|The invitation - the contact info and other information blocked for discretion purposes.|
As you can imagine this fine Monday morning, I am completely recovering from my whirlwind jet-setting weekend. Not complaining, because its simply a life I could totally get used to if I had to. I got the chance to live in a whole new world for just moments thanks to a man who is rooted in the church - Tyler Perry.
As you know since we got the invitation, I worried and worried over what I would wear and what my make up would look like and every little thing - even packed two different kinds of eyelashes. LOL.
I tried on every outfit and all shoes to make sure they didn't hurt. (lets just say I failed because by the end of the night I was standing with one shoe on - LOL)
Did I mention, everyone wore Black - even some were overdressed for cocktail attire: but here I was LADY IN RED!
I would be lying if I didn't admit that I was sending panicked texts to my sister as soon as I came downstairs to the reception and realized that I was the only one who had picked a bold color choice.
Her response to me : "Own it!" and "Have fun!"
FINE! and so I did.
I can honestly say that I was probably just fearful of the unknown - I know now the next screening I attend, I will be less panicked about every little detail because it really does not make one bit of difference.
Ironically enough, we knew and recognized a lot of people who were there at the screening.
Among some of the Pastors and Bishops and their spouses or their plus one who were there were: Bishop Paul Morton, Bishop IV Hilliard, Bishop William Murphy Jr., Bishop Oscar Brown Pastor R.A. Vernon, Pastor Marvin Winans, Bishop Hezekiah Walker and Pastor Wes Morgan, who played in one of Tyler's plays and looks just like his dad who was also there. Two of my favorite Gospel Radio personalities were also there whom I have come to know over the years: Cheryl Jackson and Melanie Pratt. It was just as they said it would be in the invitation to the pre-reception: a time to make new friends and catch up with old ones. Being the daughter of a Bishop, most of the persons mentioned I have met or know very well - so its like a family reunion- seeing a bunch of your aunties and uncles that have been watching over you all your life.
It wasn't until when we arrived at the movie theater- that I realized this may be a big deal.
We were shuttled in limo style party buses to the movie theater and once there, there were crowds of people with Temptation posters behind the bike racks with a Red Carpet to the right of us and loads of press lined up. Someone on the shuttle says "Ok, everyone don't trip!" That was the split second where we were like "are they dropping us off on the Red Carpet?!" LOL yeah reality sank in when they definitely drove past the Red Carpet and dropped us off at the the theaters back door. And still, my husband misses the last step off the shuttle and trips! Good thing he was holding on the rail. LOL.
Either who, we got our tickets at Will Call and got wristbands from Tyler's security firm and then went upstairs to the movie theater and waited while the cast and celebs did the Red Carpet.
We literally sat in the theater and cracked jokes with our friend John Gray Jr. and his wife, who is literally one of the funniest gospel comedians and youth pastors I know! while we waited. It got super churchy in there in the beginning because it was literally just the church people in the theater. We knew that it was winding down when all the reality TV cameras came in.
Here are some better pictures of what was going on outside via yulradio on Instagram:
|Robbie Jones, the lead antagonist in the movie|
|Jurnee Smolett-Bell and her husband, Josiah Bell|
|Lance Gross, plays the husband in the film|
|Kandi and Todd from Real Housewives of Atlanta|
|Usher Raymond skipped the whole Red Carpet but came to enjoy the film|
|Cynthia Bailey of Real Housewives of Atlanta|
|Alicia Quarles of E! News, posted this pic on her Instagram page|
Tyler did his thing on the Red Carpet and then came right on in and greeted all of us.
Tyler Perry felt it was very important to invite leaders of the church: mega church pastors and gospel recording artists among his other guests to his screening of Temptation because as he said in his remarks before the film : the lead character played by Jurnee Smolett-Bell is a daughter of a Pastor and the message in the movie itself is one he wants to be discussed in the church and of course one where he feels as though people could learn from in his movie and how it plays out.
We were just thankful to be considered among those who were invited and could represent the church where my husband serves.
So we sat there and enjoyed the film. It was funny because all the reps from Lionsgate were there, the cast and all were there and they literally cheered when their names came up on screen. Heck! I would too - that alone making a movie and watching it for the first time with an audience is exciting in itself.
Tyler said "We are all going back to my house after this, so please let me know the truth"
Truth is: It really was a good movie. I would recommend you to see it. Its a great message to talk about as a married couple. It is also great just to see because among the serious message there are so many moments that are balanced by the comic relief.
So. Movie Ended.
We leave to head to Tyler Perry's home.
I see my classmate Lance Gross at the bottom of the escalator. At first I wasn't going to speak to him until later because I definitely didn't want him to be confused as far as me being just another fan, especially after as soon as we all came down the escalators and these girls literally peeled open the doors screaming his name! Like umm no thank you.
But, opportunity presented itself.
So we had a quick chat while my husband snaps a few pics, just because.
Honestly, I just wanted to tell him congrats on another film and how proud I am to see how far he has gotten in film since the days of us just chillin' on the Yard at Howard University.
Its always good to be a proud Alum seeing your classmates do big things.
So -- we head to Tyler Perry's house.
We were reminded time and time again that we are to not take pictures while we are there.
Apparently, someone missed the memo and the large poster at the foot of the stairs as you entered - but hey now I can show you where we were.
Thanks to Alicia Quarles of E! News : here is half of the back of Tyler Perry's home down by the pool.
As we entered, Tyler Perry was standing at the top of the stairs greeting each person that came to his house and asking what each of our names were.
After I introduced myself and my husband, he was so welcoming and said "welcome to my home, feel free to walk around, the house is open and you can stay as long as you like,.... just don't stay too long." We had a great laugh and told him what we thought of the movie and simply just thanked him for the invitation.
First stop was the restroom: and I kid you not - I was this close to taking a picture of his powder room and then thought twice about it because his secret service like private security wasn't about to get me for taking a picture of his gold toilets.
I am a fan of attention to detail - his decorator did an AWESOME job at making his huge manor feel really cozy and home like with the colors that are in the home. Maybe I was just happy because the main color of his home is the same color that is in my bedroom. Fresh flowers in every room of the house - and even his napkins to wipe your hands in the bathroom, every other one was a T or a P. Who took the time to do that?!
There were buffets in each main space: Sushi and Wasabi Peas, Chilled Shrimp, Veggies and Cheese and crackers with fruit on one side of the buffet. Fried Chicken - sliced, Mac and Cheese, Greens, Red Cabbage Coleslaw and some other fun sides. Passed hors d'oeuvres were Beef wellington sachets and mini crab cakes with mango salsa. Plus a dessert bar! YUM: Chocolate dipped strawberries, cheesecake pops dipped in chocolate... basically a "tempting" Temptation themed spread.
This was about as close to an interior pic as I could find from the event:
Here's the best I could do without fear. LOL.
The proof that I was in the room - soaking it all in.
Dear Lord, let it not be my last time in the room.
These were my shoes for the evening. I did fairly well, but they are not made to be on hard floors for a long period of time. Good thing there were plenty of sitting areas in Tyler's home. I never was without a good seat when I needed one.
So the scoops of the evening:
We made our plate - I suggested to my husband that we go downstairs because I heard that there was plenty of seating down there. So we head down the circular stairs - I take my time as to not fall and reluctantly Amos heads down before me. So he gets to the foot of the stairs and literally pauses.
I thought it was going to be one of those "WHY in the world did you tell me to come down here moments." So I get to the bottom of the stairs and I look at him and say "Whats wrong?"
He says "Kanye is behind you."
Man, if only they made cameras that could be worn like a contact lens.
We stood there trying to get by but the time I made it to the bottom of the stairs Kim and Kayne were standing there talking to Tyler Perry - I just stood there soaking in the conversation.
Kanye apparently had flown in from Paris just to surprise Kim and be there to support her on her big screen debut. She is literally standing there gushing on how great of a guy he is to Tyler.
Now I have met Kanye before - on my 25th birthday he happened to be at a party where I went to celebrate and was always down to earth in person. He is so different in that setting that it totally convinces me that all that stage swag is literally for show. He totally LOVES Kim. Like despite not knowing who is around, I truly believe you can learn a lot from a couple when they don't know they are being watched but also are close enough where you can hear what they are saying to each other.
When I first saw Kim at the theater, she honestly didn't even look at herself. She looked like her sister to me and she looked like she was super pregnant.
Standing there though next to her at Tyler's house, she is small. So is Kanye - but I realized up close in addition to literally hating everything she has been wearing as maternity wear. And seriously tired of her wearing only Black or White, I think it may be her self consciousness of her belly thats causing her to cover up more then she needs to - thus making her seem bigger in the belly then she really is. I mean, she is showing but she is not like 9 months showing - its definitely mostly fabric.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta are the same on camera as they are in person. I don't know if its a good or bad thing but honestly there was no dramatic presentations. Cynthia is the same in person - I am totally hating what she had on. Enough with the ponytails. But seriously, at first I thought they were going to be grand all night long. We first got there and they were hid away into one of the first floor studies in the home. I think now it was just that they were doing some press spots.
Later that night, I spotted Kandi and Todd just walking around hand in hand most of the night really just enjoying their "date". They would be another couple that I think is the real deal in person. No other RHOA husbands were there.
Other people I remember being there: Jasmine Guy randomly came into his first floor office while I was resting my feet and says to me "Now THIS is a room you come to when you want to feel smart." I mean it was an impressive room. It was a two floor office where there was a huge desk and two large chairs in front of it. The space was decked out in Red in Black. Rare books lined the walls and then a spiral stair case in the far corner of the room that led up to a second floor library. Of all the books, leave it to me to be impressed with the old Parallel Bible that was placed at the foot of the spiral staircase and the artwork on the walls were so phenomenal.
Meagan Good and her husband, Devon Franklin was there, Actress Tika Sumpter, Rocsi Diaz was definitely working all night with cameraman in tow from Entertainment Tonight, some other media persons and up and coming actresses. Georgia congressman John Lewis was there - but all in all it was a pretty laid back environment. My favorite space was the basement. It literally felt like a cove.
The night was winding down and it was just about the time to go. In the end we were seated in the living room in the main foyer area with the Real Housewives cast. My husband was too through with me at this point being around them - heck he didn't know I am about to be the next cast member (kidding truly) but they were every where. So we are sitting there on one couch, some other people are on the other couch and then they were gathered on the chairs to our left. We were just about to leave when in walks T.I. and his wife Tamika.
Now, if you know me in real life - you already know that I fainted in real life when they walked in because I have said for YEARS that T. I. is my boyfriend! Something about his swag just move me..
Either who, he walks in - boyfriend shakes husbands hand and Amos gets up so that Tamika can sit down. She speaks to us and is so sweet. So, Kandi gets up to greet her friend and I swear T.I. and Kandi start speaking a foreign language because they got to talking that Atlanta slang and I was straight lost! I was cracking up because as we are sitting there (me, Kandi and Tamika) all you could hear was T.I. yelling from the buffet behind us, TAMIKA! TAMIKA! she must be used to it because she didnt hear him a bit. She was saying she was hungry and he was trying to get her to get up to get something to eat. It was too funny. So she sits there catching up with Kandi talking about music and T.I. comes back in and says TAMIKA I have a gift for you and its being hand delivered. So someone comes with food and drink for her.
At that point we left. I was tired- I had a great time. I had my food, my desert -- got to meet some people I have always wanted to meet and got to catch up with some people I have known over the years.
We left to go back to the hotel - and we had to get up at 5am to catch our flight back home.
Since this recap is super long - I will end it here.
Hope you had a wonderful weekend.