PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – He grew up here, went to high school and then college here, but Billy Porter said he was never ready for what happened in his hometown today.

“I was 16 and I lied to my mother so that I could get on a train and go to an audition for Dream Girls,” Porter said.

While he didn’t get that part, he knew drama was going to be his life.

The young man from Pittsburgh was on his way.

“Music was my thing. I started singing in church, so I was introduced to the arts through my singing, and then I had wonderful teachers and mentors, angels I called them who sort of helped me nurture that,” Porter said.

This spring, after 25 years of working and learning, the CAPA graduate won the Tony Award as best actor for his role in “Kinky Boots” — a show he performs eight times a week for an audience of upwards of 1,400 each and every time.

“I have trained for that so I don’t experience it as a drain. I don’t experience it as that. When you live inside of your bliss and you do exactly what you love to do, it isn’t work,” Porter said.

Now, to honor his accomplishments, Pittsburgh City Council declared Oct. 1 as Billy Porter Day and a few short hours after being in council chambers, it’s back to New York because as they say, the show must go on.

“We get to reach people through the message of Kinky Boots every day and eight shows a week and that is a gift,” Porter said.


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