No not a leading lady, a character actress yes. I wish her luck! Get them braces girl.

  • Al | April 21, 2012 12:38 PM

    Teeth cleaning....really?? How can you tell?

  • Tracy | April 19, 2012 11:01 PM

    Dont hate on the girl bc she did something must of us don't have the balls to do. Get her teeth fix, are u serious? Soon she will be making millions to that, point is she will be making millions.

  • WOW | April 19, 2012 6:40 PM

    @ Critical Acclaim, you may view NYEMAH's remarks as mean spirited, however, I believe she only said what others were thinking. Show-Business is a very rough business and only the strong survive. Tuff love is the name of the game. The first thing I notice about a women is her mouth (does it look fresh and clean), her fingers (does she keep them clean and fresh looking), her hair ( same things apply) and her feet (dirty shoes and un-kept toes and you're outta here). but again, the mouth is the gatekeeper.

  • CRITICAL ACCLAIM | April 19, 2012 6:19 PM

    That's just rude and mean spirited. Don't be mad cause she is getting attention and you're reduced to sniping on her physical appearance on a message board. Pathetic.

  • valerie | April 19, 2012 4:35 PMReply

    I liked what I saw of her acting. I think she shows versatility. Shakespeare, comedy, drama. She can do it all. Hope she gets the break she deserves. You go Racquel!!!

  • Tamara | April 19, 2012 9:51 AMReply

    I would do it...if I were an actor wanting to work with my favorite directors. But I'm a writer, so I don't think the billboard approach would work for me. Maybe a singing telegram might? Hmm. *rim-shot*

  • Major Pain | April 19, 2012 8:41 AMReply

    She has the talent for a Tyler Perry...or Nollywood Production, please take (and leave) this comment at face value. We, as a people, can only advance our culture once we start being honest. The masses having low taste levels isn't an excuse. Chutzpah doesn't equal talent.

  • ScriptTease | April 19, 2012 2:29 AMReply

    She's beautiful, and chocolate.... perfect leading lady for my screenplay I'm working on, and just entered into the Scriptapalooza.com Screenplay competition less than 15 minutes ago.... Wish me luck. A dramatic black love story.

  • ScriptTease | April 19, 2012 2:24 AMReply

    That's a damn good idea. I'm searching like crazy to find my first and only love. Having no luck whatsoever... I miss you Christopher.

  • moji | April 19, 2012 12:26 AMReply

    Great story! and this young lady has just manged to advertise herself to the whole world! Good on yah!!!! I applaude you for your effort and even if Mr Perry misses you for whatever reason, there will be a happy ending to this story!! You go girlllllllllllllll!!! :-)

  • @smallbizatlanta | April 19, 2012 12:00 AMReply

    This is brilliant! Go after what you want, that's the only way to do it...

  • Clayton | April 18, 2012 11:11 PMReply

    I'm a filmmaker and I believe she at least deserves serious consideration, a meeting, audition, something. I have to respect her willingness to take a risk. She seems sincere and deserves a shot.

  • Adam Masnyk | April 18, 2012 10:55 PMReply

    Pshhh, I hope that it works and that she gets it. She also seems to have a good craft and she took a risk and it was a bold move. Best of luck to you.

  • Tian Richards | April 18, 2012 10:48 PMReply

    HELL YES I WOULD!

  • S.C | April 18, 2012 5:58 PMReply

    I am very, very proud of Ms. Bailey for her boldness and courage. I agree with all of the comments below, both of praise and criticism. One thought though: It probably isn't best to film yourself doing scenes from projects previously cast/directed by the person you are targeting. Janet Jackson performed that 1st scene in Tyler Perry's version of "For Colored Girls", so unless you knock that clear out of the park "Viola Davis style", you may pale in comparison in the eyes of those who watch it(specifically the man who coached her to that performance). Just a thought! Best of blessings to you!

  • james evans from the cabrini-green projects | April 18, 2012 5:10 PMReply

    Well, it worked for Angelyne, didn't it?

  • Turner | April 18, 2012 4:48 PMReply

    Salute! What a gangsta move! It will happen for you.

  • M.D. | April 18, 2012 4:38 PMReply

    I think it's definitely a risky move and I give her props for doing it. Don't "wait" for any calls. Make it happen on your own. Build your network. As one said "Don't scale the gates of Hollywood, JUMP over them". I think it's important to diversify your craft ,just like Tyler. By that I mean, don't just act...write...produce..do it all. Think of something that is going to create universal appeal and work hard at it.

  • PRISS | April 18, 2012 3:06 PMReply

    Good for her. Some tips I will offer since I'm about 101% sure she's reading this. Move the first clip off or back. It's not your strongest. Start with the couch/gay clip. Then the coming in the door clip. Then the cupcake. And maybe take a small portion of what is now the first. Its the weakest. Keep striving and thank your lucky stars Shadow and Act picked up this story. They just broke you out of Atlanta and exposed your drive and potential to just about every Black Director and Producer working in film (we all read it even the ones who claim they don't).

  • Renee Carpenter | April 18, 2012 10:38 PM

    Idon't know if she has read your comment but her aunt(me) has and thank you for the suggestion and I will have her read it. God bless you!!!

  • Sheba | April 18, 2012 3:19 PM

    I wish I could "Like" this comment. She took the words out of my mouth about S&A picking up the story. Watch your name and face just got a lift. Twinkie Byrd reads the site right?

    Good luck girl. I admire your hustle. Keep working on your craft; you can only get better from here.

  • Nadine | April 18, 2012 3:04 PMReply

    Fight the power! Woo hoo! That's what I'm talking about!

  • ChgoSista | April 18, 2012 2:23 PMReply

    Not mad at her AT ALL--wish I had the chutzpah--or the $1500, for that matter--to do this. Best of luck to you, Ms. Bailey.

  • Donella | April 18, 2012 2:14 PMReply

    Nothing ventured. Nothing gained. She ventured. She gained. Best of luck to Raquel Bailey.

  • Gnomi Gre' | April 18, 2012 12:56 PMReply

    It worked, Congrats Ms. Bailey!

    -Gnomi Gre'
    #Get2Gnomi
    www.Facebook.com/msgnomiagre
    www.reverbnation.com/msgnomi

  • Ashton Morris | April 18, 2012 12:13 PMReply

    She has talent but that isn't enough. Instead of spending that $1500 dollars she could have invested and financed in a project that could have gotten just enough exposure or more.

  • Darkan | April 18, 2012 12:05 PMReply

    My eyes are still wide open staring at the screen. Bold move Racquel... Really bold. Stay in the lab and keep working on your craft as an actor. God bless you in your endeavors.

  • Cassie McFarlane | April 18, 2012 11:40 AMReply

    I'd like to think that fortune favours the brave... or at least the bold! She certainly has potential, so c'mon, give her a break!!!

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