Billy Porter

Billy Porter
Billy Porter
  • Born: September 21, 1969
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Pop Singer, Actor, Performer, Vocal Coach









Quote Topics Cited
All you need to do is turn on the news, and in five minutes, you're depressed with the state of the world. Choosing joy is a completely active choice. It doesn't just happen. You can't just say, 'I want to be happy.' You have to take action.
Broadway! Broad-way! I don't aspire to the middle. I aspire to the tip-tip-top of it all.
For me, I really feel like if there's not a real, true connection to the material, I don't need to sing it. I don't need to sing songs just because I like them anymore. I've done that.
For me, life is about being positive and hopeful, choosing to be joyful, choosing to be encouraging, choosing to be empowering. Life
For years I tried to put myself in a box, and it frustrated me, so I had to let go and let the universe take its course.
I always said if I played a drag queen, I'd want to create a template with the realness they talk about in 'Paris Is Burning.'
I do 'sissy with a heart of gold' really well.
I don't in any way disparage any time I've had in the trenches because it really has made me the artist I am today. Time
I grew up when one of America's greatest black playwrights, August Wilson, was writing about life in Pittsburgh, but I never saw myself in any of his straight-male plays. And then I see 'Angels,' which was so honest and painful, and it had this black drag queen in it, Belize, with a big heart. I finally had a character to relate to. Life
I had something nobody else could do - I sang in a way that separated me - and, when you're trying to get noticed, you play your trump card.
I had to come out to my mother three times over a twelve-year period, but I first came out to her when I was sixteen. It didn't go over so well, because I grew up in the Pentecostal Church. It was a very strict environment. She has since done a lot of work and has really blown my mind. She has learned about my life and has changed her mind. Life ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I just feel like we as a human race tend to fear that which we don't understand. It's cause for a lot of bad things and bad behavior to exist on the planet. Artists have a way of touching people and changing minds in a way that sometimes other mediums don't.
I love the community of theater. There is something about the camaraderie: People who show up eight times a week to do a show. It's unlike any other business. It's just lovely. You feel like you're in a family. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Business, Commerce & Finance ;Families, Children & Parenting
I took 'Grease' to play my trump card, my voice, and get attention that would lead to auditions for serious work like 'Angels in America.' But I backed myself into a corner with 'Grease,' and it took me 17 years to get out. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I want to do work that means something to me so that when I go to work at the theater eight times a week, I want to be there. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I was fine being in the closet at the beginning of my career because that's what you were supposed to be - until I realized that it didn't serve anybody, and I was left feeling utterly empty. This is who I am, so I've gotta be me.
I was so beat down as a young person - being black, being gay, being unable to assimilate because I could never, ever pull off being butch.
I wouldn't be caught dead in red.
If you gauge how you're doing on whether somebody is responding vocally or not, you're up a creek. You can't do that; you kind of have to be inside of your work and play the scene. And tell the story every day. Tell the story. Tell the story. Regardless of how people are responding, I'm going to tell the story. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I'm in love with what a high heel does to a leg: how it makes a woman or a man feel. It's empowering. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I'm not one of those actors who gets so taken by a role that I can't live my life. I'm the type of actor who goes to work, transforms into a character, takes you on a journey, and then comes back home to be Billy. When I'm in it, I'm in it, but I know how to get out of it. When you can't shut it off, you're a crazy person. I'm not crazy. Life ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I'm trying to embrace social media because it gives artists a little more power than we've had in the past. Power
I've always been passionate about fashion.
I've worked with a lot of gay and lesbian organizations. I sit on the board of the Empire State Pride Agenda. I've also done a lot of work for Broadway Care/Equity Fights AIDS. I think it's important because, when we can be of service to others, it only enhances our lives. I've been helped a lot in my life. Life ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Just because you're working does not mean you're making money. That's two very different things in show business. Business, Commerce & Finance ;Money, Coins & Minting
Just by the nature of making the choice to be true to who I am, I'm political. Sometimes that's all you need to do: Show up and be black, gay and Christian in America and actually say it out loud. And refuse to let anything or anybody take that away from you. Nature
Many movie stars or American Idol contestants sort of fall into theater... and say, 'Oh, yeah, I would love to do theater.' And then they get here and say, 'Oh, wait a minute, this actually is a craft!' It's not just show up one day and do it. It's show up eight times a week, twice on Wednesdays and twice on Saturdays. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
My truth is I am gay and out, and if I can't do that in my music, then I don't need it. Fortunately, I do feel like there is a movement against homophobia, and I hope to be part of that. Truth ;Music, Chants & Rapps ;Hope
People don't see me in traditional roles; I'm not getting cast in the revival of 'Company' as Bobby.
Seeing Jennifer Holliday from 'Dreamgirls' perform on the Tony Awards telecast and later discovering Barbra Streisand by listening to her albums at the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh really changed everything for me.
There aren't many hits like 'Kinky Boots,' so when you get one, the gratitude that comes with it fuels your energy. From the time I started in this business, everybody told me that who I was and what I represented would never work. Well, I get to stand on stage every day and prove the naysayers wrong by doing exactly what they told me not to do. Time ;Business, Commerce & Finance ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
There was a time in the '90s where, as an African-American man, you had to be a misogynistic R&B star or a rapper, and I didn't fit into either one of those. I was advised by my label to remain closeted at that time. Time
There's this misconception that I've been turning down roles. It's just not true. The reality is, there was nothing for me to do, nobody was calling, the phone wasn't ringing.
We need to understand that whatever we do, we're all human beings first.
When I had a record deal in the '90s, that was my dream - to make an album like Barbra Streisand's Broadway album - and they laughed me out of the room. Broadway wasn't cool. But artists like Michael Buble and Josh Groban have brought the classic genre back to the forefront, so I'm trying to find my way inside that market.
When I was younger, I did what I now call 'extreme singing.' I could do this thing where I would sing really high. I can't really do that anymore, at my age. My voice has shifted. It's changed.
When who you are naturally is not only considered a sin, but you're reviled for being that human being and you don't have any control over it, there are lots of issues that come into play. And it takes a lot of presence, determination, courage and space to figure out how to land in that truth regardless of what anyone around you thinks about it. Truth
When you grow up in the church, the only translation in that insular world that people understand is preaching. You're supposed to be a minister. So I was going down that path, and then I saw the Tonys.
When you're doing what you love, it's not exhausting at all, actually. It's completely empowering and exhilarating. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
You can't ever put yourself in a position where someone is requiring you to inhabit somebody else's energy. You have to own your thing, or own it with very fiber of your being.

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