Tituss Burgess' '30 Rock' Audition Almost Didn't Happen & 'Kimmy Schmidt' Would Be So Different Without Him
Try as hard as you can, but it's difficult to imagine Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt without Tituss Burgess. As sad as that possibility is, it was almost a reality, due to the fact that Burgess nearly missed his 30 Rock audition. While his role as D’Fwan was relatively small, it opened the door to Kimmy Schmidt — and an Emmy nomination.
During a visit to AOL Build, Burgess spoke of the 30 Rock audition, saying (via Vulture):
"I got up late. I lived in midtown, on 47th Street between 8th and 9th, and [30 Rockefeller Center] isn’t far from there. But I was late to my audition. I hadn’t even bothered to memorize the one line that I had. I got to 30 Rock and went through several entrances — as you know, there are several — and waltzed up to the gatekeeper, you know, the guys that guard the elevators to keep people from getting through. I was like, Which floor is casting on? And he was like, “There are several castings.” He wasn’t having me, and I wasn’t having him not having me. So I was just like, Ugh, and sauntered back the way I came."
Fortunately, fate intervened in the form of a colleague. Burgess explained that he'd decided to skip the audition, but:
"... On my way out, a colleague of mine that I did a Broadway show with walked past me and didn’t recognize me because she was in her zone, and I’m glad she was, because I didn’t feel like talking. I saw her go to the security desk and say, ‘Thank God I got my ID.’ So I sort of trailed her. And to this day, she’s the reason that I got to the audition, and subsequently got 30 Rock, and subsequently got Kimmy Schmidt and an Emmy nomination. So I should probably tell her.”
We all owe a "thank you" to this colleague! And, in honor of Burgess' amazing role on Kimmy Schmidt and his well-deserved Emmy nominations, here's seven ways the show wouldn't be the same without him.
1. Kimmy's Roommate Might Actually Be Unlikeable
Remember that Titus didn't initially like Kimmy? Anyone else would have been a foe, but Burgess made the character charming.
2. Would "Peeno Noir" Even Exist?
If it did, chances are that it wouldn't have become the epic sensation it did.
3. He Wouldn't Inspire All Of Us With His Wisdom
Like trying to do as little as possible.
4. Of, For That Matter, Give Us Snacking Goals
Remember when he fell asleep with a Hot Pocket?
5. We Never Would Have Heard Him Perform Boyz II Men
And it was so moving.
6. Burgess Might Never Have Gone "Viral"
That was one seriously epic news interview.
7. We Could Have Missed Out On Some Serious Friendship Goals
Like when he had Kimmy's back during the trial. (Even if he just wanted to see the trial without ads.)
Burgess' audition is proof that we never truly know what great things lie ahead. And, in this case, one near-missed tryout led to an inimitable character.
Images: Netflix (screenshot); Giphy (5)