Famously known for his performance on Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Set It Up,” Emmy-nominated actor and singer Tituss Burgess will take the virtual stage and talk about his career in entertainment, diversity in the media and LGBTQ+ identity during the first University Lecture Series (ULS) of the fall semester Tuesday night.
The event, hosted by the Campus Activities Board and moderated by senior Nicholas Stewart, will be livestreamed on Microsoft Teams from 7-8 p.m. and will not require pre-registration. The event will be limited to 10,000 students, according to Associate Director of the Center for Student Involvement Joshua Wilson. Throughout the event, students will get to submit questions in the Teams chat, which will be answered during the last 15 minutes of the lecture.
Burgess will be paid $22,500 for the one-hour lecture, according to Wilson.
Burgess was recently nominated for an Emmy under the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie category for his performance in the Netflix feature “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend,” however, he lost to Yahya Abdul-Mateen II from HBO’s “Watchmen.”
He found his passion for theater when he was 8 years old and would spend hours in front of the TV watching the famous PBS telecast of “Sunday in the Park with George,” according to a Variety article.
“I didn’t know what the hell I was watching but I knew what I was watching,” he said. “I could feel that. I want to do that.”
Before reaching fame, Burgess earned his bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Georgia and earned his membership in the Actors’ Equity Association while working at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom in the “Festival of the Lion King” show.
Burgess then made his Broadway debut as Eddie in the musical “Good Vibrations” in 2005. Later, he starred in the musicals “Jersey Boys” in 2005 as Hal Miller and “The Little Mermaid” in 2007 as Sebastian the crab.
From starring in several Broadway musicals to performing in different fundraising concerts, ranging from “Broadway for Obama” and “Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS,” performing arts is part of Burgess’ DNA.
Throughout his career, Burgess has also broken several stereotypes by playing the witch in the musical “Into the Woods” in 2015, a role traditionally played by a female actor, and Nicely-Nicely Johnson in the revival of “Guys and Dolls” in 2009.
After his successful years in show business, Burgess joined the main cast of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” a Netflix show that brought him five Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, two Critics Choice Television Awards and one Screen Actors Guild Award.
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