Porter has been singing and performing since the young age of 3, and at the age of 5, she became the youngest participant ever to win the Star Search show. As an actress, she is best known for her role as Curly Sue in the movie Curly Sue. Porter continued with acting in high school in Westport, Connecticut, where she joined a theatre group and participated in various shows. When she was 18, she moved to New York to audition for Broadway shows. She was cast as Urleen in the show Footloose.