Tituss Burgess was rendered speechless on Thursday morning after receiving his first Emmy nomination – an exceedingly rare occurrence, he must admit.
Burgess, 36, scored a nomination for best supporting actor in a comedy series for his portrayal of flamboyantly endearing would-be musical-theater actor Titus Andromedon on Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
“I was uncontrollable,” the actor tells PEOPLE upon hearing the news. “I sobbed, and I couldn’t believe it, and I’m usually so brilliant at always having something to say.”
Though Burgess reveals a shot of tequila was needed for him to loosen up, the 36-year-old ensured he’d be much less tightly wound the night before the big announcement.
“I took two sleeping pills!” Burgess says. “I made certain that I would not lose any sleep because the last thing I want to do is be in the purgatory of being in anticipation of something that you have no control over.”
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To be fair, news that he’d be in the running for one of TV’s biggest awards was unexpected because, as an actor who made his name on Broadway, “I thought I would be much closer to winning a Tony Award or getting a Tony nomination.”
The Kimmy Schmidt actor isn’t the only star from the show to receive recognition for his work. Costar Jane Krakowski and the show’s writer Tina Fey both scored nominations, while Burgess’ costar and gal pal, Ellie Kemper, did not.
“[I’m] so disappointed that Ellie was snubbed,” he says. “She is as much a part of my performance and my getting nominated as I am.”
Burgess adds, “I accept the nomination with [Ellie’s] energy involved because I had to have somebody to participate with in the scenes and she showed up so wonderfully and fully.”
Despite this being his first nomination, the actor reveals he is not nervous.
“I already won,” Burgess tells PEOPLE. “Being in the conversation, being with those other nominees – I already won.”
So how would his character react to the Emmy news?
Burgess says, “He would go, of course, ‘Peenooooo Nooooir!‘”
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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is currently streaming on Netflix, and the 2015 Emmys will be broadcast Sept. 20 on Fox.