Michael Luwoye was not exactly gung-ho about moving to New York City at first. It wasn’t until his senior year in college that the actor decided to make the leap from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa to the Big Apple. But thank God he did.

“We landed on Monday, and yesterday at 7AM I had my first interview, so it’s already getting busy,” Luwoye told ESSENCE from a Los Angeles hotel. The talent is the only cast member of Hamilton to play the lead and another character (Aaron Burr) in the same day.

While we were in New York, we chatted with Luwoye across the country where the Tony award-winning show is currently on tour. But make no mistake, New York is now the love he never expected.

“I moved to New York on the first of Sept 2013 and started to audition for Witness Uganda, which eventually became Invisible Thread. I auditioned for that persistently for a month and eventually got cast in that.”

From Invisible Thread, Luwoye ended up at Hamilton, originally auditioning for Hercules Mulligan/James Madison. “When Lin-Manuel Miranda left, Javier Muñoz was upgraded, promoted, to the main Hamilton position, and I became his alternate in New York,” the Nigerian-American said. “And then later on in the run, I was also given the role of Burr as well.”

Now, the hip-hop music lover who cites De La Soul and Oddisee as favorite artists, is playing Alexander Hamilton on tour and loving every moment of it. 

“I didn’t really feel like I belonged in theater. I mean, I still have sort of like phantom reverberations of that feeling, not really feeling like I belong in this craft. But at the same time, it does allow me to do the thing that I love to do. So in that sense of not belonging, I feel like I found my place now more so over the past few years of my career.”

For Hamilton tour tickets, go here

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