Whenever you get Devon Franklin, Tamela and David Mann together, you should expect a word. And, during their ESSENCE Festival of Culture conversation about the Manns’ role in Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Farewell Play, premiering exclusively on BET+ August 27, they delivered just that.
With a strong push from Tyler Perry, Franklin noted, Tamela, who has appeared in several of Perry’s other plays and her own TV show, The Browns (with David), is now an actress, a role she once feared.
Because she conquered that fear to be successful doing what she once could never even imagine, Franklin wanted to know how Tamela got out of her own way, as well as have her offer words of wisdom to others still wearing her old shoes.
“It’s kind of like having faith over fear; it’s like you just have to do it,” she urged. “This is what I would say to myself, ‘I want to accomplish this, so, okay, I’m gonna do it afraid.’ Just do it afraid.”
“Simple as that,” added David, her husband of over 30 years. “Sometimes you just simply have to do it afraid.”
David also shared when Perry inspired him to see beyond what was in front of him. “He challenged us to dream,” he told Franklin. “He literally said to me, ‘You have to dream bigger,’ and I was like okay, and it caused both of us to dream and think bigger.”
The couple is not only thankful for Perry’s support, but also for his being a pillar of entrepreneurship. “Even for our own company that we’ve started, it’s really been a blessing [in him] giving us instruction,” said Tamela. “And just watching him and seeing what he’s accomplished to give us that push, encouragement that we, as people of color, can own our own business. We can create things for ourselves, and that’s what we must do: Create things for ourselves and our viewers.”