He is an American actor and singer. He is known for his role as Ricky Evangelista, a dancer, in the FX television series Pose.Burnside got his first start at age 12 when he performed as the lead singer of hip-hop/R&B boy band “3D” with 2 of his cousins and managed by his mother, touring with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Rihanna, with a distribution deal with Atlantic Records and performing in venues including Madison Square Garden and the Nokia Theater. After 10 years, he began feeling constricted by fronting a boy band and wanted to explore arts less traditionally masculine: "The things that I was interested in didn’t necessarily align with my family’s or society’s idea of what it meant to be a man. ... I can still be a male and sing Mozart or take a ballet class and that it not have anything to do with anything other than I wanted to take a ballet class." As a result, he enrolled at the CAP21 conservatory to take a vocal major, moved to New York City and took acting and dance classes including studying for a bachelor's degree in media studies and writing from The New School.