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Todrick Hall on Having to Work ‘Three Times’ Harder Than White Artists to Find Success

Todrick Hall is glad that he’s made it, but he has some thoughts on the effort it took for him to get to where he is now.

In a new exclusive clip from Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter’s Pride Summit & Pride Prom, the cover star of Billboard’s Pride issue talks with Pose executive producer Steven Canals about the advice he received during his first Broadway stint in 2005’s The Color Purple.

Hall says that the experienced Broadway actors he got to work with in the show gave him a wake-up call about the reality of show business for queer man of color. “They straight up told me, ‘In order for you to make it in this industry, you have to be three times as talented as your white counterparts,’” he recalls. “[They said] ‘You’re going to have to be able to tumble and do backflips, you’re gonna have to sing higher, you’re gonna have to be able to riff, you’re gonna have to out-dance them just to be able to get the one spot you want to get.’”

While the star says that they were ultimately right, he has been lucky to work with stars like his “mentor” Billy Porter, who went out of his way to give Hall some insight into his other responsibility as an artist — activism and education.

 

“He introduced me to this documentary called How to Survive a Plague, and I watched that documentary over and over again,” he says. “I had heard the stories, but it all felt like a chapter in a history book you read in school, until you get as close as you can to experiencing it. Watching it through the people who lived it and lost their lives through it, and the people who stood beside them and fought.”

Check out the new clips from Todrick Hall and Steven Canals’ conversation above, and tune in to Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter’s Pride Summit & Pride Prom on Saturday, June 13 at 12:30 p.m. ET to catch the full discussion.

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