Kristin Chenoweth was greeted by The Phil and Trinity Musical Theatre (TMT), to rapturous applause, earlier today for a Q&A session that can only be described as wicked.
Terrible puns aside, Chenoweth displayed everything a performer of her kind should, nailing a performance of ‘Danny Boy’ before even taking her seat. She spoke immediately of how honoured she was to be a recipient of the Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage.
Chenoweth boasts a wide range of accolades, ranging from her Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in Pushing Daisies, to her Tony Award for You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.
She was engaging and delightful as a guest, asking many questions and fully immersing herself in any topic of conversation.
“Criticism? I call that Monday, girl!” Chenoweth’s message to the crowd was one of gratefulness and understanding. She spoke of how she grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, where no performing arts school existed until The Kristin Chenoweth Theatre was opened in her name in 2009.
When she was asked how she continues on after a setback, she said we all have to “get real comfortable with the word no”. Throughout the Q&A she repeatedly mentioned the idea of enjoying the journey as opposed to reaching the destination, stating that “wherever your life leads you, you should go with gratefulness and thankfulness”.
Chenoweth also divulged the means of escape from her busy life: sleep, prayer, meditation and her dog (whom she loves very dearly). She spoke highly about her connection to God, and how this has guided her through times in her life where “not everyone was on board with who I was”.
She also mentioned her connection with the LGBT+ community, and how this has been compromised in previous times by other Christians in her life.
Another important point she made (one that is ever more pressing in today’s political climate) is to not only surround yourself with like-minded people, but with non like-minded people. She believes “grown-up conversations” are key to developing a true understanding of the world.
A member of the audience approached Chenoweth with a question regarding the recent allegations made towards Harvey Weinstein, and asked for her opinion. Her response was short, but to the point: “don’t have any meetings in hotel rooms!”
She discussed how she believed this topic was not new or fresh; rather that it has been occurring for years and is only now being brought to light. As a self-proclaimed “eternal optimist”, she does believe that good will come of these allegations and justice will be served.
When asked what she would say to her younger self, Chenoweth stated that she “thought life would be much easier than it actually was”. Once result-oriented, she now focuses more on enjoying the ride and taking risks where necessary.
“If I don’t continue to evolve, I think I might die”, she said, explaining why she doesn’t like repeating the same routine daily in order to stay in her comfort zone. All in all, Chenoweth was kind and welcoming, and seemed incredibly honoured to be recognised in Trinity.