Kristin Chenoweth has built a memorable career spanning film, television and stage. From Olive Snook in "Pushing Daisies" and April Rhodes in "Glee" to the original Glinda in 'Wicked,' her talent knows no bounds. The Tony and Emmy Award winner tackles a new project this month as a contributor to the newly-released compilation of essays, entitled My Moment: 106 Women on Fighting for Themselves.
Chenoweth explains how her latest endeavor came to fruition. "One of my very closest friends is singer/songwriter Chely Wright. We were talking one day and we were gonna write a song called '"Run, Hide, Fight" about what women do when confronted with something that we don't want to be confronted with. And she asked me a question - 'Do you remember the first time that you fought for yourself?' I said no. We asked Kathy Najimy - 'Do you remember the first time you fought for yourself?' She said no. We asked Linda Perry and Lauren Blitzer. One of them said, 'I have to think about mine'. It took me a while, but I had eventually written mine down. I've always been scared of it because I didn't want people to view me as weak or any of the things that people would say. I was scared. Then Kathy wrote hers. Lauren said, 'We need to make a coffee table book and ask all or our famous and non-famous friends the same question. So we did. The stories we got back were so special. Gloria Steinem, Carol Burnett, Mary Trump, supermodels, an Indian girl who escaped her father's abuse. I'm gonna say it's probably one of the more important things I have done in my career."
Chenoweth also recently released her first children's book, What Will I Do With My Love Today? that's been heralded by critics as 'heartwarming,' 'sweet,' and 'meaningful.' She tells the story of how that book came to be. "New York was hit hard by the pandemic. And after eight weeks, I decided I was going to write. But I didn't know what I was going to write. So I was talking to my rescue dog Thunder and said, 'What are we going to do with ourselves today? We couldn't breathe on anyone, touch anyone or even smile (with our masks on), so I thought, 'What are we going to do with our LOVE today then? I thought at first it might be a song. But it turned into a book about how people rescue each other. I'm adopted and I was rescued by my parents. Thunder is a rescue dog and I rescued her, although she rescues me more. It's about us taking on Manhattan and doing random acts of kindness."
So does she have a favorite role? Singer, actress, author? She says, "I'm a hybrid. But I love a live audience! When I stand in front of the Nashville symphony and I sing my truth - I love opera, I love musical theatre, I love country, I love pop, traditional, standards - I listen to the audience and they speak back to me. It's a relationship that I love. Live entertainment is my favorite."
Speaking of Nashville, Chenoweth is now an official resident. "I have no living room furniture or extra bedroom furniture. I can use my kitchen, but I never use my kitchen anyway," she reveals. "I would say to you by August, after some film and TV and other projects, I should be there full-time."
Chenoweth is also a passionate supporter of the arts. 10 years ago, after a state-of-the-art performance center was built in her hometown of Broken Arrow, OK with her name on it, her dad said to her, 'You gotta do something with that.' So she started Kristin Chenoweth's Broadway Boot Camp, now in its seventh year. "You audition online and come for one or two weeks to learn from Broadway and television's best. We've had kids from 32 states and 22 countries learning singing, acting, dancing, songwriting, tech, anything media. I'm going to add ad libbing soon. It's a fun, hard, fabulous and wonderful summer arts program. It's everything I dreamed it could be and it just continues to grow." OfficialKristinChenoweth.com