At age 22, hometown hero Myles Frost cemented his place in Broadway history last week by becoming the youngest individual actor to win a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
WTOP spoke to Frost last month about his journey from Maryland to Broadway.
Now, Frost calls in again to share what it was like to win the prize on Tony night.
“It feels amazing,” Frost told WTOP. “It feels magical. It really does. I’m just so blessed and honored. It’s still marinating. When you make history at such a young age it’s like, alright, what do I do with it? Especially being that this is my first Broadway show and I’m so new to this world, to be given such a big honor, I’m really trying to digest it still.”
What was it like sitting at Radio City Music Hall and hearing his name called?
“I went into it very humbly,” Frost said. “I knew there was a possibility that they could call my name, but I said at the very least I just want to enjoy this first experience with my mom, my sister and the people that came to support me,” Frost said. “When they called my name, that was just the icing on the cake and I tried my best to slow that moment down.”
Walking up to the stage, Frost snapped his hand to the side like Michael Jackson.
“I was feeling it,” Frost said. “I didn’t know what song they were going to play if they called my name, so when they called it and I heard ‘Beat It,’ I said, ‘Well, let me go ahead and do the choreography!’ I remember that it felt like the right moment.”
During his speech, he broke into song: “I just can’t, I just can’t, I just can’t control my feet!”
“When I was making my speech and just trying to explain how I was feeling, that’s the first thing that came to my mind,” Frost said. “Sometimes music explains things that words can’t in a particular moment, and that’s what it did for me.”
He began his speech by saying, “Mama, I made it,” thanking the mother who birthed him at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, raised him in Fort Washington, Maryland and filmed his talent-show performance of “Beat It” at Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland.
“It was a beautiful moment that I got to share with my mom,” Frost said. “I wanted my speech to be funny, I wanted it to be impactful, I wanted it to be heartfelt and I wanted to pay homage to the people who got me here, first and foremost being my mom.”
Believe it or not, his entire acceptance speech was improvised off the cuff.
“I didn’t have a speech prepared,” Frost said. “All of that was from the heart. I was like, ‘If I win, I’m just going to say what I feel.’ That’s what’s been getting me here, the authenticity of how I’m feeling that moment. I just felt like God was going to say whatever I needed to say and thank the people I needed to thank … and one of those things was I had to pee!”
Indeed, the long awards ceremony can test an actor’s bladder.
“I told my girlfriend sitting beside me, ‘I gotta pee,'” Frost said. “My category was coming up and I was like, ‘Should I go now? I don’t know what else to do.’ Then when they called my name, I forgot I had to pee until I was standing on stage and I was like, ‘Oh, I forgot!'”
He finally got to go backstage in between meeting famous Broadway stars.
“I’m walking backstage with Adrienne Warren and Aaron Tveit, they’re ushering me backstage and the first person who shakes my hand was Chita Rivera,” Frost said. “Funny enough, I’m actually nominated for a Chita Rivera Award, so that was a full-circle moment.
Not only is Rivera a D.C. native, having originated “West Side Story” at National Theatre, but Frost’s fellow Tony winners also have D.C. ties. Best Actress in a Musical went to Joaquina Kalukango, who once starred in “The Mountaintop” at Arena Stage, while Best Musical went to “A Strange Loop,” which played Woolly Mammoth Theatre before Broadway.
“People don’t understand there’s so much talent in the DMV,” Frost said. “I’m proud and honored to represent us and be a representation of the talent and gifts that are down here and be one of the spearheads of that and acknowledge all of the origins of where we come from. There’s lots of people in my cast who are from Virginia and Maryland. I’m proud.”
He was even congratulated by his soon-to-be alma matter Bowie State University.
“I got contacted from the president of Bowie, she’s amazing,” Frost said. “I’m just so thankful and appreciative of all the love. I’ve had so many people from Thomas Wootton High School that have come [up] from the Rockville, Gaithersburg, Bethesda, D.C. area and expressed how proud they are of me just repping the hometown. I’m blessed.”
What advice does he have for other aspiring DMV theater kids?
“My advice would be … don’t deprive your future self of an opportunity based on how you’re feeling in this current moment,” Frost said. “When I first got the role, I didn’t even have a fourth of what I have now. If I was in that mindset of, ‘It’s Michael Jackson, I don’t know if I can do it, it’s too much pressure,’ if I did that, I wouldn’t be talking to you now.”