When Tituss Burgess’s mother, Sandra Morse, tacked a second “s” onto his first name, it was simply a matter of balance: If there are two in Burgess, she figured, there should be two in Tituss, said Mr. Burgess, the Emmy-nominated actor on the Netflix comedy series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” which returns April 15 for its second season. Besides a sense of balance, Ms. Morse gave her son a passion for music, a flair for Southern cooking and a devotion to family. On Sundays, he celebrates all three. Mr. Burgess, 37, a Georgia native, lives in Harlem with his partner, Pablo Salinas, 29, and their dogs, Micah and Hanz.
GREAT INTENTIONS I wake up about 9 o’clock. By 9, I mean 9:30. My dogs are jumping on the bed. So I get up, walk the dogs. I go to Middle Collegiate Church. We’ll stop and get a coffee on the way, probably at one of the bodegas. We’ll pretend that we’re going to take the train. We aspire to save money. We have great intentions. Then we get in the cab and get stuck in traffic on the F.D.R. and get angry at ourselves for not taking the train.
HOCUS FOCUS We’ll probably get there about 10 minutes late. If there’s a lot of people in front of me, I won’t pay attention. Not because the service isn’t riveting. I just can’t turn it off sometimes — a script that I’ve got to learn or the meal that I’m going to cook. Next thing you know, the service is over and I haven’t heard a single word. There are times where I will conduct the choir. I started a chorus, which is basically me calling in a favor to all of my Broadway friends.
CURRENT AFFAIRS I’ll have lunch with my pastor, Dr. Jacqui Lewis. She is my compass. I’m always talking to her in my head. We’ll sit and talk for a couple of hours. I told her I was horrified that Donald Trump is probably going to clinch that nomination. She said: “Don’t be scared. It’s people like him that bring conversations to a fever pitch. Otherwise, they lie somewhere dormant.”
RAIN DATE Now it’s naptime. That’s like 4 o’clock. I tell you, my naps are epic. They win awards. I turn on the rain app. Pablo has his thing, this speaker thing, so it sounds like it’s raining everywhere. I’ll wake up around 6. I’m disoriented. I think it’s the next day. I’m not sure if I’m in my own apartment.
A CHEF PREPARES Then it’s time to prep dinner. One thing about my dinner parties — they’re never planned. I go to the grocery store and I buy whatever is on sale. I get a lot of it and I just send out a mass text: “I just bought food. Dinner’s at 8. Text me if you’re coming.” I go home and I season and I prep. I make amazing fried chicken. The secret is taco seasoning. I make amazing cornbread. Lots of Southern cuisine. I’ve got to keep my cholesterol down, so I’ve been making scaled-down versions. I’ve lost 12 pounds on this new diet, thank you very much. Atkins — well, it’s new to me. I’ve been working out like a fiend. I get on that treadmill and I let it have it.
WINE AND GIGGLES We’ll sit around and we’ll giggle. There’ll be wine. I have so much of it because of Pinot by Tituss. We’ll probably watch a lot of YouTube clips — whatever’s been floating around that’s gone viral. “The Good Wife” comes on. Julianna Margulies — talk about a feast! When I hosted the Artios Awards, she walks in and, don’t you know, I started crying. I just revere her. That is the show that I would’ve loved to have been on.
COVER CHARGE IS A SONG All of my friends are super-talented. The exchange often is: If you decide to come eat, you have to sing for me. It feeds me so much. I’ll probably be downstairs on the keyboard. If there’s something that I feel like I need to share, then I’ll sing. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t enjoy being the center of attention as much as my character.
RETREAT By about 1 a.m., 1:30, it’s time for bed. I will go in my bedroom and get into bed. They know how to let themselves out. I feel full, I feel content. I’m a Pisces — I can’t rest if you aren’t resting well. I have a beautiful family of friends here. I know that they’re O.K., yeah, so let’s start the week. Let’s go and do all those things I daydreamed about when I was in church.