#86 – Billy Porter: Leaning into Your Authenticity

In This Episode

“Well, I’m first generation post Civil Rights movement. I came out in 1985, right in the middle of the AIDS crisis. And we went straight to the front lines to fight for our lives. It was Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS and The Actor’s Fund that taught an entire generation how to activate. I was always activated, I have no other choice, I don’t know anything else.” – Billy Porter

Billy Porter. Need I say anything else? An icon, mother, a trailblazer, an Emmy, Tony, and Grammy winner… and here’s what we talk about in this incredible episode:

Incredible and inspiring stories of rejection in auditions

Facing racism in the industry

Saying ‘No’ and seeing what that did to his career

Creating Lola in Kinky Boots

Not working for 12 years and coming back

Prepping for his new tour The Black Mona Lisa Tour: Volume One

This episode is chock full of deeply personal insight, first hand stories, unabashed truth regarding the industry and Billy’s life. It doesn’t matter if you are an artist or not – this conversation is full of life lessons that will just make you an overall better human. 

Billy Porter is a Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award winner. Porter began his music career in 1997 with the release of his self-titled (aka Untitled) debut album which spawned the Top 10 “Bubbling Under” single, “Show Me,” and the monster ballad, “Love Is On The Way,” which also appeared at the pivotal moment in the film, “First Wives Club.” He went on to release “At the Corner of Broadway + Soul” (2005), “Billy’s Back on Broadway” (2014), and “The Soul of Richard Rodgers” (2017) featuring Pentatonix, India.Arie, Leslie Odom Jr. and Cynthia Erivo, among others. Porter scored his first #1 with “Love Yourself” in 2019 on the US Dance Club Songs Chart. He followed that up with his 2020 reimagining of the legendary Buffalo Springfield anthem, “For What It’s Worth,” and a fierce collab with The Shapeshifters on “Finally Ready.” 2021 saw Porter covering Juliet Roberts club classic “Caught in The Middle” for Red Hot + Free, which supports underserved communities afflicted with HIV/AIDS. He was also enlisted by multiplatinum international superstar Jessie J for “I Want Love.” And he delivered a magical turn on Earth, Wind, and Fire’s iconic “Shining Star” as Fab G, the Fairy Godmuva, in the 2021 remake of “Cinderella.” Porter is a veteran of the theater (Miss Saigon, Angels in America, Grease), and a two time Tony(r) winner, including “Best Leading Actor in a Musical” for Kinky Boots in 2013 and “Best Musical” as a producer for A Strange Loop in 2022. He has also received a GRAMMY(r) for the Kinky Boots Official Soundtrack in the category of “Best Musical Theater Album” in 2014. Porter took home the EMMY(r) Award for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series” in 2019 for his work as Pray Tell on Pose, making history as being the first openly gay man to do so. Time Magazine named him one of the “100 Most Influential People” of 2020. Billy released his highly anticipated memoir, “Unprotected,” in October 2021. His directorial film debut, “Anything’s Possible,” dropped Summer 2022 to much acclaim. Now, Billy kicks off his next chapter in music, his first love, with new single “Baby Was A Dancer” arriving March 24th. @thebillyporter

“Lin Manuel Miranda changed everything for me and I’m ten years older than him. The internet cracked open a space for the young people to understand their worth. I did not understand my worth early on – I did not understand that the stories could and should come from me. Who could tell the Black, Queer stories better than me? The audacity to understand that and know that and then step into the fullness of it. And that’s what I spent my 30’s trying to do!” – Billy Porter

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This