Billy Porter may have just won Broadway’s biggest honor, but not much has changed since his Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. He’s still singing his heart out eight times a week – in 6-inch heels – as Kinky Boots’ loveable drag queen, Lola.
How does he manage his size12 women’s pumps? He says it’s all about energy. “The energy has to be down in the ground so you’re grounded at the same time your body pulls up,” he says. “There’s a regalness to it and it’s empowering. You can’t walk in heels hunched over!”
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Although Lola may be Billy’s perfect role, it took him a while to get there.
“I came to NYC and I had a very specific thing that I could do,” he says about his Gospel-singing background. “That just wasn’t happening, and if I wanted it to happen, I had to take the reins.”
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Billy took a long break from performing, and took to writing and directing to develop the stories and characters that he wasn’t seeing.
“It became less about ‘I need to be a star’ and more about ‘How can I use the gifts I have to be of service to something other than my own ego?’”
To hear more about the message behind Kinky Boots and watch Billy play “Name That Tony!” Check out this episode of Daily Shot.