Grandma Madea’s Hoppin’ Good Advice on Love, Relationships and Your Life

Grandma Madea’s Hoppin’ Good Advice on Love, Relationships and Your Life

Emmitt Perry, Jr. was born in New Orleans in 1969. He later adopted the name Tyler Perry to separate himself from his father, who he claimed had abused him while growing up in New Orleans. Tyler dropped out of school when he was sixteen-years-old and moved to Atlanta in 1992. Perry produced his first play, the compassion-themed musical I Know I’ve Been Changed in 1998, using the $12,000 that he had saved selling used cars, doing construction work and working at other odd jobs. Sadly, only thirty people showed up for the play’s opening night in a 1,200-seat Atlanta theater, and Tyler ended up homeless within a week.

Subsequent to launching a more rigorous grassroots publicity campaign, his play was staged again later that year at Atlanta’s House of Blues, where it was a big hit. Tyler and the show went on the road from there, with another nine of his plays following before the touring shows ended in 2006. Tyler Perry is the star of what is still known as the “chitlin’ circuit.” He’s a moody, funny and astoundingly prolific writer/producer/director/actor. As an actor, Tyler is best known for his fabulous fashion looks when he dresses up in the rocking floral print frocks (with an Adam’s apple) as the no-nonsense Grandma Mabel “Madea” Simmons.

Tyler Perry is also known as The Emperor of All Black Media, who’s very handsomely paid to wear that dress. When his film Madea’s Family Reunion opened in 2006, it was ranked as number one at box offices nationwide. Perry is a man whose mythology is both intentionally cultivated and yet oddly disconnected from his fame. Many have wondered: Is he gay? He’s not really saying, and it actually doesn’t matter. He’s earned a combined total of $250 million in less than four years. In 2007, Tyler was named one of Entertainment Weekly’s smartest people in Hollywood, as well as one of Time Magazine’s most influential people in the world. But yes indeed, our dear rich Tyler stills wears a frock. Alas, nobody’s perfect!

The video presented below for your viewing pleasure is a selection from Tyler Perry’s very funny, albeit bittersweet play, Madea Goes to Jail. Grandma Mabel “Madea” again stars Tyler, with Madea once more wearing a humble beflowered gown as she holds court with members of her family. In this particular episode, Grandma Madea gives her hoppin’ good advice on love, relationships and keepin’ on going in your life.

Madea’s Hoppin’ Good Advice on Love, Relationships and Your Life

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Yes We Can: American Stories of Hope

Yes We Can: American Stories of Hope

Qasim Basir is a young filmmaker living in New York City who has been inspired by Barack Obama. In an article on The Huffington Post, Qasim wrote that, “He has inspired me, a usually self-motivated individual, to try to be a better person overall. I sometimes find myself in situations where I have a choice to do my best or just get by. And something in me refers back to something Obama may have said about making this country better. Then I realize that if I can do better in all of my endeavors and we all do the same as a collective nation, this place can actually get better.”

As a filmmaker, Qasim wanted to do something in support of the man that he so admired. By chance, one of his filmmaker friends in Los Angeles, Mike Lynch, was thinking along the same lines. Late one night, Qasim received a call from Lynch in his small Manhattan studio. Lynch said, “Qasim, we need to do something to support Obama.” That call sparked a flame in Qasim that inspired him to stay up all night and draft some ideas for a short film series. He wanted the series of short films to capture the quality that he most admired about Barack Obama.

It was by no means easy for Qasim to achieve his vision. It took everything that he and Lynch had to pull together enough resources to be able to finish the series of films. Along the way, they received free assistance from some usually highly paid professionals and raised most of the financial support for the film series through friends’ donations. Qasim feels that, “That’s why what we did here is so significant. We took a page out of Obama’s book and were successful at it. Almost like a prototype, test, or a living example of how his plan for this country can really work. A grass roots effort, people pulling together with a common purpose, even without all the necessary means, can make something positive and significant happen. I like to say that we accomplished this with nothing but Hope.”

Entitled The Inspiration of Barack: “Yes We Can” Film Series, Qasim refers to them as “Seven American Stories of Hope.” Each of the short films is about different people who, in the face of suffering and hardships in their lives, were inspired by Obama to confront their hardships and take an essential step forward. Each of the titles begins with Yes We Can, which is followed by College, Economy, Family, Housing, Immigration, Vote and War.

A screening of The Inspiration of Barack: “Yes We Can” Film Series, along with a “behind the scenes” video, is scheduled to place at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 12th at Tribeca Cinemas (54 Varick St., New York City).

Yes We Can: College

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