Todrick Hall Presents: “Straight Outta Oz”
until a year before “American Idol.” Many of his videos are original songs, choreographed parodies — “Beauty and the Beat,” for example, is a hip-hop take on the Dis- ney classic — and collaborations with other artists and fellow YouTube sensations. Hall’s YouTube stardom evolved to include stints working with “American Idol” winner Fanta- sia Barrino and a cappella group Pentatonix.
“I got to choreograph for Beyoncé and that was a really cool experience. I think the thing I’m most grateful for is that I made a really great friend in Taylor Swift. I get to go spend Thanksgiving with her and go hang out with her,” Hall said. “It’s really cool to be able to have a friend that’s experienced so much. I look up to her as a role model for how she runs her business and how she treats her fans. There’s no one who treats her fans as good as she does. … She makes me want to be a better person.”
A new perspective
Most recently, Hall was a judge on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and performed in the Broadway musical “Kinky Boots.”
“I learned so much from being on the show and I grew so much. I had been headlining my own shows, but when you’re headlining an [award-winning musical] you have to step it up,” Hall said. “Having to do eight shows a week as a lead … you never leave the stage. It’s a different type of commitment.”
To prepare for his role each day, Hall not only had to rehearse, but had to watch his diet and how much he talked to ensure he was on point for the show.
“Everything about it was so difficult. It was the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done as well. I hope to be able to apply all my new tricks that I’ve learned,” he said.
Playing a character who spends most of the show in shoes worthy of the Spice Girls gave Hall a new perspective on performing.
“I have such a huge appreciation for women, for everything that they do every day because it is so difficult to walk in heels. Why does anyone have to go through this torture?” he said. “I think every guy should have to walk in heels for a few months.”
For fans who hope to soar to their own YouTube stardom — and beyond, as he has — Hall said the most important thing is to not stop.
“So many people want to give up after five videos. It is so worth it in the end,” he said. “Be true to yourself. There are so many people out there being carbon copies. You already are unique.”
Vocalist and performer Todrick Hall rose to fame thanks in large part to his YouTube channel. Now, he’s taking his latest work — a visual album inspired by ‘Wizard of Oz’ — on a live tour, with an upcoming stop in Atlanta. (Publicity photos)