Kevin Ray Johnson
I would like you to meet the wonderful and oh so talented Hillary Porter. Hillary was recently seen as Diana in A Chorus Line at The Cape Playhouse which concluded its run on August 3rd. Other credits for Ms. Porter include: making her Broadway debut in A Bronx Tale, The Reunion Concert of Thoroughly Modern Millie at The Minskoff Theatre, and the National Tours of Elf the Musical, and Cats. She has also performed for well-respected regional companies such as The MUNY, North Shore Music Theatre, Tuacahn Ampitheatre, The Asolo Repertory Theatre and The Pioneer Theatre, just to name a few. I have known Hillary for several years now and I will attest that she is one of the most selfless and kind artists I have ever come across and a TRUE triple threat. I am so happy to have had the chance to interview her!
How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a performer?
I was a sophomore in college (pursuing a degree in communication studies) when I decided acting and performing was something I absolutely had to do as a career. I always loved theatre growing up, but it was never something I planned to pursue. So I made the switch, graduated early, and never looked back!
Where did you study? Are there any mentors that truly helped make you the performer you are today?
College-wise, I received a B.A. in communication studies from Clemson University. I had switched my minor to theatre my sophomore year once I realized they had a theatre program. But I sought a lot of education outside of school as well, taking voice lessons, dance classes, and finding organizations that offered workshops and master classes. Broadway Artists Alliance introduced me to what this industry actually was when I was first becoming an actor as a young adult, so I am forever grateful to them! But honestly, there are too many people to name just one. Everyone I have encountered has made me into the performer I am today. I am constantly learning and growing from everyone: teachers, co-workers, friends, family, other performers I look up to, the list of people I could thank never ends.
Congratulations on A Chorus Line at Cape Playhouse! How was your time in the show and did you have any favorite moments?
This show and the process in creating this show was some of the most creatively fulfilling moments I’ve ever experienced. Our incredible cast and creative team dove straight into the heart of this story, brought that to the surface, and everything else fell into place around it. It was such a delight to stand on the line and watch everyone tell their story every night because it was told from a place of truth, and it was so beautiful. Diana Morales has been a dream role for a long time, and singing “What I Did For Love” is my favorite moment every night. We staged it differently than the original for this song, and it was so touching to be able to look into the eyes of every single person on stage before we all stand up to finish singing this anthem together.
Are there any shows (prior to A Chorus Line) that you have done in your career that will always be near and dear to your heart?
Oh, absolutely. Too many and all for different reasons! But I’ll just name three for now. Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to play one of my ultimate dream roles as Girl in Once, so I’ll always hold that one very close. A Bronx Tale gave me my Broadway debut, and the entire company of that show made it such a special one for me. And lastly, Cats is what got me started in this business, and was meaningful to me growing up, so I’ll always hold a special spot in my heart for that one as well.
What advice would you give young performers who want a career in this business?
Keep learning, keep pushing yourself and keep growing. The work is never done, and if you continue absorbing and enjoying the process, you’ll find and reach new levels of yourself every single time. And in that process, truly just be yourself. Doing that will always get you the furthest you can go as a performer.
To learn more about Hillary make sure you visit her official website at www.hillaryporter.com