Tony winner Billy Porter dropped by Late Night WIth Seth Meyers August 3 to talk about his screen directorial debut, Anything's Possible, now streaming on Prime Video. When talk turned to his long history with musical theatre, Porter shared a story about sneaking away from home as a teenager to audition for one of his favorite Broadway shows.
"One day when I was 16, a Dreamgirls audition came up, and it was on a Friday, and I had the Friday off, and I had my own money. I lied to my mother and said I was going to a friend's house, and I went downtown and bought myself a train ticket, rode the train for 13 hours, and went to the audition in Chicago."
And how did the audition go for the future Broadway star? "They told me I was fabulous and that I was too young and to keep my eye on the prize. And I went back on the train, I went right back to the train station, and came back home crying for 13 hours."
Those casting directors must have known what they were talking about; Porter went on to make his Broadway debut just six years later in the original company of Miss Saigon, later appearing in Five Guys Named Moe, Grease, Smokey Joe's Cafe, Kinky Boots, and Shuffle Along. And though Porter may not have made that production of Dreamgirls, he did star as James Thunder Early in The Actors Fund's 2001 benefit concert production of the musical, a performance he would reprise in 2004 at Porter's hometown theatre Pittsburgh CLO.
Anything's Possible, starring Broadway favorites René Elise Goldsberry, Manu Narayan, and Courtnee Carter, released on Prime Video July 22. Written by Ximena Garcia Lecuona, the romantic drama is an uplifting Gen Z story about confident Trans high schooler Kelsa and her experience navigating senior year, which becomes drama-filled after her classmate Khal admits to having a crush on her. Watch a trailer for the film here.