New Memoir Tells Behind-the-Scenes Story of the Rise of Tyler Perry

Touch 1 Media LLC releases a much-anticipated new memoir by Melvin Childs, former executive producer for Tyler Perry, which details the incredible true story of the struggles, determination, friendship, and innovation that rocketed Tyler Perry to Hollywood domination and forever altered the course of Childs’s life. Available in bookstores and via online retailers February 27, 2012, Never Would Have Made It: The Rise of Tyler Perry, The Most Powerful Entertainer in Black America (And What It Really Took to Get Him There) is a must-read not only for Perry fans but also for hopefuls seeking to break into the entertainment industry.

From early struggles and missteps to helping launch Tyler Perry, Childs offers a fresh and honest description of the journey he and Perry embarked upon as young men. Childs met Perry when the man the world would come to know and love as Madea was still an unknown writer searching for ways to make ends meet. Childs instantly recognized the unique talent Perry possessed and foresaw the success the playwright would have. The pair, along with another friend, soon joined forces in an effort to bring Perry’s work to the stage, with Childs providing the encouragement and taking risky chances to ensure that the business partnership had the financial backing needed to advertise and stage Perry’s work.

The result: Tyler Perry’s play, I Know I’ve Been Changed, sold out at Atlanta’s House of Blues in 1998. As executive producer, Childs then went on to establish the first successful national tour of the play, which helped revolutionize modern black theater with his marketing techniques. Perhaps most importantly, Childs warns of the risk one takes when the line between friendship and business is crossed. His own experiences have taught him that when a producer is forced to make an unpopular decision for business reasons, that decision can have disastrous and long-lasting repercussions on personal relationships.

“Tyler is the single most talented person I’ve ever met,” asserts Childs. “He worked hard to get where he is today, but he didn’t do it alone.”

Never Would Have Made It is both a critical look at the challenges in the business of entertainment and a how-to guide for newcomers. The book is already garnering praise from early readers on, who have called it “a revelation” for starving artists and “an excellent read” that offers the “true story of the rags to riches” behind the early days of the Tyler Perry empire.

Pictured: Director/Writer Tyler Perry arrives at the Lionsgate premiere of ‘Madea’s Big Happy Family’ at ArcLight Cinemas Cinerama Dome on April 19, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)